Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Self-driving cars

Burkhard Bilger, science, nature and technology staff writer at The New Yorker.

Bryant Walker Smith, fellow at the Center for Internet and Society and the Center for Automatice Research at Stanford Law School and Stanford University. Lecturer in law. (@bwalkersmith)

John Absmeier, director of the Silicon Valley Innovation Center for Delphi Automotive. (@johnabsmeier)


pat said...

Self driving cars do indeed seem inevitable. First we saw this sort of thing in aviation with auto pilots. Not much happens to a plane in good weather between take off and landing. Then we had automotive cruise control for long stretches of freeway. Gradually the automatic functions have increased in capabilities till they will soon be able to drive on winding country roads and in downtown traffic.
But will there be enough time?
Teenage boys drool over my car. Someone asks me nearly every week if it's for sale. My car is old enough to vote. It's a 1989 Toyota Supra Turbo. A new interior, a new exterior, a new engine, and a new transmission and Voila - a car that teenage boys want. But I'm not selling. So my car won't be communicating on this new car-Internet anytime soon. Certainly not just 15 years or so.
OTOH fully functional autonomous general purpose robots are only a little further along. Kurzweil has predicted human equivalent robots by mid century. Maybe he's wrong but if he's right there is only short window available for autonomous cars. If I'm alive by mid century I won't be driving my Toyota myself. I'll have my robot butler do it. It won't need any gizmos built into the car. It will be itself a gizmo. I'll just take the top down and ride along in the passenger seat. Me and my butler (styled to look like a beautiful woman).

BobSykes said...

Antiplanner has already cited DOT data showing that cars are as efficient as buses both in fuel economy and CO2 emissions on a passenger-mile basis (and very much better than trains), so adoption of self-driving cars would permit very close car spacing on highways and very efficient urban travel. And the car's flexibilty off-highway would still exist.

The seemingly strange result regarding car efficiency isvdue to the fact that buses and trains drive around nearly empty except for rush hour.

AG said...

If self-driving cars become reality, human-driving cars will be more likely at fault in any accident involving between self-driving and human-driving. This very plausible situation will reduce cost of self-driving cars insurance and accelerate self-driving technologies.
Let technology evolution happen.

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