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Slideshow: Smarter Cars Paving Road to Intelligent Highways

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Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Missing the point --- Coming back full Circle!
Charles Murray   5/10/2012 6:55:53 PM
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Unfortunately, automakers and mobile phone manufacturers are taking a hard look at it, JimT. Read about it here:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1395&doc_id=235042

Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Fear of sensory overload
Jack Rupert, PE   5/13/2012 12:49:08 PM
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The second part of the problem is what happens when a sensor or the communication system fails?  Whose fault is it going to be.  I can just see a boat load of personal injury lawyers going after everybody with deep pockets in the supply stream because the car didn't tell the driver that the guy in front of him had his brake lights on.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Fear of sensory overload
Nancy Golden   5/15/2012 8:25:52 PM
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And Beth - you are used to technology! I agree - can you imagine older folks and rural drivers trying to interpret all of that?! It seems to me that we are just trading for different types of distractions. And the cost of this technology will drive the cost of vehicles up. What about all the folks like me that consistently buy older used cars as my main vehicle? I am in a paid for 1997 Lumina at the moment - I don't see myself catching up any time soon with two teenagers to feed! I think the answer is to quit allowing poor driving habits to continue and as you said, instill good old fashioned safe driving. My husband and I made a family pact that we will not use our cell phones while we are driving. If something is urgent, we'll pull over. We have a 14 and a 16 year old who are watching and learning from our choices.

Island_Al
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Re: All or none
Island_Al   5/18/2012 10:38:27 AM
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kenish,

I almost spilled my coffee laughing so hard. Sadly this 'plan' does sound like a solution a real bureaucrat really would come up with.  Hilarious, and I'm often told that engineers have no sense of humor.  Love it! Thanks for making my day.



Island_Al
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Gold
Re: Nevada's Leading The Way
Island_Al   5/18/2012 11:18:56 AM
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Driverless vehicles have been illegal in all states, thus no real push to produce such machines. Thus 'the law' (per usual) becomes a large impediment to the development of useful technology.  Again trading freedom for perceived safety.  A few months ago I read about these autonomous vehicles and their safety record.  In several hundreds of thousands of driving miles it was involved in one wreck. It was waiting for a traffic light and was rear ended!

I am involved in aircraft for a living. The big new jets not only have autopilots, they also use auto takeoff and auto land! The flight deck guys are there in essence to feed the monkey.  If there really is a catastrophic failure, it is really unlikely that the crew can prevent a crash.  My prediction (as opposed to our chief pilot's opinion) is that in twenty years pilots will join the ranks of elevator operators. When I was a child every elevator really did have an operator, but few are old enough to remember those days.  Then too cars, houses, schools, and most offices did not have air conditioning either, but I digress.

Autonomous Vehicles really are the wave of the future.  The costs will not be prohibitive. Who would have ever guessed that engineers could pack millions or even billions of transistors in a tiny package all for less than the price of a pack of cigarettes? The distraction problem will be solved.  Hell you can even sleep while driving alone. Cars can weigh far less eliminating bumpers, airbags, seatbelts, child restraint seats, and all the other crap the nanny state mandates we have.  I can easily see the highway speeds going to a couple hundred miles per hour as the machinery dictates what is the 'safe' speed.  No more speeding laws!  The only downside I see is that old 'manual drive' cars will not be allowed on many of the roads due to 'safety concerns'.  My old '58 Chevy truck and '76 Stingray will become museum displays.  I'll miss the smell of burning rubber and the exhilaration of high acceleration and roaring down the highway at 100mph+ with the T Top off.



By the way I did have an autonomous ride over 50 years ago.  She was a mule named Dinah. The smartest animal I have ever had.  She even allowed me to shoot a rifle or shotgun while riding her, but would throw me if the gun went anywhere near her ears.  Like I said, very smart, unlike myself.

 

kenish
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Platinum
Re: Nevada's Leading The Way
kenish   5/18/2012 1:18:42 PM
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Island Al- Glad I made your day and hope that coffee didn't go into your keyboard :-)

A friend is an airline pilot and your comments about autopilots and pilot attitudes match his.  Enroute they use the flight management systems for fuel savings and workload reduction.  But the preference is to manually land to stay in practice...and of course there's an element of professional pride and a bit of paranoia in the automation.  Part of their training and experience is knowing when to use the autoland.  My friend laments that in 30 years,  pilots will be in a locked glass booth at the front of the plane.  There will be a hammer and a sign, "Break glass in case of emergency".

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Forget the Heavy Traffic - I want to talk to the LIGHTS.
William K.   5/23/2012 8:59:45 PM
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There are a few of those computerized traffic lites here in Michigan, which are really stupid. The major and probably unfixable problem with all of those it they have no means of handling exceptions. In addition they are all programmed by programmers, who are not normal people. They just don't think the way normal people think. So they are not able to understand how the programs should work.

In addition, making cars so that they can be safely driven by the incompetent and inexperienced will certainly be a huge burden on all of those experienced drivers who do the correct things by reflex. 

Perhaps, after a bunch of driverless cars successfully complete a 500 mile car race on a circle track, I might consider that they are ready to be given a tryout. 

And it is a very good question, what happens whenna sensor fails? And what happens when a big piece of cardboard blows onto the roadway? Or when a tire blows out on the car ahead? Nobody has mentioned anything about how they intend to handle exceptions.

any1
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Silver
automated cars are likely in our lifetimes
any1   5/24/2012 9:45:44 AM
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Nevada opening their roads to robotic driven vehicles is just the begining.  I expect to be able to tell my grandchildren that "back in my day you were allowed to actually drive a vehicle manually", because in 25 years most roads won't allow "manually" driven vehicles.  I envision a switch similar to the one we made from analog to digital televisions.  At some point well traveled roads will be closed to all but automated vehicles because their carrying capacity and safety will be greatly increased if all of the vehicles are "smart".

oldbikefixr
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Silver
Re: Fear of sensory overload
oldbikefixr   5/24/2012 7:29:59 PM
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While I really love technology, I think that much effort is being misapplied.

Years ago, I became offended at a comment made by one of my professors...'The only thing that has changed since we fell out of the trees is our level of technology.'

Catering to 'distracted' drivers may help in the short-term, but does anyone remember the introduction of.....horns, disc brakes, radial tires, seat belts, TURN SIGNALS, BRAKE LIGHTS, enlarged tail lights, steel door reinforcements, the 3rd tail light, seat belts, air bags? All were introduced to improve safety. How much has any of this really helped?

Inter vehicle communications can be a great advancement...but...help with people who are incapable of making rational decisions when their own lives and property are at risk? I think not.

Take them off the road, put them into public transportation. This act would take the place of the saber-tooth tiger of days past.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Re: Forget the Heavy Traffic - I want to talk to the LIGHTS.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   5/27/2012 12:14:07 AM
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Agreed- some ideas are just too idealistic to become rational.  Most of the "helper" ideas being proposed for cars fit that description.  Unless a car becomes 100% autonomous, and I can sleep while the car carries me – like in a train on a track – I am not in favor of any of the so-called assistive technologies.  Just too many bad drivers out there, who will still crash and still blame someone else.

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