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Picture of googles first self driving car

ScottySkis

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:cool: I so want this. You could sleep drink or due so many things we normally couldnt .
http://wpdh.com/a-first-look-would-you-ride-in-googles-self-driving-car/
152766334-630x417.jpg
 

deadheadskier

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Maybe someday they'll have self-driving RVs.

I love to drive, but for long road trips and such, I could see the appeal of having a self driving vehicle.
 

dlague

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I wonder how it will do in tough traffic situations? Some times my GPS does not exactly make the right choices like directions to Smuggs which took me by Stowe only to find out the road is closed there for a stretch. Does the car swear in those cases? How will it handle Southern California bumper to bumper traffic that does not let you merge? I would love to see that!
 

Nick

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I really like the idea of this. I think I started a thread before.

A couple thoughts:
1. No more drunk driving
2. Teens / Kids / disabled / elderly can go places now
3. Huge reduction in accidents
4. electric becomes more viable. Car can drive itself to a charging station while you are doing whatever.
5. For skiing, can just sleep in the car on the way to the mountain - awesome!

More benefits if adoption is very widespread:
1. Major traffic reduction - cars can chain on the highway very close to each other. No reason for the "2 second rule".
2. You don't need to own a car, you could just rent services or share vehicles. Car pics you up at home and takes you to work. Then it leaves your office and goes and shuttles someone else around. Less cars overall.

Negatives, that I think need to be carefully considered
1. Hacking - is it possible for someone to hack your car?
2. Cost - right now equipment on each car is like $300k. Obviously that has to come way, way down.
3. Poor weather performance? I'm sure this can be solved but right now these vehicles are limited to clear day conditions
4. Inevitable mistake. While the overall death rate / accident rate will be much lower, there is some level of comfort in knowing that you control what happens. If a compute screws up and kills you, it feels way more unfair. However, if the risk is legitimately lower, then isnt' that a risk worth taking? Like avoiding a head on collision with a drunk driver or something. Your risk of that happening is probably so much higher than a computer error killing you - but something feels worse about a computer glitch sending you off a cliff.

I think this technology is extremely exciting and has hugely societally transformative possibilities.
 

skiNEwhere

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To add to number 4 nick, I'd add that this might present legal issues that the autonomous car maker will need to address. As soon as someone dies as a result of computer error, or a combination of previous factors mentioned, like the car calculating incorrectly in adverse weather and the "driver" ending up as a fatality, there will be multi million dollar lawsuits that could bankrupt the company.

The legal team will have to draft a rock solid contract
 

wa-loaf

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I don't know if I'd want a fully autonomous car, but something that I can drive on my own on the surface roads and then put into auto mode on the highway would be sweet. And I think I'd still want to own my own since I keep a bunch of crap in my car (chairs for soccer games, snow shovel, grocery bags, etc.) that I wouldn't want to have to move in and out of a communal vehicle.
 

Abubob

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Questions I have are: How well will it do in snow and/or ice? How well will it handle surprise road crossings like a squirrel, deer, bear or moose? If it stops for a moose and the moose stops too will it try to drive around the moose?
 

skiNEwhere

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So how does this interact with emergency vehicles? Does it sense flashing lights and move to the side or will future emergency vehicles need to broadcast a signal that forces it to pull over? If it's the latter that's some minority report stuff right there.
 

AdironRider

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There was an interesting read over on Jalopnik about the "morality" of these computers.

Scenario presented was you are solo in the google econobox, and a crash is inevitable with another car with more people in it than yours. The google car decides that since there are more people in the other car, its better to kill you than the others.

No car company, or google, is going to want to take on all liability. Car makers like GM, Ford have already said they arent going to make them if they are liable. Google has money but I suspect not enough to cover all that liability.
 

Cornhead

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I think a good first step in this direction would be cars that give the driver a small electric shock when it senses the driver in the fast lane without actually passing anyone...in the words of the immortal Keith Moon, "Good morning campers!".

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
 

Nick

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So how does this interact with emergency vehicles? Does it sense flashing lights and move to the side or will future emergency vehicles need to broadcast a signal that forces it to pull over? If it's the latter that's some minority report stuff right there.

Watch this. It's pretty wild.

 

Nick

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I read a good article about why they designed it like that, but I can't find it now.

Overall, it had to do with the fact that since the car drives itself you want it to not intimidate people or scare them. No one really wants to sit in a Ferrari with no control. This makes it more relaxed to settle the obvious initial nerves about a car with no controls.
 
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