Self-driving car discussion catch-all

Jonman wrote:
cheeba wrote:

See that sounds to me like you don't often drive in snowy conditions. I get that differentials can react faster than I can. I get that anti-lock brakes are better than normal brakes. All that technology doesn't mean a thing if your tires aren't in good condition, either through normal wear or if they're packed with slush. Sometimes, regardless of who is controlling the car, you are going to slip. In such an instance, as I mentioned earlier, sometimes you have to hit the gas or sometimes you have to let it slide or sometimes you have to tap the brake and then hit the gas. I don't see technology catching up with humans in that regard for a long, long time.

See, that sounds to me like you don't often have any contact or experience with control systems. On the other hand, I am a control systems engineer. I design and test jet engine control systems - this is my bread-and-butter, pal.

I've got 15 years experience doing this - hopefully, you'll see I can speak to this from a place of knowledge.

With that said, your example only holds water if we assume that the engineers designing this hypothetical control system that's incapable of dealing with ambient temperatures below freezing were f*cking morons.

The technology has not only caught up to humans a long, long time ago, it's far, far surpassed them. Trust me on this.

The 2013 Chevy Malibu has a ice warning sensor that warns you when you are starting to drive in icy conditions. I thought that was neat with my rental today.

OG_slinger wrote:

Safe isn't the lowest common denominator. It's safe. That you might personally find it less fun is irrelevant.

Well, no, not irrelevant. These cars have to sell, after all, and it's still a free market. When given the choice between a fun car that looks great and has some autonomous features vs. a fully autonomous safety pod, guess which one I and many others will buy? While that remains true, I feel pretty secure knowing that I have some years of driving fun ahead of me yet :).

cheeba wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Wrongedy wrongedy wrong.

And how can I argue against such an eloquent, perfectly reasoned rebuttal? :)

You've already proven time and time again that you have no interest in actually responding to real rebuttals, might as well go with the simple ones and save everyone some time.

cheeba wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Safe isn't the lowest common denominator. It's safe. That you might personally find it less fun is irrelevant.

Well, no, not irrelevant. These cars have to sell, after all, and it's still a free market. When given the choice between a fun car that looks great and has some autonomous features vs. a fully autonomous safety pod, guess which one I and many others will buy? While that remains true, I feel pretty secure knowing that I have some years of driving fun ahead of me yet :).

I would be curious to know what your definition of "fun" driving is, as I suspect it's the kind of driving that makes me look forward to safety-minded self-driving cars. So, when you drive fun, you're doing exactly what?

As someone who actually works in the auto industry in a company that is directly involved with the development of this tech, I can say that most of the concerns a few of you are bringing up have already been identified and are being incorporated in development. They also test these protypes on tracks all over the world for the exact purpose of testing driving in different environments.

As strange as it might sound, the whole of the auto industry isn't led by buffoons that don't think about these things.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
cheeba wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Safe isn't the lowest common denominator. It's safe. That you might personally find it less fun is irrelevant.

Well, no, not irrelevant. These cars have to sell, after all, and it's still a free market. When given the choice between a fun car that looks great and has some autonomous features vs. a fully autonomous safety pod, guess which one I and many others will buy? While that remains true, I feel pretty secure knowing that I have some years of driving fun ahead of me yet :).

I would be curious to know what your definition of "fun" driving is, as I suspect it's the kind of driving that makes me look forward to safety-minded self-driving cars. So, when you drive fun, you're doing exactly what?

Pretty much.

I suspect it is driving like this.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...

CptDomano wrote:

As someone who actually works in the auto industry in a company that is directly involved with the development of this tech, I can say that most of the concerns a few of you are bringing up have already been identified and are being incorporated in development. They also test these protypes on tracks all over the world for the exact purpose of testing driving in different environments.

As strange as it might sound, the whole of the auto industry isn't led by buffoons that don't think about these things.

This is kind of unrelated to this thread specifically, but I find the "I just heard about this idea and I already see 20 problems with it, it's going to fail" mentality amusing. I'm sure the people who think about this 40+ hours a week could NEVER think of what you just came up with off the top of your head.

cheeba wrote:

Well, no, not irrelevant. These cars have to sell, after all, and it's still a free market. When given the choice between a fun car that looks great and has some autonomous features vs. a fully autonomous safety pod, guess which one I and many others will buy? While that remains true, I feel pretty secure knowing that I have some years of driving fun ahead of me yet :).

When given the choice between a fun car that looks great and requires that I can't text, read a book, play a game, watch a movie because I have to drive the same 40 minute commute on a bumper to bumper bypass vs. a fully autonomous safety pod where I can get an extra hour of sleep, watch a Breaking Bad marathon, call mom guess which one the vast majority of Americans will buy?

And here is the thing you are basically making the same argument people made in the 70s and 80s about manual vs. automatic transmissions, but as of 2013 only 6.5% of new cars sold in the US have manual transmissions. That number was 19.9% 20 years ago.

In fact I can't think of any situation where doing things manually has won out over automation - do you still hop up to change the dial on your TV? Heck do you still dial each number for your phone or do you just hit the contact? Do you still spin the dial to change the radio station in your car or do you have the stations you like programed to a single button? Do you use the dish washer or do you wash them all by hand? Do you use the dryer at home or do you hang out all your laundry? Etc., etc.

I can think of thousands of examples of people choosing automation but I really can't think of one where when presented with a automatic way to accomplish the same task the automatic loses to the manual. Why do you feel car driving will be so much different?

Not sure if that's even worth mentioning. But if people wanna throw out credentials, then I worked in automotive market research for many years. For a couple of those years we got to test every prototype from one of the major manufacturers. I was personally involved in testing adaptive cruise control and crash avoidance back in the mid 90's.

CptDomano wrote:

As strange as it might sound, the whole of the auto industry isn't led by buffoons that don't think about these things.

Of course the industry thinks about these things. It doesn't get enough credit for being a very research intensive, forward-thinking industry. But technologies take a long ass time to roll out. We're still using steering columns with no end in sight even though Drive by Wire was shown off like 20 years ago.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I would be curious to know what your definition of "fun" driving is, as I suspect it's the kind of driving that makes me look forward to safety-minded self-driving cars. So, when you drive fun, you're doing exactly what?

It's perfectly safe. I've gotten into one accident in my life and that was at less than 5 mph (pulling out of a space in a parking lot). For me fun driving is mostly going around curves in what you would no doubt think is an aggressive way. If no one is coming on the other side of a curve to the left I'll cut it and make it a bit more straight :). Generally I stay within 10 mph of the speed limit as that's the magic number for not getting a ticket. Now that there's snow everywhere I'll often punch it when I back up out of my driveway and see how much of a donut I can do :).

farley3k wrote:

I can think of thousands of examples of people choosing automation but I really can't think of one where when presented with a automatic way to accomplish the same task the automatic loses to the manual. Why do you feel car driving will be so much different?

"Loses to the manual" - do you mean commercially? Sure that will eventually happen, which I acknowledged. But it's going to take a while. If you mean mechanically, then those manual transmissions generally offer you more control over an automatic (unless it's one of those dual-clutch trannies which aren't widely available for cheap just yet). Cadillac even offered a manual transmission for the first time in the last like 30+ years in its performance packages (I believe both the CTS and ATS).

Look, as I said several times now, automated cars are gonna happen. Alls I'm sayin' is that they're not going to happen for a while. The SAE believes in 2040 that 75% of the cars on the road will be automated. I think that's a bit optimistic, but I'm sure by 2040 that 75% of the vehicles sold will be automated.

I dunno, market researchers are social scientists, right? And we all know they're a bunch of alcoholic lunatics, right? ;p

Also, the term 'trannie' is offensive and outdated. The preferred nomenclature is cross-dresser.

cheeba wrote:

Look, as I said several times now, automated cars are gonna happen. Alls I'm sayin' is that they're not going to happen for a while. The SAE believes in 2040 that 75% of the cars on the road will be automated. I think that's a bit optimistic, but I'm sure by 2040 that 75% of the vehicles sold will be automated.

Damm, I think we agree. I was hoping to argue more!

Seriously I just want it to be adopted broadly enough that I can have one by the time I am 60 (42 now) I don't expect it to happen overnight. And I certainly will miss many aspects of it. I still miss seeing how well I can take off from a stop on a slope in my manual. Overall though I bet I will like being able to doze off more (after all I will be 60)

Maybe I missed the part of the thread where we started talking about *all* cars would be automated by 2017? The OP was just covering 100 cars in Sweden within the next three years. I might have skimmed a bit though. I also agree that it's going to take awhile for it to be totally adopted by everyone.

cheeba wrote:

Well, no, not irrelevant. These cars have to sell, after all, and it's still a free market. When given the choice between a fun car that looks great and has some autonomous features vs. a fully autonomous safety pod, guess which one I and many others will buy? While that remains true, I feel pretty secure knowing that I have some years of driving fun ahead of me yet :).

Considering the number one selling car of all time is the Toyota Corolla and that the all-time top ten list includes the Honda Civic, Honda Accord, and the Ford Escort, I'm going to hazard a guess that more people would opt for the practical over the "fun."

For every person that just loves, loves, loves driving, there's going to be dozens that would give their right arm to never have to deal with rush hour traffic again or who could revel in having a few beers at the bar with the boys and not have to worry about getting a DUI.

But you're right. It's a free market and part of the cost of owning the car is going to be auto insurance. Considering that the only accident the Google car got into out of 500,000 miles of driving was when a human driver was in control (and it was determined to be the other drivers fault thanks to the onboard sensors), insurance companies are going to reward autonomous drivers with low, low rates and rightly putting the financial burden on the people who drive manually.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

So, when you drive fun, you're doing exactly what?

According to his earlier post, taking corners at high speeds while making racing car sounds.

OG_slinger wrote:

insurance companies are going to reward autonomous drivers with low, low rates

The day when insurance companies reward anyone with low rates on anything is a day I would love to see.

According to his earlier post, taking corners at high speeds while making racing car sounds.

Oh come on now, people who shoot zombies late at night while drunk can't give me sh*t about going "vroooooom" around a corner ;). I also do it with shopping carts sometimes :).

cheeba wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

insurance companies are going to reward autonomous drivers with low, low rates

The day when insurance companies reward anyone with low rates on anything is a day I would love to see.

You need to get out those rose colored glasses. It is quite easy to find with a simple google search discounts on car insurance for good driving.

Here is one article, here is an Allstate link

Safe Driving Bonus®
platinum

We appreciate that you're doing your part to make the roads safer for everyone. We think you deserve a little recognition. So, while most car insurance gives you a safe driver discount, only Allstate gives you that plus a Safe Driving Bonus Check worth up to 5% of your premium for every six months you drive accident-free.

cheeba wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

insurance companies are going to reward autonomous drivers with low, low rates

The day when insurance companies reward anyone with low rates on anything is a day I would love to see.

As others have mentioned above, it won't be a question of rewarding per se as much as it will be a function of insurance companies utilizing actuarial science and realizing market opportunities. The reason, for instance, it costs you far less to get tornado insurance in Colorado than it does in Kansas is because, statistically, the cost to the insurer to provide that insurance is way lower. The same is very likely true of automated cars, which by all accounts, are orders of magnitude safer, better drivers than any pool of the human insured.

I suspect that the insurance issue will become the main driver of the big shift once it actually happens. Once a critical mass of automated cars displaces enough human operators, the insured pool of piloted cars will become less and less financially viable. There may still be boutique insurance companies (much like you can still get film processed today), but the day of the piloted car as a "normal" mode of transportation will end with remarkable rapidity when it does.

No one thinks insurance companies will lower rates for self-driving cars out of the goodness of their hearts. But if they are safer than human driving, they will offer lower rates to encourage everyone to buy one so they have to pay out less in claims. The amount they lower premiums will be much less than the amount they think they can save in less claims. It's not far fetched.

cheeba wrote:

Look, as I said several times now, automated cars are gonna happen. Alls I'm sayin' is that they're not going to happen for a while.

Well, no one in this thread said it was gonna happen tomorrow so why are you gainsaying folk?

DanB wrote:

Well, no one in this thread said it was gonna happen tomorrow so why are you gainsaying folk?

There's also the question of whether it should happen.

cheeba wrote:
DanB wrote:

Well, no one in this thread said it was gonna happen tomorrow so why are you gainsaying folk?

There's also the question of whether it should happen.

Aside from enjoyment I think the answer is pretty stacked in favor of "yes" Don't get me wrong enjoyment is important but it is hard to rank it above human life.

cheeba wrote:
DanB wrote:

Well, no one in this thread said it was gonna happen tomorrow so why are you gainsaying folk?

There's also the question of whether it should happen.

I think we have already answered that one.

We average about 35000 automobile fatalities per year of which roughly 9000 of them are alcohol related. Of the others, an almost equal number are related to distracted driving from things like cell phones or texting. Excessive speed plays a role in over half of those fatalities.

Even if the computer driven cars suck so bad that they result in a 9-11 level tragedy every year, they would still save 32000 lives every year.

This one is a pretty easy "should".

I hadn't even considered the drunk driving aspect of this. If you really care about the enjoyment/fun aspect of driving and you also happen to enjoy drinking, then this would still facilitate further enjoyment in your life. Assuming you're a currently a responsible human being and not a monster.

cheeba wrote:

Wow. Saying that you don't seem to drive often in snowy conditions is not an insult. My argument is that it's going to take a long time for an automated car to be able to handle snowy conditions as well as a human. There's nothing personal about it, so just calm down and relax.

Coming back to this, you are wildly underestimating the current state of AI, computer vision and control systems engineering.

Here is a robot hand which can react so fast to human action if can always beat everyone at rock-paper-scissors
http://www.geek.com/news/robot-hand-...

Here's a robot hand that can handle objects at very high speed in real time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kxj...

And fully automated precision flight where the individual vehicles keep their distance through realtime processing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQIM...

And that's what somewhat underfunded university research labs could produce 3-6 years ago.

Paleocon wrote:
cheeba wrote:
DanB wrote:

Well, no one in this thread said it was gonna happen tomorrow so why are you gainsaying folk?

There's also the question of whether it should happen.

I think we have already answered that one.

We average about 35000 automobile fatalities per year of which roughly 9000 of them are alcohol related. Of the others, an almost equal number are related to distracted driving from things like cell phones or texting. Excessive speed plays a role in over half of those fatalities.

Even if the computer driven cars suck so bad that they result in a 9-11 level tragedy every year, they would still save 32000 lives every year.

This one is a pretty easy "should".

And for those who really, really love driving there are plenty of race and test tracks and racing clubs people can become members of.

DanB wrote:

Coming back to this, you are wildly underestimating the current state of AI, computer vision and control systems engineering.

Already addressed this. Take a look at drive by wire. I believe I first saw it at the 92 or 93 NAIAS. It's still a long ways from being fully implemented.

SixteenBlue wrote:

I hadn't even considered the drunk driving aspect of this. If you really care about the enjoyment/fun aspect of driving and you also happen to enjoy drinking, then this would still facilitate further enjoyment in your life. Assuming you're a currently a responsible human being and not a monster.

Hah, and we know which of the two most people assume me to be ;). But I would bet money that drinking would still not be allowed in an automated car.

SixteenBlue wrote:

I hadn't even considered the drunk driving aspect of this. If you really care about the enjoyment/fun aspect of driving and you also happen to enjoy drinking, then this would still facilitate further enjoyment in your life. Assuming you're a currently a responsible human being and not a monster.

Try to keep up. I mentioned the possible future sublime pleasure of cracking open a beer in the company parking lot and drinking it on the way home in front of a NC State Trooper pages ago.

cheeba wrote:

But I would bet money that drinking would still not be allowed in an automated car.

Who said anything about drinking in automated cars? We're talking about being impaired/intoxicated in an automated car.

If the computer is driving, it's a bit hard for the police to charge you with a DUI. It would be like charging you for a DUI because you took a cab.

And it would be exceptionally easy to prove you weren't actually driving by allowing the police to check the car's logs to confirm that it was in automatic mode.

OG_slinger wrote:

Who said anything about drinking in automated cars?

Paleocon seems quite enthusiastic about the idea ;).

cheeba wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Who said anything about drinking in automated cars?

Paleocon seems quite enthusiastic about the idea ;).

And if you aren't, you are probably one of those untrustworthy folks like teatotallers or vegetarians.