I think that's the main safety concern, Rob. Our years of driving have given us a bit of intuition (or whatever you might want to call it). If you see a guy tailgating another car or continuously changing lanes, you might later see the same car again and give him more room that would normally be required or let him get ahead of you. It's doubtful that full autonomy would be able to make those types of judgement calls.
I think one of the most difficult challenges would be judgment calls. We all experience them. You don't turn left if you can see that the upcoming car is going to enter the intersection a second after the light turns red. Would an auto-driving car be able to detect that?
Intersting thought. Being able to work during that 1 hr ride to work would be really nice. I am curious the amount of input that is expected by the driver. Is the car truly autonomous and no interaction is required by the driver? Could the driver really be in the back seat typing away whil the car goes to work. And then, how would this technology be sold. I think there are so many people out there that still want to drive or don't feel safe in a vehicle that's being driven by a computer.
Would the car be allowed to break the law? Could it be programmed to only perform legal manuvers? And then what about the speed limit? Might the automated car of the future be so complex that it could handle driving 104 instead of the typical 55 mph.
Sounds cool but a lot of questions still left to be answered.
So will the technology include the ability to change speeds or does the car do that too. Does it go as fast as it can or is it something that can be changed by the driver. The options really are interesting.
In the middle of a traffic jam can all of the cars signal each other and just start going 55 to get everyone moving again.
Sounds cool but the logistics of it sound incredibly complex.
This wil change the mobility option possibilities for the physically challenged too. Though this may sound like an initiative as "technology for the sake of it " it will metamorphose to a assistive or an effort of Transforming Lives Through Innovative Technology..!
The article mentions one very important fact, "low chaos situations". This sound's like it would only work if all cars were auto to reduce the chaos level. One other technology that is NOW READY (not) is speech recognician, it only works for calibrated speakers that don't have a chewing gum in their mouth etc. etc. I think autodriving is going to have the same issues. If they were entirely automated it might have chance of working as this would introduce predictability.
In addition to eliminating the "stop-n-go passing," think of the number of lives that can be saved by eliminating drunk driving. Personally, I hope that the car "trains" will be available as soon as the autonomous vehicles are commercially available, with scheduling like some carpool systems. This, of course, presumes that we have eliminated computer hacking by 2020.
As for homework, with my kids, homework remains surprisingly analog. My two teenage daughters are very tech savvy, yet most of their homework is still done on spiral notebooks with pencils or pens. The electronic devices are for fun and communication. Homework is still mostly paper.
Do their homework? You mean use the tablets to game, do Facebook, and watch Hulu TV. Maybe it's just my back-seat crew, but the autonomous vehicle isn't likely to become the autonomous classroom in my family!
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
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