In the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, a team headed by Torc Technologies LLC used multiple LIDAR sensors atop their vehicle to sense the road ahead. (Source: Charles Reinholtz, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)
Your comment in favour of autonomous cars refers to autopilots in planes - have you ever been on a plane landed by autopilot? The one time i have was easily the worst landing of my life - quite scary.
The pilot apologised and explained that they HAD, by regulations applicable, to do one autopilot landing every six months. I hope that one will see out my fling days - once is enough. By the way, it was a Boeing.
Many years ago, I worked for a small company whose MD was almost killed by a simple bit of automation, an electronic headlight dipper. His RollsRoyce was totalled when a bus took rapid flashing from his headlights as a 'go ahead, I have seen you' signal. Fortunately, decades later, this simple device is still not implemented. And you want autonomy?
As usual, along comes a research supporter who does not know that the first iteration of the autonomous car technology has been around since November, 2007 (The Grand Challenge, Victorville, CA.) $2 Million first prize given by DARPA. The same guys responsible for the Internet, and look how that has changed the way we do things. I was there, I saw them.
That since then, Google, with their deep pockets, is leading the pack of "researchers" and has already test driven over 300,000 miles in fair and foul weather, in the chaos of WashingtonDC with NO collisions or accidents, except for the one time that the vehicle was actually driven by a human being.
So now its 2013, and the research supporter wants 110% readiness. Take a hike already and let the insurance companies decide if they want to support it. So while this person insists on this ridiculous goal, the death toll continues to mount, because human beings continue to operate transportation vehicles. "Paralysis by Analysis" is the theme I am getting. After six years of testing, do you really think that the bulk of the bugs in the software have not been resolved? The government has already missed the boat with their insistence on testing driver aided technologies, which are subsets of autonomous driving, and no plan for overall autonomous vehicle testing. When asked how the government is going to test the autonomous vehicles, and what comprises the test, the silence is deafening because they have no plan. So well meaning people jump up and down about 110% ready, when they haven't even figured out how to test technology that is already six years old....
In the mean time, the collision death toll continues to rise with humans behind the wheel...34,767 in 2012 ( these numbers are from Wikipedia and based on NHTSA stats- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year, NHTSA tries to soften the impact be framing the casualties, with numbers of miles driven and overall population, but if you know at least one or two of these "numbers", all of the framing is bull pucky, because the people that the numbers represent, are or were real people.)
Do the homework, nothing is 100% guaranteed, let alone 110%, that is why insurance companies and legislators have loopholes. Think about it, there is a thing called "beta testing" and the folks who need to conduct it, haven't a clue, but they want to delay the deployment because " the number of technological issues as well as human performance issues that must be addressed before self driving vehicles can be made widely available." Are you serious, there are NO human performance issues if the car is 110% automated. And drivers licenses are a way to keep track of people – is that what is meant by "human performance issues"
PS – For the person who thinks that I should ride the bus, please learn how to read.
It is just this type of inconvenience that makes me thirst for this technology.
The things delaying the technology that are at work here are not the technology, but economic, legal and major social changes (Chunka Mui, Stress Tester of Innovation Strategies – (http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2013/04/02/googles-driverless-car-is-just-one-of-many-looming-disruptions/)
"If we only blame the pilots we will not have changed any of the fundamental underlying conditions. We won't have done our best to prevent this from happening again"
I know we are talking about cars rather than aircraft, but the same problem with autopilot overuse can be applied. The pilot was not thinking about the fundamentals of flight when he held the stick back for well over five minutes, and I fear a driver unfamiliar with the fundamentals of driving would do the same thing with an autonomous car.
Very true, the Air France pilots rode a power on stall all the way to the ocean. I believe if the pilots had been more "hand-on" they never would have attempted to pitch the aircraft that high and simply held it there.
The Orange County Register had an article with a very interesting chart of alcohol-related fatal accidents in California. The vertical axis was BAC and the horizontal was age. Each cell had the number of fatalities. There was a pronounced increase right at 0.08% and under 25 years old.
So your comment fits the data...lowering the BAC limit may not be the most effective way to spend the money. IMHO, on the first DUI you're permanently done driving for life.
The Air France 447 accident showed that mega-buck, highly sophisticated systems can fail or become confused over pretty simple events. The assumed autonomy can lead to a pilot or driver becoming "concierge" instead of "operator". Basically it's the Boeing/Airbus human interface debate...should the pilot be the primary or secondary loop? How does that extend to cars, which have a far lower level of sophistication, redundant systems, and operator training?
We are already flying in airplanes without pilots. They sit there and watch over things but for large portions don't they use autopilot? The pilots are adamant that they are still in control, but basically we have already achieved the level of autonomy with someone in the driver's seat just in case.
I just want to remind you that when airplanes first were introduced they only shared the sky with birds. If the world had simultaneously launched several million airplanes of varying sizes, speeds and levels of manueverability, your arguement may have at least a shred of credibility, but as it stands it is meaningless.
MBanuchi, The impression from all of your "I wants" is that youwant nothing to require any personal responsibility, which is not the case even in a police state. So I hope that folks with a lot more moral integrity and a great deal more wisdom prevail in this matter.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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