Skip to comments.Paving The Way for Driverless Cars
Posted on 07/21/2012 12:05:53 PM PDT by garjog
Californias proposed bullet train between Los Angeles and San Franciscowhich Gov. Jerry Brown is likely to sign off on soonhas been characterized by the Obama administration and its other supporters as an effective way to reduce highway congestion.
These costs amount to more than $100 billion annually in wasted time and higher fuel expenses. In fact, a much better technological solution is on the horizon, if we pave the way by getting rid of obsolete highway design.
It is already possible to imagine a world in which you could predict exactly how long it would take to drive in your car from one point to another. No worries about rush hour, vacation congestion, bad drivers, speed traps and accidents. You could also text while you drive with no safety implications.
All this may be possible thanks to a driverless car that does a human drivers normal job and much more. The car is operated by a computer that obtains information 10 times per second from short-range transmitters on surrounding road conditions, including where other cars are and what they are doing. Thats exponentially faster than the human mind can process the same information.
By gathering and reacting immediately to real-time information, the technology can drastically reduce highway fatalities by preventing collisions. It also can significantly reduce delays by creating a smoother traffic flow and rerouting drivers who have programmed their destinations.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...
All that is needed is new sensors put on existing cars since most of the technology is already here.
Traffic accidents and fatalities would be cut in half (since most accidents are caused by human error and the scanners are 90 times more precise than human operators.)
The positive impact on the economy would spur a burst of productivity.
Think about it: no traffic jams. People would program the car to a specific destination and the trip would be coordinated with all other cars on the road. Travel speed could be greatly increased.
When you go out to eat, the car drops you off and then parks itself.
Efficiency would explode.
While professional drivers would be put out of business, new spin-off jobs would greatly increase the number of employed workers.
To say: driverless cars puts thousands of truck and taxi car drivers out of work!
is like saying that the invention of automobiles or the transcontinental railroad put buggy whip makers out of business.
For example, if the vast majority of workers now have an hour or more of extra time since commute time is reduced, these workers would spend it consuming products and services that need employees.
Drivers freed from driving might go to health club and be trained. Or take part in some kind of entertainment or go shopping. New jobs would emerge.
Google was founded in 1998 and is now a $163.2 billion or more company. YouTube was founded in 2005 and is now a $32 billion dollar company.
Before these companies were founded people couldn't even imagine the thousands of jobs that would be created.
It would be like saying: the internet is a crazy idea. Do you know how many mail carriers and fax machine makers would be put out of business?
Check out my blog:
Transportation Futures for links to pro and cons of driverless cars.
We don’t like blog pimping.....
This is actually a great idea. It is the “light rail” system that would work with our suburban culture. We could drive lighter cars with smaller engines because the need (and ability) to “compete” on the roads would end. You don’t need 300 hp in your sedan because the car is going to accellerate at the same rate as everyone else and deliver you to your destination at a fixed speed.
But, how do we implement? We would need to scrap all the nation’s cars and trucks at once and then introduce the new technology at once. That’s quite a challenge. I do not want to be in my driverless 100 hp car when some guy in a 350 hp Nissan Titan is swerving in and out of the automated traffic flow.
Our nation is just too big with too many cars and too many people with big egos to ever hope that a system like this would work unless we build another highway and street system to accomodate them. Of course, if full Obamunism takes hold, it will be possible to implement anything the government wants—but I doubt they’ll want us driving around in anythng after that.
Unfortunately when fully developed, the government is going to “demand” that all folks transporting themselves utilize the “system”.
That would be wrong, and so government needs to stay out of the professional driver business. No one yet knows the unintended consequences of the “system”.
>>We dont like blog pimping.....
This isn’t blog pimping. He posted a WSJ story, with three posts explaining his own position enough that you don’t even need to visit his blog (which I didn’t do). Blog pimping is posting a one sentence exerpt from your own blog and then expecting people to rush over there to read your words of wisdom.
One of the first driverless forms of transportation was invented here during the 18th Century. Every midnight the headless horseman races down the road with the the clippity-clop coming and going. It seems his head was blown off by a cannonball. Even the boy scouts camping out here at night on a jamboree see it every year. But it ain`t Sleepy Hollow- it`s another haunted area.
“Think about it: no traffic jams.”
That’s the arrogance of the technologists talking, not the reality.
The largest cause of traffic jams is not accidents but the sheer congestion of how many drivers want to go in the same direction in the same area at the same time.
Believing that robotized cars can solve this is foolish nonsense.
The idea arrogantly assumes there is always a “better route to take” to avoid the traffic jam.
That is most frequently not the case. Most of the alternatives turn out to be either just as bad, or longer in distance, or “off-highway” - in other words stop signs and traffic lights as opposed to on highway”, or multiple delays involving multiple route changes to make the “alternate route” work, and n the end getting the driver “out of the congestion” but NOT getting the driver to their destination in any significantly greater time frame.
The technology has its greatest possible achievement of putting more people who were “going the same way” onto more routes without actually achieving the greatest desire of the drivers - less time spent getting to their destination.
Once people realize they are only fulfilling a need of the technologists and not their own, they’ll have their robots in their autos “uninstalled” and ask that the technologists be exiled to a land with no roads. Then the technologists will put themselves to work perfecting the individual air car - for their own needs, and they’ll be invited back. Next time they’ll work on what people need and not on what they simply want to prove to themselves but need the gullible people to pay for it.
“drivers could text or surf or work on their computers....”
Efficiency would explode”
ah, the wonderful “efficient” world of spending the day texting on twitter, it is such important “work” - NOT
what a hoot
the siren call of the technologist is “I can do EVERYTHING for you” but the siren call of his technology is “I will make you a drone”
No thanks. I have a natural resistance to the concept of giving over my innate right to freely transport myself, to a government-run, automated people mover system.
Concepts like this one, all forward the society’s momentum toward greater and greater control by a massive central authority, and less and less autonomy and freedom for the individual.
It’s anathema to the concepts our country was founded upon.
The first time a speck of dust gets into the system causing an accident will put the company out of business within a week.
Based on the way some cars are navigating the roads (or looking at who’s behind the wheel & seeing no one ;), I thought we already had driverless vehicles....
One of the problems today is that cars are too safe and professionalism behind the wheel is becoming rarer all the time.
When I took driver training back in 1980 or so we had a great driver training teacher who understood that most of us rural kids already knew how to drive and adjusted the training accordingly. He wouldn’t allow anyone to drive an automatic till they were capable with a manual shift transmission. We changed tires and checked air pressure. We covered all the basic maintenance.
Computers crash all the time.
Try having your car reboot at 70mph and then for whatever reason it makes a hard turn and causes a huge wreck.
Great opportunity for cyberterrorism.
I think it's an idea that's long overdue but I road in a driverless test vehicle from Honda over ten years ago.
It's needed most where traffic congestion is the highest and people get seriously stupid like after an emergency vehicle has caused cars to scatter.
So, what - we should now turn over our God-given right to freedom of movement to Big Brother and his automated people mover system?
No thanks. I'll take my chances that others may not be as skilled at piloting moving vehicles as I am.
“We dont like blog pimping..”
Well, I posted a good and recent article that inspired the blog.
Notice that I have not revenue from the blog, so it is just for education and discussion.
Therefore I am not a pimp since I make no money from the blog.
“our God-given right to freedom of movement to Big Brother”
We don’t turn it over to the government with the right autonomous system.
What if we could make a driver assist system tomorrow so that when you get in the car it drives itself with a highly efficient laser scanner — like the Google self driven cars that have successfully driven thousands of miles.
Privacy could be insured with a filtering system. It would be exactly like using your GPS in your car now.
“Great opportunity for cyberterrorism.”
Not a greater threat than what already exists in electrical grids, water pumping stations or a thousand other computer systems. We could build in fail-safes so no one computer controls the whole system.
With computers linked, a speciousness command could be corrected by thousands of of not effected computers.
Sort of like the check we have on Freepers. When someone says something that is wrong they are immediately corrected.
“Computers crash all the time.”
You have a PC, right? My Mac never crashes.
But, computers control jet airplanes and we have hundreds of flights and are not afraid.
We could have back up systems that could control for computer error.
Also, these would be driver assist systems so that the drive can take over if there were some kind of rare error.
Human error — not mechanical error — and drunk driving is the cause of vast majority of accidents and fatalities. This system would eliminate those hazards which far outweight technical problems that may occur.
Mac’s never crash. BS.
I seriously doubt that I can afford a car with a 747’s avionics. Planes also aren’t flying three feet apart.
Backups fail. Even on Mac’s.
Finally, this is not about safety anyway. It is about control. To control people the government needs to control their movement. This concept you like so much is perfect for sheep.
I missed this one. Joe Blow is sending a text and his car makes a sharp left into incoming traffic at 70mph. He takes over and does what? Hits the softest looking car?
“the siren call of the technologist is I can do EVERYTHING for you”
So you think that driverless cars is a conspiracy for the government to take over.
Not really. This is an innovation sort of like the transition from the horse to the automobile.
It was probably hard to imagine in 1900 that the new fangled horseless carriage would one day dominate the country.
A computer integrated car system will spur freedom.
Commute time would be drastically cut, freeing people to spend more time in commerce or ascertainment or enriching activities.
Americans are innovators. We want to find a solution to the mindless hours wasted by traffic congestion.
We want a solution that permits us to keep individual cars instead of one that forces us into “high speed” trains. Mass transit is the unAmerican way.
“a natural resistance to the concept of giving over my innate right to freely transport myself,”
OK, but do you feel that way when you get on a bus or airplane that you don’t control? Don’t you freely choose to get on those system and trust that they will get you where you freely choose to go?
A driverless system could be set up so that you control and own your own robotic car. It drives itself when you choose to turn on self drive mode.
you get to your destination in twice the time.
Accidents are cut in half, saving the lives of people who would otherwise be killed — who live and go onto contribute to society.
Freedom is promoted since drivers gain control of more of their time. They are freed from hours of mindless waiting in traffic.
The system also provides an alternative to the government building expensive” high speed” trains as the article argues.
“Believing that robotized cars can solve this is foolish nonsense”
Not at all.
Check out the videos of the Google driverless cars that have traveled hundreds of miles. It isn’t theory, it actually works.
Now if everyone had a self driving car, each car would coordinate with the others, safely increasing speed — just as metered lights on freeway on ramps do now.
This is American ingenuity at work.
Well, that’s one way to preempt the preppers from bugging out when the SHTF scenario unfolds. Just turn off the master control to the driverless car system and give the police time to loot everyone’s supplies before they can escape. :)
“This is actually a great idea.”
Thanks. You are the only Freeper here who sees how Driverless cars is American ingenuity at its best.
Please go back and help me refute the naysayers on this threat.
Robotic cars is a great alternative to idiotic “high speed” trains that the liberals push.
Here we preserve our individual cars and control where and where we go. Privacy could be fostered by filters that keep centralized authorities from controlling too much information.
As soon as there is driverless cars along comes a group that will fill one of those cars with explosives and end it to a destination with nobody inside.
There cannot be any argument that people won’t take advantage of transporting an empty vehicle. With a bomb inside.
Nor can you argue that all the bad/crazy/ terrorists will be removed from society, all the sharp objects and any chemicals known to make bombs outlawed.
I am just saying what a wonderful idea it would be to call my car at home to come pick me up, or it could be an emergency transport say if my other means of transportation broke down, who needs a cab then?
With advancement come the mis-use of advancements.
I still say we should be like Israel. The liberal states can hide behind their barriers, bomb sniffers and use their laser drones to kill anyone openly carrying sporks.
Bad example -- at least around here, that is, as they've moved the traffic jam from the freeway to the surface streets waiting to get ON the freeway, thanks to the metered lights. I hate the stupid things and wish they'd all be scrapped.
When I freely choose to travel by bus, train, air, or boat, I'm still making a free choice about my mode of travel, and destination. In many cases, I can also choose which carrier I like best, because they're operating in a free market system for my dollars.
A system such as you describe, takes all that choice away from me. In your Brave New World, I will lose the last vestiges of freedom that I have to personally transport myself, unless you include walking by foot.
What's next? A government run, automated feeding system?
A driverless system could be set up so that you control and own your own robotic car. It drives itself when you choose to turn on self drive mode.
Such a system can (and will) be designed so that government operators can seize control of your vehicle at any time, whether you want them to, or not. If you're driving within a stream of cars that are operating on the 'system', you're not going to be allowed to break ranks and upset the careful planning of the central computer.
Such a system will also keep a record of everywhere your vehicle has traveled, and the identities of the drivers and passengers who travel in it. At the current pace of systems integration, it will also record hundreds of other parameters and data points that by all rights, should be private and personal.
None of this is consistent with the tenets and ideals this nation was founded upon, and neither does such a concept align with the stated ideals of this website.
I'm afraid you're promoting a patently Socialistic concept here.
If you think Big Brother's going to let some private company control all the cars on HIS roads, you've got another think coming.
If they build this, the government will come, and they will own it.
Perhaps I misinterpreted what you said. What did you really mean?
This is the part I don't like about your presentation. You're insisting that EVERYONE switch over to your robotic car system. It's a push, just like every other nanny state, Socialist control scheme.
First you make it an option, then later, it becomes mandatory. In ten years time, no one will even know how to self-pilot an automobile.
Presto Chango! Government capture of Americans' freedom of movement - never to be regained, but through brute force of revolution.
I’ll reserve the driverless cars for when we have the tech to live on other planets.
Nobody can predict the speed of new technology, but anyone can ignore it, thats freedom of choice.
Perfect utopia my backside, its just a dream.
Let places like SF ban all redneck junkers so they can have their nannymobile, gives new meaning to “My mother the car”
Its advanced socialistic day dreaming. Socialism isn’t for me, I wish to NOT be part of a perfect hive society. The reasons are because whatever meager good points of socialism are dwarfed by the tyrants who control it.
“Such a system will also keep a record of everywhere your vehicle has traveled, and the identities of the drivers and passengers who travel in it. At the current pace of systems integration, it will also record hundreds of other parameters “
How is this different than what you are typing now? It is recorded by a database somewhere so that they know every page you visit and every comment you make.
This doesn’t bother me too much because it is a private company that has the data and I use filters to keep most data private.
Same would be true should you buy a driverless car.
You get in, set it for the destination and it takes you there. You choose when and where to go. Your privacy data can be erased or filtered by choice.
Sort of like using a GPS. The supplier of the GPS stream could know where you are, but this doesn’t bother most people who use this useful technology.
Driverless cars does fit with the philosophy of FreeRepublic since it is an alternative to the mass transit “high speed” trains that liberal push.
A system of robotic cars preserve individual ownerships and free travel that automobiles provide. It is a supped up version of cars now able to park themselves or use curse control now.
The idea of robotic cars is a fine example of American ingenuity solving the serious problems of traffic fatalities and the colossal waste of time and energy caused by traffic jams.
Exactly. I can't even believe that someone who calls themselves a conservative is even attracted to a scheme like this. It's a perfect Orwellian control mechanism which lends itself to complete domination of a (nominally) free people.
Sure, let's just invite more government control and surveillance into our lives. Why not. Geeez.....
Go pimp your blog somewhere else!!!
I’ll drive my own the way I want to, the way I want ( 20+over the speed limit), and when I want to!!!
What I mean is that we need more professionalism behind the wheel, not less.
The idea of driverless cars is fine for some limited situations but the idea that it would be useful for every day driving is foolish.
Agreed. When you automate a thing for people, their ability to do that work themselves atrophies, and in time, vanishes completely.
I made a similar point upthread. There are countless examples of this effect at work in the 20th century, when new technologies replaced peoples' need to do certain types of work.
We can accomplish the same thing by simply leaving our system of free individual transport the way it is.
You don't seem to get it. The system you're promoting is exactly the sort of thing that tyrants, totalitarians, leftists, and big government bureaucrats love. It's tailor made to take autonomy away from the individual, and transfer complete control of movement to the state.
No matter what you might think of the technological benefits, such a system will be abused by the government, and will result in the unintended consequence of reduced freedom for the citizens.
Again, it is not about individual cars, or the ability to drive them.
It is the reality that the theory that it will solve congestion, which for the individual means avoiding congestion, one way or another so as to save time that the congestion seems to be wasting.
Slowing cars to a crawl, stopping cars from entering a space, rerouting cars to some theoretical alternative merely solves the technologists goal of not seeing cars bunched together; period. The methods of doing it do not, in the end, result in drivers getting to a location in less time, because the methods involved take time from drivers - slowing them down ‘cause they’re too close together, or rerouting them to an alternate that in affect will take just as long or longer.
In the end, when people realize that, they will conclude - why pay for something that serves ‘can we do this’ goals of technologists, but in the end does not serve their goals - saving them time.
What will save them time will be to be released from the restrictions of the road, in the air. That’s where the “accident avoidance” technology will be put to use, when, and in the manner that, it will be popularly accepted.
“Ingenuity” on its own, regardless of just what it is that people want, serves inventors and technologists only. It is not, on its own something to be rewarded for no other reason than that is in ingenuous.
The automobile has given humans great FREEDOM of movement. They are not going to sacrifice that to become drones.
“So you think that driverless cars is a conspiracy for the government to take over.”
It is not a conspiracy of “government”.
It is merely the intellectual arrogance of the technologists.
Go sell your junk somewhere else.
In case anyone is still looking at this thread, even after the heated and I think irrational posts against a driverless car network, I am even more convinced it is a great idea that should move forward.
If we want to preserve our car culture in America and prevent liberal bureaucrat social planners from forcing on us rail solutions to the insane traffic congestion that exist in every major city.
How do we keep a system in which you freely choose to get into a car and go where ever you want when ever you want?
Few freedom-loving Americans would choose waiting in line to sit on a bus or train that takes you sort of near where you want to go when an individual car fulfills the ideal perfectly.
If in our major cities we had a computer coordinated network of robotic cars the traffic deaths and traffic jams would be a thing of the past — like piles of horse manure that once covered the street.
Posters reacted hostilely to this plan here.
As best as I can figure, the hostility is due to a negative reaction to any kind of social planning.
These objections are justifiable, as is the fear that a central database would know where everyone is going and where they have traveled.
But, I think that we could ban the collection and misuse of this data.
We could also institute filters to prevent personal data from leaking.
Or we could keep one lane for the old fashioned driver driven cars to placate the paranoid who fear social planning.
I think that once everyone sees that a coordinated network driverless cars gets you to your chosen destination in half the time people will accept the potential loss of privacy.
Just as we do when going on a site like this or Facebook. There are privacy settings and controls that mitigate the loss.
The advantages far outweigh the drawbacks.
Some posters above doubt the technology would work, but anyone who has researched the topic will discover that we already have the technology and there is a growing amount of evidence that driverless cars work really well.
The best argument for conservatives maybe that promoting a driverless car network can be offered as an alternative to the money wasted on light rail and “high speed” trains.
A couple paranoid posters above accuse me of trying to make money off my blog. That is both idiotic and rude.
I posted a link to my new blog about driverless cars to help with anyone who wants find quick links to pro and con articles and videos about driverless cars.
Please check it out. It is an educational blog without any ads, so I don’t make any money. Sheesh.
Computers interfaced by (translation screwed up by) people crash all the time. Embedded systems that don’t have to worry about stupid users installing them incorrectly and removing the config file and other stupid user tricks crash almost never. And the rare occasions they do usually involves things like lightning or dirt.
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