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The Future of Driving

andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,309
edited January 2016 in General
The automotive world is undergoing an era of profound change that will affect not only how we use pour automobiles
but our whole way of life our economy and culture.

Twenty or so years from now you probably won't even own a car but you'll belong to a service that provides one for you on demand. Pushing a button on your Smart Connector will summon a robot car from a nearby location. You'll be able to select a van, pickup, sedan or even convertible depending on your needs for the day. It'll announce its
arrival with a chime, you'll get in, tell it where to go and it'll take you there.

How totally convenient is that? There'll be no gas bills because the cars are all-electric and no insurance bill because the cars will be almost foolproof (insurers are already concerned - see link at end of post).

It sounds pretty easy....and boring! Hopefully it will still be legal for us old gearheads to enjoy driving cars ourselves
and we could be doing it on highways that are practically empty(insurers estimate a traffic decline of 60%)

What do you think?

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/automobiles/insurers-brace-for-the-self-driving-future-and-fewer-accidents.html?hpw&rref=automobiles&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

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Comments

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited January 2016
    I'm ready for it. Maybe 40 years ago in my twenties I would have preferred to row my own.

    Just think, a whole garage to stash junk in (well, nothing new there for most folks). Less need for asphalt downtown, more green space, more walking and biking (got a weird commute? Take the autonomous car to the bike lane and then get on your bike).

    Need to drive across the Plains and you get bored watching the weather patterns in the big empty? Put the car on autopilot and nap while the car eats up the miles overnight.

    Really hope the trucking industry is an early adopter. Be nice to see trucks obeying the speed limits and staying mostly in the right lanes. And not playing the elephant race and backing up traffic a mile behind them.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 120,221
    Need to drive across the Plains and you get bored watching the weather patterns in the big empty? Put the car on autopilot and nap while the car eats up the miles overnight.

    Steve.. that's an airplane

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited January 2016
    lol, true. But what if you decide at 2 am that you want a short stack and bacon at the IHOP in Dodge City KS?

    That brings back memories of playing on the computer late into the evening in my early 40s up North and then heading over to the Village Inn for a 2 am breakfast to get a bit dewired. There was always a nerd or three there at that hour. Insulted one guy one morning by asking him if his BBS handle referred to Bilbo of Mississippi of KKK fame. I never got into the Rings and didn't make the Baggins connection. :D

    That was pre wifi days so the night owls actually wound up talking to each other. Several times I gave Bilbo a ride home - no autonomous cars he could call for a ride back then (he probably couldn't have afforded it anyway).
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,309
    Here's a good article about the potential economic effects of a "driverless" future.
    https://newrepublic.com/article/127567/happens-drivers-driverless-future

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited February 2016
    "The hype is deafening. The topic dominated the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit: Nice car, but what are your ideas for driverless?

    It can all sound a bit breathless, like it’s just around the corner. Many automakers have coalesced around 2020 as the year when fully self-driving vehicles will be available to the public. Some analysts think that’s too optimistic, that it will take 10 years or more – and even then, the cars might be restricted to taxi fleets."

    What it feels like to drive a Tesla on autopilot (washingtonpost.com)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    This technology is at least 10 years away from being anywhere near practical.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,309

    This technology is at least 10 years away from being anywhere near practical.

    That's a bold prediction considering that they are already selling cars with some autonomous capabilities. I'm hoping it comes on line about 5 minutes before I'm no longer capable of driving on my own. Ten years seems just about right, I'll be into my 80s.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,823
    andys120 said:

    This technology is at least 10 years away from being anywhere near practical.

    That's a bold prediction considering that they are already selling cars with some autonomous capabilities. I'm hoping it comes on line about 5 minutes before I'm no longer capable of driving on my own. Ten years seems just about right, I'll be into my 80s.
    I found this a bit eye-opening, except for the fact it took twice as long to get there:
    http://jalopnik.com/how-a-tesla-with-autopilot-forced-us-to-take-the-road-t-1752024377
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The best road trips take twice as long to get "there". Wherever "there" is. :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I meant at least ten years to fully autonomous. 
     The problems that still need to be solved are staggering. It's going to be harder than autonomous rail or autonomous aviation because it is conducted within a much less controlled environment. The day for the autonomous auto might only be possible when all cars and all people are literally interconnected.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,823
    Imagine pulling up to a busy intersection with jaywalkers...
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,309
    I had a round of calls for "Tech Support" and could not get past the army of Phone-bots preventing me from having a conversation w an actual human being. It occurred to me that if we can't design a robot to do a better job of answering phones than a person how the hell do we make a car that can drive itself? :'(

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited November 2016
    As someone recently suggested in a mag I was reading, forget self-driving cars as the cure for rising car fatalities. Instead, just install a cell phone signal blocker in each car, that would deactivate as soon as the engine is shut off.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    What about me working on my laptop with a cell enabled hotspot while riding shotgun down the Interstate as my wife drives?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    just take a break Steve or keep your wife alert and entertained.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited November 2016
    lol, in other words, you wouldn't miss my brilliant missives 24/7. :D

    At least my pinball app on the iPad works offline.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I will own and drive cars for as long as it is legal, and maybe a few years afterwards...no auto-pilot for me, and I like owning cars....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I call BS. They are completely ignoring how much people like to own cars. And plenty of non-enthusiasts like to drive at least sometimes, too.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,980

    I call BS. They are completely ignoring how much people like to own cars. And plenty of non-enthusiasts like to drive at least sometimes, too.

    Couldn't agree more. These type of predictions have a way of becoming, shall we say, "tempered" over time. Remember how the Segway was going to make the car obsolete in congested cities?? :)

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 120,221
    Seems like they forget about flyover country.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Autonomous cars are just another way to capture your attention, track your buying and viewing habits, and sell you stuff. The cover story about "safety" is just a crock. Basically you will become a prisoner of Amazon and Google. I mean, they've already convinced a fair number of people to buy a device for their home that requires them to shout "OK Google" all day long---LOL!



  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,309

    I call BS. They are completely ignoring how much people like to own cars. And plenty of non-enthusiasts like to drive at least sometimes, too.

    I'm not sure about that, judging by the type of vehicles driven by most people, I don't see how most people like to own or drive cars. Convenience sells and given the choice most would opt for the least inconvenience. I'm pretty sure there are kids alive who'll never own, or drive a car. I have a nephew and two nieces, none of whom can drive a manual shift (I've tried to teach them but they just don't care.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,980
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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,309
    I'm vacillating about all the hype about autonomous vehicles, perhaps they are further away than it now seems or maybe not. I read a column recently in which the writer said it will be difficult to design a self-driving car that could anticipate the dumb things that human drivers do on a daily basis and that would lead to chaos during the periods when robot cars share the roads with people driven cars.

    At first I thought that was a good argument and I personally wonder about that since so far
    coders have not been able to design a robot that can even answer the phone as well as a human child can. There's a big OTOH though--robot driven cars are already on the roads, I've seen them in Tempe, Arizona.

    Traffic engineers will tell you that the dynamics of traffic movement are less chaotic than it appears and I think they are correct. I used to commute from Southern NH to Boston and after a while you realize that there are times and places where it's faster to keep left and others where you're better off in the middle or right lanes.

    I've also noticed that if you see a stack of cars, say five or more taking the exit you need you're better off merging further up the stack rather than pulling behind the last car. The amazing thing is that in any line of five or more cars there's always one who will leave a gap you can safely merge into.

    I know this pisses some people off but the engineers tell us that by exiting a crowded highway efficiently you are actually helping traffic flow better.

    It's going to take a high degree of AI to teach a robot about all the vicissitudes of traffic but maybe it can be done.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited October 2017
    There are a lot of issues surrounding autonomous cars that don't have anything to do with the basic technology. For one thing many people don't trust them yet and may never trust them, and can you really blame them? Another factor is that these are autonomous cars will be gathering data all the time. What happens to this information? Can it be hacked? What does it reveal about you and your habits? And yet another factor is the ethics of an autonomous car.  How does it to decide to behave in the event of a potential accident? Does it save you to kill another driver, or will it sacrifice you for someone else? Will it be a socialist, and make a decision for the greater good, or will it be darwinian, and spare the most Worthy?

    Then there are the questions of what happens in a disaster? What happens to all these autonomous cars during a flood or an electrical blackout? Wouldn't it be nice to have a gasoline powered 4x4 in that situation?

    And let's take the consequences a little further. Even if it becomes true that autonomous cars will decrease accidents, what happens to all those Uber drivers and taxi drivers? There are hundreds of thousands of them out of work. 

    Let's say we do get to level 5 in autonomy, that is, cars without steering wheels and brake pedals. Will people really spend time on their laptops while hurtling down the highway at 75 miles per hour? Or, will they be so anxious that they'll be staring at the road no matter what?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    edited October 2017
    I wouldn't be able ta ride in one without staring out at the road, shifty. Count me out. I'm trying to decide on trading the '11 Kia Soul on a '17 Subaru Impreza 2.0i 5-speed sedan. Getting  closer, inch by inch, to going to at least test drive. I love to drive, and can't wait ta try this car out. Autonomous cars? 

    Phooey. They're for some other...species...Doh! I mean some other person. I'd rather go get some choice dental work done, with half the numbing agent that would required.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,823
    Nervous or not, I'd get car sick if I was looking at a book/phone/laptop while being driven around town.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,823
    For a 'level 5' car without a steering wheel, what happens if a jerk/bad guy stands in front of the car and won't move?
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,823
    And getting hacked, regardless of 'level', is a reasonable concern:
    https://jalopnik.com/americans-are-super-scared-about-driverless-cars-gettin-1819136046
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