Nissan's Robotic Car Parks Itself, Picks You Up

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
User Rank
Seemed like a good idea at the time.
3drob   10/23/2012 10:03:18 AM
All is well and good until 50 people dump off their cars into a parking lot with 40 spaces (most full).  You come back an hour later to find a herd of cars circling endlessly around a full parking lot with near empty gas tanks.  Gridlock in the parking lot.

In fact, why even have a parking lot.  Just have a big oval track where the car inserts itself with the rest of the idle cars.  Since all the cars will communicate with each other (how else would they be able to plot against us?) they can all stop moving until one needs to exit, then move in concert to allow that car to reach the exit point.

In all seriousness, since Nissan programmed the car, will they be responsible for accidents/incidents while the car is driving itself?  We are entering a brave new world where causality and responsibility are being blurred.  Until the infrastructural, legal, moral, and social frameworks are in place to deal with robots and humans interacting,  all of this is merely fantasy.

User Rank
Hacker fun
gwilki   10/23/2012 10:14:27 AM
I can see the group of 10 year olds standing at the doors of the mall with their hacked Ipads directing the computers in the cars to collide with each other. Unless and until someone comes up with a computer that cannot be taken over by a bad guy/prankster, I'll settle for dealing with illogical human powered vehicles.

User Rank
Re: Bye, bye road rage in the mall parking lot
ChasChas   10/23/2012 10:41:09 AM

Bye, bye road rage? I wonder how well it handles another robotic car going for the same parking spot.

User Rank
Thinking_J   10/23/2012 3:50:30 PM
"As romantic as a car that drives itself sounds,....."

Really? this sounds "romantic" to someone?

Liz... gotta get you out more (smile)

At first blush - self parking sounds nice. But upon review, is just a "band aid" on much bigger problems.

At best, an amusing development of technology... which may lead to something truly useful later.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Re: Bye, bye road rage in the mall parking lot
Nancy Golden   10/23/2012 5:42:52 PM
mrdon, I agree with your comment about it making society lazy but not just mentally - I often intentionally park my car far away from the entrance in order to get some needed exercise. While having a car park itself can be a blessing for the handicapped or infirmed, I think we are losing too much physical activity to technological advances and our health will suffer because of it...

User Rank
bobjengr   10/23/2012 5:58:05 PM
 I would love to know more about the systems that allow this to happen and how apps integrate relative to those systems.   This is an excellent article and falls in line with another I read discussing the use of application software and Wi-Fi packages to program and trouble shoot robots used in manufacturing processes.  One very beneficial advantage would be protecting workers and shutting down machinery in case health issues arose.  This could prevent injury and promote safety.  Great article.  

User Rank
Nissan's new Herbie the Love Prius?
JCG   10/23/2012 6:40:56 PM

While it's interesting to dream of automated cars like in a Phillip K. Dick movie, it is cool to start to see them becoming a reality, even if only in minor stages.

I'd have to agree with 3drob, in that there are all sorts of questions that arise and considerations to worry about; however, even now, I don't think it's all fantasy, but just another hurdle to overcome.

While it may be cool to have a permanent built-in valet, I can see this as a potential major catastrophe waiting to happen once it's released to a 'real world', uncontrolled environment.

Minor inconveniences could range from the car chooses it's 'parking spot'... in a city, without the infrastructure to rely upon, could it mistake stop and go traffic as a parking spot?  Park in front of a fire hydrant, loading zone, or other non-parking area.... What about those timed zones with parking only certain hours or on one side of the street on certain days of the week/month?  Will we have a rash of double-parked automaton cars?  Will it drive into pay lots or parking garages?  Will we have automated parking lot attendants that recognize robot cars to let them in and out, and when they return we discover a parking fee charge on our phone?  In suburban environments, will we find strange cars in our driveways blocking our cars in?  In commercial areas, could we expect to find businesses losing money because robot cars are filling their parking lots for a business down the street?

Of course we can imagine all sorts of possibilities of futuristic robot cars... whether it's as mundane as letting your car find it's own parking space during those crowded Christmas shopping excursions, sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, or other parking nightmares... to the more practical, such as those busy adults, teenagers, and children with tight, varied, and/or conflicting schedules... imagine your family only has one car, but during your spouse's workday, your spouse needs to go to the doctor but you need the car an hour later to drive to meeting... after your spouse takes the car to the doctor, it'll drive itself back to your parking lot so you can have it when you need it... Or how about mandatory automated car usage for those convicted of DUIs or DWIs?  How about for teenagers and adult drivers that seem to drive by 'feel'?  Imagine ambulances where you actually have two or more paramedics able to provide care while en route while the vehicle drives itself?  Or long haul vehicles, with advanced, situational AI for dangerous routes like ice road hauling? How about installed hardware that comes standard, but for a price an AI module can turn your car into a robot car just by plugging it into a computer port (look out OBD) under the hood or dash... We could also imagine emergency overrides, such as if vehicles are blocking a fire lane, hydrant, or access to a building, special override controllers would send the (automated) vehicles out of the way to find new parking spots.  Could AI be developed for police and military so that armored vehicles could recognize threats and screen our people (IFF) from harm as they advance (moving screen)?  Imagine fully automated dump trucks at mines, quarries, and construction sites making runs without running stop lights because the drivers are paid by the run. 

But what if something goes wrong?  Could the car self-analyze if it breaks down, summon a tow truck or repair vehicle, or even ambulance or rescue team, or even use predictive or preventative schedules to maintain itself, drive itself to a shop while you sleep and you simple see the charge the next day? 

Unfortunately, we can also imagine more nefarious uses... Imagine your phone or car being hacked... Maybe the least scary is your car simply being stolen... Imagine your car making one or more unknown stops, picking up an unwanted passenger before it arrives at your location... or your car being borrowed as an escape car in a crime... used as a drug mule/transport while you sleep?  ...or, as gwilki suggests, imagine a group of kids hacking several cars and having a Mario Kart race in real life around the mall parking lot, suburb, or even downtown?  What about hacker 'hit men' using the cars, over-riding safeties, and using them to commit vehicular homicides (or 'accidents')?  Even scarier, imagine terrorists using these to deliver ordinance to targets... no need even for a suicidal zealot, just "let your fingers do the walking" (driving)... nuclear, chemical, and/or biological delivery via (hacked) car and satellite phone

Automated cars can represent an idyllic dreamworld or a nightmarish hell, but, with most advancing technology, it'll be somewhere in between...  We're just hoping for more of the former and none of the latter...

Charles Murray
User Rank
Charles Murray   10/23/2012 7:08:57 PM
I'm a little surprised that Nissan plans to bring this car to market by 2015. Self-parking cars is one thing -- the driver is still behind the wheel while the car is parking itself. This, however, seems to call for full autonomy. Up to now, the problem has been so-called "rogue vehicles" -- i.e,, vehicles driven by humans. Autonomous cars get confused by the crazy and unpredictable things that humans do. In an article we did earlier this year, an autonomous vehicle expert told us: "We never saw a robotic vehicle run a stop sign or fail to use turn signals. They were much more predictable than the humans." So what will happen when these Nissan vehicles are sharing the road with human-driven cars and pedestrians?

User Rank
Re: Bye, bye road rage in the mall parking lot
mrdon   10/23/2012 9:51:12 PM
Hi Nancy, I do the same as well when parking my car at the mall. I agree, for the physically impaired this car will definitely provide mobility but individiuals who are not physically challenge, improve your driving skills and  keep the eyes on the road!

User Rank
issues with robotic autos
Chuck_IAG   10/24/2012 12:19:23 AM
My concern with all self-driving vehicles will be the application of logic.  Naturally, as a sci-fi reader I think back to Isaac Asimov's 3 rules of robotics and how they would resolve conflicts.  Okay, we have an unattended car and an unavoidable collision ahead, two individuals in a crosswalk and the vehicle brakes have failed on a narrow street.  But wait, one individual is smaller than the other, which means less damage to the unit.  Of course the smaller human is 6 while the larger human is 85, but logic would demand that the car hit the 6-year-old and damage itself less.  Why?  The first rule of robotics is not to harm humans, but that becomes a moot point under the current circumstances- a collision in unavoidable. The second law, obeying human commands, is not applicable.  The third law, self preservation, remains.  So it runs over the kid and causes a smaller dent in the bumper.  Now how would I, as a presumed human, respond to the same situation?  I can only guess.  But I'm certain how the car would respond, given its directives, and I'm not sure how much I like that.

The idea of computer-driven cars seems cool, but then I ask, who writes the programming?  Would it be Microsoft, the most skilled at mass-market programming, but also the inventors of the fabled Blue Screen of Death?  The designers who thought it made perfect sense to hit the Start button to turn off the computer?   I dunno.  I guess this all sounded a lot better on paper.

<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service