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Video: Oxford RobotCar Takes It to Another Level

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Charles Murray
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Re: The robotcar and safety, are they related
Charles Murray   4/29/2013 7:30:58 PM
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If we don't fix the trend toward bringing more electronic junk into the car, we will need autonomous cars. The National Transportation Safety Board is still pushing to get rid of all phones in the car, whether or not they are hands-free and Bluetooth-enabled, but consumer groups ar fighting back. Talking to industry engineers recently, I even heard that drivers in Asia are now starting to watch TVs in the front seat (more about that in a couple of days). If trends like that continue, the autonomous car will be a must.   

William K.
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The robotcar and safety, are they related
William K.   4/29/2013 3:14:31 PM
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Interesting that so many folks tend to think that the robotic car will improve safety, without realizing that the robotic car will reduce efficiency a whole lot, because the robotic car will not be able to think. The car will stop for a cardboard box in the roadway rather than going around it, and it will probably stop for a coat hung over a sign alongside the roadway, if that coat is blowing in a breeze. And there is no way that a robotic car would be able to swerve and miss a person running across a roadway. The point here is that the programs will not be able to handle exceptions, but will rather, at best, become paralyzed, and stop. WE will all recognize, when we stop and think about it, that all autonomous car software will be written with the primary goal of protecting the sellers from any possible liabilities in the event of an accident of any kind. Thus the control algorithms will all be quite fearful and neurotic, the two qualities that make for the worlds most irritatinly slow drivers. So while an autonomous system could be a great idea for military vehicles it looks to me like they are a very poor choice for driving in the general urbal area.

A far better choice would be to develop systems to assist the drivers in being aware of hazards. The other action that would improve the safety of our raodways the very most would be to remove those 5% of thew drivers who aresimply not able to drive safely. The problem, at least here in Michigan, is that the main requiremen tfor becoming a licensed driver is having the fee required to obtain a drivers license. The ability to pay attention to the task of driving, and the skills to make the correct decisions quickly, are neither required nor tested for. That is a big problem.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: An affordable robotcar?
Rob Spiegel   4/29/2013 1:42:15 PM
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As for affordability, Elizabeth, there may be some safety technology in the RobotCar that could become standard in all vehicles -- much like the seatbelt and airbags which we accept as part of the cost of owning a vehicle.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: An affordable robotcar?
Rob Spiegel   4/29/2013 12:02:57 PM
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There always seems to be resistance to safety restraints on vehicles, Chuck. I remember how we hated seat belts at first. Now, it's clear they were very good at saving lives. We Americans love to be in control of our vehicles. But if it could be demonstrated that RobotCars save lives, we're go for it. There also may be a generational aspect to it. I think young people would gladly give up some of their autonomy behind the wheel if it meant more time on their phones.

Elizabeth M
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Re: An affordable robotcar?
Elizabeth M   4/29/2013 5:00:55 AM
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Interesting perspective about affordability, Rob and Cabe. Yes, it's probably true, but I think also safety is an aspect that is important to success, especially in the case of a robotic automobile. Good coverage of this emerging player in the market.

Debera Harward
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Re: An affordable robotcar?
Debera Harward   4/28/2013 4:23:13 PM
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Jmiller you are absolutely  correct uptill now we have heard of unmanned vehicles using GPS system however this is the different one i have come accross if it would have been using GPS there was no point of me getting fascinated by it because i myself have designed an unmanned ground vehicle using GPS routing and SONARS for obstacle detection.

jmiller
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Re: An affordable robotcar?
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:30:50 PM
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It's interesting that people are so resistant, almost scared of the autonomous cars and vehicles.  Yet, we will ride on a bus or on a train.  I think this is one of those situations where our fear of not being in control may be overwhelming our sense of good judgement.  It's interesting to see how many farmers are embrasing the idea of autonomous tractors.  They still ride in the tractors, but it's the GPS that does most of the driving.

jmiller
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Re: An affordable robotcar?
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:26:28 PM
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I like the use of a different technology.  This is one I haven't heard about until now.  Everything I had heard about with using GPS.  Using the idea of learning routes and being able to rememeber the way is really cool.

jmiller
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Re: An affordable robotcar?
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:26:27 PM
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I like the use of a different technology.  This is one I haven't heard about until now.  Everything I had heard about with using GPS.  Using the idea of learning routes and being able to rememeber the way is really cool.

Debera Harward
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Re: An affordable robotcar?
Debera Harward   4/27/2013 7:13:14 PM
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This indeed is a very good technology and it will be more helpfull for people who use the same route daily .That is daily commute , School and uni runs etc.If the cost of this robotcar drops down it will soon become very popular and people will try to buy it because it will make their lifes easier and will allow stressfree drive

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