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(Komo)   German University debuts driverless car. Expects to find Sarah Connor in 20-30 years   (komonews.com) divider line 63
    More: Spiffy, driverless cars  
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3410 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Sep 2011 at 3:20 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-09-21 08:58:19 PM  
Pfft! American parking lots and garages are FULL of them!

USA! USA! USA!
 
2011-09-21 09:08:25 PM  
By now I want to kill Sarah Connor.

Just so this meme can be laid to rest.
 
2011-09-21 09:22:09 PM  
Now all we need are German roads to prevent automobiles from planing their paint and side panels like roast beef.
 
2011-09-21 10:18:46 PM  

2wolves: By now I want to kill Sarah Connor.

Just so this meme can be laid to rest.

 
2011-09-21 10:48:28 PM  
I wish they would implement this now. I hate driving and think it's just a waste of time.
 
2011-09-21 11:12:48 PM  
Call me when it ascends Pikes Peak with Stanford's Audi TTS (new window).
 
2011-09-22 12:04:01 AM  
No more drunk driving!
 
2011-09-22 03:21:54 AM  
Look, Homer's got one of those robot cars!
 
2011-09-22 03:26:37 AM  
images.drive.com.au
 
2011-09-22 03:31:48 AM  
This will work well for about a week, until somebody figures out how to wirelessly hack the car's computer and redirect its passenger to Saskatchewan.
 
2011-09-22 03:33:47 AM  
I farking HATE driving, why can't we just have this now? Also, we've been promised flying cars in four years at most.
 
2011-09-22 03:35:26 AM  
 
2011-09-22 03:39:58 AM  
Can you imagine? No more speeding, lane weaving iceholes. No more tailgaiting jerkoffs. No more moronic accidental sideswipes. No more 30 mile an hour on the freeway elderly. Just you getting to where you need to go without a hassle.
 
2011-09-22 03:42:38 AM  

natmar_76: Can you imagine? No more speeding, lane weaving iceholes. No more tailgaiting jerkoffs. No more moronic accidental sideswipes. No more 30 mile an hour on the freeway elderly. Just you getting to where you need to go without a hassle.


Sounds awful.
 
2011-09-22 03:43:55 AM  

natmar_76: Can you imagine? No more speeding, lane weaving iceholes. No more tailgaiting jerkoffs. No more moronic accidental sideswipes. No more 30 mile an hour on the freeway elderly. Just you getting to where you need to go without a hassle.


Get off work, hop in your car, take a nice nap on the way home. I'll even take the 30 mile an hour drive if I'm not the one driving.

I want these wondrous cars.
 
2011-09-22 03:44:07 AM  
We we'le filst lound eye! Whal falmel's malket?
1.bp.blogspot.com

old asian female driver scores like a hat trick
 
2011-09-22 03:45:14 AM  

2wolves: By now I want to kill Sarah Connor.

Just so this meme can be laid to rest.


But then you'll turn out to be the original cause of the meme. Some twilight zone stuff
 
2011-09-22 03:47:07 AM  
Your honor, I did not speed threw the red light camera, it was my computer. It stole my car and went joy riding.
 
2011-09-22 03:50:59 AM  
Road head will be less impressive and possibly legal, that takes away all the fun.
 
2011-09-22 03:52:17 AM  
I heard a guy from a big US university talk about their project. The way he talked he sees semi-autonomous features becoming commonplace in the next 5~ years for consumer cars and fully autonomous vehicles coming around in a decade.

Semi-autonomous features are those that require a human to attend the car while it performs the action, such as the automatic parallel parking feature some cars now have. They want to expand this to things like low-speed highway driving, stop & go driving, and automatic collision avoidance.

For fully-autonomous features they want to start small but eventually work up to a car that drives itself without necessarily needing a driver. He said the first fully autonomous feature he wants to get into the marketplace is a robotic valet... meaning that you pull up to a store, get out, and the car parks itself for you. When you're done shopping you hit a button and your car comes back to pick you up.

He also seemed to think there were two major hurdles to adoption. The first is just human nature... most people don't like the idea of giving up control to their vehicle (even when the robot is a far better driver than you are). Other drivers don't like the idea of it as well. Especially for fully autonomous applications their case studies show that other drivers freak out when they see a "driverless" car. This is especially true for low-speed environments like parking lots where it's much more plausible that there might be a runaway car. These attitudes will only be changed over a long period of time and an exemplary driving record by these cars. (Just think, a month or two ago Google made headlines when their autonomous vehicle was in a fender bender, even though they weren't at fault and there was a human driving it at the time.)

The other major hurdle to adoption is litigation. There are huge unresolved legal questions... if an autonomous car crashes it's reasonable to think that the car company could be held liable for damage. In fact, litigation is such a big concern that he predicts that America will only get consumer-grade autonomous cars decades or more after other countries in the world because we're so lawyer-happy here that major car companies don't even want to think about the potential risk.

It was a lot of fun to hear him talk, but honestly some of the things he said were a little disappointing. For example, I asked him how the car deals with emergency scenarios (a blowout, or someone stomping on the breaks in front of the car, etc.) He said that they just have a huge table full of emergency criteria alongside appropriate responses... there's no really fancy or sophisticated logic telling the car how to react on the fly, just a hugely detailed instruction manual written into the code by hand. He said their emergency situation table had more than 10,000 different conditions that could arise, and included everything from internal mechanical failures all the way up to things like cars driving the wrong way on the highway.

It sounds like autonomous cars are less of a computer/theory project a this point and more of a rote engineering project.
 
2011-09-22 04:38:36 AM  
Again, it would be a great idea if people didn't have a natural tendency to tinker or try to repair things themselves.
 
2011-09-22 04:38:56 AM  

Fubini: I heard a guy from a big US university talk about their project. The way he talked he sees semi-autonomous features becoming commonplace in the next 5~ years for consumer cars and fully autonomous vehicles coming around in a decade.

Semi-autonomous features are those that require a human to attend the car while it performs the action, such as the automatic parallel parking feature some cars now have. They want to expand this to things like low-speed highway driving, stop & go driving, and automatic collision avoidance.


Volvo, BMW and Mercedes are already building that stuff into cars.

More surprising: jets have been flying with even greater automation for years.
 
2011-09-22 04:58:23 AM  
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2011-09-22 05:07:06 AM  

Fubini:
In fact, litigation is such a big concern that he predicts that America will only get consumer-grade autonomous cars decades or more after other countries in the world because we're so lawyer-happy here that major car companies don't even want to think about the potential risk.


Yeah, but to be honest the US gets most things a decade or more after the rest of the world and it's pretty much par for the course I think.

/Like getting a stable power grid, country wide GSM and Broadband roll out, small popular Diesel cars, front loading washer dryers and all the other technology even third world countries have considered part of the furniture for decades now!
 
Skr
2011-09-22 05:12:59 AM  
FTA "In fact, the car's recognition and reaction to its environment is much faster than a human being's reaction." This gives me the impression that it will brake faster than the average person, which could cause incidents among trailing drivers with slower reaction times. Sure the trailing driver shouldn't have been driving so close, but it is bound to happen with both manual and automatic cars on the road.

Also I guess I was under the mistaken knowledge that Google had already done something similar to this recently. Regardless this is some pretty awesome stuff. I keep worrying that society will collapse before the really cool science projects get off the ground.
 
2011-09-22 05:23:41 AM  

Skr: FTA "In fact, the car's recognition and reaction to its environment is much faster than a human being's reaction." This gives me the impression that it will brake faster than the average person, which could cause incidents among trailing drivers with slower reaction times. Sure the trailing driver shouldn't have been driving so close, but it is bound to happen with both manual and automatic cars on the road.


A good autonomous vehicle would look behind as well as in front and decrease braking if it looks like the trailing car was going to hit and there was still room in front.

One thing I think may be difficult is for the car to look for things like black ice and water on the road ahead. It may handle them better once it hits them but anticipation is key to being a good driver.
 
2011-09-22 05:34:40 AM  

Jamdug!: 2wolves: By now I want to kill Sarah Connor.

Just so this meme can be laid to rest.

 
2011-09-22 05:44:18 AM  
FTA: "All summer, researchers from the city's Free University have been testing the automobile around the German capital.

The vehicle maneuvers through traffic on its own using a sophisticated combination of devices, including a computer, electronics and a precision satellite navigation system in the trunk, a camera in the front, and laser scanners on the roof and around the front and rear bumpers."


Sweet

"Several other groups have also been working on such technology recently, notably Google, which has been testing a robotic Toyota Prius in Nevada."

Hmm...
 
zez
2011-09-22 05:45:52 AM  
Does it come with a 5-speed?

/loves driving
 
2011-09-22 05:47:29 AM  

Fubini: I heard a guy from a big US university talk about their project. The way he talked he sees semi-autonomous features becoming commonplace in the next 5~ years for consumer cars and fully autonomous vehicles coming around in a decade.

Semi-autonomous features are those that require a human to attend the car while it performs the action, such as the automatic parallel parking feature some cars now have. They want to expand this to things like low-speed highway driving, stop & go driving, and automatic collision avoidance.

For fully-autonomous features they want to start small but eventually work up to a car that drives itself without necessarily needing a driver. He said the first fully autonomous feature he wants to get into the marketplace is a robotic valet... meaning that you pull up to a store, get out, and the car parks itself for you. When you're done shopping you hit a button and your car comes back to pick you up.

He also seemed to think there were two major hurdles to adoption. The first is just human nature... most people don't like the idea of giving up control to their vehicle (even when the robot is a far better driver than you are). Other drivers don't like the idea of it as well. Especially for fully autonomous applications their case studies show that other drivers freak out when they see a "driverless" car. This is especially true for low-speed environments like parking lots where it's much more plausible that there might be a runaway car. These attitudes will only be changed over a long period of time and an exemplary driving record by these cars. (Just think, a month or two ago Google made headlines when their autonomous vehicle was in a fender bender, even though they weren't at fault and there was a human driving it at the time.)

The other major hurdle to adoption is litigation. There are huge unresolved legal questions... if an autonomous car crashes it's reasonable to think that the car company could be held liable for damage. In fact, litigation is such a big concern that he predicts that America will only get consumer-grade autonomous cars decades or more after other countries in the world because we're so lawyer-happy here that major car companies don't even want to think about the potential risk.

It was a lot of fun to hear him talk, but honestly some of the things he said were a little disappointing. For example, I asked him how the car deals with emergency scenarios (a blowout, or someone stomping on the breaks in front of the car, etc.) He said that they just have a huge table full of emergency criteria alongside appropriate responses... there's no really fancy or sophisticated logic telling the car how to react on the fly, just a hugely detailed instruction manual written into the code by hand. He said their emergency situation table had more than 10,000 different conditions that could arise, and included everything from internal mechanical failures all the way up to things like cars driving the wrong way on the highway.

It sounds like autonomous cars are less of a computer/theory project a this point and more of a rote engineering project.


When you talk about people freaking out when seeing a driverless car even at low speeds is that we get so much information about intention if we can see a driver. Drive around a car park, and you'll look at peoples faces to see if they're going to let you go past, if they're about to swing into a spot and so on, but without those normal cues, predicting what the car is trying to do is far more difficult. Even if it'll always stop before an accident, that lack of normal visual cues, and being unable to relay your intentions to the other car, would certainly be offputting.
 
2011-09-22 05:49:36 AM  
30 years would be about the time I start driving thru the local Farmers' Market so that should work out well. Tho I'd love to see this a lot sooner.
 
2011-09-22 06:01:07 AM  
please no.

i'm not surprised to see Volvo getting into this though. BMW, on the other hand...really conflicts with their entire image.

/you can pry the steering wheel from my cold, dead fingers!
 
2011-09-22 06:11:16 AM  
In related news, Tom Cruise seen gritting his teeth.

img.photobucket.com
 
2011-09-22 06:15:21 AM  

Happy Hours: Skr: FTA "In fact, the car's recognition and reaction to its environment is much faster than a human being's reaction." This gives me the impression that it will brake faster than the average person, which could cause incidents among trailing drivers with slower reaction times. Sure the trailing driver shouldn't have been driving so close, but it is bound to happen with both manual and automatic cars on the road.

A good autonomous vehicle would look behind as well as in front and decrease braking if it looks like the trailing car was going to hit and there was still room in front.

One thing I think may be difficult is for the car to look for things like black ice and water on the road ahead. It may handle them better once it hits them but anticipation is key to being a good driver.


Actually, if a good autonomous vehicle, it'll detect something in the road, since we don't use infrared and lasers to detect something. It'll know a lot faster than we would.

What I want is a car that can melt the black ice enough to drive over it.
 
2011-09-22 06:16:29 AM  

maddermaxx: When you talk about people freaking out when seeing a driverless car even at low speeds is that we get so much information about intention if we can see a driver.


Agreed. So often when there's a "should I go?, no you can go" situation, It all comes down to making eye-contact, establishing that the other guy knows you're there, and then waving, nodding, or doing whatever else so that you know they're letting you go, or that they want to go first. I don't like the idea of losing that.
 
2011-09-22 06:33:58 AM  

TheOther: USA! USA! USA!


this
 
2011-09-22 06:34:11 AM  
So when a speeding, driverless BMW cuts you off, which passenger will you call a prick?
 
2011-09-22 06:38:09 AM  

Turbozutek: Fubini:
In fact, litigation is such a big concern that he predicts that America will only get consumer-grade autonomous cars decades or more after other countries in the world because we're so lawyer-happy here that major car companies don't even want to think about the potential risk.

Yeah, but to be honest the US gets most things a decade or more after the rest of the world and it's pretty much par for the course I think.

/Like getting a stable power grid, country wide GSM and Broadband roll out, small popular Diesel cars, front loading washer dryers and all the other technology even third world countries have considered part of the furniture for decades now!


I've lived in Europe and the United States. I can't speak for research labs, or what the super wealthy can buy, but when it comes to actual stuff regular people can afford and own; the average US citizen is ahead in terms of technology.

I have a microwave with a mechanical timer and no on/off switch. A washing machine *in the kitchen* and a stove that is less than 1/2 the size of any stove I have ever seen in my entire life. It's like something out of the 70s - yes, it gets hot, but I've never seen one without a digital clock and a timer. It also takes three days to clean a load of laundry because virtually nobody owns a dryer here.

I've been told, by citizens living here, that all of this is totally normal.
 
2011-09-22 06:52:23 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: I have a microwave with a mechanical timer and no on/off switch. A washing machine *in the kitchen* and a stove that is less than 1/2 the size of any stove I have ever seen in my entire life. It's like something out of the 70s - yes, it gets hot, but I've never seen one without a digital clock and a timer. It also takes three days to clean a load of laundry because virtually nobody owns a dryer here.

I've been told, by citizens living here, that all of this is totally normal.


Where in Europe are you?

Yes, people tend to live in smaller flats so large kitchens arent the norm, but in Germany and several other countries the norm is you buy your own kitchen whenever you move in. Dryers, electronic microwaves, and decent stoves are all available at not all that different prices (relatively, the euro rate makes them pricier) than in America.

Dryers aren't common because energy prices are higher here and people are more cheap about their bills, but they certainly aren't uncommon.

I also love when people biatch about a washing machine in the kitchen, as if it actually matters. But no, its different so it must be wrong!
 
2011-09-22 07:08:31 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Turbozutek: Fubini:
In fact, litigation is such a big concern that he predicts that America will only get consumer-grade autonomous cars decades or more after other countries in the world because we're so lawyer-happy here that major car companies don't even want to think about the potential risk.

Yeah, but to be honest the US gets most things a decade or more after the rest of the world and it's pretty much par for the course I think.

/Like getting a stable power grid, country wide GSM and Broadband roll out, small popular Diesel cars, front loading washer dryers and all the other technology even third world countries have considered part of the furniture for decades now!

I've lived in Europe and the United States. I can't speak for research labs, or what the super wealthy can buy, but when it comes to actual stuff regular people can afford and own; the average US citizen is ahead in terms of technology.

I have a microwave with a mechanical timer and no on/off switch. A washing machine *in the kitchen* and a stove that is less than 1/2 the size of any stove I have ever seen in my entire life. It's like something out of the 70s - yes, it gets hot, but I've never seen one without a digital clock and a timer. It also takes three days to clean a load of laundry because virtually nobody owns a dryer here.

I've been told, by citizens living here, that all of this is totally normal.


I live in france, and have a normal microwave, modern full size oven, full size fridge, and dishwasher.

a lot of my friends don't have this stuff, but it wasn't hard to find an apartment like this to fit my grad student budget.
 
2011-09-22 07:22:23 AM  
I think there's probably still a lot of kinks to work out. (new window)
 
2011-09-22 07:41:42 AM  
Maybe it's the mood I'm in, but imagine if this was a truck and there was a hose from the exhaust pipe to the cargo area.

Have a nice day, everyone.
 
2011-09-22 07:59:29 AM  
Great news for terrorists.

Hate to be the guy who brings up the terrorism angle, but imagine packing a couple of dozen of these full of explosives and then sending them out by clicking on your targets in google maps. A single person could fark up a lot of shiat this way.
 
2011-09-22 08:05:19 AM  

Gaylord Fister: Great news for terrorists.

Hate to be the guy who brings up the terrorism angle, but imagine packing a couple of dozen of these full of explosives and then sending them out by clicking on your targets in google maps. A single person could fark up a lot of shiat this way.


Given they don't mind sacrificing then there's nothing stopping them from doing that today, just driving them themselves. There is something stopping them really, though, and that's law enforcement agencies able to keep an eye on people buying tonnes of explosives, and cars, when they have previously professed a desire to destroy the west.
 
2011-09-22 08:13:54 AM  
You may be right. There are lot less terrorists than people think. I mean, even if there were just ten determined terrorists in the US per year, it would be a total freakout. A single guy with a hunting rifle could snipe a bunch of people and cause a lot of hysteria.

It could have military applications, though. This system in a tank, with some automatic targeting built in, and suddenly you can have an army of tanks without needing any soldiers. You just need a bunch of people to build and maintain them. Maybe add the ability of drivers to remotely control them from a command center.

Future wars are going to be like an RTS game. It's gonna be fun.
 
2011-09-22 08:40:42 AM  

Captain Dan: This will work well for about a week, until somebody figures out how to wirelessly hack the car's computer and redirect its passenger to Saskatchewan.


Wireless security is pretty easy. The cases where people hack brand-new prototypes of X important device is usually because it's a damn prototype and the device had no security to begin with. Plus this car's system is all internal, it could easily not receive wireless signals at all or only receive GPS.

Ronin_S: I think there's probably still a lot of kinks to work out. (new window)


Yeah, if there's one thing humans are good at, it's driving cars. I'm so good I'm writing this comment on my phone in the car while merging without signalling!
 
2011-09-22 08:42:31 AM  

Gaylord Fister: Great news for terrorists.

Hate to be the guy who brings up the terrorism angle, but imagine packing a couple of dozen of these full of explosives and then sending them out by clicking on your targets in google maps. A single person could fark up a lot of shiat this way.


Imagine a non-robot car that did the same damn thing? Besides, these are programmed not to crash, it would be significant and extremely complex work to hack such a system to allow you to take them off road to begin with, and you're tlaking about people that are not afraid to die for their cause. Why would they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on robot cars when sending their little cousin to die is free?
 
2011-09-22 09:15:38 AM  
Gaylord Fister
It could have military applications, though. This system in a tank, with some automatic targeting built in, and suddenly you can have an army of tanks without needing any soldiers.


There actually was some criticism about "doing work for the military" from the odd pacifist student when the AI group started the autonomous car project and was looking for students to participate.
Not so much about specific military uses, but because of military ties in general since they were planning to participate in the DARPA Grand Challenge.
 
2011-09-22 09:22:09 AM  
News only a Komo would report...
 
2011-09-22 09:22:56 AM  
Some day soon only a few of us dinosaurs who learned to drive competently will be allowed to continue, and we'll probably have to pay extra to do so,
 
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