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Auto Revolution: A Promising Future for Self-Driving Cars
http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/driverless-cars-are-a-reality-but-face-acceptance-obstacles-a-880716.html ^ | Feb 1, 2013 | Christian Wüst

Posted on 02/03/2013 8:48:34 AM PST by EXCH54FE

A Lexus drives down the eight-lane highway outside Palo Alto, California, in heavy traffic. Except for the rotating cylinder perched on its roof like an oversized tin can and the word "Google" on its doors, it looks like any other car. In reality, though, it's a search engine on wheels.

The Lexus steers itself down the highway by itself. The man in the driver's seat -- Dmitri Dolgov, software engineer, never actually touches the wheel.

Dolgov explains what the car can do, which turns out to be quite a lot. It can steer, accelerate and brake automatically; it surveys its surroundings with cameras and uses radar to measure the distance to the car in front of it; and its laser scanner -- the cylinder on the roof -- monitors objects in all directions.

"See?" Dolgov asks, pointing as a car swerves in front of the Google vehicle from the right. There's no need for Dolgov to intervene. The robotic car has identified what is happening and gently brakes until there is once again a proper distance between the cars.

With its 12 vehicles, Google has the largest known test fleet of self-driving cars. All together, the Internet giant has covered over half a million kilometers (300,000 miles) in these robotic vehicles, most of it on California's public roads and highways. The cars have driven through Los Angeles, around Lake Tahoe and down the famous hairpin turns of San Francisco's Lombard Street. They have become so reliable, in fact, that Google is now taking SPIEGEL out for a demonstration.

Self-driving cars, long dismissed as a utopian pipe dream, are rapidly reaching the stage where they will be ready for the market. "We're not talking about 20 years here, but more like five," says Sebastian Thrun, initiator and director of Google's project.

(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 02/03/2013 8:48:42 AM PST by EXCH54FE
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To: EXCH54FE

Bad idea.


2 posted on 02/03/2013 8:51:15 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: EXCH54FE

The new VW hovercar is all the rage in China...
http://www.flixxy.com/volkswagen-levitating-car.htm#.UQ6TJ2eoTaE


3 posted on 02/03/2013 8:53:53 AM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: EXCH54FE

“...are rapidly reaching the stage where they will be ready for the market”

What ‘market’. Who on earth would want one of these?


4 posted on 02/03/2013 8:55:27 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: EXCH54FE

Given what it takes to build a self-landing airplane, I wouldn’t expect to see reliably-self-driving cars for at least a quarter-century.


5 posted on 02/03/2013 8:56:31 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: BenLurkin

Worse than bad-I can already hear the personal injury attorneys panting in gleeful anticipation of chasing the mother of all ambulances...


6 posted on 02/03/2013 8:56:35 AM PST by Texan5 ("You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: Texan5

Especially if it’s a self-driving ambulance.


7 posted on 02/03/2013 8:58:30 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: EXCH54FE

Hop Windows is not the operating system...hate to get he blue screen of death....


8 posted on 02/03/2013 9:01:58 AM PST by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: lacrew
Wouldn't it be great if you wouldn't even have to drive one of these? < / sarc>

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9 posted on 02/03/2013 9:03:35 AM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: gorush
I hate driving.

I do have a '70 240Z to play in, though.

Big difference between driving and playing.

/johnny

10 posted on 02/03/2013 9:07:23 AM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: EXCH54FE

Seem like an avenue for more government control


11 posted on 02/03/2013 9:07:26 AM PST by Sybeck1
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To: DuncanWaring

Wouldn’t that be two-for-one litigation-with the vehicle manufacturer with the deepest pockets paying for all? In a market like the USA, where lawsuits are filed over coffee and papercuts, it is brainless to market a product that is a lawsuit lottery ticket...


12 posted on 02/03/2013 9:10:01 AM PST by Texan5 ("You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: EXCH54FE

Self-driving cars, even if they offered perfect safety (ha) and economy, are a bad idea because they represent government control of individual’s transportation. First step monitoring, second step taxation, third step restrictions, fourth step prohibition.


13 posted on 02/03/2013 9:18:11 AM PST by Paine in the Neck (Socialism consumes everything)
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To: EXCH54FE
Just a year ago, Thrun says, the test operators of these cars had to intervene an average of once every 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) to correct a mistake on the part of the automatic driving system. "Now we can drive 80,000 kilometers without having to intervene," he says.

OK, Mr. Thrun, please explain why:

  1. On Friday, I got off 237 and turned onto North First Street in San Jose with 4 miles left in my tank. I turned to Google to find the nearest gas station and was informed it was 45 miles away in San Francisco. No amount of clicking the "Use precise map" button could persuade it otherwise.
  2. Yesterday, I was in San Jose and asked Google to map the way to the Home Depot in Sunnyvale. At Kifer and Lawrence, Google Maps announced I had "arrived at my destination"...but the Home Depot was a mile further up Kifer.

Basic Google navigational technology still has major flaws and I don't think it is ready to power self-driving cars.

One of their test cars passed me in the carpool lane on 237 a couple weeks back and I gave it a WIDE berth.

14 posted on 02/03/2013 9:19:47 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: lacrew

Someone might use these for a fleet of cabs. Of course this would take better voice recognition than we currently have, and people might not want to get into an ‘abandoned’ vehicle.


15 posted on 02/03/2013 9:27:08 AM PST by jmcenanly ("The more corrupt the state, the more laws." Tacitus, Publius Cornelius)
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To: EXCH54FE

Automated factories of robots building cars that do not need humans to navigate?

What is the ultimate goal - people-less cities?


16 posted on 02/03/2013 9:35:36 AM PST by Iron Munro (I Miss America, don't you?)
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To: Iron Munro

For those in the “Voluntary Human Extinction Movement”, the answer is “Yes”.


17 posted on 02/03/2013 9:45:51 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: EXCH54FE

Let me know when they can get through a construction zone at night in the rain.


18 posted on 02/03/2013 9:49:17 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: lacrew
What ‘market’. Who on earth would want one of these?

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

19 posted on 02/03/2013 10:15:20 AM PST by Flick Lives (We're going to be just like the old Soviet Union, but with free cell phones!)
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To: Flick Lives

“”There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977”

I think this is a little different. Americans have a love affair with driving. We have demonstrated this for half a century by eschewing public transportation in all but the most congested metro areas.

I guarantee that the ‘market’ for these cars will be funded by government grants and curious billionaires.

The other day I pulled into a tire shop...all of the sudden I got a spam text for some tire coupons to the place. I immediately turned off my phone’s GPS....and I certainly would never ride around in a car with Google logging my travels. I think the vast majority of Americans are like me - they like driving; and, using Google for their travels is a bridge too far in the loss of privacy.


20 posted on 02/03/2013 10:27:30 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: Paine in the Neck

“Self-driving cars, even if they offered perfect safety (ha) and economy, are a bad idea because they represent government control of individual’s transportation.”

You are wrong about how these cars work. They do not operate feedback loops with GPS. Their reception of GPS information is one way only. They do not send out their locations. There is no monitoring. You are monitored far more by the phone in your pocket than you would be by one of these cars.

Consider the freedom oriented alternative. As these vehicles get better and better (they have already surpassed human drivers for safety), you will no longer need a drivers license to travel with.


21 posted on 02/03/2013 10:33:23 AM PST by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: marktwain
You are wrong about how these cars work. They do not operate feedback loops with GPS. Their reception of GPS information is one way only.

You are naive in the extreme if you think that will stay that way. They will be as private as the internet. Do you seriously think Google cars won't record everything you do? And, since Google is a total tool of the left, they won't share the data collected with Obama's myrmidons?

22 posted on 02/03/2013 10:51:39 AM PST by Paine in the Neck (Socialism consumes everything)
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To: EXCH54FE

Drive home at night when a dusting of snow has obliterated the lane markers and there are no other cars around to follow, no tracks... It is amazing what the human mind can perceive and accomplish. Getting a computer to do this?


23 posted on 02/03/2013 11:20:36 AM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: illiac

Well - Google technology was originally founded on Linux, so I imagine that they are staying far away from Windows.


24 posted on 02/03/2013 12:08:55 PM PST by fremont_steve
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To: BenLurkin

Someone—privately e-mail me, please—and explain to me how on earth an insurance company can deal with this?

They cannot just insure a vehicle. There is no ‘driver’.

I don’t understand what would happen if one of these ‘driverless’ cars caused an accident and who would be liable for all the damages!!!

Thanks in advance.


25 posted on 02/03/2013 12:24:07 PM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: elkfersupper

I can envision localities fighting this technology to try and kill it. If we have cars run by computers, what will that do to the revenues from tickets and dui arrests?


26 posted on 02/03/2013 2:29:05 PM PST by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: lacrew
The other day I pulled into a tire shop...all of the sudden I got a spam text for some tire coupons to the place. I immediately turned off my phone’s GPS

Even with GPS off, a cell phone uses cell tower triangulation to locate its position. The police can use this info to track individuals w/o a warrant.

27 posted on 02/03/2013 5:03:24 PM PST by Flick Lives (We're going to be just like the old Soviet Union, but with free cell phones!)
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To: CSM
I can envision localities fighting this technology to try and kill it.

Your assessment is correct.

Without Buford T. Justice, a lot of podunk will have no income source for their podunk preservation activities.

Of course, off-roading won't work and there will be no things like the Shelby Cobra GT 500 (which I drove last weekend - it was AWESOME!).

28 posted on 02/04/2013 11:07:05 AM PST by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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