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Uber Creative Destruction

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London’s black cabs have promised to bring “chaos, congestion and confusion” to London as a protest against the growing presence of smartphone taxi service Uber.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) has said that the apps that Uber’s drivers use to find passengers and calculate their fares count as taximeters – devices that are illegal to be installed in private vehicles.

The LTDA has complained to Transport for London (TfL), but the government body has said that Uber’s vehicles are not “equipped” with taximeters since there was no “connection between the device and the vehicle”. :lol:

The dispute is only the latest internationally between Uber and taxi services worldwide. The Silicon Valley startup has been banned in Brussels; is currently facing a court battle in Berlin, and has been the subject of numerous protests in cities across the US and in Paris.

The San Francisco-based company describes itself only as a “pick-up” service that connects passengers with background-checked private drivers. Launched five years ago, the company now operates in more than 100 cities across 30 countries, launching in London in 2012 and in Manchester this week.

The company’s smartphone app allows users to order taxis, see who their driver will be, and track the arrival of their car - features that have been replicated by the likes of Hailo and Kabbee, who offer smartphone apps to connect passengers to black cabs and minicabs respectively

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/londons-black-cabs-plan-severe-chaos-for-capital-in-protest-against-taxi-app-uber-9339404.html

Smartphone apps are bad enough- what happens if Google can get a viable self driving taxi on the road?

Google's self-driving car pilot test recently passed a major milestone. Chris Urmson, director, Self-Driving Car Project reported that their fleet of driverless cars have passed the 700,000 mile mark. Of great importance to the future of this technology is that most of the latest miles have been on the urban streets of Mountain View California, Google's home town.

As Urmson put it in a recent blog, "A mile of city driving is much more complex than a mile of freeway driving, with hundreds of different objects moving according to different rules of the road in a small area. We've improved our software so it can detect hundreds of distinct objects simultaneously - pedestrians, buses, a stop sign held up by a crossing guard, or a cyclist making gestures that indicate a possible turn. A self-driving vehicle can pay attention to all of these things in a way that a human physically can't - and it never gets tired or distracted."

"As it turns out, what looks chaotic and random on a city street to the human eye is actually fairly predictable to a computer. As we've encountered thousands of different situations, we've built software models of what to expect, from the likely (a car stopping at a red light) to the unlikely (blowing through it). We still have lots of problems to solve, including teaching the car to drive more streets in Mountain View before we tackle another town, but thousands of situations on city streets that would have stumped us two years ago can now be navigated autonomously."

Several auto manufacturers have also been running various street tests of auto-piloted vehicles in different locations around the globe. Most of these earlytechnology stakeholders expect to see this feature available to the public within four or five years. The foothold, in terms of collision mitigation and lane departure control systems, has already been established in many different models now on the streets.

http://www.insideottawavalley.com/news-story/4507895-google-s-self-driving-car-pilot-test-passes-major-milestone/

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London’s black cabs have promised to bring “chaos, congestion and confusion” to London as a protest

They must have been protesting for years ! I wonder what about?

Technology marches on grandad, have a lie down.

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Having got into many black cabs in London that don't know where the road I am going to is and have entered the destination into the sat nav, I think that many black cabs are being rented out to the cabbie's mates. Thereby destroying all the safety and security that is offered by black cabs. I think that the extra monopoly price afforded to black cabs is outrageous, let alone the fact that they are allowed to use bus lanes (why bus lanes for private hire vehicles???). One "black cabbie" who refused to show me his badge, which wasn't on display as it should be, tried to run me over after I had an argument over it.

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Won't be for a long while yet. The first step will be cars that can nagivate their own way through the straightforward environment of the motorway network to a specified junction, and I reckon it will be at least another 10 years or so before even that relatively simple function begins to be offered in high-specification vehicles. And you'll still need a licenced driver behind the wheel.

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Won't be for a long while yet. The first step will be cars that can nagivate their own way through the straightforward environment of the motorway network to a specified junction, and I reckon it will be at least another 10 years or so before even that relatively simple function begins to be offered in high-specification vehicles. And you'll still need a licenced driver behind the wheel.

Shame. I look forward to a spirited driving to a country pub, get plastered there and order the car to get me home as I collapse on the passenger's seat.

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Won't be for a long while yet. The first step will be cars that can nagivate their own way through the straightforward environment of the motorway network to a specified junction, and I reckon it will be at least another 10 years or so before even that relatively simple function begins to be offered in high-specification vehicles. And you'll still need a licenced driver behind the wheel.

According to the article I linked to they already have driverless cars safely navigating non motorway traffic, dealing with pedestrians, cyclists ect- but I'm sure there is a driver on board if only for legal reasons.

To me the hardest problem will be 'reading' the intentions of people and how they are likely to react- for example as an experienced driver if I actually see someone pulling up at a side road ahead I figure they will wait for me to pass before pulling out onto the main road -because they just got there- but if I round a bend and see a car waiting to pull out I don't know how long they have been waiting so I figure they might just have reached the point where they are prepared to risk it due to impatience- and I am more careful.

How to teach this kind of thing to a computer is a problem because it depends on knowing how human's behave in ways that are not always rational- the risks of collision don't decline based on how long you have waited to pull out onto the main road- but we tend to behave as if they do because after a while we start to get impatient or start to feel pressure from those behind us if we linger too long.

Good luck writing code to solve this little problem.

Having said that what a computer might lack in human intuition it might make up for in inhuman concentration and reaction time- so even if it were prone to dumb errors a computer car might still be safer than a human.

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I friggin hate London black cabs. I used to live out East and I lost count of the number of times one of those b*stards rolled up the window and drove off when I told them where I wanted to go. The sooner Uber and Hailo put them out of business the better.

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Nice free advertising for Uber.

I had never heard of them before this story and now I know they even operate in Manchester. Mission accomplished for Uber. Epic fail london cabbies.

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Won't be for a long while yet. The first step will be cars that can nagivate their own way through the straightforward environment of the motorway network to a specified junction, and I reckon it will be at least another 10 years or so before even that relatively simple function begins to be offered in high-specification vehicles. And you'll still need a licenced driver behind the wheel.

The technology is viable now. Self-parking (parallel and reverse), lane and distance adjustment/control are in vehicle today. Google have had fully automated self-drive operational for some time.

It’s legislation and consumer acceptance that’s lagging. You’re right it will take a few years. But not due to the tech limits.

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The technology is viable now. Self-parking (parallel and reverse), lane and distance adjustment/control are in vehicle today. Google have had fully automated self-drive operational for some time.

It’s legislation and consumer acceptance that’s lagging. You’re right it will take a few years. But not due to the tech limits.

This all has similarity to being allowed to build new houses for the good of everyone at the cost of a few rentiers.

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The technology is viable now. Self-parking (parallel and reverse), lane and distance adjustment/control are in vehicle today. Google have had fully automated self-drive operational for some time.

It’s legislation and consumer acceptance that’s lagging. You’re right it will take a few years. But not due to the tech limits.

I disagree. There is a world of difference between the driver-assist features you mention and allowing a car to have fully autonomous operation without an alert driver behind the wheel. There is also a world of difference between Google's experimental test driving and use by the general public. I'd be prepared to bet a significant amount of money that autonomous cars capable of the relatively simple task of navigating their own way to a motorway junction will not be on sale to the general public anywhere in the world within the next ten years.

We already have a thread on this somewhere. It'll be interesting to see how the predictions pan out.

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I used to live in 'black cab land.' Nearly every drive way had a black cab parked in it.

Should free up some semi's in Romford.

But we need an app, that replaces the ruling elite.

Edited by aSecureTenant

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Good luck writing code to solve this little problem.

Indeed. The difficulty of imbuing computer control systems with the artificial intelligence required to perform tasks of this kind is always vastly underestimated.

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I disagree. There is a world of difference between the driver-assist features you mention and allowing a car to have fully autonomous operation without an alert driver behind the wheel. There is also a world of difference between Google's experimental test driving and use by the general public. I'd be prepared to bet a significant amount of money that autonomous cars capable of the relatively simple task of navigating their own way to a motorway junction will not be on sale to the general public anywhere in the world within the next ten years.

We already have a thread on this somewhere. It'll be interesting to see how the predictions pan out.

Already coping with cyclists...

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I'm split on this one.

I am becoming more sympathetic to inefficient industries keeping going if they are big employers, but every time I have to hand over 10 or 20 pound notes for modest taxi trips it pains me.

And as per previous poster - the times I've been in central London and had black cabbies refuse longish trips to suburbs late at night have been quite distressing.

So probably more on side of Uber causing some disruption on this one.

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I disagree. There is a world of difference between the driver-assist features you mention and allowing a car to have fully autonomous operation without an alert driver behind the wheel. There is also a world of difference between Google's experimental test driving and use by the general public. I'd be prepared to bet a significant amount of money that autonomous cars capable of the relatively simple task of navigating their own way to a motorway junction will not be on sale to the general public anywhere in the world within the next ten years.

We already have a thread on this somewhere. It'll be interesting to see how the predictions pan out.

They may not be on sale to the general public. They may never be on sale to the general public. That’s really depended upon on the insurance industry. However, autonomous cars capable of the relatively simple task of navigating their own way to a motorway junction will be in use in under 5years.

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I disagree. There is a world of difference between the driver-assist features you mention and allowing a car to have fully autonomous operation without an alert driver behind the wheel. There is also a world of difference between Google's experimental test driving and use by the general public. I'd be prepared to bet a significant amount of money that autonomous cars capable of the relatively simple task of navigating their own way to a motorway junction will not be on sale to the general public anywhere in the world within the next ten years.

We already have a thread on this somewhere. It'll be interesting to see how the predictions pan out.

They may not be on sale to the general public. They may never be on sale to the general public. That’s really depended upon on the insurance industry. However, autonomous cars capable of the relatively simple task of navigating their own way to a motorway junction will be in use in under 5years.

In use outside a testing environment? I doubt it very much. How much progress towards this has there been since this thread was started a year ago?

Best to reply on the old, dedicated thread to save sidetracking this one any further!

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I'm split on this one.

I am becoming more sympathetic to inefficient industries keeping going if they are big employers, but every time I have to hand over 10 or 20 pound notes for modest taxi trips it pains me.

And as per previous poster - the times I've been in central London and had black cabbies refuse longish trips to suburbs late at night have been quite distressing.

So probably more on side of Uber causing some disruption on this one.

And on the specific legal point the cabbies are clearly wrong as Uber is not a metered service but a sophisticated way of booking a fixed fare from a to b just like any other minicab.

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