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Old 26 Feb 2016, 18:04 (Ref:3618056)   #1
niebz
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Autonomous Cars, Yes or No?

Hi Everyone

Hugely controversial topic here regarding Autonomous cars.

How do you feel about autonomous cars? I understand that everyone here enjoys driving however what if you could half journey times, put your feet up while your car drives you to and from work. Alongside reduced deaths and number of accidents would you swap?

Would you consider a self driving car as a secondary car?

Or are you against the idea completely?

I understand that the technology isn't fully ready however lets imagine a what if scenario.

Thanks!!
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Old 27 Feb 2016, 12:05 (Ref:3618233)   #2
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Originally Posted by niebz View Post
Hi Everyone

Hugely controversial topic here regarding Autonomous cars.

How do you feel about autonomous cars? I understand that everyone here enjoys driving however what if you could half journey times, put your feet up while your car drives you to and from work. Alongside reduced deaths and number of accidents would you swap?

Would you consider a self driving car as a secondary car?

Or are you against the idea completely?

I understand that the technology isn't fully ready however lets imagine a what if scenario.

Thanks!!
If one considers the core realities, then the automobile is effectively dead.

In the UK, for example, all M ways are choked: and the problems worsen when towns and cities are entered.

The future probably lies in turning the major motorways into railways and either hiring a robot taxi when one arrives at the town/city destination; or a simple self drive electric personal conveyance a bit like a golf buggy with roof and sides. Hire here; leave there. If you like a bit the same as Boris Bikes.

In any case, the motorcar changed lifestyle: instead of localised communities (A bit like expanded villages ), where people lived worked shopped, socialised and played, increasingly, as space became rare, life moved increasingly to an "Out of Town" lifestyle.

More and more people commuted to work, often some distance: shopping was increasingly out-of-town too.

Now, due to the dreaded internet, more and more work from home, shop online and even (The younger especially) live a quasi sort of cyber-existence, particularly insofar as their social lives are concerned.

Therefore the need to travel decreases year on year.

A problem with technology and technologists, today, and since 1980 as I have been deeply immersed in Tech, is what I call "Latest Toy Syndrome": what this means is burning to apply the latest technology, even when in actuality, it is travelling along a pointless road to a useless conclusion and application.

One of the very best examples was given me by a very bright engineer: who said, "The trouble with these young upstarts in technology, is they all want to design things with multiple microprocessors, the latest chips etc and come up with useless devices such as a CCTV system for shaving! Have they not heard of a mirror?".

Personally, since I am old and started driving on drum brakes which faded, cart springing (two lateral leaf springs, one at the front and one at the back!), cross-ply tyres and no heating, air con or screen washers, let alone heated screens and best of all, little or no syncromesh then my philosophy is if you cannot bloody drive, then stay off the increasingly clogged roads and leave it to those who damned can!

For an increasingly short time...
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Old 27 Feb 2016, 21:30 (Ref:3618309)   #3
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Im all for it, as long as I have the option to drive manually when I choose. I commute almost as hour each way and Id love to be able to set the car to auto-drive, kick back and read a book, look at stuff on my phone or take a nap.
Who knows, maybe at some point the technology will advance where highway speeds here in the states could be 100 mph or more.
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Old 28 Feb 2016, 10:00 (Ref:3618382)   #4
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Originally Posted by Bakemono View Post
Im all for it, as long as I have the option to drive manually when I choose. I commute almost as hour each way and Id love to be able to set the car to auto-drive, kick back and read a book, look at stuff on my phone or take a nap.
Who knows, maybe at some point the technology will advance where highway speeds here in the states could be 100 mph or more.
Nice idea.

However, remember, what happens when something goes awry? Software glitch: electrical failure: static wipes out an essential CMoS chip?

Quite a few years ago, I flew back from Milan to London, on the flight deck of a brand new Boeing 757, complete with the then latest HUDs and computerised flight systems. Acting as a Devil's Advocate, and then being deeply engaged in silicon fab and ICT applications, I asked the captain what would happen in the case of a lightning strike taking out the main flight control computer: "Oh" he said, "We switch to the back-up!".

"OK" is replied: so what happens if both computers are taken out?"

"We would have to fly the airplane manually, Sir; and would be far too busy to be talking to you!"

However, the unspoken reality is de-skilling: as modern automobiles have increasingly adopted a range of assistive technologies (ABS, Traction Control) etc, drivers have become increasingly de-skilled.

Having suffered the misfortune of driving, repeatedly along the 101 freeway, thru the San Franciso Bay area, between San Jose and 'Frisco in the rush hour, with all lanes clogged bumper to bumper with mobikes, trucks, panel vans, cars, buses and Big Mac supertrucks, if one driver made any serious error or suffered any sort of failure, then the thought of my being squashed as a sandwich filling by all that metal travelling at circa 50-60 MPH was frightening!

In extremis, I could kick the cruise out; but I still had control.

Lovely scary thought: there you are bowling along reading your book or dozing and a chime announces a meassage which states "Windows 25 has unfortunately suffered a serious system error and will re-boot shortly,. Microsoft apologises for this unavoidable problem."

Let's just hope you have the time to read it!
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Old 28 Feb 2016, 18:46 (Ref:3618464)   #5
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Originally Posted by SidewaysFeltham View Post
Nice idea.

However, remember, what happens when something goes awry? Software glitch: electrical failure: static wipes out an essential CMoS chip?

Quite a few years ago, I flew back from Milan to London, on the flight deck of a brand new Boeing 757, complete with the then latest HUDs and computerised flight systems. Acting as a Devil's Advocate, and then being deeply engaged in silicon fab and ICT applications, I asked the captain what would happen in the case of a lightning strike taking out the main flight control computer: "Oh" he said, "We switch to the back-up!".

"OK" is replied: so what happens if both computers are taken out?"

"We would have to fly the airplane manually, Sir; and would be far too busy to be talking to you!"

However, the unspoken reality is de-skilling: as modern automobiles have increasingly adopted a range of assistive technologies (ABS, Traction Control) etc, drivers have become increasingly de-skilled.

Having suffered the misfortune of driving, repeatedly along the 101 freeway, thru the San Franciso Bay area, between San Jose and 'Frisco in the rush hour, with all lanes clogged bumper to bumper with mobikes, trucks, panel vans, cars, buses and Big Mac supertrucks, if one driver made any serious error or suffered any sort of failure, then the thought of my being squashed as a sandwich filling by all that metal travelling at circa 50-60 MPH was frightening!

In extremis, I could kick the cruise out; but I still had control.

Lovely scary thought: there you are bowling along reading your book or dozing and a chime announces a meassage which states "Windows 25 has unfortunately suffered a serious system error and will re-boot shortly,. Microsoft apologises for this unavoidable problem."

Let's just hope you have the time to read it!
Very true, thats a risk but thats why I want to have the ability to switch the system off and driving manually.
You spoke of driver de-skilling. Considering all the bad drivers who I encounter on the roads every day who are playing on their phone, doing their makeup, eating while driving and all in all just not paying attention when they are driving you have to ask yourself, whats the bigger risk: human drivers or computer drivers?
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Old 28 Feb 2016, 19:39 (Ref:3618477)   #6
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Originally Posted by Bakemono View Post
Very true, thats a risk but thats why I want to have the ability to switch the system off and driving manually.
You spoke of driver de-skilling. Considering all the bad drivers who I encounter on the roads every day who are playing on their phone, doing their makeup, eating while driving and all in all just not paying attention when they are driving you have to ask yourself, whats the bigger risk: human drivers or computer drivers?
Which is precisely why, as motoring has become ubiquitous, and taken for granted as a "Right" of participation, then the automobile has made itself self-obsolescent. Henry Ford's vision fulfilled, yet turned into a nightmare...

Perhaps the most profound analysis of this problem was made on TV by the late Kenneth Williams in a chat show, years back.

The host asked Williams "Do you drive?".

He replied, "Oh not anymore darling: it is rather like farting. It's lovely when you do it, but not much fun when everyone else does!"

When I was young (A few centuries ago!), we viewed driving as a privilege and bad driving as a crime. Above all else we wanted to develop superior driving skills and considered it an artform: not simply a utility and alternative to public transport.

Furthermore, our cars (Old) cost a bomb and we had to spend weekends mending and improving them. Workshop bills were for the wealthy!

Therefore, our car was a unique and precious possession.

Not today, sadly. This lack of respect for the privilege and machine has led to utter contempt for everyone else on the road.

Fortunately, for the few determined types, our passion enabled competitive driving skills to be even more developed by rallying, circuit racing etc.

Clearly, therefore, the future lies in converting main communication arteries (freeways, motorways, autoroutes) into mass transportation systems. Fully robotic.

Pause and consider: the automobile is a major cause of ground level atmospheric pollution: plus mankind is burning non-replaceable fossil fuel to power it. As a sop, major auto manufacturers developed hybrids as a middle step. But clearly, the future lies in small electrically driven vehicles. Yet these suffer small range. Fine for towns and cities: useless for major inter-town commutes.

Plus the electricity to recharge the electrically powered car must be developed!

If all cars were electrically powered, then Western electricity generation systems would collapse.

A majority are still powered by a mix of coal and oil: with nuclear and alternatives making up a small proportion.

Sad to say, however it is abundantly clear to me that the day of the IC engined automobile as an everyday personal conveyance is past...
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Old 29 Feb 2016, 10:27 (Ref:3618626)   #7
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There's one question that comes up when discussing autonomous cars - if my car has a choice between crashing and killing me or crashing and killing someone else what will it do? Or even crashing and killing me instead of injuring someone else? Will the car put its owners (not drivers ) safety first or will it put the safety of others first?
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Old 29 Feb 2016, 17:56 (Ref:3618803)   #8
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There's one question that comes up when discussing autonomous cars - if my car has a choice between crashing and killing me or crashing and killing someone else what will it do? Or even crashing and killing me instead of injuring someone else? Will the car put its owners (not drivers ) safety first or will it put the safety of others first?
Well, Bert, in the Brave New World planned for us all by the insane techies and computer scientists, once Real AI (Artifical Intelligence) takes over, and robots ostensibly do all the work whilst we have all the fun, after a wee bit, the AI systems, which clearly cannot possess real emotion, compassion and forgiveness for human frailty, will decide Homo Sapien was the most predatory animal species ever, is useless, becomes sick, goes on strike, breaks down, eats far too much, causes wars and chaos and confusion...

So, they will EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE

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Old 29 Feb 2016, 19:08 (Ref:3618830)   #9
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Originally Posted by BertMk2 View Post
There's one question that comes up when discussing autonomous cars - if my car has a choice between crashing and killing me or crashing and killing someone else what will it do? Or even crashing and killing me instead of injuring someone else? Will the car put its owners (not drivers ) safety first or will it put the safety of others first?
Likely it will become a probability model. It will calcualte who has the greatest chance of survival.
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Old 29 Feb 2016, 19:10 (Ref:3618831)   #10
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Originally Posted by SidewaysFeltham View Post
Which is precisely why, as motoring has become ubiquitous, and taken for granted as a "Right" of participation, then the automobile has made itself self-obsolescent. Henry Ford's vision fulfilled, yet turned into a nightmare...

Perhaps the most profound analysis of this problem was made on TV by the late Kenneth Williams in a chat show, years back.

The host asked Williams "Do you drive?".

He replied, "Oh not anymore darling: it is rather like farting. It's lovely when you do it, but not much fun when everyone else does!"

When I was young (A few centuries ago!), we viewed driving as a privilege and bad driving as a crime. Above all else we wanted to develop superior driving skills and considered it an artform: not simply a utility and alternative to public transport.

Furthermore, our cars (Old) cost a bomb and we had to spend weekends mending and improving them. Workshop bills were for the wealthy!

Therefore, our car was a unique and precious possession.

Not today, sadly. This lack of respect for the privilege and machine has led to utter contempt for everyone else on the road.

Fortunately, for the few determined types, our passion enabled competitive driving skills to be even more developed by rallying, circuit racing etc.

Clearly, therefore, the future lies in converting main communication arteries (freeways, motorways, autoroutes) into mass transportation systems. Fully robotic.

Pause and consider: the automobile is a major cause of ground level atmospheric pollution: plus mankind is burning non-replaceable fossil fuel to power it. As a sop, major auto manufacturers developed hybrids as a middle step. But clearly, the future lies in small electrically driven vehicles. Yet these suffer small range. Fine for towns and cities: useless for major inter-town commutes.

Plus the electricity to recharge the electrically powered car must be developed!

If all cars were electrically powered, then Western electricity generation systems would collapse.

A majority are still powered by a mix of coal and oil: with nuclear and alternatives making up a small proportion.

Sad to say, however it is abundantly clear to me that the day of the IC engined automobile as an everyday personal conveyance is past...
What point were you trying to make? That theres too many cars on the road and people take driving for granted?
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Old 29 Feb 2016, 23:37 (Ref:3618900)   #11
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35692845
Google car collides with bus
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Old 1 Mar 2016, 09:40 (Ref:3618973)   #12
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Originally Posted by Bakemono View Post
Likely it will become a probability model. It will calcualte who has the greatest chance of survival.
Well in that case I'll stick to driving myself thanks - "today the machine has decided you will die".
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Old 1 Mar 2016, 10:40 (Ref:3618989)   #13
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The question lies in should we adopt a utilitarian approach, where we simply look at numbers and say 100 deaths < 1000 deaths? This is a very computerised approach but if statistically we are less likely to die in an autonomous car, should it matter if its a computer fault, or driver fault? As a human being i'd personally prefer to drive my own fate but then a part of me likes the idea of autonomous cars, and if done right, the computer would never put itself in a scenario where it needs to choose 'who to kill'.

Some great discussion going on here thanks!!, Im actually looking into how autonomous cars be successfully implemented in today society for a university project, if anyone would like to help me I have a survey asking a few more questions it would be great if some of you could complete it, it's as long as you make it. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NWDXKK8
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Old 1 Mar 2016, 11:31 (Ref:3618998)   #14
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the computer would never put itself in a scenario where it needs to choose 'who to kill'.
The computer has no control over external factors - like pedestrians walking out in front of the car, animals running about on the carriageway etc. etc. It can only react to what's placed in front of it (same as a human) but the machine will make the life/death decisions rather than the driver. In the case that an autonomous car runs over a pedestrian who is to blame? The owner (operator? what's the term to use?) of the car or the manufacturer? That's a whole can of worms right there!

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Originally Posted by niebz View Post
Some great discussion going on here thanks!!, Im actually looking into how autonomous cars be successfully implemented in today society for a university project, if anyone would like to help me I have a survey asking a few more questions it would be great if some of you could complete it, it's as long as you make it. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NWDXKK8
Interesting subject for a uni project
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Old 1 Mar 2016, 14:40 (Ref:3619035)   #15
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and who is to say protecting life in general or human life would be the priority?

if the program looks at this in terms of liability then perhaps the conclusion it comes to is that value of the life of an 80 year old retired person is less than the potential property damage so when it attempts to avoid an accident it does so from the point of view of which outcome will cost its owner more money and attempt to avoid that...taking out the old person or driving into that house.


scary stuff.
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