View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/5  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Not ready to be a back-seat driver
Beth Stackpole   11/21/2011 7:05:03 AM
I suppose stranger things have happened and there's no doubt the technology will get there. This is clearly one of those situations where the technology is likely ahead of consumer's comfort zone for entrusting their safety to some computerized, autonomous vehicle system. Even the idea of cars chugging along with people in the backseats doing other stuff is creepy to me, however inevitable.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Insurance rate angle?
Alexander Wolfe   11/21/2011 8:24:02 AM
I'm wondering how the Allstates of the world are viewing the increase in automotive computing capability and if they will factor it into their rates at some point. (I mean in terms of REDUCING insurance rates.)  I was shocked recently to find out that my six-year old Sentra cost more to insure than a newer car, and the agent told me that one reason is that newer cars have all those airbags. By analogy, I wonder if a car with some demonstrated autonomy via computer control will be similar safer and thus qualify for reduced rates, at least at some point when this all shakes out and becomes more mainstream.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Re: Insurance rate angle?
Beth Stackpole   11/21/2011 10:15:14 AM
That's an interesting point, Alex, and really turns the notion of autonomous driving on its head when you really start to think about it. Of course, the goal is to eliminate driver distraction and increase vehicle safety, which is sort of hard to get your arms when envisioning cars driving themselves down the road. But I suppose as the technology matures and the vision systems, sensors, and embedded software systems become more powerful and refined, driving will likely be a much safer business and perhaps will garner the early adopters some whopping discounts on their insurance premiums.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
This could increase on-board infotainment
Rob Spiegel   11/21/2011 12:38:04 PM
Self-driving cars could boost the use of infotainment aboard vehicles. While many of us may see this as a way to work on the way to work, I would imagine the freedom of attention inside the bar would increase the consumption of videos and TV. In a self-driving car, a robust infotainment center would be a must.

User Rank
Autonomy of the Auto; has a nice ring to it.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   11/21/2011 11:46:51 PM
They’ve already commercialized the hardest part – parallel parking, now available from the very high-end cars all the way down to the Ford Focus. And as the article eludes, most (if not all) of the remaining sensing technology is already developed and ready.  It was about 2005 I toured the M.I.T. Media center and saw a presentation on the autonomous vehicle in a highway environment.  The constant distance and constant speed sensing completely eliminated the “rush-n-brake” situation that causes stop-n-go in the passing lanes.  I dream of the day when it’s a reality.  2020 seems realistic.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Re: Autonomy of the Auto; has a nice ring to it.
Beth Stackpole   11/22/2011 6:51:04 AM
Eliminating the "rush-n-brake" situation that leads to "stop-n-go" passing--now that has to be THE salient sales pitch that can get skeptics like me rethinking their openness to embrace an autonomous vehicle system. Any one who's crawled in traffic for hours and hours on end will likely feel the same.

Lauren Muskett
User Rank
Re: This could increase on-board infotainment
Lauren Muskett   11/22/2011 7:14:13 AM
That's a good point, Rob. The infotainment in cars could increase and will not undergo the discussion of "it is is a distraction" because there are no drivers to distract. I am curious to see how the self driving cars will play a part in car accidents and wonder if it would increase/decrease driver safety.  

User Rank
Re: Not ready to be a back-seat driver
mrmikel   11/22/2011 9:27:03 AM
The best part of all is you can say, "Officer, give my car the ticket, I wasn't driving."

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Re: Not ready to be a back-seat driver
Rob Spiegel   11/22/2011 10:38:12 AM
That's a good one, mrmikel. That brings up a huge question -- what happens when the car breaks the law -- turning too soon or too late in a left-turn situation with oncoming traffic? Those are tough calls under any circumstances. Even if the oncoming driver is at fault, what happens when that driver lies? The driver-less car can tell its side of the story. Or would video cameras be necessary?

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Re: Not ready to be a back-seat driver
Beth Stackpole   11/22/2011 11:07:51 AM
I would think if the car is driving itself, video cameras and sensors will be standard features throughout the vehicle and will be able to deliver the video play back of the real story behind the accident. But you raise a really good issue.

Page 1/5  >  >>

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Eric Chesak created a sensor that can detect clouds, and it can also measure different sources of radiation.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Practicing engineers have not heeded Yoda's words.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
Rockwell Automation recently unveiled a new safety relay that can be configured and integrated through existing software to program safety logic in devices.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

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: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service