Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Driverless Cars Legally Hit Roads as California Issues Licenses; Truckers to be Unemployed
Townhall.com ^ | May 26, 2014 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 05/26/2014 3:15:22 PM PDT by Kaslin

In August of 2013 I wrote Message to 5.7 Million Truck Drivers "No Drivers Needed" Your Job is About to Vanish.

The key word in that sentence is "about". I did not mean immediately, but I did mean a lot sooner than truck drivers and the general public expect. Most protested. I received many emails saying this would not happen for decades.

Many truck drivers thought it would never happen. Most mentioned insurance issues. Yes, there are problems, but time has marched on even quicker than I thought.

TechCrunch reports California Will Start Granting Licenses For Driverless Cars In September.



Come September, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will begin granting licenses to select driverless cars and their human co-pilots, which will make it a bit less legally iffy as to whether or not they’re actually allowed to be on a public road.

The good news: The license will only cost $150 a pop, and that covers 10 vehicles and up to 20 test drivers.

The bad (but probably actually good) news: You probably can’t get one, so don’t go trying to make your own Googlecar just yet.

Stiff License Terms

Yes, the terms of the license are stiff including $5,000,000 insurance against personal injury, death, or property damage. And a test driver has to be able to take immediate control of the car at all times.

Nonetheless, the licensing is a big step forward. Totally driverless cars are but a single step away. All that needs to happen is for California to eliminate the requirement that someone has to be in the car at all times to take control.

A big issue is that radar can detect size and shape of objects, but it does not have human judgement regarding danger. For example, a balloon blowing across the road is a much different thing from a hunk of metal the same size sitting in the road.

Such difficulties will be overcome.

Incentives and Implications

The implications on the shipping business are staggering. A full-time truck driver might cost as much as $100,000 a year. The incentive to get rid of millions of full-time drivers is massive.

A July 2013 Truckers Report headline reads ATA: Self-Driving Trucks Are “Close To Inevitable”

However, the article itself dismissed the idea totally.

“People come up with these grandiose ideas,” says Bob Esler, a commercial trucker for almost 50 years. “How are you going to get the truck into a dock or fuel it?”

And then there’s loading and unloading. Pre-trip inspections. Signing for drop-offs and pickups. Making sure cargo is properly secured. Making sure the cargo that’s being loaded actually gets loaded. The list just keeps going on and on.

The Last Mile

Many of the objections in the above article have to do with the last mile. Let's assume someone has to load the truck. Let's also assume an actual skilled driver has to dock the truck and make the final delivery (arguably a bad assumption).

Yet, even if those assumptions are true, nothing stops a trucking company from having distribution facilities right off an interstate near major cities, where local drivers deliver the goods the last mile.

Why can't all but the last few miles be driverless even if a skilled driver is needed some step of the way for safety reasons?

Technology marches on at a breathtaking pace. We might actually see commercial driverless vehicles on the roads within a few years.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; US: California
KEYWORDS: carupgrade; tranportation
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-175 next last

1 posted on 05/26/2014 3:15:22 PM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

These cars will be in a lot of accidents probably


2 posted on 05/26/2014 3:16:10 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Oh great...

now I can really feel safe on the roads...


3 posted on 05/26/2014 3:17:24 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

It would scare the you know what out of me to be traveling in one of those things without a driver. No way I could ever just trust a computer.


4 posted on 05/26/2014 3:19:35 PM PDT by boycott
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I predict semi-trucks will be one of the last things automated on the road. Just gotta watch one back up, it’s a lot more art form than science, people are better at art than computers. Stuff that doesn’t require feel and instinct will be quick. I can’t wait to go to concerts in Phoenix and start sleeping as soon as I get in the car.


5 posted on 05/26/2014 3:19:35 PM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

The micro-second that they cross into Arizona there had better be a human driver behind the wheel.


6 posted on 05/26/2014 3:20:16 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

Probably a lot fewer than people. Computers don’t get distracted, don’t have blind spots, don’t drive drunk or tired, don’t get angry at the other drivers being dumb.


7 posted on 05/26/2014 3:20:52 PM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

California already has brainless voters; why not driverless cars?


8 posted on 05/26/2014 3:21:29 PM PDT by noiseman (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
They won't be texting, drunk, or driven by unlicensed illegals.

/johnny

9 posted on 05/26/2014 3:21:44 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Get over it. Truck drivers are just buggy whips.


10 posted on 05/26/2014 3:22:08 PM PDT by raybbr (Obamacare needs a death panel.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: discostu

Driverless trucks...I think they’re called trains.


11 posted on 05/26/2014 3:23:19 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Sacajaweau

They have drivers. That pretty much only seem to screw things up lately.


12 posted on 05/26/2014 3:23:58 PM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: discostu

...and computers never crash.

Wait, let’s rethink that.


13 posted on 05/26/2014 3:25:02 PM PDT by BykrBayb (Wagglebee please come home we miss you! ~ Þ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: BykrBayb

Embedded systems that don’t have users screwing with them don’t crash.


14 posted on 05/26/2014 3:26:43 PM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: noiseman

Wrong analogy. Driverless cars have brains, just not human ones. But your point is valid.


15 posted on 05/26/2014 3:27:49 PM PDT by Fungi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Docking, fueling a vehicle and many other last 100 feet obstacles are no longer Impediments.

Google can get the last 100 feet technology from Amazon and the truck will use the GPS of and supplied on and around a given property.

No need for a human.

In fact, customers can be given an inducement of lower transportation costs if they will allow the delivery co.pany6to install a system and that will mean more work in the structured cable businesses and increase bandwidth requirements for many companies.

Cha ching! Your job didn’t just get outsourced, truck drivers will become buggy whip manufacturers.

Love it.

Goose better think about a different industry. Maverick sure ain’t gonna go there.


16 posted on 05/26/2014 3:28:05 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fungi

Would kill car insurance.

Would cost police as ticket givers a bundle of work and money.


17 posted on 05/26/2014 3:29:37 PM PDT by TigerClaws
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

Not necessarily as they are run by computers. However the computers are programmed by humans which are known to make mistakes


18 posted on 05/26/2014 3:29:53 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Driverless trains would make a lot more sense.


19 posted on 05/26/2014 3:30:09 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Increase of dog death rate to ensue?.


20 posted on 05/26/2014 3:30:15 PM PDT by Vaduz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: raybbr

LOL

I wrote the same thing, below.

Freepers.


21 posted on 05/26/2014 3:30:27 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Tennessee Nana

Apparently, in regards to the trucking industry, now is not the time for tort reform.

They kill someone by putting one of these rigs on the road in a boneheaded way, and that person should be allowed to own their company.

Rail does the same thing and within probably the last 20 miles, and especially with the new uniform cargo containers.


22 posted on 05/26/2014 3:33:38 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

It is absolutely fascinating that the Teamsters’ Union is about to be undone by such a left-leaning corporation as Google.


23 posted on 05/26/2014 3:33:59 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (The tree of liberty needs a rope.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Taxi companies and even Uber will feel the pressure.

No more being picked up by a driver who smells like a two week old pastrami and salmi sandwich, who I can’t frickin understand and has no clue what the quickest or most expedient route is.


24 posted on 05/26/2014 3:34:06 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xzins

They kill someone by putting one of these rigs on the road in a boneheaded way, and that person should be allowed to own their company.
________________________________________

I don’t want their company...

I want my grandchildren alive...


25 posted on 05/26/2014 3:36:59 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Tennessee Nana

If they kill one of my grandkids, I’m going for the throat, TNana.


26 posted on 05/26/2014 3:37:50 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: TigerClaws
Good, let the cops go after something other than 36 in a 35. But don't worry, there will be cameras for that. Caesar always gets his pint of blood.
27 posted on 05/26/2014 3:38:34 PM PDT by Fungi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Totally driverless cars are but a single step away. All that needs to happen is for California to eliminate the requirement that someone has to be in the car at all times to take control.

Maybe taxis and delivery vehicles, but I'm not seeing a big demand for cars driving around with nobody in them.

28 posted on 05/26/2014 3:40:54 PM PDT by Starstruck (If my reply offends, you probably don't understand sarcasm or criticism...or do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Let’s see:
1. No more truck drivers driving drunk or drugged.
2. No more truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
3. No more truck drivers veering into the other lane thanks to ‘Pavement Princess’ acts, Chicken Choking, ad nauseam.

Sounds great at first, but a lot of rural private property is supported by truck drivers. This could result in significant loss of private property as displaced drivers are forced by the Tax Man to sell or abandon their property.


29 posted on 05/26/2014 3:42:21 PM PDT by GladesGuru (Islam Delenda Est - because of what Islam is and because of what Muslims do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
I think truck drivers are pretty safe. They do a heck of a lot more than just steer the truck to the destination. There is a great deal of "on-rig" maintenance that has to go on to keep the complexity that is a "big rig" rolling.

Where "driverless" will help will be to let the driver "catch forty winks" on long inter-urban stretches so they will be fully alert and capable when the inevitable "needs a human" things happen.

30 posted on 05/26/2014 3:44:22 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog (Newly fledged NRA Life Member (after many years as an "annual renewal" sort))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

As long as no programs are created that allow the computer to text, tweet, or otherwise f-around on the internet.....

they will be an improvement over the asshats I put up with everyday.


31 posted on 05/26/2014 3:44:54 PM PDT by I cannot think of a name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Achmed really loves this idea.
32 posted on 05/26/2014 3:46:32 PM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

What could possibly go wrong?


33 posted on 05/26/2014 3:47:20 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: discostu

Can computers predict furloughed teamster drivers chucking stuff out in front of them on the freeway?


34 posted on 05/26/2014 3:48:44 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Colorado Doug

35 posted on 05/26/2014 3:50:43 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: discostu

But computers can get hacked. Virus blue scream of death


36 posted on 05/26/2014 3:51:46 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom…)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

So future car going be Knight Rider KITT????


37 posted on 05/26/2014 3:52:21 PM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

What could possibly go wrong?


38 posted on 05/26/2014 3:52:38 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: raybbr; Willie Green

Willie Green, izzdat you?


39 posted on 05/26/2014 3:52:41 PM PDT by null and void (Disarm Hollywood! No Guns for Box Office!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: discostu

Either all cars will have to be computer operated or none of the cars should be allowed to be computer operated. The reaction times between man and machine are not compatible.

Machines operate by an On/Off decision. Humans operate on varying shades that run the gamut from black to white.

People will die needlessly.

Wait until one of these cars has a mechanical breakdown or a blown tire. Replacing the human driver will be easier said than done.


40 posted on 05/26/2014 3:53:43 PM PDT by Delta Dawn (Fluent in two languages: English and cursive.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

When I see them haul a load of logs out of Pecwan I will believe it.


41 posted on 05/26/2014 3:54:29 PM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Driverless cars, or driverless trucks, on any type of large scale.....are not going to happen.

There a large differences between the world of Google (computers, software, internet) and the world of automobiles.

Cars have had computers for a very long time...and they hardly ever fail. This is because the automotive industry (and the automotive consumer) have a very different expectation of their car’s reliability, vs their web browser’s. My Android phone locks up a few times a month...I take the battery out and restart. If my car did this - time for a new car.

Companies like Google will NEVER meet an automotive consumer’s expectation. Nor will Tesla, which has described their product as more software than car. To an IT guy, they think that’s a good thing to boast about. To most of us, it most certainly is not.

Now on to the concept of the driverless car. It uses LIDAR. I am very familiar with LIDAR, and use it at work...so I am no luddite. I am also aware of how much LIDAR costs...a lot. Google claims $70k...which I think is a lowball estimate. Mobile LIDAR starts at $250k. And then there are laser rangefinders and of course, software. And there’s got to be a large computer on board - LIDAR creates huge files, that bog down conventional computers.

So its expensive. Is it effective? I’d love to see how it reacts to a blowout on the interstate, an engine fire, seized brake, etc. I suspect serious shortcomings.

Trucking industry? It boggles my mind to contemplate how a driverless truck could enter a factory, weigh in, find the right spot to dock, open its own doors or take its own tarp off, weigh out, inspect itself for proper lights and tires, and refuel itself, before getting back on the road.

Or what about a truck with multiple deliveries...who installs load locks...who keeps client #1 from pilfering some of client #2’s delivery?

I’m sure a system that overcomes all of these problems is technically possible...but not reasonably cost effective at all.


42 posted on 05/26/2014 3:55:11 PM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

What an opportunity for computer hackers.

Can you imagine someone hacking into the network controlling the car or the wifi used to link it to whatever.

It would be like the Grand Theft Auto video game to them.


43 posted on 05/26/2014 3:58:25 PM PDT by CapnJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xzins

The roads are already dangerous. People shouldn't expect perfection.

44 posted on 05/26/2014 3:58:42 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Roads Must Roll


45 posted on 05/26/2014 4:00:51 PM PDT by samtheman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

What could possibly go wrong?


46 posted on 05/26/2014 4:01:26 PM PDT by Proud2BeRight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I have a 2014 Jeep Cherokee. It can drive on the freeway by itself a ways (lane control, adaptive cruise control). I drove from Truckee (past the inspection station) to Roseville without touching the brake or accelerator. It just occured to me that if it was red in color I could have named it “Redskin”.


47 posted on 05/26/2014 4:02:21 PM PDT by willk (everyone)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62

Which of those means of transportation mentioned does NOT have a driver?


48 posted on 05/26/2014 4:04:45 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: USNBandit

They’ll be following at a safe distance and will see the object.


49 posted on 05/26/2014 4:07:09 PM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Just like most large passenger aircraft fly today (for 98 percent of the trip).;


50 posted on 05/26/2014 4:07:26 PM PDT by Signalman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-175 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson