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(NBC News)   Robotic cars will increase highway efficiency by 273%, decrease bank robbers' getaway efficiency by 546%   (nbcnews.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, autonomous vehicles, Institute of Electrical, reductions, highways  
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1350 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Sep 2012 at 8:43 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



50 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-09-06 06:07:05 AM  
Quit teasing us, Google.
 
2012-09-06 09:05:19 AM  
The main thing that ruins my milage on the motorway is assholes pulling in front of me and making me slow down, then speed up again. If there was some sort of information exchange and common speed then I can totally see this reducing petrol consumption by at least 50%. Then we could raise the speed limit AND save the planet...
 
2012-09-06 09:06:55 AM  
I believe it. I'd love to have a robo car for my commute. Though I would want to option to turn it off so I could drive if/when I wanted to.
 
2012-09-06 09:07:15 AM  
How in the hell do you plan for human stupidity? Even if you have lanes dedicated to robotic cars, you know people will swerve into those lanes with their manual cars. Or people will strap crap on top of their cars without securing it properly, etc. etc. to infinity. Sure people do all kinds of stupid stuff now, but just the fact that more and more cars will be driven be robots doesn't remove the human factor. As long as were part of the equation, we will find ways to fark things up.
 
2012-09-06 09:09:03 AM  
In places like NYC, DC, LA.... I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

Assholes who drive to shave ten seconds off of their commute end up adding a minute or two for the hundreds/thousands of other drivers on the road.

Loves German moving violations on the Autobahn... speeding? Pfft, you were tailgating and acting like a jerk, no driving for you!
 
2012-09-06 09:09:20 AM  

dready zim: The main thing that ruins my milage on the motorway is assholes pulling in front of me and making me slow down, then speed up again. If there was some sort of information exchange and common speed then I can totally see this reducing petrol consumption by at least 50%. Then we could raise the speed limit AND save the planet...


More importantly, a robotic car, once perfected, could carry me home after having a few pints when eating out.
And when I get old and can't drive, it can safely take me to the farmer's market!
 
2012-09-06 09:10:44 AM  
After reading the article it seems they want more cars on a section of road as well travelling in convoy.

We all know what`s coming, you will have to pay a premium and/or have a subscription for the `fast` lanes, this means the rich can still get about quicker than the poor, which will make them happy to be rich still in the future (they need something better than the masses to still feel rich)
 
2012-09-06 09:11:29 AM  

dready zim: The main thing that ruins my milage on the motorway is assholes pulling in front of me and making me slow down, then speed up again. If there was some sort of information exchange and common speed then I can totally see this reducing petrol consumption by at least 50%. Then we could raise the speed limit AND save the planet...


A problem I see is that the robotic cars can react much faster than we can. However, we flesh bags are not going to enjoy the ride if the robot cars have to break violently to avoid a manually controlled car driven by your average a**hole.

I can see cutting off the lead robot car and getting whole trains of them breaking suddenly being a new road sport.
 
2012-09-06 09:11:41 AM  

wingnut396: dready zim: The main thing that ruins my milage on the motorway is assholes pulling in front of me and making me slow down, then speed up again. If there was some sort of information exchange and common speed then I can totally see this reducing petrol consumption by at least 50%. Then we could raise the speed limit AND save the planet...

More importantly, a robotic car, once perfected, could carry me home after having a few pints when eating out.
And when I get old and can't drive, it can safely take me to the farmer's market!


I`m looking forward to being old, senile and drunk, yet able to tell my car to take me home (even when I can`t remember myself where that is)
 
2012-09-06 09:13:29 AM  

BigBooper: dready zim: The main thing that ruins my milage on the motorway is assholes pulling in front of me and making me slow down, then speed up again. If there was some sort of information exchange and common speed then I can totally see this reducing petrol consumption by at least 50%. Then we could raise the speed limit AND save the planet...

A problem I see is that the robotic cars can react much faster than we can. However, we flesh bags are not going to enjoy the ride if the robot cars have to break violently to avoid a manually controlled car driven by your average a**hole.

I can see cutting off the lead robot car and getting whole trains of them breaking suddenly being a new road sport.


Only while it is still legal to drive your own car. That will end. Probably due to the actions you describe.
 
2012-09-06 09:14:49 AM  

Cinaed: Loves German moving violations on the Autobahn... speeding? Pfft, you were tailgating and acting like a jerk, no driving for you!


Not only that, but hogging the passing lane is an ass kicking offense.

The Germans do somethings much better than us.
 
2012-09-06 09:18:00 AM  

Sgygus: Quit teasing us, Google.


If I was an investor in google - I would seriously be asking what possible return investing in self-driving cars and their dozen other boondoggles not related to their core business would bring me.
 
2012-09-06 09:19:43 AM  

dready zim: BigBooper: dready zim: The main thing that ruins my milage on the motorway is assholes pulling in front of me and making me slow down, then speed up again. If there was some sort of information exchange and common speed then I can totally see this reducing petrol consumption by at least 50%. Then we could raise the speed limit AND save the planet...

A problem I see is that the robotic cars can react much faster than we can. However, we flesh bags are not going to enjoy the ride if the robot cars have to break violently to avoid a manually controlled car driven by your average a**hole.

I can see cutting off the lead robot car and getting whole trains of them breaking suddenly being a new road sport.

Only while it is still legal to drive your own car. That will end. Probably due to the actions you describe.


Or it will remain legal, but roads for manual operation will cease to be maintained.

Robo roads will get all the government funding.
 
2012-09-06 09:22:20 AM  

gingerjet: Sgygus: Quit teasing us, Google.

If I was an investor in google - I would seriously be asking what possible return investing in self-driving cars and their dozen other boondoggles not related to their core business would bring me.


Just off the top of my head,

If you are spending a good amount of time in a car, but not driving, what are you going to do. Well you are in a network connected car, it has to be, in order to drive. It knows your starting point, route and destination. So you have a captive and not otherwise engaged audience and you know their immediate plans.

There is no way you can target advertisements in that sort of setting...
 
2012-09-06 09:22:41 AM  

dready zim: wingnut396: dready zim: The main thing that ruins my milage on the motorway is assholes pulling in front of me and making me slow down, then speed up again. If there was some sort of information exchange and common speed then I can totally see this reducing petrol consumption by at least 50%. Then we could raise the speed limit AND save the planet...

More importantly, a robotic car, once perfected, could carry me home after having a few pints when eating out.
And when I get old and can't drive, it can safely take me to the farmer's market!

I`m looking forward to being old, senile and drunk, yet able to tell my car to take me home (even when I can`t remember myself where that is)


Great, I just hope they start making cars with rubber interiors. Getting the smell of old person urine and vomit out of standard upholstery will be damn near impossible.

Although waking up in your driveway after your car drove your passed out ass home will be nice.

/do hangovers get worse when your old and senile?
 
2012-09-06 09:26:33 AM  

gingerjet: Sgygus: Quit teasing us, Google.

If I was an investor in google - I would seriously be asking what possible return investing in self-driving cars and their dozen other boondoggles not related to their core business would bring me.


If they control the self driving technology, they'll probably control the electronic cataloge of preprogrammed destinations.

So what is the potential value of "controlling all road traffic"? ...Many billions of dollars?
They practically own the Internet as it is. Taking over the road network in a similar way justifies some lenience in their investments.
 
2012-09-06 09:26:58 AM  
I both love driving and love the idea of robot driven cars, but the conflict comes when I know that it'll be come like smoking. People will say that driving is not only bad for your health, but it's bad for theirs, why should they have to suffer around your crappy wild acceleratin', manual gear changin', hard cornerin' fun having self? Then self driving will only be allowed on race tracks. I don't know if that horrific vision of the future is worth being able to be driven home drunk, when a taxi can do that already.

Also when I'm in a hurry I don't want some government bureaucrat telling me that 70mph is the limit. I'd have to root my car so it can do 100, but then I'd die when the reprogramming made it think that 100mph through a school zone was a good idea.

Swings and roundabouts...
 
2012-09-06 09:27:00 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: I believe it. I'd love to have a robo car for my commute. Though I would want to option to turn it off so I could drive if/when I wanted to.


and some instant styrofoam to save you in the event of a crash?

/feels like some taco bell
 
2012-09-06 09:41:16 AM  
One very nice side effect of having robot cars should be that it would make planning any timescales of a journey insanely easy. If all the cars on the road are robotic and controlled perfectly then it may well become possible for the car to tell you exactly how long your journey will take, to within 99% accuracy. It may even be possible for it to tell you this information several days before. So if you are going to the airport for a holiday, driving to see relatives, or just trying to get to the store after work in time to catch the big game, you should know exactly what time you need to leave to meet your schedule.

The downside is that you wouldn't be able to say 'there were traffic problems' so that you can 'accidentally' be late for something. Like say a work related social event where no-one wants to be there and the whole situation is just painfully uncomfortable. Even arriving just 30 minutes late can help if it allows everyone to have got in that first drink and become a little more sociable/entertaining.
 
2012-09-06 09:55:47 AM  
How would a robotic car engage a manual clutch?
 
2012-09-06 10:09:52 AM  
Would it eliminate those farking tards who insist on having a 100 yard buffer between themselves and the car in front of them when everyone is going 20 MPH?


/JUST FARKING MOOOOOVE!!!!
 
2012-09-06 10:10:26 AM  

Dimensio: How would a robotic car engage a manual clutch?


CVT
 
2012-09-06 10:11:30 AM  

BigBooper: dready zim: The main thing that ruins my milage on the motorway is assholes pulling in front of me and making me slow down, then speed up again. If there was some sort of information exchange and common speed then I can totally see this reducing petrol consumption by at least 50%. Then we could raise the speed limit AND save the planet...

A problem I see is that the robotic cars can react much faster than we can. However, we flesh bags are not going to enjoy the ride if the robot cars have to break violently to avoid a manually controlled car driven by your average a**hole.

I can see cutting off the lead robot car and getting whole trains of them breaking suddenly being a new road sport.


Unless instances of emergency braking are reported to monitors, who check traffic cameras, get the plate of the offender, and send them a ticket.
 
2012-09-06 10:12:24 AM  

madcan34: Would it eliminate those farking tards who insist on having a 100 yard buffer between themselves and the car in front of them when everyone is going 20 MPH?


/JUST FARKING MOOOOOVE!!!!


Link
Though this 'might' take some getting used to. I'll grant folks that.
There's moving... then there's moving-through-that.
 
2012-09-06 10:18:40 AM  

Slaxl:
Also when I'm in a hurry I don't want some government bureaucrat telling me that 70mph is the limit. I'd have to root my car so it can do 100...


If this works right (big "IF"), it would not matter - the more efficient roadways would mean that you would not need that extra 30 MPH. The problem is not highways / freeways, it's still surface roads. Though they are working on cars that talk to each other as they approach intersections and "know" that someone is about to run a red light.

The other possibility I like here is robotic trucks - the automatic transmission is just starting to make real inroads in tractor-trailers - no more (or greatly reduced) overturned tractor-trailers, or tractor-trailers that plowed through eight cars before the driver realized he should have applied the brakes.

More than big trucks, RV's that actually know how to drive themselves, because plenty of the retirees that buy them sure as heck don't.
 
2012-09-06 10:21:45 AM  
I always wonder how law enforcement will deal with self-driving cars. Theoretically, you have vehicles that won't break the law. I see a large increase in drug trafficking. Not to mention the loss of revenue due to fewer traffic citations.
 
2012-09-06 10:33:39 AM  
Glad I'm not a delivery/truck driver.
 
2012-09-06 10:35:53 AM  
What, you mean when you don't have some asshole cutting and darting through lanes making everyone behind them constantly tap their brakes all so that he can get an extra two car lengths ahead before the next traffic light it tends to improve overall traffic flow?
 
2012-09-06 10:36:31 AM  
I could double the carry capacity of highways if we'd legalize shooting the farking assholes doing 45mph in the middle lane of a 60mph highway.

AND THEY'RE ALWAYS ON THEIR CELL PHONE. Motherfarking christ, that's the worst part about people talking on the phones while driving, they zone out and don't notice that THEY'RE BEING PASSED ON BOTH SIDES. I need to install a PA speaker on my truck so I can play embarrassing flatulence noises loud enough the person they're talking to think the call is coming from the bathroom.

Oh, and when getting on the freeway USE THE farkING ACCELERATOR. It's the pedal on the right, the one that makes the engine go vrrrrrrrrmmmm. And don't take it easy, that farking on ramp is only 50 feet long.

It'll take a century to implement robot driving unless we get a lucky confluence of regulations that make it cheaper to upgrade your car than to cover the insurance on manual driving. Until then I'd like to get my Dennis Leary type rant out to cops and judges, don't be afraid to pull people over because they're driving slow. You know what? They're driving slow BECAUSE THEY HAVE DRUGS IN THE CAR!!!! There, cops, go out and pull over these people and explain that they're shiatty drivers and you need to search their vehicles for drugs. You can quit searching when it's just a pile of scrap.
 
2012-09-06 10:42:20 AM  
On a plus side, this may help reduce rubbernecking slow-down which I'm ok with.
 
2012-09-06 11:10:49 AM  
GED OUDDA HERE! JUST DWIVE!
 
2012-09-06 11:23:08 AM  

gingerjet: Sgygus: Quit teasing us, Google.

If I was an investor in google - I would seriously be asking what possible return investing in self-driving cars and their dozen other boondoggles not related to their core business would bring me.


If I were an investor in Google, I'd shut the fark up and enjoy the almost $700 per share price.

It's shareholders like you who that can't see more than a quarter ahead who are the destruction of most public companies, limiting their ability to change and adapt long term in order to get a few more bucks of short term ROI. Five years ago, you probably would have also considered developing a phone OS that is given away for free to be a horrible idea.
 
2012-09-06 12:20:18 PM  
Car and Driver had an Aaron Robinson column about this recently, lamenting both the safety liabilities and the loss of fun in driving. The safety liabilities will have to be ground down to six-sigma margins, sure, but let's be honest: commuting is mostly extremely un-fun driving. When everyone on an interstate is puttering along at 18-22 mph because some dumbf*ck rear-ended a tractor trailer for the tenth day in a row in the same spot, I would far rather the cars just be linked up like some train. Take out the rubber-necking effects, kill the shockwave jams faster, let me zone out and read or play angry birds or whatever.

They aren't going to put smart road tech on every twisting mountain and valley road, Aaron! There will still be fun places where there is actually fun to be had. Rush hour: not fun.
 
2012-09-06 12:45:34 PM  

Dimensio: How would a robotic car engage a manual clutch?


What would be the point of that? They're already obsolete and a robot car would just make it even more so.
 
2012-09-06 12:58:25 PM  
Won't anyone think of local government? How will they ever generate revenue when there is no one left to issue traffic tickets to? Expect HUGE increases in registration fees
 
2012-09-06 01:18:52 PM  

Dimensio: How would a robotic car engage a manual clutch?


I dunno...maybe the same way they do now. VW makes the DSG transmission with dual, ECU-controlled clutches that you can drive in fully-auto mode or semi-auto. In auto you simply select Drive and go. In semi you shift up or down with a paddle. There is no clutch pedal...the ECU takes care of it.
 
2012-09-06 01:57:01 PM  
HELLUVA DAY, ISN'T IT?
 
2012-09-06 03:22:45 PM  

gingerjet: Sgygus: Quit teasing us, Google.

If I was an investor in google - I would seriously be asking what possible return investing in self-driving cars and their dozen other boondoggles not related to their core business would bring me.


I know, it's not like people would pay significant amounts of money for a software system that allowed their car to drive them to work, drop them off at the airport, and take their drunk ass home or anything. it's not like it is guaranteed to make car sharing services extremely efficient and attractive for massive amounts of people, and save enormous amounts of fossil fuels.
In case I'm not laying it on thick enough for you here, you are a god damn moron.
 
2012-09-06 03:37:07 PM  

relcec: gingerjet: Sgygus: Quit teasing us, Google.

If I was an investor in google - I would seriously be asking what possible return investing in self-driving cars and their dozen other boondoggles not related to their core business would bring me.

I know, it's not like people would pay significant amounts of money for a software system that allowed their car to drive them to work, drop them off at the airport, and take their drunk ass home or anything. it's not like it is guaranteed to make car sharing services extremely efficient and attractive for massive amounts of people, and save enormous amounts of fossil fuels.
In case I'm not laying it on thick enough for you here, you are a god damn moron.


Yes, but how will this effect next quarters profit statement? Screw the future, I Google needs to maximize current profit margins NOW!
 
2012-09-06 03:40:35 PM  

relcec: gingerjet: Sgygus: Quit teasing us, Google.

If I was an investor in google - I would seriously be asking what possible return investing in self-driving cars and their dozen other boondoggles not related to their core business would bring me.

I know, it's not like people would pay significant amounts of money for a software system that allowed their car to drive them to work, drop them off at the airport, and take their drunk ass home or anything. it's not like it is guaranteed to make car sharing services extremely efficient and attractive for massive amounts of people, and save enormous amounts of fossil fuels.
In case I'm not laying it on thick enough for you here, you are a god damn moron.


that's genius actually, you put into your smartphone where you're going and any car passing you going to the same location could share the ride with you.
 
2012-09-06 03:42:16 PM  

Girion47: relcec: gingerjet: Sgygus: Quit teasing us, Google.

If I was an investor in google - I would seriously be asking what possible return investing in self-driving cars and their dozen other boondoggles not related to their core business would bring me.

I know, it's not like people would pay significant amounts of money for a software system that allowed their car to drive them to work, drop them off at the airport, and take their drunk ass home or anything. it's not like it is guaranteed to make car sharing services extremely efficient and attractive for massive amounts of people, and save enormous amounts of fossil fuels.
In case I'm not laying it on thick enough for you here, you are a god damn moron.

that's genius actually, you put into your smartphone where you're going and any car passing you going to the same location could share the ride with you.


And before someone complains about the "danger" look up the SLUG lines in Northern Virginia, thousands of people do this every day without incident, and in a city much more dangerous than yours.
 
2012-09-06 03:53:55 PM  

Slaxl: Then self driving will only be allowed on race tracks. I don't know if that horrific vision of the future is worth being able to be driven home drunk.


Where do you drive where your routine driving is in any way enjoyable? I get that flogging a performance vehicle around an autocross course, a racetrack, or a challenging off-road trip can be enjoyable. But driving to work and the grocery store are not fun, no matter how I look at it.

To me, this doesn't sound horrific, it sounds wonderful. The situation you describe appears to have no downside. Give up the boring manual driving but keep the fun parts? Perfect. I'm not going to miss being hands-on for my commute.
 
2012-09-06 04:05:17 PM  

Unobtanium: Slaxl:
Also when I'm in a hurry I don't want some government bureaucrat telling me that 70mph is the limit. I'd have to root my car so it can do 100...

If this works right (big "IF"), it would not matter - the more efficient roadways would mean that you would not need that extra 30 MPH. The problem is not highways / freeways, it's still surface roads. Though they are working on cars that talk to each other as they approach intersections and "know" that someone is about to run a red light.

The other possibility I like here is robotic trucks - the automatic transmission is just starting to make real inroads in tractor-trailers - no more (or greatly reduced) overturned tractor-trailers, or tractor-trailers that plowed through eight cars before the driver realized he should have applied the brakes.

More than big trucks, RV's that actually know how to drive themselves, because plenty of the retirees that buy them sure as heck don't.


Possible solution:

Instead of an entire car, an add-on so one can simply switch on the auto-drive when getting onto the freeway.

A step further, an automatic switch board placed on each on ramp (turn those stupid california on-ramp traffic lights into these) to turn on the computer. It can be a toll-booth type mechanic (arm raises only for those who have a positive response from the on-board computer) or it can be unobtrusive and do everything over the air.

If it's the unobtrusive type, if a car attempts access without a computer response, the police could be notified. If an accident is caused, it's wholly on the manual driver.

Eventually, as the car makers and laws adapt, every car will have one and it diagnostics will be run each time the car is inspected. Perhaps more often than the mechanical inspections some states have each year.

recap: side roads manual; highways automatic

/shrug
 
2012-09-06 04:38:14 PM  

ScotterOtter: Won't anyone think of local government? How will they ever generate revenue when there is no one left to issue traffic tickets to? Expect HUGE increases in registration fees


Money is saved when they have to pay fewer traffic officers, tow trucks, impound yards, and related repair bills for damages to the road.
So there's that...

/I'm looking forward to never having to park a car again.
/Curb side service, car parks itself in parking garage, no more hunting for good spots.
 
2012-09-07 10:18:11 AM  
Or you could invest a fraction of all that R&D into modern rail and tram technology which costs a fraction to maintain vs roads.
 
2012-09-07 10:51:16 AM  

lohphat: Or you could invest a fraction of all that R&D into modern rail and tram technology which costs a fraction to maintain vs roads.


with automated vehicles, ride sharing becomes much more efficient than rail could ever hope to be.
 
2012-09-07 11:01:00 AM  

Girion47: lohphat: Or you could invest a fraction of all that R&D into modern rail and tram technology which costs a fraction to maintain vs roads.

with automated vehicles, ride sharing becomes much more efficient than rail could ever hope to be.


That assumes a societal change that carpools promised to achieve but didn't significantly. Having a robust intercity HSR, then efficient subways/buses still costs less to run and maintain. Those countries that understand this, profit from it in efficient movement of goods and people. Every time I go to Europe or Japan I see it working. I return to the US and I see underfunded dysfunction that becomes an inefficient self-fulfilling prophesy.
 
2012-09-07 03:35:17 PM  

lohphat: Or you could invest a fraction of all that R&D into modern rail and tram technology which costs a fraction to maintain vs roads.


this is the problem with people like you.
aware you have not much of an education and without doing nay research you still somehow believe you have almost miraculously received universal truth and do your very best to spread the good news.
you believe that people that don't think exactly like you are blind, stupid, or ignorant, if not all three.
you shape the facts to fit your arguments instead of the other way around.
and no amount of evidence of a superior model could sway you from your path.
truly you are almost identical to the religious conservatives you hate.
I'd be willing to wager almost anything that google hasn't even burned on R&D one year of the cost incurred by the sacramento light rail system that can't even move 10% of that city's traffic in a day.
 
2012-09-07 05:57:55 PM  

relcec: this is the problem with people like you...

[ad hominem derp]

/ignored

 
2012-09-07 08:54:48 PM  

relcec: lohphat: Or you could invest a fraction of all that R&D into modern rail and tram technology which costs a fraction to maintain vs roads.

this is the problem with people like you.
aware you have not much of an education and without doing nay research you still somehow believe you have almost miraculously received universal truth and do your very best to spread the good news.
you believe that people that don't think exactly like you are blind, stupid, or ignorant, if not all three.
you shape the facts to fit your arguments instead of the other way around.
and no amount of evidence of a superior model could sway you from your path.
truly you are almost identical to the religious conservatives you hate.
I'd be willing to wager almost anything that google hasn't even burned on R&D one year of the cost incurred by the sacramento light rail system that can't even move 10% of that city's traffic in a day.


I admire the fire in both of your posts, but you both have to admit that no amount of education or citations can trump good old-fashioned common sense.
 
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