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Thread: Imagine Computer-driven Vehicles

  1. #241
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    That changes a little near the Conn/RI border.

  2. #242
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    Yes, a lot of unexpected changes. And costs. Remember the Krell? You will have to build cars to that kind of standard. You know, even nuclear submarines have stuff that breaks. That's why we train crews.
    I do think we could eliminate tail-gating and by default..... inter-swerving, you know, the mad dog slalom drivers who fancy themselves driving formula One, ducking into impossibly small holes to pass everything on the road because something inside makes them do it???? When they try to slalom, it would kill the engine or some such action to punish them. We certainly could limit speeders .
    Oh, I can just hear the cries and protest, but probably necessary if we are to live with increasingly smaller and less powerfull cars. Gee, people would have to drive like
    Beaver Cleaver's Mom. Maybe a good thing. And life expectancy would go up.
    Maybe......... Nah!!!!!! Steve Martin as Orlich of York, Medieval Barber .
    But really....

  3. #243
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    I think there is a lot of automation that could be profitably added to cars. My first choice wouldn't be automation, it would be a "black box" data recorder that would record a few things, like speed, rpm, throttle position, speed, etc for use in accident reconstruction.
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  4. #244
    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I think there is a lot of automation that could be profitably added to cars. My first choice wouldn't be automation, it would be a "black box" data recorder that would record a few things, like speed, rpm, throttle position, speed, etc for use in accident reconstruction.
    Certainly, a progressive approach is most likely...collision avoidance sensors to keep you from, say, backing into something or someone at low speed (available in some forms, though rare), overrides to prevent loss of control due to panicked overreactions in braking or steering (already being implemented), tracking the local speed limit and displaying it and overspeed warnings, alerting the driver to things like intersections and turn-only lanes, warnings when drifting out of the correct lane...

  5. #245
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    Never mind warnings. Just employ genuine governors. Simple. You can't exceed 70 MPH. Period.
    And Stop the tail-gaiting. Easy enough to do. We will save lives, cars, gas and money just doing that.
    You got technology? Use it.
    Anyone opposed to that?

  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Never mind warnings. Just employ genuine governors. Simple. You can't exceed 70 MPH. Period.
    And Stop the tail-gaiting. Easy enough to do. We will save lives, cars, gas and money just doing that.
    You got technology? Use it.
    Anyone opposed to that?
    There was a plan to require all cars sold in the US to have a governed top speed of (I think) 85 mph (iirc, it was during the Nixon administration). For all the howling, you'd be thinking that the law was as bad as requiring you to listen to William Shatner's singing.
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  7. #247
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    Dreadfull ! Isn't his record used to extract information....even the threat of it?

  8. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Dreadfull ! Isn't his record used to extract information....even the threat of it?
    Even Bybee thought that was going too far.
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  9. #249
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    And just for the record, we all love Bill Shatner, even if we sometimes have some fun at his expense.
    Love the original series .... and the girls

  10. #250
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    "Stop the tailgating" No, but we can reduce it near term, to about one second per hour of driving time, for cars equiped with reasonable technology. When someone pulls in front of you, A capcitor charged to several hundred volts is connected to the break lights to give the vehicle behind earliest possible notice (probably not necesary for LED break lights) Eject some artifical smoke near the rear tires to indicate to the following driver that you are at extreme breaking. A high powered speaker emits the sound of screeching tires and breaks in case the driver behind has his eyes closed. Cut the fuel back to idle amount. Apply maximum breaking for about 10 milliseconds, while the computer analizes whether you will be rear ended if fast braking is likely to result in you being rear ended. With average conditions minimum safe following distance is achived in one or two seconds, but the guy behind you needs a nerve pill even if he was at mimum safe following distance. Neil

  11. #251
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    Computer controlled (on purpose) tail gating has been experimented with. I think it was Volkswagon that had a set of ten or so cars (this was a T.V. news item I saw about a decade ago) that would act like a "train" as they cruised along the motorway. Their acceleration and braking all inter controlled. Saved fuel etc.

    This is where I'd see automation come into it first. Perhaps on the country roads the car is set to "manual", then on the controlled environment of the motorway the "auto" is switched on and it takes you to the next town...
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  12. #252
    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Computer controlled (on purpose) tail gating has been experimented with. I think it was Volkswagon that had a set of ten or so cars (this was a T.V. news item I saw about a decade ago) that would act like a "train" as they cruised along the motorway. Their acceleration and braking all inter controlled. Saved fuel etc.
    That sounds like the system I was referring to here in post #12. One vehicle with professional drivers, and the other cars just follow the leader.

    It's extensible to a fully-automated system as well. You could eventually replace the lead car with a fully robotic vehicle, without any change to the other vehicles. This approach is also less sensitive to the cost of the automated car's sensors and control electronics, as you don't have to convince a large portion of the people on the road to buy it. That would help get you past the startup catch-22 of needing high-volume production to get prices down and needing low prices to sell large volumes...easier to scale up production if it's already selling.

  13. #253
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    I submitted a proposal to the Australian Government, which they of course ignored. It outlined a plan for the introduction of automated vehicles.

    Step 1. Make all current vehicles fly by wire. Have a standard interface to this fly by wire system, like a HDMI socket, or USB socket. Make this a design standard for all new vehicles. The purpose of this is to allow retrofitting of automated systems to existing cars in the future when the AI is good enough.
    Step 2. Make a small town a trial town. Make data nodes along the streets. These will need power so the most obvious solution is an adaptor that plugs in to the street lights. Have a central computing system that does traffic management, groups cars together that have a similar destination. Car to car networking handles intersection traffic, notification of hazard. Also street lamp nodes keep record of local hazards detected by cars such as pedestrians, debris. etc.
    Step 3. Roll out nation wide.

    The advantages of automated systems are awesome. Never stop at an intersection again. you slow down, other car speeds up, passing within inches of your car, giving massive fuel savings. Join blocks of traffic together on free ways like a train, reducing energy consumption and congestion. Use once car to take your kids to school, then come back and get you. Use all cars as taxis, like a mass public transport system. Go on holidays and sleep in your car and wake up at your destination.

    As automation takes over, accidents drop. Cars can be made smaller and lighter with less accident protection. This saves money on fuel. As all cars become lighter, crash protection can be made even lighter. Soon there would be no accidents given free form design to car cabins.

    The possibilities go on an on and on.

  14. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I've hit that pothole, because I couldn't steer around it. My airbag didn't deploy, and my neck wasn't broken (nor was it when my daughter drove into the front of a city bus). And you've still not provided any evidence that this is not a situation that could be dealt with by automation: it's predictable scenario.
    The trick is to use four tiers of automation and networks. Car, car to car, car to node, car to traffic control.

    Car is the cars own eyes and system information.
    Car to car is the cars within wifi range telling other cars their positions and their planned movements for the next 10 or 20 seconds.
    Car to node is what will take care of the pot hole problem. When one car detects an obstacle such as a pedestrian, pot hole, cat, whatever, it tells the nearest node. The node would be in the nearest light pole. It records the location of the obstacle. Even if it is another hour until the next vehicle comes, it will tell if of the detected obstacle. This vehicle will know there is a possibility of an obstacle in the area and slow. If the obstacle is in the same place, the probability of the obstacle being there for the next vehicle will rise at the node. If it is not there, the probability of a moving object in the are will rise slightly.
    Car to Network.
    This is central traffic control. This designated routes to vehicles, to minimise congestion and maximise efficiency. It would also have humans manning it. If an obstacle is detected by multiple vehicles, an image will be sent to a human. They can determine if a road crew needs to go out fix the road. If animal control is required, etc.

  15. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I think there is a lot of automation that could be profitably added to cars. My first choice wouldn't be automation, it would be a "black box" data recorder that would record a few things, like speed, rpm, throttle position, speed, etc for use in accident reconstruction.
    If you had this black box linked with your insurance claim it could make a real difference. here in Australia, if you are drunk you are not insured. That rule did more to stop drink driving than anything. If the black box could prove you were driving recklessly and you lost your insurance, that would certainly change driver behaviour.

  16. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    And just how will the local constabulary fill their coffers without speeding revenue?
    What makes you think they get any of the money?

    I know they don't in Denmark, fines are payable to the state not to some random police department exactly because doing otherwise is a recipe for abuse.
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  17. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
    If you had this black box linked with your insurance claim it could make a real difference. here in Australia, if you are drunk you are not insured. That rule did more to stop drink driving than anything. If the black box could prove you were driving recklessly and you lost your insurance, that would certainly change driver behaviour.
    This links directly to the punishment thread.
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  18. #258
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    A large percentage goes to the constabulary budget and some to town revenues. They don't get those high performance cars for free you know.

  19. #259
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    Tailgating--drafting--actually saves gas, but the human element causes trouble. Now if there were a way by which the leadcar could signal cars behind it to start braking, maybe. I remember a near accident where there was tailgating when a sightseerer ahead of the pack veered suddenly. There was no collision since each turned to one side or another, giving them extra room to stop. So you had several vehicles catty corner to one another like branches on a tree. A one off, but something a computer might use in the far future to prevent drafting accidents.

  20. #260
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    The problem is that these types tail-gate all the time, routinely. Pushing the traffic. A deliberate speed governor would punish them each time they tailgate , making the practice a moot point. Maybe they would have to drive at a reasonable speed like human beings do. Neutralize the fiends. Not a bad idea.
    If you can't put that simple technology into cars with some serious fines ( $25,000 and loss of license for 5 years for tampering ) then you don't have any chance at making your computerized car. And.... come to think about it,
    with a speed governor and proximity detector employed, you lose most of the need for a computerized car to begin with.
    Save money, time and space.
    Best regards,
    Dan

  21. #261
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    I'm thinking a simple 360-deg laser distance/doppler scanner that:

    1. Prevents a driver from too close behind the vehicle in front by means of throttle retardation

    2. Prevents accidents by applying the brakes, if necessary

    3. Prevents a driver from changing lanes until their distance and relative velocity with respect to the vehicle in the next lane is such that a lane change will be allowed.

    I can imagine hoards of us driving pedal to the metal all the time, relying on the computer to keep us from causing harm to others, while violently flying off the handle every time the system prevented us from making the lane change in time to make the exit.

    On the other hand, if you incorporate a bit of multi-cellular communication so that every vehicle is communicating with all the other vehicles on the same stretch of road about 1/8 mile ahead and behind, you could employ signalling intentions and negotiating strategies to ensure vehicles remain safe and make their exit while allowing the drivers to still do most of the driving. This technology could probably even help eliminate traffic "shock" waves (video), which are less efficient in terms of throughput than following closely but at a safe distance behind at the speed limit.

    It's one of the reasons I absolutely hate it when drivers don't:
    - remain right except to pass
    - follow way to far behind, thereby creating an inefficient, un-used space in front of them

    These drivers think they're being safer, but in fact, they're actually causing the problems which wind up being most hazardous to other drivers.

  22. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
    If you had this black box linked with your insurance claim it could make a real difference. here in Australia, if you are drunk you are not insured. That rule did more to stop drink driving than anything. If the black box could prove you were driving recklessly and you lost your insurance, that would certainly change driver behaviour.
    I suspect that a major -- perhaps the major -- technical factor in making investigations of commercial aircraft accidents more than exercises in talking to unreliable witnesses is the "black" box.
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  23. #263
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    Yes, foggies that want to drive 35MPH on a highway with a 65 speed limit are a danger. The police will ticket them for it as well. That can be cured with driver ed and public service anouncments ( we used to see more of those once).
    But there are very good reasons for several car lengths between cars at high speed. Get too close and you lose power.
    Very clever.

  24. #264
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    90% of my recent driving is between 30 and 50 miles per hour. I try to stay plus or minus i MPH of the speed limit, a bit slower when conditions are less than ideal. I rarely change lanes or pass the car ahead nor drive closer than 40 feet = 12 meters behind the car ahead, except at very slow speed. 40 feet is sufficient for vehicles to pull in front of me from another lane. I try to think that they have a good reason for doing this so as to avoid getting myself stressed. In my opinion I am tailgating as soon as they start to occupy my usual 12 meter following distance, but I typically take about 3 seconds to increase my following distance to about 30 feet. I hope that stresses few of you.
    Ten or more cars spaced 2 meters apart does not allow another vehicle to change lanes for about 60 meters, and I think it is a poor idea to communicate with the node my intended destination = about as bad as texting while driving. It gets really complicated if I communicate my destination before I start my journey which averages about 2 miles starting from a residential location as I often choose one of several routes to follow after I start driving. As the ten cars leave the traffic control area they need to slow considerably (except the lead car) to change two meter following distance to 9 meter following distance, so it seems counter-productive for small control areas. If I decide to exit the "train" ahead of schedual. My turn signal should notify both the car in front and the car behind of my intention as a backup for my car notifing the node of my intention to change lanes which I can't do safely until the wider vehicle behind me backs off about 30 feet. Neil
    Last edited by neilzero; 2012-Apr-30 at 07:23 AM.

  25. #265
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    I still have an out that I was there.

    Actual footage is anyone gets a wild hair to contest it!

    Let's watch.

    Ok, very wimpy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBVRz4RC4ns

  26. #266
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    Hi Neil, That's a good way to drive in my opinion. My problems are with the fools who court disaster, reckless driving,
    weaving in and out of traffic with impossibly stupid margins, missing innocent drivers by inches. It is a delight when the police haul their car away on a car carrier and them in the back seat of the patrol car. So I see a form of govenor
    as a practical solution to a real problem with type A belligerents who ought not be driving at all.Driving is not a contest.
    Ah, ....there. I feel better already
    Best regards,
    Dan

  27. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Yearly safety inspections might be redundant since the car would have to be able to do this themselves every day.
    Even though they are doing self diagnostics, that would be catching an existing problem. I would think that a yearly inspection would be good because you can spot things that are going to be a problem. (frayed wires, rusted mounting brackets, probably plenty of other things)

    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    More revenue gone, not to mention the repair shops that are going to have to do preventive maintenance instead of a series of more costly stop-gap measures.
    My guess is that it would even out because the preventative maintenance would be a little more involved in addition to being more often than an actual repair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    And just how will the local constabulary fill their coffers without speeding revenue?
    Their revenues will likely drop, but so will their costs, because you won't need so many traffic cops. I don't know how it will balance out.
    Except for those "speed trap" types of cities, I don't think it will make any difference in costs. Most cities are using the regular cops as thier traffic enforcement while they are not covering any more important tasks. They'll just be doing something else like visible patrol (or donuts) in thier slow time. They would still need to maintain thier levels for covering crime. In other words "in standby" mode.

  28. #268
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    In todays news (where I am): http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/mo...car-registered

    Sorry if it's a re-post.

    Drivers in the US state of Nevada could soon be sharing the road with vehicles that don't need them.

    Department of Motor Vehicles officials say they've issued Google the nation's first licence to test self-driving cars on public streets

    ...
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  29. #269
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    Guess danscope won't be visiting Nevada any time soon.
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  30. #270
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    How ironic that the article says the law requires the car to have two passengers.

    Go google! Soon the elderly will reclaim their roads! I'd like to see it tested in all weather conditions first, though.

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