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    Thread: Bob Lutz "All cars will be driverless in 20 years"

    1. Member R-Dubya's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 03:02 PM #76
      Quote Originally Posted by Shmi View Post
      Car-to-car communication isn't really necessary. Google's self-driving cars have been mixing it up in traffic for a long while now, without any of that. So I guess it depends on how it is implemented.

      I'd point to Google's self-driving cars. This is relatively new tech, yet their program has only suffered from one traffic accident, and this was when a human was in control, not a computer. Who knows what other advancements will surface in the next decade of research? I'd trust computers, for sure. They react faster, don't get distracted, tired, drunk. And they would all follow the rules of the road.

      This is all speaking personally, of course. The general public might be a harder sell, but I can't say for sure. People might be open to it after seeing what Google and car companies can do with it, or not. I'd naturally think people would be alert, and nervous, at first. I would be. But I also think a computer could do much of what I do, but better.

      The only real issue that I run into is, what if the car is not going to be able to prioritize like we can. If I have a split second to decide between hitting a car head on, or a child, I'll pick the car. If Google or whoever's system can't figure out an option and can do nothing but hit the brakes, what then..?
      Oh, I know that the communication between cars isn't a necessity, I was just addressing other peoples' posts in this thread regarding cars that would communicate as such. There were a couple posts saying things like traffic jams would be eliminated, highways would be able to cram 3 times the cars on the highway and go twice the speed with no accidents, etc. In that case, it would require literally every car on the road to be automated and to work in sync, and frankly that will never happen in the next few decades even if the technology was available because people will still stick to their ways and continue to drive normal cars.

    2. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 03:11 PM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by R-Dubya View Post
      Oh, I know that the communication between cars isn't a necessity, I was just addressing other peoples' posts in this thread regarding cars that would communicate as such. There were a couple posts saying things like traffic jams would be eliminated, highways would be able to cram 3 times the cars on the highway and go twice the speed with no accidents, etc. In that case, it would require literally every car on the road to be automated and to work in sync, and frankly that will never happen in the next few decades even if the technology was available because people will still stick to their ways and continue to drive normal cars.
      It won't absolutely require that, but it would certainly make it work better. There could be clusters of automated cars along with manually driven cars, at least partially alleviating congestion. The car-to-car communication would still be advantageous, even without every car being automated. Some cars could have car-to-car communication, even if they were in "manual mode" helping the info get to the fully automated cars around them. The "worst offenders" would be old cars with no communication capability, but the cars with communication would be able to point them out to other cars before they came over the rise (or whatever scenario you wish).

      I could also see a time of automated lanes only, then walled-off automated lanes and eventually specific roads/highways for automated cars only. It's quite possible that after that point, non-automated cars would be banned from public roads, but that won't be for some time, perhaps not our lifetimes, especially if you're my age or older. (I'm in my 40s)
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      09-28-2012 03:18 PM #78
      I think everyone needs to read about the limitations of gps. Its accurate to feet, not inches, and highly susceptible to interference from cloud cover. Cars ” knowing” where they are based on gps is unrealistic, and we can't even get decent cell coverage in most of the us. 20 years? Keep dreaming.

      That being said, you know the first thriller made after these cars go mainstream is something about solar flares and world wide auto apocalypse where the saviors of the world are the texers who kept their beloved, manual drive, gas powered dubs. :-)

      Sent from my HTC Glacier using Tapatalk 2

    4. Member R-Dubya's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 03:18 PM #79
      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      It won't absolutely require that, but it would certainly make it work better. There could be clusters of automated cars along with manually driven cars, at least partially alleviating congestion. The car-to-car communication would still be advantageous, even without every car being automated. Some cars could have car-to-car communication, even if they were in "manual mode" helping the info get to the fully automated cars around them. The "worst offenders" would be old cars with no communication capability, but the cars with communication would be able to point them out to other cars before they came over the rise (or whatever scenario you wish).

      I could also see a time of automated lanes only, then walled-off automated lanes and eventually specific roads/highways for automated cars only. It's quite possible that after that point, non-automated cars would be banned from public roads, but that won't be for some time, perhaps not our lifetimes, especially if you're my age or older. (I'm in my 40s)
      Mainly what I was referring to. Hell, I'm only 18 and my car doesn't even have a CEL I love old cars, so much simpler and way more fun to work on and drive. I don't want to live to see the time of automated cars, so many people in my age group already want nothing to do with cars past using them as appliances. It's sad really.

      And I definitely agree with the second paragraph, I didn't even think about that, but if automated cars truly are our future then I could see that being the path we'll take. Hopefully not for a few more decades, maybe half a century or so. I don't want to be on here in 40 years talking about the good ol' days when people actually drove cars and explaining to my grandkids what a manual transmission was (though that will happen anyways).

    5. 09-28-2012 03:40 PM #80
      Not like anyone will try to prove him wrong in 20 years he'll be dead.

    6. Member Sortafast's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 04:02 PM #81
      Quote Originally Posted by strykersbane View Post
      I think everyone needs to read about the limitations of gps. Herpn derp derp derp derp
      Do you really think these cars would be certified for road use if all they used was GPS?

      Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
      The system combines information gathered from Google Street View[citation needed] with artificial intelligence software that combines input from video cameras inside the car, a LIDAR sensor on top of the vehicle, radar sensors on the front of the vehicle and a position sensor attached to one of the rear wheels that helps locate the car's position on the map. In 2009, Google obtained 3,500 miles of Street View images from driverless cars with minor human intervention.[citation needed] As of 2010, Google has tested several vehicles equipped with the system, driving 1,609 kilometres (1,000 mi) without any human intervention, in addition to 225,308 kilometres (140,000 mi) with occasional human intervention. Google expects that the increased accuracy of its automated driving system could help reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths, while using energy and space on roadways more efficiently.
      The cars are able to do all of that today. We're talking about 20 years from now.

    7. 09-28-2012 04:04 PM #82
      Quote Originally Posted by hardcore4life View Post
      I'd take this over stupid self driving car


      I would still want to drive it.

    8. 09-28-2012 04:05 PM #83
      Considering some of the maneuvers I've seen, at least half of them already are.

    9. Member Shmi's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 04:09 PM #84
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      Yes, this is just what I'm talking about. Computers will absolutely be better at routine driving where humans get tired or distracted and make dumb mistakes that a computer would never make.

      Another issue is that people will expect perfection from computers. If we say, look, we can eliminate 80% of accidents by switching from all human drivers to all computer drivers, that sounds great. And it may be absolutely possible to do that. But people are going to freak out about those remaining 20% (or whatever) of accidents that are caused by the computer's limitations, even though on average everyone is better off. We're much more willing psychologically to accept human error, than to accept the possibility that a computer will betray us and crash us into something.

      -Andrew L
      Good points, and I agree. The way I think it will go is that manufacturers will make a disclaimer stating that you HAVE to be paying attention and be ready to take control if needed. And IMO, that's perfectly reasonable. However, it is a far cry from total autonomy.


      Quote Originally Posted by R-Dubya View Post
      Oh, I know that the communication between cars isn't a necessity, I was just addressing other peoples' posts in this thread regarding cars that would communicate as such. There were a couple posts saying things like traffic jams would be eliminated, highways would be able to cram 3 times the cars on the highway and go twice the speed with no accidents, etc. In that case, it would require literally every car on the road to be automated and to work in sync, and frankly that will never happen in the next few decades even if the technology was available because people will still stick to their ways and continue to drive normal cars.
      Gotcha. No, that won't happen within two decades. People are still driving 1980s hondas around so for sure old cars will still be around in that time.

    10. Member Shmi's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 04:12 PM #85
      Quote Originally Posted by R-Dubya View Post
      Mainly what I was referring to. Hell, I'm only 18 and my car doesn't even have a CEL I love old cars, so much simpler and way more fun to work on and drive. I don't want to live to see the time of automated cars, so many people in my age group already want nothing to do with cars past using them as appliances. It's sad really.

      And I definitely agree with the second paragraph, I didn't even think about that, but if automated cars truly are our future then I could see that being the path we'll take. Hopefully not for a few more decades, maybe half a century or so. I don't want to be on here in 40 years talking about the good ol' days when people actually drove cars and explaining to my grandkids what a manual transmission was (though that will happen anyways).
      It really depends, for me. 75% of the driving I do is to and from work. It's tedious and I'm always tired in the morning and after a long day at work, so I get very little enjoyment out of it. In those cases, I'd absolutely love my car to drive itself to work.

      The rest of the time though, I want to drive my fun car. I want to take it around twisty bends and mountain passes, want to floor it around the area and hear it as it climbs to 8,000 RPM.

    11. Member robr2's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 04:16 PM #86
      Quote Originally Posted by strykersbane View Post
      I think everyone needs to read about the limitations of gps. Its accurate to feet, not inches, and highly susceptible to interference from cloud cover. Cars ” knowing” where they are based on gps is unrealistic, and we can't even get decent cell coverage in most of the us. 20 years? Keep dreaming.
      Who says they'll have to use orbiting GPS systems in space? In 20 years we may have some sort of system that uses cell phones, vehicle based gps, ez pass transponders, et al that all share information with highway based systems. Right now there are traffic systems installed along highways that calculate traffic speed, volume et al and supply that data to tv stations, Sirus/XM, state transportation authorities. Who knows - maybe the chip your child gets implanted in his skull will transmit the information.

      I really think that highways is where this technology will be most useful and best implemented.

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      09-28-2012 05:05 PM #87
      Quote Originally Posted by R-Dubya View Post
      Oh, I know that the communication between cars isn't a necessity, I was just addressing other peoples' posts in this thread regarding cars that would communicate as such. There were a couple posts saying things like traffic jams would be eliminated, highways would be able to cram 3 times the cars on the highway and go twice the speed with no accidents, etc. In that case, it would require literally every car on the road to be automated and to work in sync, and frankly that will never happen in the next few decades even if the technology was available because people will still stick to their ways and continue to drive normal cars.
      Even without car-to-car coordination, self-driving cars may reduce congestion by doing things like accelerating properly on on-ramps and avoiding the racing-and-stopping behavior of many drivers in heavy traffic.

    13. Member hardcore4life's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 10:40 PM #88
      and when gps signal goes down ......





      People drive in water because the gps tell them to do it.....The other day i was driving on the highway and my gps told me to take a left turn on the middle of the long ass bridge

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      09-28-2012 11:20 PM #89
      Quote Originally Posted by SebTheDJ View Post
      Thats stupid. I rather take a train or public transportation if i cant drive my own car
      No one that's thinking critically about this has suggested that it would be mandatory 100% of the time in every possible driving situation, or that you'd have to take this instead of using public transportation. A couple of us even speculated that this may become a form of public transportation.



      Quote Originally Posted by robr2 View Post
      My thought with vehicle-to-vehicle communication is that the GPS systems talk to each other in terms of varying each others' speed to allow lane changing. Car in lane 2 has to depart highway in 3 miles. It tells car next to it in lane 1 to adjust spacing and then it communicates with all the cars in lane 1. But at the same time, the 8th car back in lane 1 doesn't need to exit for 48 miles. It'll talk to cars in lanes 2-4 to get ready to adjust spacing so it can get out into the 100 mph+ lane.
      I think that there will be some sort of distributed or central processing to handle routing. This relieves each car from having to do extremely heavy computing, and has the potential to optimize all traffic. It'd allow the spacing you're talking about, allow for emergency services and other priority traffic, road closures for whatever reason, congestion, etc. Plus it'd tie in traffic control devices like ramp meters, traffic lights and railroad crossings.



      Quote Originally Posted by robr2 View Post
      Debris in the road is one of the big issues. The machine vision has to be able to determine if it's a plastic bag or a piece of lumber that fell off a truck. The programming is I'm sure terribly complicated and it'll take a while. Remember 10 years in technology is a lifetime to us. Did anybody ever think that 10 years ago we'd be walking around with little computers in our pockets?
      That's another reason why I think there should be communication and processing on a wider level. Perhaps that road debris stops traffic. Ideally there'd be a way for every car behind the first exit to take that exit instead of being stuck until the debris is cleared, and this decision making would start taking place before much traffic comes to a stop. Networked vehicles would make this possible.



      Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
      Sightlines won't matter. The cars ahead will have already relayed information to yours, combined with GPS and probably satellite or aerial imaging. It's going to be a whole different world.

      Cars won't even need to have windows anymore other than for passenger comfort. Think of the weight, cost and safety implications of not having to have glass installed anymore.
      I agree that this would eventually happen, but I don't see it happening in less than 20 years. It might happen when manual driving isn't necessary or good virtual screens are installed in all cars to allow manual driving without real windows, and when customers and government is comfortable enough to allow it in terms of sales and regulations.



      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      The thing is, some technology problems are about scale while others are about logic. Cellphones were a scale problem: How do we make computers small and powerful, how do we make wireless communication faster, how do we build infrastructure to support all that?

      The hard part about self-driving cars is a logic problem, not a scale problem. How do we make computer vision and decision-making so reliable that we're willing to tell drivers they don't need to watch the road anymore? That's not a problem that "faster and smaller" will inherently solve. The progression toward better algorithms for these kinds of problems is not nearly as linear and predictable as the progression towards faster speeds and smaller sizes.

      -Andrew L
      Part of it may be scale. It may be deemed technlogically or legally necessary to have certain visual indications along roadways to make automated driving work well. Scale comes into play even more if we're to have truly smart roadways. One that can manage traffic down to individual vehicles to optimize commuting times, priority vehicles, emissions and other factors that are deemed important.



      Quote Originally Posted by TrackMagicWS6 View Post
      Driverless cars in snow? Hilarious.
      No one that's thinking critically about this has suggested that it would be mandatory 100% of the time in every possible driving situation.



      Quote Originally Posted by R-Dubya View Post
      The main problem I see with this idea as a whole is integration. People still rely on 20 and even 30 year old cars for daily transportation, it's not like everybody is going to go out and buy one of these as soon as the technology is available. What happens when these cars, designed to communicate to one another in order to achieve this reliability and efficiency that everybody is on about in this thread, come in contact with the multitude of older cars equipped with no such technology? There has to be something more objective than a car scanning the area for other cars and making decisions based on that.
      This is why I think standards and regulations will be necessary. Regulations, and enforcement of them, will be a big part of being able to trust this technology. Standards will make it feasible in the short and long term.

      Also consider that newer automated vehicles may be able to perform better than older automated vehicles. Maybe that has to do with following distance, networking, car pooling, etc. It stands to reason that newer vehicles will be better, and they'll fit into the network differently than older vehicles. Good standards and regulations would give designers of vehicles and roadways a clearcut way to manage the various generations of vehicles on the roads.

      Quote Originally Posted by R-Dubya View Post
      Another issue is the culture shock that would afflict every single person that has ever driven a car. Just imagine how paranoid you would be the first time you rode in an automated car. Would you really trust those computers to get you where you're going safely, regardless of the many unexpected hazards that can come seemingly out of nowhere? Will a computer really be reliable enough to calculate how to react to someone blowing through an intersection in front of you in time to make the proper corrections? I don't think I'd ever be able to sit back and "relax" in an automated car, I'd always be on edge.
      That's the biggest problem. Even if all the technology at its penultimate state were rolled out 100% tomorrow, it would take a long time before people would trust it and adopt it. That's why I don't think we'll see major changes in 20 years.



      Quote Originally Posted by Shmi View Post
      Car-to-car communication isn't really necessary. Google's self-driving cars have been mixing it up in traffic for a long while now, without any of that. So I guess it depends on how it is implemented.

      I'd point to Google's self-driving cars. This is relatively new tech, yet their program has only suffered from one traffic accident, and this was when a human was in control, not a computer. Who knows what other advancements will surface in the next decade of research? I'd trust computers, for sure. They react faster, don't get distracted, tired, drunk. And they would all follow the rules of the road.

      This is all speaking personally, of course. The general public might be a harder sell, but I can't say for sure. People might be open to it after seeing what Google and car companies can do with it, or not. I'd naturally think people would be alert, and nervous, at first. I would be. But I also think a computer could do much of what I do, but better.

      The only real issue that I run into is, what if the car is not going to be able to prioritize like we can. If I have a split second to decide between hitting a car head on, or a child, I'll pick the car. If Google or whoever's system can't figure out an option and can do nothing but hit the brakes, what then..?
      You're right, networked vehicles isn't really necessary. It will help a lot though. See the reasons I mentioned above. I'm not fully supportive of automated vehicles unless we have networked cars and roadways that results in a smart roadway system.

      As far as hitting a child, that decision can absolutely be made by computers. It theoretically should be able to do a better job of it too. For example, while you might allow yourself to hit a vehicle head on, a computer might realize that that vehicle is a tanker truck that will likely result in a fiery disaster that will take out the day care that's alongside that section of road in addition to killing the kid you wanted to avoid. That's a wild example, but I'm sure we all know people that have swerved to avoid an accident, only to come out with an accident that's even worse. So people make bad decisions too. Also, as you said, computers react faster, so that's a factor that can give the automated vehicle the edge in minimizing the damage of a bad situation.

      I would think that automated vehicles would have a manual override for a long time, so you'll be able to swerve and brake as you wish.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

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      09-28-2012 11:31 PM #90
      I'll believe it when I see it.


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      09-29-2012 12:10 AM #91
      http://youtu.be/RXC6FCuHzmA

      Watch this video that demonstrates and explains the Google car's tech. How it handles real traffic and performs precision driving.

      For anyone that doubts the car's sensors, the laser guidance system is way better than any human or animal vision.

      Today, we have people that can barely get the car out of their driveways driving around town and the average driver could barely drive straight.

      I think the biggest problem isn't about the performance of computer cars, it's how can they co-exist with human drivers. How does an auto-car handle someone running the red light or driving the wrong way and perform evasive avoidance without endangering other cars.

    17. 09-29-2012 12:15 AM #92
      Quote Originally Posted by 03GTI4Me View Post
      I'll believe it when I see it.

      Just what we need-blind guys driving cars with their canes.

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      09-29-2012 12:16 AM #93
      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      20 years is forever in silicon chip time. Every 18 months to two years processor speed doubles, until we get to the point that you can't shrink processors any more because of the physical size of circuits compared to resistance. IE, if you shrink it more the processor "leaks" electricity from one circuit to another. 20 years means at least 32 times faster processing than what we have today. At the higher rate it could be nearly 128 times faster.

      Give lawmakers a chance to "save the children" etc. and yeah, every car will have it on there. Will it be mandatory to use it in every situation? Maybe not, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
      So where is my 20GHz processor? 800 MHz was available in 1999; 20 GHz should have been achieved around 2008, and the best you can buy right now is, what, 5GHz?

      Sure we're achieving more MIPs, but we're doing so by adding more processor cores in parallel, not by doubling processing speed. Core clock speed and transistor counts aren't doing the old doubling thing anymore.
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      There is an area of a normal brain that lets the owner know the object works and needs to be left alone. Not all of us have it. It is like being colorblind.

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      09-29-2012 12:28 AM #94
      I was just thinking about exactly this when I was stuck in traffic yesterday.

      Like Maximum Bob, I was thinking in about 20 years, we will all be just chillaxing in cars while our cars' super-duper cruise controls will take care all of the speed and turns.

      We just have to select a route and make any impromptu changes.

    20. Member Harold's Avatar
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      09-29-2012 03:34 AM #95
      Bring on the auto cars. I bet they all have a self preserve , accident avoidance as a priority. So when I come along in my vintage car and cut in , they will brake to avoid, I win.
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      09-29-2012 04:23 AM #96
      Quote Originally Posted by turbinepowered View Post
      So where is my 20GHz processor? 800 MHz was available in 1999; 20 GHz should have been achieved around 2008, and the best you can buy right now is, what, 5GHz?

      Sure we're achieving more MIPs, but we're doing so by adding more processor cores in parallel, not by doubling processing speed. Core clock speed and transistor counts aren't doing the old doubling thing anymore.
      You seem to be confusing Moore's Law.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

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      09-29-2012 09:16 AM #97
      Accidents can never be entirely eliminated; there will always be someone who comes out on the short end of the stick no matter what because you're playing the odds. The question is, how much would having automated cars reduce the overall rate of accidents (the odds), even during the transition period when some people will have them and others will still be driving themselves? I would think it would be quite a bit. After all, even the best of us don't have continuous 360-degree vision.

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      09-29-2012 11:16 AM #98
      Quote Originally Posted by hardcore4life View Post
      and when gps signal goes down ......





      People drive in water because the gps tell them to do it.....The other day i was driving on the highway and my gps told me to take a left turn on the middle of the long ass bridge
      I'm going to re-quote in bold this time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
      The system combines information gathered from Google Street View[citation needed] with artificial intelligence software that combines input from video cameras inside the car, a LIDAR sensor on top of the vehicle, radar sensors on the front of the vehicle and a position sensor attached to one of the rear wheels that helps locate the car's position on the map.
      These cars don't use GPS to avoid other cars.

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      09-29-2012 11:38 AM #99
      Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
      You seem to be confusing Moore's Law.
      I'm certain he was confusing it as well, stating that the "processing speed" is what doubles.

      I'm well aware that what is actually doubling is the amount of transistors that can be fitted on a single chip; as I said, MIPS are going up and up, but processing speed is not.

      If "processor speed" were what doubled every two years, I'd have my 20 GHz chip. I don't. It isn't. Instead I have a nice quad-core 4.x GHz chip. Which is nice too.
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      There is an area of a normal brain that lets the owner know the object works and needs to be left alone. Not all of us have it. It is like being colorblind.

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      09-29-2012 02:27 PM #100
      Quote Originally Posted by Sortafast View Post
      I'm going to re-quote in bold this time.



      These cars don't use GPS to avoid other cars.




      Last edited by hardcore4life; 09-29-2012 at 02:30 PM.

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