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cock-eyed octopus

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Really can't see how this could ever work on British roads. 

Seen the demo videos, some amazing stuff in there, really clever but even the shortest journeys in the UK would completely fox the technology. I drive to work daily and there are always instances where I'm having to technically circumvent the rules and make decisions I don't think you can based on normal logic. For example most days when I'm on the rat runs closer to work I'll meet oncoming traffic which requires one of us to reverse and move in to an area which allows the other to pass, this is all done via a game of chess taking in numerous decisions which are easy to define in a set of logical steps, a decent example here is the number of drivers in cars far too big for them which they are incapable of driving properly, 5/10 times (normally more but whatever) the logical thing to do is for them to move, but the reality is they won't be capable of it, so you do a far more difficult maneuver to compensate for them. 

Ultimately it boils down to a huge number of British roads not being able to support two simultaneous flows of traffic, either at all or for significant parts of it's length. From a driverless car perspective it's main goal is safety, i.e. don't put itself in a potentially dangerous situation, not possible in multiple scenarios I see on a daily basis. 

Fine for US roads (potentially), just not possible here. 

Happy to be convinced otherwise.

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In a scenario where you're driving along a road with woodland on either side, as it s the case in a lot of Hampshire, you need to be mindful that a deer might suddenly run across the road in front of you. It happens.

If you're going at 60mph the only way you're not going to hit it, is if you see it coming early - so you see it approaching from the left or right bounding along on a course which is going to put it directly in front of you unless it stops, or you do.

The human brain can discern a deer from "movement in the trees" and even though our eyes aren't as well optimised for this as other animals' eyes, we "do our best".

Likewise spotting the child running towards the zebra crossing assuming it will be safe because the pedestrian has right of way. They may cross, they may not.

Computers work a lot faster than our brains do but I'm still struggling to see how a computer is going to discern these things properly and not miss them, or just keep emergency stopping due to false alerts, if these things are let loose on every type of road and in all conditions.

The idea that the driver "always has to be ready to take over" defeats the point somewhat since it's not holding the wheel that is tiring, it's the continual concentration, especially for long periods, and if you're going to be held responsible if that child is killed "by your car" (who else would be responsible? Google? You're the one in the car) then I don't see these systems actually making much difference to the driving experience.

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Small, short journeys along well defined and prescribed roots seem reasonable.

US Solution : Driverless cars

Rest of the World : Buses

I'm not a luddite at all, but this suffers the same issues as tons of technology, not that it's not possible, it's just not practical in the world we have built so far. Same reason we are not all flying about in personal helicopters or travelling at mach 1 on maglev trains. 

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11 minutes ago, gilf said:

Small, short journeys along well defined and prescribed roots seem reasonable.

US Solution : Driverless cars

Rest of the World : Buses

I'm not a luddite at all, but this suffers the same issues as tons of technology, not that it's not possible, it's just not practical in the world we have built so far. Same reason we are not all flying about in personal helicopters or travelling at mach 1 on maglev trains. 

 

Well they are the most technologically advanced country in the World, they put men on the Moon after all....B)

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20 minutes ago, gilf said:

Really can't see how this could ever work on British roads. 

Seen the demo videos, some amazing stuff in there, really clever but even the shortest journeys in the UK would completely fox the technology. I drive to work daily and there are always instances where I'm having to technically circumvent the rules and make decisions I don't think you can based on normal logic. For example most days when I'm on the rat runs closer to work I'll meet oncoming traffic which requires one of us to reverse and move in to an area which allows the other to pass, this is all done via a game of chess taking in numerous decisions which are easy to define in a set of logical steps, a decent example here is the number of drivers in cars far too big for them which they are incapable of driving properly, 5/10 times (normally more but whatever) the logical thing to do is for them to move, but the reality is they won't be capable of it, so you do a far more difficult maneuver to compensate for them. 

Ultimately it boils down to a huge number of British roads not being able to support two simultaneous flows of traffic, either at all or for significant parts of it's length. From a driverless car perspective it's main goal is safety, i.e. don't put itself in a potentially dangerous situation, not possible in multiple scenarios I see on a daily basis. 

Fine for US roads (potentially), just not possible here. 

Happy to be convinced otherwise.

It could work properly if all the cars were automated and connected back to some centralised system which would recognise the potential for gridlock and work out how to avoid it. But not every car would switch to "driverless" overnight.

While driven and driverless cars exist, I guess we'll see accidents from driven cars going into the back of driverless cars that came to an emergency stop because they mistook a windsock in an adjacent field for an animal heading towards the car, or someone manoeuvring a shopping trolley on the pavement for a person about to step into the road.

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26 minutes ago, gilf said:

Small, short journeys along well defined and prescribed roots seem reasonable.

US Solution : Driverless cars

Rest of the World : Buses

I'm not a luddite at all, but this suffers the same issues as tons of technology, not that it's not possible, it's just not practical in the world we have built so far. Same reason we are not all flying about in personal helicopters or travelling at mach 1 on maglev trains. 

Smart solution:  find ways to travel less, not more.

It appears that there are only two states with driverless technology.  Either no-one has it (and it doesn't matter how good it is) or it is flawless and ubiquitous.  There isn't really a space for kind-of-okay, particularly for the type where driver-takes-over-in-an-emergency (see here)

Personally, I think we'd all be better off if the best a car could get was something like a 2CV -- no driver aids at all, slow, unfashionable and ill-suited for longer journeys.

 

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As soon as it was revealed that you had to be alert rather than being able to have a nap my reason for wanting one, sleeping through my commutes, disappeared.

If I have to be awake and upright then I may as well drive.

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45 minutes ago, gilf said:

Really can't see how this could ever work on British roads. 

Seen the demo videos, some amazing stuff in there, really clever but even the shortest journeys in the UK would completely fox the technology. I drive to work daily and there are always instances where I'm having to technically circumvent the rules and make decisions I don't think you can based on normal logic. For example most days when I'm on the rat runs closer to work I'll meet oncoming traffic which requires one of us to reverse and move in to an area which allows the other to pass, this is all done via a game of chess taking in numerous decisions which are easy to define in a set of logical steps, a decent example here is the number of drivers in cars far too big for them which they are incapable of driving properly, 5/10 times (normally more but whatever) the logical thing to do is for them to move, but the reality is they won't be capable of it, so you do a far more difficult maneuver to compensate for them. 

Ultimately it boils down to a huge number of British roads not being able to support two simultaneous flows of traffic, either at all or for significant parts of it's length. From a driverless car perspective it's main goal is safety, i.e. don't put itself in a potentially dangerous situation, not possible in multiple scenarios I see on a daily basis. 

Fine for US roads (potentially), just not possible here. 

Happy to be convinced otherwise.

Parked cars all over the place necessitating constant speed modulation to allow oncoming cars through the gap in order to clear it for yourself to pass through.

People just walking out in the road whenever they fell like it expecting cars stop for them.

And my sole prediction as to why driverless cars in the uk will be a dead duck is the crafty human mind of other drivers, who upon realising they can bully the driverless car into stopping or giving way will have them hamstruck all over the place. 

It would only ever work on motorways where one lane is dedicated to driverless cars with enforcement cameras to back it up. 

Sorry but in the UK this is a non runner unless there is a total switchover 

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13 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

As soon as it was revealed that you had to be alert rather than being able to have a nap my reason for wanting one, sleeping through my commutes, disappeared.

If I have to be awake and upright then I may as well drive.

+1000000

I want to spend the driving time doing something else, watching a film, playing a game, sleeping etc..... 

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10 minutes ago, workingpoor said:

Parked cars all over the place necessitating constant speed modulation to allow oncoming cars through the gap in order to clear it for yourself to pass through.

People just walking out in the road whenever they fell like it expecting cars stop for them.

And my sole prediction as to why driverless cars in the uk will be a dead duck is the crafty human mind of other drivers, who upon realising they can bully the driverless car into stopping or giving way will have them hamstruck all over the place. 

It would only ever work on motorways where one lane is dedicated to driverless cars with enforcement cameras to back it up. 

Sorry but in the UK this is a non runner unless there is a total switchover 

Yes, I can't see it happening, except perhaps on certain motorways, which are quite highly regulated anyway (centrally controlled speeds, exits, signage etc). 

Americans like the idea, because they are used to driving along long, wide, straight roads without roundabouts, in big, slow automatic cars, in a culture where random acts of stupidity and violence by other road users are less likely because of gun laws - one thing I noticed about driving in the USA is that people are more respectful of other drivers. 

In the UK, especially in big cities, it would be chaos. 

Mind you, I said in 1995 the internet would never catch on!

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6 minutes ago, Austin Allegro said:

Yes, I can't see it happening, except perhaps on certain motorways, which are quite highly regulated anyway (centrally controlled speeds, exits, signage etc). 

Americans like the idea, because they are used to driving along long, wide, straight roads without roundabouts, in big, slow automatic cars, in a culture where random acts of stupidity and violence by other road users are less likely because of gun laws - one thing I noticed about driving in the USA is that people are more respectful of other drivers. 

In the UK, especially in big cities, it would be chaos. 

Mind you, I said in 1995 the internet would never catch on!

It's already happening. Even a fairly basic modern car like a Golf has adaptive cruise control and lane assist options, so it'll pretty much drive itself on motorways (if you trust it to).

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52 minutes ago, DTMark said:

It could work properly if all the cars were automated and connected back to some centralised system which would recognise the potential for gridlock and work out how to avoid it. But not every car would switch to "driverless" overnight.

 

This is the thing though, could it be done absolutely. Get rid of all other cars, rebuilt the entire road network and have some controlling network. That simply won't happen and as said certainly in the UK I'd say it's an all or nothing situation. 

There are actually very few real problems in this world that we haven't solved many years go, the issue is it's all about the cost.

Having said that, I can certainly see many of the systems used becoming more common, plenty of cars have driving aids. 

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Just now, gilf said:

This is the thing though, could it be done absolutely. Get rid of all other cars, rebuilt the entire road network and have some controlling network. That simply won't happen and as said certainly in the UK I'd say it's an all or nothing situation. 

There are actually very few real problems in this world that we haven't solved many years go, the issue is it's all about the cost.

Having said that, I can certainly see many of the systems used becoming more common, plenty of cars have driving aids. 

I think what could happen is that motorways become automated-driver only. Then the system will be gradually 'rolled out' (hate that phrase) onto dual carriageways and other more easily controllable major roads, with side streets and back roads possibly never permitting automatic driving. This would be similar to what happened with ordinary cars - initially they had to have a man with a flag, then that was lifted but speeds were still restricted, then the arterial road network was set up, then eventually motorways, over a period of sixty years or so. With modern technology it might not take that long, but it would certainly be decades rather than years, I can't see it happening overnight.  

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Did anyone see the new sodium glass batteries announcement too? I have a feeling that I will be telling my grandkids about how we used to control our own "fire" driven carriages and every time you used it there was a chance you might die.

 

I think it could find a use first on certain logistics HGV routes first from depot to depot then it will filter down.

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8 minutes ago, Austin Allegro said:

I think what could happen is that motorways become automated-driver only. Then the system will be gradually 'rolled out' (hate that phrase) onto dual carriageways and other more easily controllable major roads, with side streets and back roads possibly never permitting automatic driving. This would be similar to what happened with ordinary cars - initially they had to have a man with a flag, then that was lifted but speeds were still restricted, then the arterial road network was set up, then eventually motorways, over a period of sixty years or so. With modern technology it might not take that long, but it would certainly be decades rather than years, I can't see it happening overnight.  

What problem is this solving though? In terms of accident rate and traffic deaths motorway/dual carriage way incidents are a small percentage of the figures.

This report gives some great insight, from their figures motorways account for 4% of accidents and 6% of road deaths. 

http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/roads and reality - bayliss - accident trends by road type - 160309 - background paper 9.pdf

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20 minutes ago, Austin Allegro said:

I think what could happen is that motorways become automated-driver only. Then the system will be gradually 'rolled out' (hate that phrase) onto dual carriageways and other more easily controllable major roads, with side streets and back roads possibly never permitting automatic driving. This would be similar to what happened with ordinary cars - initially they had to have a man with a flag, then that was lifted but speeds were still restricted, then the arterial road network was set up, then eventually motorways, over a period of sixty years or so. With modern technology it might not take that long, but it would certainly be decades rather than years, I can't see it happening overnight.  

At the mass consumer end, I think the driving process will become more and more automated with "driver aids", so that cars become effectively self-driving but any liability for crashes remains with the nominal human sat in the "driver seat". It won't be until the point that accidents are for all intents and purposes eliminated that they'll be promoted as self-driving. Commercial vehicles on motorways and trunk roads travelling between out of town logistics hubs will go driverless much sooner.

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I think this will start in some smaller city (Croydon?) and filter outwards.

I am a huge fan of the Pod Parking at Heathrow.  

Image result for heathrow pod parking

We are already used to having park and ride and small pedestrianised areas. Enlarge the pedestrianised areas to a radius of 4 or 5 miles and install a pod system and you have a very large number of people becoming carless. Provide a shared car scheme (or probably parking for your own car initially) outside of the zone for those that need to travel further afield.

You could relatively quickly build this to cover every city / major town, encompassing about 90% of the population. 

Create some larger vehicles to transfer passengers from zone a to zone b and you could link up the country.

As with most logistics, the problem with public transport is the last few miles. I would happily take the train at times but the grief of travelling 7 miles to the station + parking  (or walking a mile to a bus stop and then spending 50 minutes on the bus) just makes it unviable. Provide me a decent way of getting to the transport hub and it would become much more attractive.

 

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This doesn't appeal to me at all, it just seems so utterly banal, sitting in a car letting it drive you around. I remember a poster on here a few months ago glowing with excitement about how he could soon watch boxsets on the way to work. Give me bloody strength.

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1 hour ago, Hail the Tripod said:

It's already happening. Even a fairly basic modern car like a Golf has adaptive cruise control and lane assist options, so it'll pretty much drive itself on motorways (if you trust it to).

I do as it makes motorway far less stressful... Switch it to on set it to 70 and the car speeds up or slows down as appropriate....

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4 minutes ago, spunko2010 said:

This doesn't appeal to me at all, it just seems so utterly banal, sitting in a car letting it drive you around. I remember a poster on here a few months ago glowing with excitement about how he could soon watch boxsets on the way to work. Give me bloody strength.

How do you feel about: trains, planes, buses, ferries, trams and tubes?

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2 minutes ago, spunko2010 said:

This doesn't appeal to me at all, it just seems so utterly banal, sitting in a car letting it drive you around. I remember a poster on here a few months ago glowing with excitement about how he could soon watch boxsets on the way to work. Give me bloody strength.

Why?  A commute is rarely exciting or interesting unless you're James Bond.  It's functional and gets you from home to office.  I would love to be able to get into my car on my drive, press a button, and then read the paper, doze, drink coffee as I did when I commuted by train until it arrives at my office.

At the weekend when I go to different places I want to drive as it's part of going out, but for commuting?  Nah.

Hypothetical for me anyway as I won't be buying a driverless car that requires you to watch it drive itself.

 

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If we are going to have a lot of people surfing the web whilst being driven to and from work, I think extremely tinted windows are going to become very popular.

Just sayin'

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