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  #251  
Old 12-19-2018, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I look forward to all the contorted arguments that will attempt to inform me that this is not, in fact, a self-driving car and that it is in no way actually on the road.
I heard that 400,000 groceries lined up to put down a $1,000 deposit on it, even though they won’t be able to buy it for several years. It’s going to have to go through “produce hell” to get it to consumers. BOGO coupons not accepted.
  #252  
Old 12-20-2018, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Driverless cars start delivering groceries.It's been a little over a year since the OP...

I look forward to all the contorted arguments that will attempt to inform me that this is not, in fact, a self-driving car and that it is in no way actually on the road.
No problem: you can call it self driving.

But I do think a delivery truck is the dumbest use case for a self driving vehicle imaginable.
Who’s gonna carry the groceries to my kitchen?
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  #253  
Old 12-20-2018, 07:23 AM
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I heard that 400,000 groceries lined up to put down a $1,000 deposit on it, even though they won’t be able to buy it for several years.
You heard? Where and when?
  #254  
Old 12-20-2018, 07:29 AM
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You heard? Where and when?
About foodstuffs putting deposits down on Bo’s autonomous shopping cart? Let’s just say I was given the inside two scoops and I lapped it up like milk. Sure, that’s a lot of cabbage for the average egg, but that doesn’t make them a sucker. You’re asking me where’s the beef, but someone is bringing home the bacon. If this shopping cart is worth its salt, you don’t need to worry about comments from any nuts on the Internet. The proof is in the pudding, and I trust the cart not to drive like a hot dog.

Does that clear it up?
  #255  
Old 12-20-2018, 07:37 AM
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Clear as Crystal Pepsi.
  #256  
Old 12-20-2018, 07:49 AM
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Got it.
Whooshed.
  #257  
Old 12-20-2018, 10:32 AM
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But Tuesday’s launch also highlighted some of the many challenges still ahead for autonomous vehicles: One of the compact cars didn’t drive as planned at a media demonstration because of a dead battery and had to be pushed up a ramp and onto a truck by several men.
lol. You know you’re struggling when on the day of the big demo you can’t even get one of the two cars you prepped to operate.
  #258  
Old 12-20-2018, 11:59 AM
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This thread is like the Mueller investigation. Incremental progress is made every day but "is he impeached yet/are self-driving cars ubiquitous yet?" remains the crux of the opposition/disbelief.

It's a process. Maybe an unstoppable one.
I'll continue to stand by my prediction from last year:
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
I'll make a prediction: all this 2020 stuff is crap. You won't be able to go to your dealer and buy a true self-driving car any earlier than 2024. (I really don't think it's going to be until the 2030s, though I'd love to be wrong.)
  #259  
Old 12-20-2018, 02:35 PM
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I've completely changed my position after catching up with this thread and reading a few other articles. Six months ago, I would have predicted that there would be a real self-driving car operating without minders over at least a few city-sized areas, either for sale or in real commercial service (taxi fleet or deliveries), by the end of 2024. But, based on what I'm reading, I think the technology is developing too slowly for companies to justify the massive continuing investments in self-driving cars that will be necessary to get them to market. I don't know if there will ever be self-driving cars, but I don't think it will come in the next decade, and I think none of the companies trying to be the first to market now will continue to be involved with them by then. Today's companies will have thrown up their hands after burning barrels full of money on the effort. I think we will hear more about self-driving car companies failing or cancelling their programs in 2019 and 2020 than we will hear about massive milestones in SDCs. I hope I'm wrong.

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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Driverless cars start delivering groceries.It's been a little over a year since the OP...

I look forward to all the contorted arguments that will attempt to inform me that this is not, in fact, a self-driving car and that it is in no way actually on the road.
It operates in a one square mile area. At no more than a few miles per hour. And they have so little faith in it, they have a chase vehicle with an operator who can control it remotely. This is not the self-driving future I envisioned. This is an experiment designed to generate publicity more than a real public roll-out of technology. It will probably go away quietly and without fanfare in the near future.

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Originally Posted by The Librarian View Post
No problem: you can call it self driving.

But I do think a delivery truck is the dumbest use case for a self driving vehicle imaginable.
Who’s gonna carry the groceries to my kitchen?
Who carries the groceries from your trunk?

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Not for a long while. This announcement didn't change anything.

https://www.wired.com/story/waymo-se...ndler-arizona/
These articles suggest that Waymo has taken a big step backwards. Waymo used to offer free self-driving rides to 400 consumers. Now they are going to charge them for the same service. Some of the users who thought it free was a great price will drop out, so this is a convenient way of shrinking the test pool without saying as much. These cars still need a minder. Waymo got a lot of headlines when they said they would pilot test fully self driving cars but it seems like few cars actually operated without drivers. This autonomous service launch seems more like the people in charge of the project are trying to appear to have stuck to a 2018 deadline than actually having accomplished it. Maybe without positive headlines suggesting progress ginned up by stunts like this, Alphabet plans to cut off their funding. This is not encouraging.

And then there is this summary:

https://jalopnik.com/2018-was-a-hard...ars-1831182272

The outlook for self-driving cars doesn't look good.
  #260  
Old 12-21-2018, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Tired and Cranky View Post
And then there is this summary:

https://jalopnik.com/2018-was-a-hard...ars-1831182272

The outlook for self-driving cars doesn't look good.
From your link:
Quote:
Even the head of Google’s self-driving car unit, former Hyundai exec John Krafcik, has publicly doubted self-driving cars will ever be able to perform in all conditions. He also believes we still have decades to go before the average person even has access to a self-driving car.
  #261  
Old 12-21-2018, 11:41 AM
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I read somewhere that one of these companies (I think Uber) was thinking of a model for self-driving long-distance semi trucks in which the truck would be autonomous on the highways, but when it got into town, a human operator would take over, steering the car from a remote location. That sort of model seems like it's more likely to happen soon.
  #262  
Old 12-21-2018, 08:41 PM
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lol. You know you’re struggling when on the day of the big demo you can’t even get one of the two cars you prepped to operate.
Dude, it happens all the time at car show press events. It happened to us when GM introduced the Volt at the Detroit auto show back in 2007 or 2008. Four of us had to push it out onto the stage and we just left it there after the event until they cleared everyone out of the booth. It was hilarious, but hardly an indication that a company is "struggling".
  #263  
Old 12-21-2018, 09:05 PM
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GM needed its $13B bailout in 2008, so it doesn't exactly qualify as a "non-struggling" company at that time.
  #264  
Old 12-21-2018, 09:07 PM
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I read somewhere that one of these companies (I think Uber) was thinking of a model for self-driving long-distance semi trucks in which the truck would be autonomous on the highways, but when it got into town, a human operator would take over, steering the car from a remote location. That sort of model seems like it's more likely to happen soon.
Sort of like a Predator Drone. This is not necessarily comforting.

Now that was a bit of sarcasm. But not entirely. I'm pretty cool with automation. But when it takes three dam days to upgrade a piece of software built by the biggest GIS software company in the world, well, it gives me pause to put that behind a 40 ton truck.

"Yes, we forgot to put that step in the instructions"

Thank god it was a development machine. Every time I have to update software it gives me chills.
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  #265  
Old 12-22-2018, 01:03 AM
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All you naysayers are hilarious.
Quote:
Self-driving car startup Zoox Inc. has won permission to start offering rides to passengers in California.

The Public Utilities Commission granted Zoox a permit Friday to ferry riders in autonomous vehicles under a pilot program — but Zoox can’t charge for the service and a backup driver must be in the car.

Zoox is the first company to win authorization for passenger service in the state but dozens of others already have permits to test driverless cars on public roads.

Earlier this month, Google spinoff Waymo started a small paying passenger service in the Phoenix area of Arizona, where regulations are less rigid than in California.

General Motors plans to offer a ride-hailing service next year in at least one U.S. city through its Cruise autonomous vehicle subsidiary.
Y'all may commence again with claiming that self-driving cars "are still decades away" and in trying to explain how these self-driving cars are not, in fact, self-driving cars.
  #266  
Old 12-22-2018, 09:23 AM
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All you naysayers are hilarious.Y'all may commence again with claiming that self-driving cars "are still decades away" and in trying to explain how these self-driving cars are not, in fact, self-driving cars.
Quote:
and a backup driver must be in the car
They will work in some limited circumstances soon. But a true self driving car is at least, at least 10 years away.
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  #267  
Old 12-22-2018, 10:42 AM
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Bo, no one disputes that there are cars today that can drive autonomously under certain conditions. But you've been told several times that that is not what people in this thread are discussing. "Decades" refers to AVs available to the average consumer that can legally go on any road in any conditions without a backup driver.

If you want to use all your little anecdotes to argue why the timeframe for that is shorter, go for it. But these constant assertions that AVs are already here is a strawman based on a definition only you are using. If that's the only definition in your mind, then your work here is done - we already know what's here today. The discussion has moved past that.
  #268  
Old 12-22-2018, 11:20 AM
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A few test cars in Arizona or certain other cities is far, far short of autonomous cars that can drive themselves in rural PA, MI or NY on roads without white lines, no shoulders, in the dark. Add snow, and even highways would be difficult. And then you have temporary lane closings, stalled cars and detours. I think two or three decades is optimistic for even modest use.

Last edited by Orwell; 12-22-2018 at 11:21 AM.
  #269  
Old 12-22-2018, 11:38 AM
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But are the primary difficulties now technological or legal?
  #270  
Old 12-22-2018, 12:09 PM
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But are the primary difficulties now technological or legal?
There are plenty of both, and I'm not sure you can say one is primary over the other.

And I'd throw in a third category, if I could think of the right name for it. A major challenge is AVs that can work alongside human drivers, who are unpredictable and will take advantage of cautious AVs. Figuring out how to program in the rules is simple compared to figuring out what those rules should be. What's the term - social? Behavioral?

In a magical world where we could switch to 100% AVs with no humans on the road, AVs would probably be fully viable in a couple of years.
  #271  
Old 12-22-2018, 01:07 PM
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Yes but after that driver's ed student passes his test he requires no further supervision to drive. No so with self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are are like putting a bunch of inexperienced 5 year old driver's ed students with poor depth perception on the streets, IMO.

Sure it's a novelty, but if you go out and buy a Tesla, put it in autopilot, be vigilant like you're supposed to, and take over when it does something stupid you aren't teaching the car anything. You're just expected to take over at a moment's notice to make up for the shortcomings of current technology.

I just don't see the point in the current form.
Did you just say that once a driver's ed student passes his test, he requires no further supervision? Legally, you are correct, as far as supervision goes, but a 16 year old driver still has many restrictions. Once you have a full license, you no longer legally need a supervisor, but do you really think that that newly graduated driver's ed student is going to be as good a driver as someone who has been driving for a decade or two?

Self driving cars are like taking that driver's ed student, who has already passed the test, and continuing to supervise him. Every mistake he makes, you tell him what he did wrong, and he remembers it. Any accident or incident or anomaly is also learned from.

And the great thing is, is that it is not millions of driver's ed students, each making a mistake and hopefully learning from it independently, but just one, who gets thousands of hours of experience in just a day, and is able to share it with all others.

Your "poor depth perception" comment makes no sense, as a lidar system, or really any computer controlled ranging system, is going to be far more accurate than the eyeball mark 1.

As far as the "take over" bit, that's just during the learning curve. As a passenger, are you expected to take over if the driver of the car makes a mistake, does not see an obstruction, or has a sudden medical crisis?

The only times you would need to take over would be well known in advance, as you would be aware that you are going off-roading, or even bad gravel roads, before you left the main road. The chances that, should you be paying close attention to the road, that you would see something missed by the car's sensors are very remote.

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Yep, it almost seems to me that you would have to be MORE diligent to take over at a moments notice. At least when you are driving, you know what you expect yourself to do. Not necessarily so with autopilot.
Right, which is why during this testing and learning phase, they should be driven by driver's ed teachers or the equivalent. Do you think that this will be the state of the technology forever, or can you see that this is just a testing and training phase?

As long as a person is needed to be i the loop, you are correct, people won't much like them, and I don't think that they should be sold as self driving. Once people are out of the loop, and are only needed for when you are driving up your snow covered driveway that you don't think the autopilot can handle, it'll be a bit more accepted.
  #272  
Old 01-22-2019, 04:04 PM
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Google self-driving spinoff Waymo to put factory in Michigan.
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Google’s self-driving car spinoff Waymo said Tuesday it will bring a factory to Michigan, creating up to 400 jobs at what it describes as the world’s first plant “100 percent” dedicated to the mass production of autonomous vehicles.

The company plans to spend about $13.6 million to retrofit a to-be-determined manufacturing facility in the Detroit area. In exchange, it will get a state incentive grant worth up to $8 million that was approved Tuesday by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board.

Waymo spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson said the company plans to hire up to 400 people to work at the factory, including engineers, operations experts and fleet coordinators. She said Waymo is looking for a site and hopes to open the plant in the middle of this year. A memo from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. says Waymo will create 100 jobs, with the potential for up to 400, and it chose Michigan despite a “high level of interest” from states in the Midwest, South and Southwest.
I look forward to what I am sure will be many, many replies detailing why this is not a real auto plant, how the plant is not producing self-driving cars immediately and how even if it were, they wouldn't be real self-driving cars.
  #273  
Old 01-22-2019, 04:27 PM
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A $13.6 million plant with 100 employees that they hope to open this year at a location they've yet to determine. Does this even need a reply?
  #274  
Old 01-22-2019, 04:30 PM
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A $13.6 million plant with 100 employees that they hope to open this year at a location they've yet to determine. Does this even need a reply?
Apparently it does, and as I predicted, it was an attempt to denigrate and belittle the story. And hey, I'm not disappointed: the very first reply denies that it is even a plan.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 01-22-2019 at 04:31 PM.
  #275  
Old 01-22-2019, 04:36 PM
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What do you mean, as you predicted? I was responding specifically to your well-poisoning antagonistic prediction of the "many, many replies" you expected. Clever trap, though.
  #276  
Old 01-22-2019, 05:22 PM
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Bo, see my post #267. Your post is unnecessarily antagonistic and ignores what people keep explaining to you.
  #277  
Old 01-23-2019, 07:04 AM
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Google self-driving spinoff Waymo to put factory in Michigan.I look forward to what I am sure will be many, many replies detailing why this is not a real auto plant, how the plant is not producing self-driving cars immediately and how even if it were, they wouldn't be real self-driving cars.
Okay, I'll be one of those. You can't build a car factory for $13.6 million dollars, unless you redefine what it is to build an autonomous vehicle. If you buy everything pre-made (like they currently do) and then install their own sensors and hardware, then maybe. But then do you consider companies that take chassis cabs and add a box to make a box truck as a vehicle manufacturer?
  #278  
Old 01-23-2019, 12:14 PM
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Okay, I'll be one of those. You can't build a car factory for $13.6 million dollars, unless you redefine what it is to build an autonomous vehicle. If you buy everything pre-made (like they currently do) and then install their own sensors and hardware, then maybe.
If you read the article, it's not a car assembly plant nor does anyone claim that it is. It's a conversion facility that installs self-driving components on Chrysler Pacifica minivans and Jaguar electric SUVs.

What I came here to say is that for those claiming that regulatory obstacles will delay self-driving cars, now that it's 2019 it's legal to test autonomous self-driving cars on public roads in Ontario with no driver behind the wheel -- and this is a province with notoriously conservative driver laws.

One such vehicle will be the University of Waterloo's "autonomoose", which has mastered most of the basics and can even drive in snow and various forms of bad weather, though not severe weather. Even now, the challenges with the UW car are all about exceptions, like broken traffic lights or the anomalies of construction zones. Even if it has 95% of the capabilities it needs, it's going to take a lot of effort to span that last 5%. And a lot of fine-tuning, as today these cars tend to be very meek, yielding (as one researcher put it) to anything and everything, which makes it hard for them to do things like changing lanes in heavy traffic with aggressive drivers. OTOH, trust me, not even a human driver can do this out of Logan Airport approaching one of the tunnels heading into Boston. Boston drivers are insane.
  #279  
Old 01-23-2019, 01:39 PM
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A $13.6 million plant with 100 employees that they hope to open this year at a location they've yet to determine. Does this even need a reply?
It reminds me of Trump claiming that he saved 1,100 jobs at the Indiana air conditioning factory, and the die-hards just ate it all up.

Then a few months later, when the ruckus died down, jobs were sent to Mexico anyways.

When this auto plant starts putting out modified cars, then let's talk. That date could be in two months, or 2026. Who the hell knows?
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:28 PM
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If you read the article, it's not a car assembly plant nor does anyone claim that it is. It's a conversion facility that installs self-driving components on Chrysler Pacifica minivans and Jaguar electric SUVs.
Actually, if you read the article like I did, it doesn't say that's what the plant is; it says that that's what they currently do. The nature of the plant isn't mentioned.
  #281  
Old 02-19-2019, 06:58 PM
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Tesla's Elon Musk: Full self-driving technology nearly complete

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Tesla CEO Elon said the electric car maker will have achieved fully autonomous self-driving technology by the end of 2019, though regulatory hurdles could prevent a mass-market rollout in the near future.

...

“I think we will be feature complete – full self-driving – this year, meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention, this year,” Musk said during an appearance on the ARK Invest podcast."

Last edited by KellyCriterion; 02-19-2019 at 06:59 PM.
  #282  
Old 02-19-2019, 07:28 PM
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We have self-driving transportation. It's called high-speed rail augmented by local trolley systems. The privately owned automobile is obsolete, and so are its advocates. Now they don't even want to drive the damned things themselves. They want IT to drive. Stop the absurdity. Ditch automobiles for the good of humankind's future.
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  #283  
Old 02-19-2019, 08:28 PM
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We have self-driving transportation. It's called high-speed rail augmented by local trolley systems. The privately owned automobile is obsolete, and so are its advocates. Now they don't even want to drive the damned things themselves. They want IT to drive. Stop the absurdity. Ditch automobiles for the good of humankind's future.
I take it you don't live in 99.5% of the United States, or probably 99.9% of the world?
  #284  
Old 02-19-2019, 08:32 PM
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Self-driving trucks already rolling on Florida highways

http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-...esting-florida

Decades, I tell ya..
  #285  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:56 AM
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Self-driving trucks already rolling on Florida highways
Decades, I tell ya..
Highway driving is easy.Full autonomy is not.

It seems to me that providing just the highway driving is enough to reach a huge market. And is realistically do-able soon.
But the car companies all seem to be competing for the glory of the ultimate prize (full autonomy), even if it takes years and billions of dollars.
They could win a lot of sales in the meantime, by selling a partial solution.
But nobody seems to be even trying. Why not?

Lots of people would love be able to sleep for a couple hours when they drive on longer trips.
There must be millions of people who don't visit their grandkids often, because it's a 4 hour drive each way.
Or business people who'd like to personally supervise the branch office in another city once a week.
These things may be too much hassle for regular driving, but if you could sleep most of the way, it becomes easy.
Why isn't anybody aiming for this market?




As for Elon Musk's declaration that "next year" his car will work perfectly: I won't believe it till he actually produces something and uses it in the real world.

Last edited by chappachula; 02-20-2019 at 12:57 AM.
  #286  
Old 02-20-2019, 07:50 AM
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Tesla's Elon Musk: Full self-driving technology nearly complete
Quote:
Tesla CEO Elon said the electric car maker will have achieved fully autonomous self-driving technology by the end of 2019, though regulatory hurdles could prevent a mass-market rollout in the near future.

...

“I think we will be feature complete – full self-driving – this year, meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention, this year,” Musk said during an appearance on the ARK Invest podcast."
Is this the same Elon Musk who promised a Falcon Heavy launch in 2013 or early 2014?

Timeline of Tesla developments 2017-2018

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Originally Posted by chappachula View Post
It seems to me that providing just the highway driving is enough to reach a huge market. And is realistically do-able soon.
But the car companies all seem to be competing for the glory of the ultimate prize (full autonomy), even if it takes years and billions of dollars.
They could win a lot of sales in the meantime, by selling a partial solution.
But nobody seems to be even trying. Why not?

Lots of people would love be able to sleep for a couple hours when they drive on longer trips.
There must be millions of people who don't visit their grandkids often, because it's a 4 hour drive each way.
Or business people who'd like to personally supervise the branch office in another city once a week.
These things may be too much hassle for regular driving, but if you could sleep most of the way, it becomes easy.
Why isn't anybody aiming for this market?
Because while cruisng on the highway takes relatively little skill, driving in backed up traffic with drivers erratically chang8ng lanes is just as difficult as navigating urban streets. And we’ve already seen systems like Telsa’s self-named “Autopilot” fail dramatically even in completely benign conditions due to not being able to recognize an obvious hazard.

It isn’t sufficient for a truly autonomous piloting system to be capable of dealing with 95% of driving scenarios, or even 99%; it needs to be capable of handling any and all situations a competent, alert human driver can handle with a high degree of reliability, else no reputable vehicle manufacturer will field it (or like Tesla, will try to hide behind indemnification statements that their so-called “Autopilot” is just a driver assist system). Over-the-road bulk cargo transportation is actually a more plauible entry into autonomous vehicles because a national carrier could establish regional distribution hubs near highway exits and avoid most traffic issues, lessening the problems of hiring and retaining long haul truckers and the limitations that come with them, as well as implementing battery electric vehicles which can carry large battery packs with the range for many hundreds of miles and cruise efficiently at highway speeds.

Autonomously piloted passenger vehicles still have a way to go before general adoption, and will very likely have a different sales and service model than passenger vehicles do today. When they do achieve a threshold of reliability in traffic that is better than human drivers (and they will given the all-around situational awareness and lack of fatigue or distraction) the costs of insurance alone will drive wide adoption, notwithstanding convenience, but claims that this is just around the corner of next year or two are hopelessly optimistic.

Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 02-20-2019 at 07:51 AM.
  #287  
Old 02-20-2019, 08:31 AM
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I take it you don't live in 99.5% of the United States, or probably 99.9% of the world?
Good argument. The standard of living in the United States, and our technology and infrastructure, should generally reflect the standard of living commonly enjoyed by the rest of the world.

You’re really on to something here!
  #288  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:12 AM
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I think long-haul trips on limited access highways may be achievable pretty soon but the problems of town or city driving will be around for a long time – too many things in states of constant change, too many unpredictable movements by other cars, bicycles, pedestrians, waving flags and windblown bushes and tree branches, sidewalk cafes, etc., and the teenage boys making a game of faking stepping in front of the autocars to get them to swerve or slam on the brakes.

Another big problem I recently read about is the parking problem – self-driving cars will not want to pay the very expensive parking fees in cities; they will find it less expensive to simply keep driving around until they are called for a ride – thousands of cars endlessly aimlessly circling the block at very low speed (because it cheaper to go slower), jamming up traffic.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:21 AM
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I live in a major metropolis with four seasons where roads are opened without painted lanes.

Snow clearing and removal has been terrible this winter, such that drivers are frequently stuck in ruts -- and get bounced out because of a stray lump of ice.

I have serious doubts any autonomous car will be able to operate in these conditions in the next decade.
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  #290  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:34 AM
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Self-driving trucks already rolling on Florida highways

http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-...esting-florida

Decades, I tell ya..
We've already had self-driving cars on local roads, with a person behind the wheel ready to take over at a moment's notice.

Now you're pointing out that the same thing is happening on highways. And highways are generally considered to be a simpler situation to deal with than local roads are.

So if I understand this correctly, they've made the same progress in solving an easier problem as other outfits managed years ago in solving a harder problem.

IOW, so what?
  #291  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:58 AM
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Another big problem I recently read about is the parking problem – self-driving cars will not want to pay the very expensive parking fees in cities; they will find it less expensive to simply keep driving around until they are called for a ride – thousands of cars endlessly aimlessly circling the block at very low speed (because it cheaper to go slower), jamming up traffic.
This isn’t an argument against “self-driving” passenger cars; it’s against the private ownership model of such vehicles. Autonomously piloted vehicles operating in a subscription rideshare fleet model could minimze congestion and vastly reduce the necessity of expensive parking in city centers and the wasted real estate of gigantic business parking lots. By serving multiple functions and increasing utilization—commuting during rush hours, shuttling children to after-school activities, and package/grocery delivery during low usage hours—the subscription costs could be reduced well below the cost of owning and maintaining a car, allowing households to get by with just one or no privately owned vehicles.

Part of the problem with how people project how autonomous vehicles will be used is that most people imagine the future to be just like today except robots chauffeuring them around in their own vehicle, which is like imagining interstate highways populated with Model T cars from the 1920s. In fact, autonomously piloted vehicles would have the same kind of social revolution as the washing machine or the smartphone, opening up inexpensive and readily available transportation to anyone in an area populated enough to justify fleet access. Combined with reduction in accidents (and hiher insurance premiums for human drivers who insist on operating their own vehicles) it will almost certainly cause private vehicle ownership to be a luxury if not a niche market while future generations don’t even bother learning to drive any more than they bother mastering the skill of churning milk for cream and butter.

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  #292  
Old 02-21-2019, 12:32 PM
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By serving multiple functions and increasing utilization—commuting during rush hours, shuttling children to after-school activities, and package/grocery delivery during low usage hours—the subscription costs could be reduced well below the cost of owning and maintaining a car, allowing households to get by with just one or no privately owned vehicles.
We already have subscription services and shared vehicles.
They don't minimize the number of vehicles on the road or private ownership.
Instead, they become an interim step between not owning and owning a private vehicle, or a cheaper option instead of owning a second or third vehicle.

That's not my opinion -- that's how companies like Car2Go are marketed.

And when it comes to ownership people do make the fiscal choice based on how much they drive and they balance the cost of ownership vs. subscription. A co-worker of mine who was driving a shared car a lot over the past three years bit the bullet and bought a vehicle last year because her monthly costs were getting in line with private ownership.
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  #293  
Old 02-21-2019, 01:10 PM
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We already have subscription services and shared vehicles.
They don't minimize the number of vehicles on the road or private ownership.
Instead, they become an interim step between not owning and owning a private vehicle, or a cheaper option instead of owning a second or third vehicle.

That's not my opinion -- that's how companies like Car2Go are marketed.
Public fleet ("shared vehicle") programs are primarily to people in high population density areas, e.g. people who live in or around city centers, and are intended for use by people who do not need daily commuter use of a vehicle. By themselves they don't minimize congestion because it is a niche market, and as a niche market, fleet operators will charge what the market can bear, e.g. costing users just marginally less than the total costs of ownership or for people who do not have a place to storage a vehicle. They also don't off the convenience of being able to transport while not having to drive, or sending the vehicle to pick up groceries, packages, or kids without having to go with it.

The point here is that there is that with autonomously piloted vehicles, combined with battery-powered electric vehicles which can fungibly change their power source to whatever the cheapest form of electricity generation is and don't have the emissions issues of gasoline or diesel powered vehicles, the degree to which they can be shared and otherwise utilized is no longer dependent upon individual owners or the small population of people in a dense urban area subscribing to the surface. Any area with a population density to share vehicles between a significant pool of users--and with autonomous piloting, those users can include below-driving-age adolescents as well as non-passenger users--can be profitable to a fleet operator in the way a Zipcar or car2go cannot.

And if autonomous vehicles become more reliable and less prone to causing accidents--which they should be capable of doing once they achieve a degree of autonomy equivalent to that of an alert human driver--the cost of insurance (as the overall number of accidents go down and insurance companies have to lower costs to autonomous fleet operators to be competitive, which means raising premiums on the more accident-prone human drivers) will likely drive many would-be owners away from possessing multiple vehicles for commuting (although it is safe to assume that many people may still own vehicles for recreational purposes or because they have particular needs not met by fleet vehicles such as offroad use). It is notable that the possession of a drivers license is declining not only among millennials but across overall demographics as people tend to migrate toward urban environments for vocational and recreational opportunities. This will be exacerbated by the aging baby boomer generations who are living longer and getting to the point of not being able to safely operate a vehicle but still wanting the freedom of being able to go places without relying on public transportation or rides from family or others.

Currently many of these people rely on rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, but these companies themselves understand that employing (or more properly, contracting with) human drivers is an interim business practice that will come to an end once Level 5 autonomous vehicles become a reality, because the degree of utilization and the elimination of the often problematic human element will make the use of human drivers too costly. The shift to autonomously piloted subscription-based fleet services will be due to the confluence of different technologies combined with socioeconomic changes that are already occurring, which will make private ownership of a vehicle more of a luxury, and an expensive one at that.

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  #294  
Old 02-21-2019, 01:26 PM
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which will make private ownership of a vehicle more of a luxury, and an expensive one at that.
Why do you think it will be particularly expensive? I can see what you're saying about the price of Ubering everywhere plummeting, and certainly if that were a reasonable option a lot of people would opt not to own a car with all of the costs that go along with it (parking, insurance, maintenance, etc). But autonomous cars aren't going to be more expensive than cars are right now, and there's lots of people for whom these costs aren't that big of a deal. I currently have 3 cars, all bought used, all non-luxury marquees, and the costs associated with them aren't really hurting me in any way. I'm sure my setup would be considered luxurious to some but it doesn't feel that way, and I don't see myself giving up private ownership even if the cars were autonomous.
  #295  
Old 02-21-2019, 06:59 PM
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Self-driving trucks already rolling on Florida highways

http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-...esting-florida

Decades, I tell ya..
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
We've already had self-driving cars on local roads, with a person behind the wheel ready to take over at a moment's notice.

Now you're pointing out that the same thing is happening on highways. And highways are generally considered to be a simpler situation to deal with than local roads are.

So if I understand this correctly, they've made the same progress in solving an easier problem as other outfits managed years ago in solving a harder problem.

IOW, so what?
I know, right? This has become such a repetitive conversation.

“An autonomous road vehicle has just been launched!”
“Oh, cool! So nobody behind the wheel or remote monitoring to take over?”
“Well, yes, there is...but still, it’s nearly here!”

Realistically, over the next decade if automakers focus on level 4 vehicles (like the new Tesla plant does) and ADAS (which will provide a huge social benefit in accident reduction) there will be plenty of progress. But level 5? Many decades away.
  #296  
Old 02-22-2019, 01:28 PM
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It is notable that the possession of a drivers license is declining not only among millennials but across overall demographics as people tend to migrate toward urban environments for vocational and recreational opportunities.
I see those interpretations of fewer drivers and think they are missing a key factor: the shift in spending patterns and job security.

Until 20 years ago if you wanted freedom and access to people you needed to be physically present.

Today? It's more important to be virtually connected, and so people are spending large sums of money on computers, phones, and internet connections. Money that a generation ago was spent on physical mobility and savings.

As a result many people are just delaying acquiring a driver's licence, (or moving out, or getting married, or having kids) but finally going through the steps their parents did, just at an older age.

My wife and I happen to have lots of friends who are twenty years younger than us.
Those with good paying jobs (ie doctors) are buying cars and getting married, while those who are not as financially stable are staying with parents.
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  #297  
Old 02-23-2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by NetTrekker View Post
Self-driving trucks already rolling on Florida highways

http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-...esting-florida

Decades, I tell ya..
Well, according to the article it will be a "few years". 10 sounds about right.
  #298  
Old 02-25-2019, 04:52 PM
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This article has an expanded quote from the same podcast mentioned in my earlier post:

Elon Musk: Tesla drivers can sleep behind the wheel ‘next year’

Quote:
“My guess as to when we would think it is safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at their destination? Probably towards the end of next year,” he (Elon Musk) said.

“I think we will be feature complete, full self-driving, this year — meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention — this year.

“I would say I am of certain of that. That is not a question mark.”

Last edited by KellyCriterion; 02-25-2019 at 04:53 PM.
  #299  
Old 04-12-2019, 07:18 PM
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How much longer will people need to keep their hands on the wheel while driving a Tesla?

"At least six months from here" -Elon Musk, April 2019.

https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news...-driving-tech/
  #300  
Old 04-13-2019, 01:58 AM
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He's not wrong.
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