- Avoid passing regulations prematurely while the technology is still evolving.
- Update distracted-driving laws.
- Clarify who will own the data generated by this technology and how it will be used, and address privacy concerns
- Regulations and liability rules should be designed by comparing the performance of autonomous vehicles to that of average human drivers and the long-term benefits of the technology should be incorporated into determinations of liability.
When will every car be driverless?
— By Tyler Falk on January 10, 2014, 7:00 AM PST
Airplanes are self-driving now and nobody seems to have a problem with that. Yes pilots are in their seats in case something unexpected happens, to communicate with air traffic control and to keep the customers calm but, modern commercial aircraft take-off, fly and land by themselves and they appear to be doing a pretty good job.
i scanned through the suggestions (including mine) and came to the conclusion that, as in so many other instances) none of us knows what we're talking about. it's all what if. i'm sure similar arguments were made about the horseless carriage.
it seems every function of a car is computerized AND the computers can be hacked. two security officers have done just that and drove from the back seat. a third party was in the driver's seat and the hacker could give the "driver" fits by countermanding his decisions.
now that we know the brain will atrophy just as any muscle will, this is just one more addition we needed to add to all the devices of the vacuous.
technology is a boon to mankind, but its use; not abuse.
Many cars are already 'driverless' as the driver is talking on their cell phone and not driving. Ten years ago I would have said driverless cars would never happen. After watching all the cell phone drivers attempt to drive, I now think it is mandatory that we move toward driverless cars. It's as though we already have but without the driverless technology.
As an engineer, my guess to the question here is "never".
Some common sense is called for on this latest "shiny object" in distracted techie journalism...
b) points of failure
c) energy waste (yep, even iGadgets now take a full nuclear plant to run them 24/7)
d) inadequate engineering (love your internet security & reliability -- attention all Target & Citibank customers?)
e) repair costs (BMW was sued years ago for parts-pile-on -- stocking only large, expensive assemblies, rather than individual, replaceable parts)
f) morality -- we think this is an approriate use of investment $ and time, while malnutrition and starvation are increasing, not decreasing?
Chill out people.
There are huge advantages to driverless vehicles.
(A repost of comments I made yesterday):
With driverless cars, I see a society with no need to have their own cars. Therefore, the car companies won't be making them. The car companies might not see now why people won't be buying cars, but they will.
Think of taxis, with no drivers, and then think of people calling for one to arrive at their front doors, and to then take them to their destinations. That would also do away with cab drivers and limousine drivers and valet parking, and even garages/parking lots. There will be major benefits elsewhere, like no need to purchase insurance or have a home with one/two car garages, and no need for highway patrol chasing down speeders and other traffic violators. The government won't be getting as much from fuel taxes, and from license plates.
When a person can have a vehicle at his disposal via phone or text or internet, then, why would a person even think of owning one? No more $30,000-$100,000 price tags to worry about, and no more maintenance costs, and no more car insurance to worry about, and no more worrying about parking, and no more worrying about traffic violations, and no more worrying about accidents, etc. The winners would be the car leasing/rental agencies, or even the automakers, since they could decide to keep the leasing/rental fleets to themselves.
Hmmm.... the driverless car begins to sound so very enticing, once one starts to look at the many advantages, including not having to drive them and not having all the associated costs that come with them. The economy could take major hits, and many millions of jobs could be lost, but, it would become a society with a lot less worries.
Every car will be driverless when fuel reaches $10 per gallon combined with health insurance premiums draining every dollar out of your pocket. Then the car will sit in the garage...driverless.
The NSA is already tracking all of my communications. I can hardly wait until they can track my exact whereabouts, too. Goodbye freedom, hello 1984.
And another interesting thought: What happens to all of the states/municipalities when their revenue stream from traffic tickets dries up? I'm assuming these machine-driven cars will obey all traffic laws.
Just think: you want to get somewhere in a hurry. Well, you won't be able to because your speed will be controlled by the master controller, which controls all the other vehicles. The safest vehicle is one which doesn't move, followed by a vehicle which moves slowly.
Quite a number of people enjoy driving. What happens at crossroads and roundabouts? I think there will be a lot of starting and stopping as each vehicle tries to gain precedence. It reminds me of computer-controlled trading on the Internet. One action immediately affects another action.
This is all about losing control of our lives, bit by bit. You will have to login to a central control, with your ground level flight plan, and get it okayed for road capacity and timing. I cannot see this idea becoming reality. There are too many variables. A bit like predicting long distance weather.
Given the choice, would you rather drive your vehicle or pays thousands of extra dollars to be driven by it?
Personally, I think this is great. This will be a boon for the physically imfirmed or elderly who will get to retain their mobility long after longer qualifying for drivers licenses. The roads will become much safer. The naysayers will argue that there will be accidents caused by technology failures, but these will never compare to the thousands of accidents already happening daily due to poor skills or distraction.
I will most likely be dead before 2050. This looks "great" on paper. However my big question is who will suffer the liability costs due to accidents? Right now a very large part of driving costs are not the hardware, but rather the costs to insure and fuel a vehicle.
This also raises some questions about technology in general. We are allowing "technology" to enter the very fabric of our existence. It can pay our bills, pick our mates, selectively market things it thinks we may want so we go out and buy it, and I can go on and on.
In my opinion, many people are abdicating their responsibility to technology. They are foolish enough to post the very (formerly) private details of their lives on "face book". They use digital audio communications with the assumption that no one is listening, but rather anyone anywhere in the world can do so with the right hardware and software. I do not like the idea of a machine doing my driving. This is not like riding a horse, nor like public transportation. A machine does not have insight or intuition no matter how hard someone tries to "model" these emotions using fMRI and digital electronics. A machine should never replace a human when it must make a choice where life and death are at stake unless it is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Perhaps the most insidious thing technology does to us is inhibits our free speech. You can enter a comment on a "blog" like this and have it end up being distorted or removed depending on the political philosophy of the "moderator". I am certain many valid comments in a multitude of forums have been deleted or otherwise removed by technology that is programmed to delete "inappropriate" speech. It is even worse when a person has their comment censored by a human moderator only because
Another tall tale from Tyler.
How was CES, good interviews with BWM, Audi, IHS etc - or have you just churned this up from the Internet again.
What was the methodology for the study from IHS, as it is gives the feel of an 'Experts Predict' story, with much credence given to the results, but no mention of the methodology given for the report - other than getting their clients press releases into the media. IHS seems to be a media relations company, as opposed to a world authority on Automobiles (like say the UK's Transport Research Laboratory, in Nuneaton), that have produced a respected journal article.
Can you cut us some of examples from the study, or have you only read the headline store you linked to - "The report is available without charge to members of the news media." after all.
"But once those are sorted out, RAND believes the benefits of self-driving cars -- from increased safety to decreased fuel economy -- will outweigh the challenges." Are we really looking for DECREASED fuel economy? All the best, Tom
Big Sky, Expensive computational power, very few that can actually land themselves, and in perspective there are very few of them compared to road vehicles.
They are also not 'driven' by a growing number of ignorant fcukwits, and their drivers need to be rigorously certified.
@DrAlexC You were doing somewhat okay, until you got to point f, which I'll consider a "f"ail for you.
Not everything in life has to be related to poverty or starvation or malnutrition, or even morality.
All of the points in "f" will happen anyway, no matter what else human beings do.
If someone takes 2 or 3 vacations a year, is that a contribution to poverty or to malnutrition or to starvation. I'd think that the opposite is true, because, people using their wealth or earnings, is a way to redistribute that wealth, and whether you like it or not, that wealth eventually gets to the people at the bottom.
@simbo45 For the same reasons that people ride trains and buses and cabs and airplanes. It's convenient, without the hassles. Besides, when people in the future get used to not having to drive, they won't even miss it.
@ken_r_mer right on about what you say about health insurance (companies). maybe we ought to do something about that . . .
@ken_r_mer Actually, the opposite would be true.
See my post above.
@Tranman123 i'll bet they won't be able to parallel park.
@Tranman123 Thanks for the tired old song.
@kitemanmusic On the other hand, because traffic will be moving much more efficiently and there will be fewer accidents, we'll all be getting everywhere more quickly anyway.
@Kevin D. JacksonI wondered that, too. Maybe it's for when your car's operating system goes into 'sleep' mode, or you overload it by playing "Call of Duty", too intensely.
@JohnMcGrew Oh, you mean like the success of the Obamacare website rollout? Or when your computer gets hacked? Or like when a computer freezes up? Or like when a simple traffic signal malfunctions? You have much too much faith in technology.
@Arctic Char I expect that manufacturers and/or operators of driverless cars will adopt continuous, 360 degree video recording to protect themselves from human drivers attempting to shift blame for accidents onto the automated vehicles.
As for the more general concern, blogs are by definition privately owned & have no obligation to propagate opinions that differ from their owners. They have good reason not to. Commentators, including people who post at SmartPlanet, will use any excuse to promote some social or political viewpoints that have no real connection to the subject at hand.
Insurance will most likely be far cheaper for a self-driving car because they, probably, will have far, far fewer accidents.
Not having emotions is the computer's advantage. Your self-driving car will not experience anxiousness because you are late for work, impatience when stuck in a traffic jam, anger when someone almost hits them or old fashioned "road rage". You may not experience these things but many on the road do and they cause accidents because them. Eliminating that will make driving safer for all of us.
@Arctic Char Are you really suggesting that "insight and intuition" are better than real-time, 360 degree data while driving? Do you mean like when you "know" that you can take a certain turn at 60 mph because you've done it a hundred times before? Too often people are guessing at what another driver intends to do, leading to accidents when they guess wrong. Networked vehicles communicating and coordinating with each other automatically will be much safer than people could ever be. Driving is much more of a mechanical operation, to which computers are better suited than emotional humans.
@neil.postlethwaite Neil the Naysayer - you always have a negative comment. Get out of the way, and let something actually happen!
I thought the RAND suggestions were rather good, and I can only hope that policy makers listen to RAND and not you.
@tom.randell That's got to be a typo. Self-driving cars are certain to be more fuel efficient.
@tom.randell Good catch, Tom. I fixed it.
@ken_r_mer @JohnMcGrew Well, for one thing we all know that BMW and the other automakers are hiring far more competent engineers that the Federal government did for their web site. And if these cars were being designed by the government being directed by the same political hacks that are responsible for HealthCare.gov, I'd agree with you entirely.
But fortunately, we know better. Since the automakers have their own money on the line here and unlike the government, only get to keep their jobs if they are successful, it's a safe assumption that they'll do a far better job.
Do I have absolute faith in technology? No, of course not. But then again, I have even less faith in the number of my fellow citizens who continue to have a high propensity to drive while texting or fiddling with their MP3 players, or while impaired, or who simple lack simple skills and basic understanding of physics.
In the last 10 years, I've been rear-ended no fewer than 3 times and backed into twice. None of those accidents would have taken place had those vehicles been automated.
@rstoeber @Arctic Char Yes, Insight and intuition trump 360 degree vision. That is exactly what I mean. I suggest you watch the movie " I Robot". It is a corny example of what I am talking about but valid nonetheless. I think automatic 360 degree sonar or visible light sensors are a very valid adjunct to driving safely. Perhaps "autopilot" during long drives is appropriate on the highway. However, an automobile that exclusively drives itself cannot properly distinguish situations of where insight and intuition are necessary to make the proper decision. These occur rather frequently and are often unpredictable. Always remember, science and data are not enough, especially in chaotic systems like the highway or atmospheric weather.
Not a Naysayer, just looking for some journalism to be done, rather than churning press releases from manufacturers, and reporting on shows the author obviously hasn't even been too.
SP's Metatag after all is SmartPlanet - destination for savvy advice, thought-provoking analysis and expert discussion on the intersection of technology, business and life.
By comparision, just been watching a lookback in history on a BBC Panorama programme from 1966 "California 2000", where they were shoing the Lockheed Polaris derived Bloodbank control system, and a tech expert from General Electric's IT research division was prediction general purpose robots in 20-25 years that would "mow the law, vacuuming the floor, putting the garbage out" and they were also predicting English language computers in 5 years time. I think we are all, by and large, still waiting for this stuff nigh on 50 years since these 'expert predictions'.
Sorry, almost forgot, the documentary also went on about the "the inexorable rhythms of the computer don't only move the Negro, and also would affect the jobs of white collar man too" - I almost spat my coffee out, it was talking in context about the relieving of man the menial, and eventually skilled jobs and allowing more leisure time, working 2 or 3 days a week, or sabbatical years not being 'pipedreams' - LOL, how perspective and what was accepted 50 years back has changed. It was the BBC reporter and the General Electric head of IT research, the so called 'expert'.