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Old 27th July 2013, 17:53   #1
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Talking Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Disclaimer:
1) This article has to be taken lightly. I do not endorse any of the ideas in this post. So don't start trashing me.
2) I have assumed a few things here based on what I have read. E.g. future cars will be directed by their GPS, sensors etc.
3) Again, this post is intended to be taken in a light manner only.

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My dad's very close friend just bought a top of the line passat. You know, with all those fancy features like auto-park, start stop and a million things I couldn't care less.

I happened to sit in the car yesterday, and the one thing that struck me was its auto-park feature. Worked really well in the organized parking lot of his complex, failed miserably in my cramped building.

That got me wondering. I mean it will only be a few years before the cars will be able to park by themselves even in my cramped building. The japanese already have the technology know-how of making cars follow each other, park on their own, and even talk to each other!

Picture this: You have just arrived at a five star hotel for dinner. You get down, and instead of giving the keys (will these even exist?) to the valet, you simply press a button (or if you own a fancy car, you'll just talk to it via phone or something which we don't need). The car just goes and parks itself. Wow, I saved the torture I go through every-time, deciding how much I should tip the valet. Cool.

Bad news for the prospective drivers and valets. Future is looking bleak..



And then I read this: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...rive-cars.html

So, Mr. Schmidt has taken it upon himself to judge what's best for everyone.

To bad, Mr. Schmidt, I am a born rebel.
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So, I am cutting to the chase; Autonomous cars are going to be the future. Crib all you want, but due to our own narrow minded-nes these robots are going to be a part of our daily lives.

What are you going to do about it? Are you a:

A) Whiner and moaner.
People who just crib all day.Then I suggest you keep doing that away from this thread. But there is something in store here for you guys. Fast forward towards the end.

OR

B) Doer's / Go-getter's
Like me. People who want to do something about this.
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Amongst the Group B, there will be a lot of people with different ideas on how to tackle this situation. I have listed out some which I could think of. Suggestions are welcome for different ideas.
What group do you belong to?

1) The Revenge of the Enthusiasts club (ROTEC)
I take this opportunity to invite members to this club. The club's motto is similar to our fore-fathers, the hunters and gatherers. I intend to hunt down these autonomous machines by laying down traps.
It's simple; as soon as the target comes closer, we just lay down obstacles around it (front first obviously, since we need the car to stop, then surround it so that it will have nowhere to go).
Put in a spear and carry it back to our club. Roast the thing over a huge bonfire; spray some lemon, salt, and chilli & savor the beast

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2) The Prank Club
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I am no prankster, but I have some borrowed ideas (courtesy my prankster friend, Rahul)
a) So, for this prank you'll need a few friends. When you spot an innocent car trying to park itself, just surround it in a loose circle. Individual members can then approach the car's sensors one at a time, and force the car to change direction/stop, or just make it run around in circles
(Confession: idea has been lifted from a nissan prototype, which was shown to journalists. I think it will be great fun though, what do you say?)

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b) Auto-fights
Organize fights and earn some 'dough' on the side as well;-). All you need to do is enter 2 cars in a ring, set their gps destination just beyond the other car and try to 'herd' them by making them go after their sensors. The car which forces its opponent out of the ring is the winner!
There can be lots of pranks you can do, but you get the idea what I am getting to..

Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?-carfightayerav.vcamry02.jpg
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3) The Ethical Club
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The above two clubs sounding too immature and barbarian for your tastes? So, you would like to fight it out the right way?
Fine by me, as long as the end goal is the same.
This club shall include people willing to fight out in our courts, raise public awareness etc.
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AND finally, for the whiners and moaners: I suggest some positive thinking:

1) My brother who puts in 18 hour workdays (while I am lazing around and writing this article) thinks these autonomous cars will let him catch some much needed sleep during his boring commute.

2) No more worrying about hitching a ride if you are stranded on a highway. Jump in front of the car coming towards you, when it slows down, step away and let it pass. As it picks up speed, just aim a plunger to the bumper and ride along!

3) No more worrying about how much to tip your valet, or whether the valet will drive your car properly while taking it to the parking spot.

4) Traffic related stresses will soon be history. Spend some quality alone time introspecting yourself.

So, What club do you belong to?
Have any ideas other than what I have listed? Share them in this thread..

Thanks,
Simple_car

Last edited by Simple_car : 27th July 2013 at 19:36.
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Old 28th July 2013, 12:05   #2
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Thread moved from Assembly Line to Street Experiences section. Thanks for sharing!

When I started reading this, I assumed it was a facetious take on autonomous cars and was tempted to toss this in Shifting Gears. But the points that you have raised albeit tongue firmly in cheek deserve close consideration.

I am certainly in favour of technology being leveraged to enhance driver, passenger and pedestrian safety. For example, Fifth Gear recently tested automatic braking systems installed on cars as varied as the VW Go! and the Mercedes S-class. They were demonstrated to work (though within limits) and one expert said on camera that by 2014 such systems would be a standard part of the Euro NCAP testing parameters for safety.

However, there has to come a point where you question how much of the driving you are willing to entrust to a machine. While we cheerfully accept auto-pilot on an aircraft, how many of us are comfortable with the same concept applied to our daily drive?!!

Keeping with the spirit of the thread, am adding my own contributions to why autonomous cars may not necessarily be the best idea since sliced bread...

1. The Windows Effect: You have just set the car to auto-drive mode and are cootchie coo-ing with your loved one when suddenly...the system hangs! Ctrl+Alt+Del in a car toodling along the freeway? I think NOT!
Bottomline: 'Blue screen of death' suddenly takes on a more ominous meaning.

2. Android or iOs?: As if we don't have enough marriages endangered and friendships destroyed over which smartphone operates better, now you want to take this battle to the automotive arena? most of us buy one car for the family and I would hate to choose between the Galaxy Auto D4 and the Apple iDrive 8.
Bottomline: Be smart. But not that smart.

3. Am in App Hell!: So now that you have eliminated to the need to stay focused and alert while driving, what the hell do you with all that time at your disposal? ICE discussions will expand to include large-screen movie download-while-you-drive units. Since looking out the windshield and windows is passe, you will have apps that offer everything from Alpine landscapes to travelling the solar system as options.
Bottomline: For someone who cannot download the right version of Angry Birds for his 7-year old, this is a deal-breaker.
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Old 29th July 2013, 00:30   #3
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

When cars drive themselves, I will use the train. At least there will be someone to talk to, rather than just sitting there on your own doing nothing.

In the UK, the Transport and Research Road Laboratory modified a Citroen DS to follow a magnetic track embedded in the road, it worked very well considering it was over half a century ago. Just that they couldn't work out how to get the car to change lanes reliably!

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/how-the-fir...7.html#Hn7qliZ
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Old 29th July 2013, 08:50   #4
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
Picture this: You have just arrived at a five star hotel for dinner. You get down, and instead of giving the keys (will these even exist?) to the valet, you simply press a button (or if you own a fancy car, you'll just talk to it via phone or something which we don't need). The car just goes and parks itself. Wow, I saved the torture I go through every-time, deciding how much I should tip the valet. Cool.

Bad news for the prospective drivers and valets. Future is looking bleak..
Check the autonomous parking illustration video in this post (Safety innovations to be introduced with the Next Generation Volvo XC90). Quite similar to what you mentioned above
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Old 29th July 2013, 09:36   #5
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Frankly speaking, this would be the last thing i want in my car. If things do come to this, i am switching over to the bicycle. I am not a control freak but this is just too much for me to handle.
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Old 29th July 2013, 11:52   #6
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Very interesting thread @Simple_car again!

Being a technology fan, I love the convenience today's automobiles offer. I always tend to choose something that is fully automated and loaded. The infotainment systems play an important role in this. Today's systems come with various "mod'ed" Mobile OS into them. While this is good for average drivers, it also has its own flaws to be unfolded. These operating systems continue to have vulnerabilities that could be potentially exploited by geeky hackers. I came across this article on forbes magazine.

It is my personal belief that we need all these luxuries in the car to make life easier, but at the same time complete reliance on the so called robot software that drives me would be a scary thing for myself. While i love EcoSport sending a direct message to medical and police emergency lines in case I meet an accident, I would certainly hate sitting alone in the car and someone remotely driving me
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Old 29th July 2013, 18:38   #7
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Being a hardcore techie and a passionate driver too, i am excited about the prospect. I know there will be eyebrows raised, the reasons are :-

1. 80% of my driving is in the city, even thinking about the traffic snarls makes me tired. This is one reason i use my office cab. When this tech comes in the city drives will be far less painful. I can sit at the back seat and enjoy music.

2. 80% of minor accidents in the city happen because of someone took a turn which they should have not, and most of these repairs cost quiet a bit. So a cleaner and nicer moving traffic would not only be safer, it will be cheaper as well.

3. Most traffic jams also happen because of deadlock, we are in perennial hurry to cross or make that tight turn, knowingly well that we might end up blocking the other side traffic in the process. Hopefully this will lead to cleaner traffic movement and unblocking of some of these.

4. And finally, i am somewhat tired of drivers arm-twisting you to their terms and conditions. This way the customer will have a choice, and drivers need to come up with some unique USP to stay in business.
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Old 29th July 2013, 18:54   #8
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Thread moved from Assembly Line to Street Experiences section. Thanks for sharing!

When I started reading this, I assumed it was a facetious take on autonomous cars and was tempted to toss this in Shifting Gears. But the points that you have raised albeit tongue firmly in cheek deserve close consideration.
Thanks noopster sir,

Well, I fully agree that somehow, I am noticing that people think watching nature/landscape is more rewarding via apps or photoshopped pics.

Well, what can you do anyways. Their loss. But, what I am asking for via this thread is the ways you can mess around with these robots. Things which you may never do in real life, but would love to do if you were given a free hand.
Any ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatOut View Post
When cars drive themselves, I will use the train. At least there will be someone to talk to, rather than just sitting there on your own doing nothing.
Oh come on sir, surely you must have some ideas to mess around with these cars?
Of course, even I would take the train. But, surely no harm in letting your imagination run wild is it?
I just thought of one more way to mess around with these self driving robo-cars. See a car arriving, make an instant slalom course with cones, and enjoy instant autocross!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Check the autonomous parking illustration video in this
Thank you sir. I had seen this and an audi video too. That's why I put up the auto-parking part in my first post.

Spooky..

But, have you any ideas of ways we can have fun with these cars? (in our imagination of cousre!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch-Angel View Post
I am not a control freak but this is just too much for me to handle.
Come on Arch!

I am not asking about what you will do in reality. I for one will switch to public transport myself. I am asking you to let your imagination run wild. Things you will never do, but just enjoy if done maybe by someone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
It is my personal belief that we need all these luxuries in the car to make life easier, but at the same time complete reliance on the so called robot software that drives me would be a scary thing for myself. While i love EcoSport sending a direct message to medical and police emergency lines in case I meet an accident, I would certainly hate sitting alone in the car and someone remotely driving me
Thank you abirnale sir,

I also agree that technology can be really beneficial, but often it's only a matter of time before 'too much' of something becomes too much for us. To me, autonomous cars are my limit. I somehow don't like someone taking control of things I like (driving in this case). Hence, my mind just started thinking of the things I would like to do (but will never do) if these robo-cars become a reality.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guys, I am asking for just some plain innovative and fun thinking from members.

Come on guys.. no one here who likes to do fun things (best of all, in your imagination!)? I am not saying you should do such things, just something that you would love to do had you been given a free hand.

Just let your imagination run loose!

Thanks,
Simple_car
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Old 29th July 2013, 19:03   #9
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Study of history can give us some perspective on this. People went through similar emotions when modes of transportation underwent major change.

1) Sail ships to Steam Ship: The art of sailing became extinct.
2) Horse-drawn carriages to Cars: The art of carriage driving became extinct.
3) Horse riding to Motorcycle: The art of horsemanship became extinct.

Similarly, autonomous cars will make the art of car driving extinct.

However, all the arts mentioned above, do survive in recreational form. You can still find sail ships, house carriages & horse riding practiced for fun. Car driving will have similar fate.

I am sure we can find new avenues for thrill/fun seeking when that time comes. It is really hard to predict that now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
1. The Windows Effect:
2. Android or iOs?:
3. Am in App Hell!:
You don't have to worry about this. Cars run on real time OS (RTOS) and not consumer grade OS.
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Old 29th July 2013, 23:29   #10
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
Oh come on sir, surely you must have some ideas to mess around with these cars?
Of course, even I would take the train. But, surely no harm in letting your imagination run wild is it?
I just thought of one more way to mess around with these self driving robo-cars. See a car arriving, make an instant slalom course with cones, and enjoy instant autocross!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guys, I am asking for just some plain innovative and fun thinking from members.

Come on guys.. no one here who likes to do fun things (best of all, in your imagination!)? I am not saying you should do such things, just something that you would love to do had you been given a free hand.

Just let your imagination run loose!

Thanks,
Simple_car
As I sit here drinking my late-afternoon cup of tea and watching summer storms ride across the mid-summer deep-green valley, I am only depressed at the thought of more state control over the individual. My thought? I would stick to the back roads without the train-like procession of cars, so that I could drive rather than sit in a space just like a railway carriage, but without the interest of other people, or use a vehicle which wasn't covered by the automatic driver system, having great fun being one of the few with the freedom of my own control over what is happening.

Other than tampering with other cars' responses to electronic signals/jamming their systems, which isn't really my idea of fun although it could be interesting, I can't think of a way of making life interesting on a motorway with three lanes of cars all being driven by autopilot. It is a very depressing thought for me - the motor car has given the average man a massive amount of individual freedom over the last sixty years. That government will have control over your car and how it goes does not excite me! I can project myself thirty years hence and see how a car which is exceeding the speed limit may easily be immobilised, how certain 'important' people will not be constricted in how they travel by a computer system and how 'big brother' will have even more data on an individual's behaviour.
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Old 30th July 2013, 09:57   #11
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

For years I used to travel on light train between the Bank Station and Canary Wharf in London on the DLR Line. The DLR line doesn't have a driver (or Train Engineer) in the front, it just had a conductor who opens/closes the doors and announces sometime.

I used to sit in the front seat and seeing no driver or any one to control the train used to wonder how it would be to sit in a car which drives it self.

After few months and seeing every bit of the track and the tunnel I was bored to death. I shifted to the back seats where I could interact with few people, but was still interested in the driverless train/car.

I feel Autonomous cars will be accepted in the society easily as the crux of the driving or transportation would not be very different from today. I think the Autonomous cars would more be in line with what was shown in i. Robot movie (Audi Cars) with ability for humans to over ride the system.

As person who drives 65 KMS per day in peak bangalore traffic, I would welcome the Autonomous cars with open hand for my daily commute and at the same time would keep manual driving option available.

The next quantum leap in personal transportation should be to completely eliminate cars for flying machines, jets, planes.. more like Jetson I believe.

Regards
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Old 30th July 2013, 10:30   #12
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Well, in case i am allowed to let my imagination run wild, how about cars which have everything in them? think about intercity/state/country travel by paying appropriate fees . They can cruise, fly and even use interplanetary travelways through wormholes and what not. Ionic thrusters aren't fiction anymore so maybe, we will have something to look forward to, in the most non-emissive of ways that is.
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Old 19th August 2013, 13:23   #13
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

How aggressive will these cars be? Will they have a "Drive Mode" for normal driving and an "S" mode for Super Aggressive Driving (to which there are 3 levels - Morning Rush, Got-to-Pee Rush, Wife-is-Delivering Rush)?
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Old 19th August 2013, 15:33   #14
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

I dont think autonomous passenger cars will become reality at least in our cities unless you nuke them and build over.

I wouldn't mind hopping in one to my office. You can use at least 3 hours of travel time to work.
But if we want to drive ourselves, it would be only on select roads I guess.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 18:16   #15
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Default Re: Autonomous cars are the future: What are you going to do about it?

Come across this blog post on LinkedIn.
Nicely written, though I don't buy the cost per mile calculations projected. There will be additional computing/electric overhead for the model he wrote about. But it looks promising, the way we see technology advancing.

Source:
https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/...xi-of-tomorrow

In summary it talks about merging of 3 evolving technologies (1) Taxi services driven by Smart mobile devices, (2) Electrical Vehicles = Tesla Motors and (3) Self driven cars.

I liked the last paragraph,
Quote:
Just as people still own horses and classic cars, some people will still own and drive cars, just for the love of it. The difference is – it will not be necessary.
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