Why should computers drive?

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  #1  
Old 10-04-15, 06:32 PM
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Why should computers drive?

I just caught part of a demonstration where a computer was doing the driving. I guess I just don't get it, what can they do better than a good driver. Granted, there are people out there that shouldn't be driving, but turning the controlls over to a computer just doesn't seem to be the solution.

Example, years back while driving between parked cars on a residential street I suddenly hit the brakes and stopped. Then a ball came rolling out between the parked cars in front of me followed by a little boy chasing it. I stopped, not because of what I saw, but because the little boy on the sidewalk suddenly disappeared.

I consider myself a very aware driver, I watch in front, in back, and all around and it has worked for me for over 50 years. I know computers will eventually be better than we are at many things, but I doubt seriously that they are ready today to match my safety record.

So, what is it that they expect to gain by letting a computer do the driving? No DWI?

Bud
 
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  #2  
Old 10-04-15, 08:13 PM
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Good question why should computers drive? I can see a robotic car like K.I.T.T. of Knight Rider being used by people who should never drive like those with epilepsy or heart conditions or even perhaps diabetics who are not in control of their diabetes. Such people should really never drive unless they are very closely monitored and sometimes not at all. Those people in the future could still have a vehicle that could be monitored remotely in case of problems. It is just a matter of time when technology gets better so that everyone could have a vehicle.

I could also see a time when cab drivers will no longer be used and buses will have no driver. Is the technology there yet no not really it needs improving but Google, those same people who bring search results, is working on it and is a leader in the field. Not long from now though perhaps in the next 10 years I can see the technology being there and being good enough for manufacturers to start making driver-less cars. Of course too the technology may be there then but government may put a stop to it it just depends on attitudes in the future.

Also some people may think of this technology as being wrong and taking away jobs from people so it may just fade away into nothing. Whatever you think about the technology though you have to admit it is fascinating as Spock from Star Trek would say.
 
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Old 10-05-15, 04:36 AM
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... people who should never drive like those with epilepsy or heart conditions or even perhaps diabetics who are not in control of their diabetes.
From that statement it is obvious that you do not know a whole lot about these diseases. Most epileptics do not have grand mal seizures and most epileptics are on anti-seizure medications. Also, most are aware of when a seizure is imminent and would pull over in that particular event.

Same is true of most heart conditions. They are NOT invalids and can live perfectly normal lives within their limits and that includes safe driving. As for the diabetics, there are very few instances when a diabetic person would be a danger while driving and just for the record the majority of people with diabetes do not have all that good of control over their blood sugar.

My daddy continued to drive for more than twenty years after being diagnosed with diabetes AND after having both of his legs amputated below the knee. He drove in an urban area and on limited access highways as well as the city streets. He never had a problem, was never in an accident and never got any kind of citation for improper driving.

I also knew a young woman that had epilepsy and a brain tumor that continued to drive for years after her tumor was removed. When she felt that she was no longer safe behind the wheel she sold her car.

Don't believe everything you see on the television!
 
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Old 10-05-15, 04:43 AM
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I'm old, but a hawk on new technology. I attended a seminar years ago where the speaker said, (as best I can remember) "you are all here because you know the technology will make great advances over the next 10 years. I'm here to tell you it won't take 10 years but 2 or 3." But I think those research people trying to bring self driving cars to the market place have never driven in NYC or the Holland Tunnel. K.I.T.T. might be able to find a faster way home at 3pm, but it takes a lot more than on board sensors to navigate.

"I could also see a time when cab drivers will no longer be used" That one made me laugh. It would be against the law to program a computer to drive like a cab driver.

GPS is just a small part of driving safely. I for one would not want to be on the road with 10% driverless vehicles, let alone see my grandkids walking to school.

Bud
 
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Old 10-05-15, 05:02 AM
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Who pays the ticket if the computer miscalculates
 
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Old 10-05-15, 05:56 AM
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My Two Cents:

There's an app for that too!!!??? Oh Really? Yep!

I'm all in favor of technology too! To a point that is. When is enough enough???

Almost everything has a computer, chip or micro chip in it!...rogram:

Even seen in popular science and popular mechanics magazines ads with an oral-b toothbrush that's Wi-Fi enabled! One high end BBQ that's both voice and Wi-Fi enabled. Fully automatic cooking with an app to smart phone to advise when foods done. An iron with an app and Wi-Fi enable too!!!??? Good Grief!

Small consumer products either all already have chips in them or will soon all have these gimmicks. Question then is when is enough enough already? Does one really have a need for them all or even some of them? Not Me! Some are just computer programs to keep tech folks busy & make $!

Personally, auto driving is not yet fully developed for the streets or highways. How does it know there's a stop sign ahead?......2 way or 4 way stop? Who's next to go? What's over a crest on a hill? Flooded area ahead! Slow Down zone ahead! (???) List goes on and on.

Guess one has to forget driving with cautions ahead. Get ready and be prepared for frequent hard breaking stops!!!... What's ahead? The tech twilight zone!......GI2
 
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Old 10-05-15, 06:01 AM
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Where I doubt that "beam me up Scotty" will ever become reality I do accept that computers will one day do the driving for us. I just don't think that will be tomorrow or 20 years from now. Like Hydrogen as a fuel, you need a lot of fuel stations to make it work. For a computer to do the driving you will need GPS on steroids.

They will also need to solve the computer hacking problems. Can you imagine the laughs the hackers would have altering the inputs the computer uses. Not to mention the fatalities.

Mark, would the computers need a driver's license, insurance, and photo ID?

Bud
 
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Old 10-05-15, 06:15 AM
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Engine fails to start??? Voice say's you got a dead battery and you ain't going nowhere....HA HA!

You got a flat! Once again you ain't going nowhere...

Car suddenly pulls off to side of road and stops. Engine shuts off. Voice says you're tire is going flat! Use the :helpme 2: app to call tow truck!...

Dam 'Puters!!!....

 
  #9  
Old 10-05-15, 07:26 AM
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Up here in snow country the computer listens to the snow forecast and refuses to start, risk too high. As you spin off the road the computer asks you, what the H is black ice.

Bud
 
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Old 10-05-15, 07:35 AM
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One thing to remember, when futurists make predictions they are almost always wrong, especially regarding the time line.

I remember an issue of Mechanix Illustrated from 1957. (Yes, they spelled mechanics with the x rather than cs at the end.) The cover showed a home with a clear plastic dome and clear tubes running around through which personal vehicles traveled at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The headline was, "This is the house you will live in tomorrow!" The article showed the modern kitchen that was connected to a central kitchen somewhere distant from the house and fully cooked meals were dispatched to your home on request, you did no cooking in your home. The dirty dishes were then sent back to the central location so you never had to clean up after a meal. Well, here we are almost sixty years later and that idea is still just a dream.

Or consider the 1962 World's Fair that was held in Seattle. It had similar ideas that have not come to fruition. The promise of atomic-generated electricity that would be too cheap to even bother metering. How about the personal jet pack? The elimination of almost all disease? An average lifespan of 120 years? The irrigation of vast deserts to grow food enough to totally eliminate malnutrition across the planet? The elimination of all war? Space travel to the moon and beyond as a family vacation? Heck, even the thought of a month long vacation for families is still fairly rare throughout the world of today.

It wasn't all that long ago that futurists were predicting that major expressways would place your family car on a railcar and transport it at speeds up to 500 mph while the family rode in a plush lounge car with all the comforts of home. Plus, the car would never actually stop, you would drive onto a ramp where the control of the car would be transferred to the train and automatically drive the car onto the railcar and allow the family to exit the car and go to the railcar lounge. When approaching the destination the family would re-enter the car and then automatically be shunted onto an off ramp and then go their merry way.

Or how about the various methods of controlling the weather? Or the schools that would telepathically "download" knowledge into student's brains while they slept? Robots that looked like Robbie in every home to do the physically hard and repetitious chores? The idea that a family would have a single breadwinner that worked no more than four or five hours a day, three days a week was a common one.

But one thing that ALL the futurists forgot was the insane increase of population on this finite earth. The dismissed the problems of resource allocation, crime, pollution and greed. In short, they didn't think at all of REAL problems or how to alleviate them.
 
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Old 10-05-15, 07:41 AM
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Garbage in - garbage out. The quality of the programming is going to make or break it. Let's say that it becomes fully functional & perfected. Does that mean that we can get rid of the DMV & required auto insurance since the owner is no longer the driver & he or she shouldn't be held responsible? I'm all for getting rid of the DMV no matter how many jobs are lost. Those people get too nasty sometimes.
 
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Old 10-05-15, 10:32 AM
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Wifey was backing her car up into a turn around using the on board camera instead of her brain. Backed directly into my Ram 3500 dually. $2400 damage to New Honda CRV. None to Bigbird. I later explained anything inside those yellow lines she was going to hit. Too fast technology, IMO.
 
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Old 10-05-15, 11:01 AM
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I also have eyes all around my head and notice everything however, I think this is the future because way too many people drive around distracted, because they're too busy texting or whatever, too many are driving drunk or high or just too tired, and some are just plain mindless. I see this often where they go thru red lights or stop signs, and they're looking straight ahead but don't seem to see where they're going , they remind me of zombies!
Then there's the aggressive drivers, too. I don't think a day goes by that I don't see a car on the news that's upside down or mangled into a ball of metal.
Don't know if computers driving cars will be better, but can't be much worse.
 
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Old 10-05-15, 11:18 AM
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There sure would be a lot of unhappy travelers if the computer obeyed the sped limits. Ever try to drive at 25 mph. The good old Garden State Parkway rarely allows the high speed lane to drop below 75, unless it goes to almost stop for reasons ahead.

Becky, although I agree we can identify many people who should not be driving and perhaps a computer could do better, I suspect it would be a small percentage and not nearly enough to justify the expense of a full computer system.

And that is what really got me thinking, what are the benefits to the driving population? The current system should be punishing those who are bad drivers. Loading the cost of this computer system onto everyone else would be punishing the wrong people.

Bud
 
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Old 10-05-15, 03:23 PM
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I can see the downfalls too as was mentioned but also the benefits for those who might have difficulties driving. As I mentioned before those who have serious health conditions way more serious than most and who have been told by a doctor that under no circumstances may you drive. If I were to use this vehicle though I too would be concerned about hackers hacking the computer system on the car. I think if I had no other choice I seriously would prefer a horse and buggy over something I wasn't sure of.

One thing though I am sure of technology whether we like it or not is taking over more jobs and not just in this country either. In Japan for instance I have heard that many restaurants now have robots as servers rather than pay for help to serve their customers. High speed rail may not really be here but in many countries like Germany for instance it already is here and here to stay. McDonald's in this country may eliminate most of its staff and replace them with automated order takers, they are seriously considering it in high minimum wage states.
 
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Old 10-05-15, 04:58 PM
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I just thought of another good reason to have computers drive. Not only can we eliminate the need for the DMV & auto insurance, we can't be arrested for DWI.

Who remembers the Johnny Mercer song, "One For The Road" from the musical "The Sky's The Limit" sung by Fred Astaire & later by Frank Sinatra & Dan Dailey.
 
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Old 10-10-15, 05:43 AM
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I just caught part of a demonstration where a computer was doing the driving. I guess I just don't get it, what can they do better than a good driver. Granted, there are people out there that shouldn't be driving, but turning the controlls over to a computer just doesn't seem to be the solution.
The number one reason is so I can take a nap on my way to work!

There are going to be several advantages once the technology is completely developed. The computer will have a much faster reaction time. That allows the car to avoid accidents. It also allows vehicles to travel closer together. That will reduce congestion on the roadway. Computers won't be subject to distracted driving or cause rubber necking delays.
 
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Old 10-10-15, 06:00 AM
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LOL, you being in NJ that is funny. How can they get closer together when they are already touching bumpers (almost). I doubt traffic on the GSP has slowed down since I lived there and 1 car length at 70 mph is not safe regardless of who is driving.

Crossing the Tapan Zee on one return trip to Maine the brake lights came on way up in front of me. I went for the brakes even though they were what I thought was a long ways away. Good thing, because the progression of brake lights came my way like a jet. I was able to get over onto the median since we were still on the approach section, but once all was stopped there was zero space between cars and several collisions. Shocked by how fast the brake lights came at me I did some calculations later and a rough estimate was about 300 mph. Unless my computer was monitoring all of the computers in front of me I' not sure an automated system would have stopped in time, or been able to opt for a steel grated median.

Then there is the learning curve. Introducing this technology will cause a lot of accidents in the beginning so who decides when some cars can be converted while others are not?

I love technology, but I don't like fly by wire. And I refuse to vacation in NJ.

Bud
 
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Old 10-10-15, 06:15 AM
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LOL, you being in NJ that is funny. How can they get closer together when they are already touching bumpers (almost). I doubt traffic on the GSP has slowed down since I lived there and 1 car length at 70 mph is not safe regardless of who is driving.
Hah! This is true, but I meant follow more closely and be safe while doing it. And the GSP has slowed down, but that is because of congestion and accidents.

Bud, the idea is that the computer will always know the the safe distance between the car it is driving and the car in front of it. What happens several cars ahead isn't relevant. You had trouble stopping in time because you were too close to the car in front of you.

Then there is the learning curve. Introducing this technology will cause a lot of accidents in the beginning so who decides when some cars can be converted while others are not?
What is there to learn? The automated vehicles will need to operate seamlessly with the rest of the fleet. The humans drivers will not have to adjust to them being there.

You are assuming the computers won't be able to drive as well as a human, but they will have to if they are going to be on the road. So if they get on the road, they will perform well. If they can't perform well, they won't get on the road.
 
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Old 10-10-15, 06:45 AM
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@dp "You had trouble stopping in time because you were too close to the car in front of you." I'm not a bumper to bumper driver so if 3 or 4 car lengths wasn't enough, then what distance would a computer have selected, 5? That doesn't work on high speed highways trying to empty big cities at rush hour.
@ dp "What happens several cars ahead isn't relevant." I disagree. Safe drivers process every bit of information they can, vision, sound, traffic density, neighborhood, time of day and more. How we drive and how we react is an accumulation of experience and it will take a long time before the computers can match that.

People aren't going to want a computer system that drives at the speed limit and gets them home safely. They will want one that drives at 90 mph and gets them home 30 minutes sooner.

Just having fun here as NJ is easy to pick on. So, how would a computer change lanes to access an exit when none of the vehicles on either side will provide a space? If those computers are talking to each other, no problem. But if those other cars are being operated by commuters who are already 10 minutes behind schedule, there won't be a car length to find.

Bud
 
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Old 10-10-15, 07:23 AM
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@dp "You had trouble stopping in time because you were too close to the car in front of you." I'm not a bumper to bumper driver so if 3 or 4 car lengths wasn't enough, then what distance would a computer have selected, 5? That doesn't work on high speed highways trying to empty big cities at rush hour.
You need to travel 3 seconds behind someone to be at a safe distance. That's the amount of time it takes for you to react to the car in front of you slowing down. An computer driven car does not need that much time to react so they car drive much closer.

@ dp "What happens several cars ahead isn't relevant." I disagree. Safe drivers process every bit of information they can, vision, sound, traffic density, neighborhood, time of day and more. How we drive and how we react is an accumulation of experience and it will take a long time before the computers can match that.
What happens several cars ahead isn't relevant for the computer because it will always be traveling at a safe distance. You need to look ahead (as do I) because you are too close to the car in front of you.

So, how would a computer change lanes to access an exit when none of the vehicles on either side will provide a space?
Good question! I would have to imagine that when the computer driven cars are in the minority, the system would operate as an auto-pilot that you can disengage. There was a time when people had the same opinion as you when it came to automatic elevators. A lot of people would refuse to even get on them.

I see so many upsides to this technology. I can't wait to have my own self driving vehicle. Less traffic, less accidents. The ability to relax on your way to and from work. That makes a huge difference. You could even stick your kids in the car and send them to grandma's house without getting in with them. When self driving cars become ubiquitous, you won't even need to own one. They would all act as taxis.
 
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Old 10-10-15, 08:10 AM
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I bought a new SUV recently that came with the "safety alert features" that includes a forward collision alert. I don't really need them and I can turn them off, but when it's on, as soon as I get to a certain distance from the car in front of me, at a certain speed, first a car symbol shows up and if I get too close, it starts beeping. Point is, the computer needs 0 time to react. It's immediate, unlike people. So when computers can drive a car by itself, there will probably be 0 crashes, providing everyone has one.
 
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Old 10-10-15, 08:39 AM
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One of those convenient conversion numbers is 60 mph = 88 ft/second. So a 3 second gap would mean all cars operated by drivers should follow at least 264 feet at 60. At 75 that would increases to 330 ft.

So the computer is going to wake you up and say it needs to change lanes and it needs your help?

@ dp "You could even stick your kids in the car and send them to grandma's house without getting in with them." Who is going to help the computer change lanes?

@ Becky "It's immediate, unlike people." Ok, so 20 computers in a row with minimal spacing all determine they have to hit the brakes at 75 mph. So what does the driver following this line of pcs do when he is following at less than 300 ft.

It is obvious that all of the very slow reacting drivers aren't following 2 or 3 hundred feet behind the cars in front, but we seem to be doing a reasonable job. Why, because we are not just watching the bumper in front of us.

It will be those safety alert type features that will be introduced slowly over time that ultimately will give the computer enough information to survive on the highway. But to expect computer driven cars to perform like KITT will take a generation or more.

Bud
 
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Old 10-10-15, 05:25 PM
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Another thought: The Feds & local police would be given back doors, to the computers that controlled the car, for national security, of course. Everyone's location would be known through GPS & the ability to stop any car anywhere would be available, to them.
 
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