1. This is the last week to take part in the survey commissioned by Network Rail in conjunction with Middlesex University on the subject of suicide prevention on the railways - and as it's such an important topic (and a very well constructed survey) we wanted to give this particular survey a bit more visibility. You can find out more and take part in the survey if you wish by taking a look at this thread - deadline is 16th September.

SELF-DRIVING CARS

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by matacaster, 13 Jul 2019.

  1. matacaster

    matacaster Member

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    Car manufacturers the world over are expending vast sums of money on self-driving car technology, which they will doubtless want to recover from the poor motorist in price hikes.

    Who is actually driving this? (no pun intended)
    -no one I know wants a self-driven car
    -perhaps haulage companies, but regardless, why include (probably mandate eventually) it on
    all cars?
    -is this a bilderburg / eu style stitch up to remove freedom to drive ones own car?
     
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  3. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    What are people supposed to say to that?
     
  4. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    The basic idea is that nobody will own a self driving car. Instead one will be waiting for your in the morning when you leave the house and there will always be a free one nearby ready to pick you up at any point later on.

    While you are not using the car instead of taking up a parking space it will drive itself to the next person.

    Think of it more of an evolution of the taxi rather than car ownership. And by not needing a driver the cost will be significantly lower, lower even than owning a car and driving yourself.
     
  5. Adsy125

    Adsy125 Member

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    First point who wants it? Well... It may have escaped your notice that there are a huge number of people who are unable to drive due to medical conditions, and our public transport infrastructure is quite poor, so it will allow these people to use cars. Haulage companies, taxi firms and bus companies will also be able to save significant costs as well.

    I would also guess that the 165000 casualties on Britain's roads each year, generally caused by human error would appreciate it, as would the NHS. The 26,000 who end up dead or with life changing injuries may prefer to be alive over your freedom to drive around a polluting metal box.

    Also, why would you not ban humans from driving eventually? Is your ability to drive instead of a computer worth even a single life?
     
  6. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Are you advocating banning doing anything that is anything potentially fatal then? Motorcycles, sports, cycling etc etc?
     
  7. Adsy125

    Adsy125 Member

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    No, just something where Human stupidity kills or seriously injures 26,000 people in the UK each and every year.
     
  8. plarailfan

    plarailfan Member

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    It's not only car technology that is changing. As part of my job, I operate a floor washing machine and I wonder, if this little feller might put me out of a job one day eventually ? r
    I can't yet work out, what happens when a long term obstruction comes about, maybe a flooded road that is impassable for the car, or customers blocking the isles with trolleys while they scour the supermarket shelf for xyz biscuits, etc. At what point will the robot become bored with the delay and think about diverting around the problem ?
    This truck takes the "mick" look how big an area it has to turn around, near the end of the clip, at 1:43 when every driver knows full well you rarely have that amount of space to manouver, in a typical builders yard with pallets everywhere, etc
    I expect the technology will come around one day, but I'm sure there will be a lot of scientific hurdles along the way....
     
  9. underbank

    underbank Member

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    It "may" happen in a few designated towns & cities where the infrastructure can be changed to accommodate them, (i.e. separated pathways like guided bus routes) but it will be many decades, if ever, that there'll be driverless cars everywhere in the UK. How will they program them to deal with the unusual, like meeting a herd of cows coming the other way on a country road - if it just stops, it'll get damaged by the cows - how does it know it needs to reverse out of the way and where does it reverse to?

    As for there being one parked outside your house waiting for you to go to work/school- just how many will there be? You'd need huge numbers for peak times which will then be sat empty at other times - sounds like trains today where a 12 coach is needed for the 7-45 to town but then goes around carrying air for the rest of the day until the 5-15 return. Is that actually economically viable?
     
  10. trainmania100

    trainmania100 Established Member

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    I wouldn't want a self driving car. The roads are dangerous enough as it is
     
  11. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Can't be any worse than the current scenario where most people leave their cars parked for 95%+ of the time.
     
  12. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Ah. But the roads are generally dangerous because of the human involvement... ;)
     
  13. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Yes it can if there's more demand due to convenience etc - people will, say, order one for a rainy morning when they usually walk/cycle to work/station so more cars needed and more congestion. At least when a car is parked at the destination it's not on the roads - a driverless car will use scarce road space to return empty to its' car park/charging space. Likewise elderly or disabled may use them to get out more. Will people use buses or just order a car- imagine 10 extra cars instead of 10 people on bus. But that's if it ever happens which I doubt and if they're affordable which I doubt.
     
  14. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    If you virtually eliminate the chance of a collision with a car, there should be a huge increase in people using bicycles, electric bikes, electric scooters etc. At any time where there is the potential for congestion, you get people to share vehicles (by banning or charging for sole occupancy at those times) that would be able to call at people's houses in a roughly direct route so that nobody spends much more time travelling compared to a direct taxi. This should be seamless to the passenger. The computer algorithm should be able to work out the most efficient way of optimising personal journey times whilst minimising congestion.
     
  15. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Why? There are lots of traffic free routes that have little use. You are also assuming that ALL vehicles would be self drive if you want to eliminate collisions - how many decades do you think that will take? Have you ever been to, say, Amsterdam where there is virtually no traffic - the footpaths etc are crazy with maniac cyclists, and people actually cycle on train platforms and even onto trains - it's a free for all. Be careful what you wish for. I was only there 3 days and saw several accidents requiring medical attention involving cyclists.
     
  16. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I'm very familiar with the Netherlands, am a regular visitor, and have been studying Dutch cycle provision for many years. The following blogs show how good things are there:

    https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/ (Dutch native)
    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/ (Brit who emigrated to the Netherlands for the cycling)

    I even have a Dutch bank account so I can use the OV-Fiets cycle hire scheme. Amsterdam is often mentioned as it is a tourist town but it actually has a relatively low cycling rate for the Netherlands. There are many towns with higher cycling rates and better infrastructure.

    Anyone with a moderate interest in the promotion of utility cycling knows that British infrastructure is mostly inadequate for the journeys that people typically want to make. I.e. the ones they currently do by car.
     
  17. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    It's a free market with plenty of competition - if people don't buy them they won't make them. But before making big investments in developing the technology, they will have done (and are doing) market research to try and find out if people are likely to buy them.

    Like other accident avoidance technology e.g. anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, radar assisted braking etc., self driving features will slowly get offered as options and then become standard features. Later on the important safety features from the technology will become mandatory on new vehicles (like seat belts/anti-lock brakes/air bags did years ago).
     
  18. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    Self driving doesn’t mean that it’s not polluting, or metal
     
  19. Adsy125

    Adsy125 Member

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    No unfortunately not, cars are fundamentally inefficient, but self driving cars are an improvement. No speeding, drink driving, not paying attention when the kids are shouting etc, etc.
     
  20. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

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    I can't remember the exact words but wasn't it Henry Ford who said something like "if we give the public what they want, all we'll do is make a faster horse"? Just before he began to sell the Model T?

    No-one asked in advance for radar cruise control, ABS, rear-view cameras etc - but when someone invented them and people began to use them, the demand was created.

    I for one, can't wait for the day when cars have self-driving capability (note: I didn't say self driving cars - I still want the option to drive myself.

    1) The pink, squidgy, angry, emotional, proud, subjective, competitive, tired, distracted thing behind the wheel right now can be improved upon. One day, computers will do a much better job - some years away, but they will do.
    2) The 4-hour schlep up the M1 to see relatives is not fun. The M25 is not fun. Someone/thing doing it for me will be a pleasure. But the A57 snake pass - I'll still want to drive that myself.

    Both cars in our family have adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and auto-braking/accelerating technology. I think its called Level 2 autonomy (but not sure) and it takes a LOT of stress out of long, busy journeys. Not having to brake and accelerate in traffic makes a surprising difference. And knowing that you won't run into the car in front is incredibly reassuring.

    Bring it on.
     
  21. cb a1

    cb a1 Member

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    This is a version of the long-standing 'Travelling Salesman Problem'.
    My opinion is that solving this for many thousands of vehicles whilst simultaneously trying to minimise congestion (also NP-hard) across probably multiple vehicle providers who may or may not be willing for their algorithms to talk to one another is less likely than self-driving cars.
     
  22. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Self-driving vehicles will probably need to be regulated or operated directly by transport authorities, especially in major cities, given that for the most part they will replace buses and integration with rail and metro systems might be easier.
     
  23. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    You certainly have some nice dreams.

    But no, that is not the basic idea - car sharing is a topic that is orthogonal to that of self-driving. The impetus for SD cars comes from the USA where the standard of driving is atrocious for a 1st World nation (accident rate is something like an order of magnitude worse than the UK, despite the lower traffic density). In some states the driving test is a joke, like just doing a circuit of a parking lot while the tester watches. Also, US roads are very boring, but at the same time fairly empty, wide and straight - ideal for SD vehicles.

    Like taxis, in the rush hour there won't be enough and outside it they will be parked. But irrelevant to SD tech, as I said above.

    More dreams.
     
  24. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    Cars have never been safer.
    My cars got more air bags that I can mention. It even tells me when I need a tea break on a journey with an annoying bong.
    Unfortunately where cars go wrong is when the fleshy bit behind the wheel gets involved.
    People are in too much of a rush in today’s world & take risks.
    A couple of years ago I overtook a lorry on a straight single carriage road near Tamworth & a car pulled out of a side road. I still don’t know how we all missed each other. There was probably a door mirrors width between the lorry, my car & the car that came out the junction.
    I was still shaking when I arrived at Tamworth 10 minutes later.
    I’m not saying the world is ready for driverless cars yet but it’ll happen & sooner than we think.
    Life is precious but can be snuffed out in a second.
    Remember it the next time you are in a rush.
     
  25. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    You wouldn't need so many because we don't all start work at the same time or travel the same distance to and from work; there would be some of these things freed up from having dropped people off earlier and also some from those that have dropped off reverse flow commuters.
     
  26. DerekC

    DerekC Member

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    I wonder what you mean by "fundamentally inefficient". If we are talking about fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions, then a medium size car with 4 up is actually pretty good - and getting better all the time. However, sadly the reason why overall fuel use for car transport has stopped going down is that more and more people are buying SUVs and crossovers - and of course a Range Rover with 1-up is ridiculous. Can autonomous cars help with this? They might, if they enable car sharing. Also people don't have to worry about having a big car in the drive. And the (supposedly) better passenger protection of a big car won't be such an issue if car travel is much safer anyway.
     
  27. Adsy125

    Adsy125 Member

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    A bus carrying 50 people takes up the same road space as 3 cars carrying 3-15 people. And cars also encourage people not to walk or cycle distances which they wouldn't get use public transport for without a car.
     
  28. Kingspanner

    Kingspanner Member

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    "Likewise elderly or disabled may use them to get out more". You say that like it is a bad thing. Self-driving cars could be empowering for many who cannot currently travel. It would be easy to provide accessible vehicles, especially if not tied to the current layout.
    I will put on my hard hat and say, as soon as self driving cars are on average safer than humans commit fully and ban human drivers altogether. Operate the whole thing on an Uber type model. Order and pay for the trip on a mobile device. Identify yourself to the car using your phone and a PIN. When not in use the cars charge in the eqivalent of a taxi rank or go back to their depot for cleaning and charging. Because they'll be electric.
    Have all the cars owned by public utilities or a corporation. No more car insurance or tax or driving licences or related offences. No more vehicle theft, dangerous driving or boy racers. Redesign urban spaces, demolish city centre car parks, impose scrupulously observed low speed limits in built up areas.
    I could go on, and I suspect I'll have to.
     
  29. 507 001

    507 001 Established Member

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    I find the idea of a self driving car to be absolutely horrendous.

    I like to drive. I hate being a passenger.

    I am by no means a technophobe, but I can’t help wonder if this sudden drive toward automating everything is a really bad idea.

    I’ve just finished playing ‘Detroit: Become Human’ on PS4, which covers a lot of this subject matter. At one point a something-like 70% unemployment rate is mentioned. An all time high it says. Is that really what we want, just for the sake of convenience?

    Sadly, a lot of legislation has just been passed by the EU (I’m a remainer for what it’s worth) that seems to be the beginning of a campaign with a single purpose, outlawing Human beings from driving cars.
     
  30. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    This is the kind of utopia I could sign up to.
     
  31. cb a1

    cb a1 Member

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    Fascinating. Can you point me the right direction on where you read this? I try to keep abreast of developments like this and this is the first I've heard of it.
     

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