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Google's Self-Driving Car

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,232
edited December 2014 in General
Google releases full prototype of self-driving car


Yep, no people needed :(
The car's speed is still capped at 25 mph, but now it has headlights and a smaller, sleeker-looking rooftop sensor array.
And not in a particular hurry to get nowhere B)

Edmunds Moderator

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Comments

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    No people needed, no steering wheel.... Bet the regulators will insist on it being driveable though.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,232
    stever said:

    No people needed, no steering wheel.... Bet the regulators will insist on it being driveable though.

    Since the rest of the cars are driveable ones, doesn't that make this one a target? ;)

    Edmunds Moderator

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    It does looks like a PlaySkool Isetta with 40 clowns hidden inside. You either want to pound it or stick on the roof of the high school.
  • gbattgbatt San Carlos, CAPosts: 15
    I would rather have a Johnny Cab
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,232
    stever said:

    It does looks like a PlaySkool Isetta with 40 clowns hidden inside. You either want to pound it or stick on the roof of the high school.

    It's not even the look that bother me. Experiments are supposed to look like that. The idea that we're all going to be getting into cars that will be driving themselves someday is borderline silly. I'm still waiting for my flying car that GM promised me I'd see by the year 2000 at the Futurama exhibit at the 1964 World's Fair in NY ;)

    Edmunds Moderator

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  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    edited March 2015
    The Luddites in the 19th century were afraid of machines because it would destroy the value of their hard earned craftsmanship skills.
    The new word for this fear can be expressed with these following words.: “OMG what will a self driving car do to our driving skills?”
    Like machines that question will become irrelevant. The best chess masters know they cannot compete with a computer. The smartest Jeapordy contestant can’t compete with a computer. And sooner or later the safest and best car driver on earth can’t compete with a computer.

    Is that tragic?

    No!
    Stever and PF you both sound like driving enthusisasts. But the fact of the matter is the majority of the world views driving as a hindrance than a passion. Go to China or most countries outside Europe or North America and you will notice most people who can afford it would rather have chauffeurs than drive their own vehicles. Imagine an affordable Google self driving car in places like that? Such a vehicle will sell faster than the latest enlarged iphone 6.

    What happens to the insurance industry when self driving cars don’t have accidents?
    I think Warren Buffett should re-consider Geico ownership as a long term investment.

    Or what happens when self driving cars are not perfected and there are accidents? Whose liable? If 8 lives are saved out out of 10 with self drive versus human drive is Google responsible for 2 deaths or should it be credited for saving 8 additional lives?

    A large fleet of Uber self drive cars? This could make car ownership redundant.

    These are exciting times and I hope such new vehicles succeeds because our grandchildren will view such vehicles as a necessity and will only go to Dude Tracks to drive cars with steering wheels and ranches to ride horses.

    In fact i I hope to own one in 5 years or before if Google or Apple or Ford is the first to introduce one. The recent Mercedes Benz self drive car does not impress me because technology that costs a 6 digit figure is less impressive than one that costs a 5 digit figure.

    Although there are people who are willing to spend $17000 for a gold Apple iWatch.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    @dewey, I'm not so much a driving enthusiast as someone who likes to drive places. If an autonomous car can take me there, that works fine (and I don't have to interact with a driver if the car drives itself).
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,232
    And I'm not so much worried about "driving skills" as I am about human nature. The idea that ANYTHING is going to do something for you that you no longer have to do is something that is very attractive to a large number of people now. Don't worry about paying attention to what's around you on the road, your car knows when to stop or avoid something. The problem is, not every vehicle is going to be "smart" and there's no way that a lone smart vehicle guarantees your safety with no input from a driver.

    If something happens on the road in traffic (not exactly a cherry-picked rare situation) and mayhem is breaking loose in front of your self-driving car and you've been freed up watch a movie on your mobile device or "catch up on work" (and this is what I hear a lot of people thinking they will be able to do), has your smart car considered escape routes, or does it just apply the brakes to stop you and then you get plowed by traffic from behind? Does it choose the "best worst option" or does it try to avoid things in sequence?

    Has nothing to do with being a driving enthusiast.

    Someday, someone who thinks they don't need to know how to do anything because they can "google it" on their phone is going to find themselves in a situation where they'll need to know how to make a fire. ;)

    Edmunds Moderator

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  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    edited March 2015
    Who needs to make fire when there is Google owned Nest to take care of your heating?

    But seriously I know what you are saying.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think these cars might make sense in very dense urban environments---big cities like NY or San Francisco, both of which go out of their way to punish car owners as much as humanely possible. So let them punish machines instead, and we'll just go along for the ride.

    Of course, autonomous or not, these marvy little cars will still be stuck in gridlock traffic most of the time.

    On the plus side, maybe it will eliminate many of the truly bad drivers who are out to kill us all.

  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 694
    How about, take a bus...or a cab...

    :p
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,072
    Autonomous cars won't change much if the powers that be don't own up to their mismanaged traffic controls.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,232



    On the plus side, maybe it will eliminate many of the truly bad drivers who are out to kill us all.

    I figured that the truly bad drivers would be a self-solving problem, but they seem to be multiplying

    Edmunds Moderator

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  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    edited March 2015
    A cab or a bus instead?

    Cab expenses that can add up to hiring a full time human chauffeur.

    Basing your commute on a bus schedule and taking many buses or on a a self driving car based on your very own personal schedule?

    A self driving car really does sound compelling based on those two alternatives. And yes Google and Ford announced that they would only introduce such a car if they could be sold at a mainstream price.

    I am now in New Mexico and I can understand how driving can be a pleasure. In Toronto traffic where I live that is another story.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited March 2015
    dewey said:

    In fact i I hope to own one in 5 years or before if Google or Apple or Ford is the first to introduce one.

    Try a few months, if you can spring for a Tesla.

    "The next update, dubbed 7.0, which will come in a few months, will change the user interface and allow for highway driving with complete autonomy, with the driver letting go of the steering wheel and guiding itself to the destination. It also will have an option to drive itself with no human occupant to pick up a person—but only on private property."

    Tesla to Upgrade Cars Through the Internet (Wall St. Journal)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    edited March 2015
    Stever said: "Try a few months, if you can spring for a Tesla."

    No Thanks.

    Years ago when Tesla was new to Canada I was so unimpressed with the sales rep. that I was scared to think about having this unique car serviced.

    Also based on later stories this announcement from Elon Musk seems to have been a bit overhyped as he himself made an announcement later on to correct himself.

    I will stick to a more humble Google car though I think the biggest hindrance to such a car is not technology but government regulation.

    Flight would not have taken off over a century ago if we had so many regulators back then.
    The Wright brothers endeavor would not be able to fly over the laws imposed by regulators. Probably today there would be no jet planes since regulators would be greatly concerned about an airplane dropping on top of our heads.

    Even today regulators are trying to impede the progress of drones.

    There are no Federal laws for self driving cars. Good luck in using self driving cars for State to State travel where each State has different laws or no laws about self driving cars.

    And let's not even talk about Canada where I happen to reside. So even if the technology exists it is a pointy headed civil servant that is the one who will make it possible or impossible.
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