Skip to comments.The Car of the Future Will Drive You
Posted on 03/05/2012 7:34:44 AM PST by Brad from Tennessee
Last week Bill Ford, executive chairman of the company his great-grandfather founded, became the first-ever auto executive to address the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the annual gathering of the mobile telecommunications industry. Mr. Ford, who is on the board of eBay and a frequent visitor to Silicon Valley, summed up the latest technologies: "Now is the time for us all to be looking at vehicles on the road the same way we look at smartphones, laptops and tablets: as pieces of a much bigger, richer network."
Mr. Ford outlined a future of what the auto industry calls "semiautonomous driving technology," meaning increasingly self-driving cars. Over the next few years, cars will automatically be able to maintain safe distances, using networks of sensors, V-to-V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communications and real-time tracking of driving conditions fed into each car's navigation system.
This will limit the human error that accounts for 90% of accidents. Radar-based cruise control will stop cars from hitting each other, with cars by 2025 driving themselves in tight formations Mr. Ford describes as "platoons," cutting congestion as the space between cars is reduced safely. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Kind of like riding the bus.
—with cars by 2025 driving themselves in tight formations—
I read a science fiction novel called “Red Lightning” or Red Thunder. Whichever one was the first of the two. In it, our hero’s live in a future Florida where only cars that have passed certain inspection can drive on the freeways, and the tight formation is exactly what happens. The “road system” computer controls trains of ten or more cars that drive at high speed a foot off each other’s bumper, drastically improving fuel economy and safety. I really do see this sort of thing as the future - like the police cars in Demolition Man with “self drive” mode.
Not much of a leap since there are already cars that will parallel park themselves.
No thank you. When I cannot be in control of an American V8 with a few hundred HP, a big piece of the fun of life is gone.
In the year 5555
Your arms are hanging limp at your sides
Your legs got nothing to do
Some machine is doing that for you
With industry disappearing at the current rate, there will be no such vehicle ever built.
And when the system gets hacked or fails, then what?
I kind of like the idea of a little professionalism behind the wheel rather than the helpless morons who seem to be along for the ride in their own private car.
I’m from the old school before anti lock brakes, steering assist, and traction control. When I was 13 years old it wasn’t unusual for me to drive the 3 miles down the road to my uncle’s farm to pick up some hay or a load of firewood in the 72 F150 (3 speed on the column)
I just read NASA’s computers were hacked by the Chinese and they had access to the Space Station. what is to stop a terrorist from using this to cause a 9-11 type disaster nationwide?
“Your honor, we the jury, hold for the plaintiff and award him $8.7 billion dollars from the company that developed this automatic driving system.”
It will only work if they can keep the lawyers from owning the companies through civil trials.
—what is to stop a terrorist from using this to cause a 9-11 type disaster nationwide?—
I don’t know enough about it to answer that question. I understand we don’t have issues with our military drones, and that surprises me. There must be technology being used that I’m not aware of. And here I thought I knew everything! :-(
Things looked the same way at the end of the 1970’s. Then Ronald Reagan got elected. It may be 2016 before the next miracle.
Same thing that happens now when somebody screws up only more, big accident, and dead people. It’s really just the usual trade off of technology, you reduced the number of possible failure points in trade for a much worse situation when something does go wrong. Instead of every single driver being able to cause an accident that probably won’t stretch past 3 or 4 vehicles there will be a computer in charge and if something goes wrong 200 vehicles crash.
Saw a video many years ago with about 10 vehicles doing around 80mph a foot off each others bumper with no driver input. Probably a DARPA test. We should have already had this up and running.
Saw a video many years ago with about 10 vehicles doing around 80mph a foot off each others bumper with no driver input.
I see that every day on the drive to work.
I agree with you. While there's no doubt a computer can probably "drive" with more precision and efficiency than I can, I prefer to be in control of all aspects of my road travel. I was 35 years old before I finally conceded and owned a car with an automatic transmission.
We probably have the technology today to make this work 99.99% of the time. Need it to work 99.99999% of the time to make the liability (and political) risks acceptable.
2025? Why so long?
[We should have already had this up and running.]
I would think the biggest part of a system like this would be modifications to the highway infrastructure.
Actually 99.99% is probably a lower accident rate than we currently have. The big blockers are that it’ll have a huge up front expense to set it up, maintenance will be expensive, it’ll also dramatically reduce transportation revenue (no drivers = no tickets), and Americans still have a deeply seated car culture that includes controlling our own vehicles. I know I’d love it for freeway trips, but you’d never get me to turn it on for town driving.
True, but we should, at least, already have the reactive cruise control available.
Because a cable in the ground system looks good on paper but sucks in reality, there’s a reason that even in 1964 cable car rail was in the past. Big maintenance pain, very expensive. And adding the complexity of passenger cars being able to hook and unhook at will just makes everything worse. And trying to do that for interstate distances would just be insane.