Will driverless cars ever actually be a thing?

mrincredible
yahooyahoo said:
If my auto insurance was reduced by 95% then I'd be all for driverless vehicles.

 It's interesting to think about everything that would change if we moved to a 100% autonomous vehicle system.  Actuarial tables to determine driver's premiums? Gone. Presumably if you're going to own an autonomous vehicle you would pay some kind of flat rate insurance.  It wouldn't be hard to argue that the manufacturer might be on the hook for some liability if your driverless car causes an injury or fatality. Unless you weren't properly maintaining it.  But even then like I mentioned before: if certain basic functions aren't working (turn signals, sensors, tire pressure, brakes etc) maybe the car doesn't even start.

Driver's licenses? Depends on where we end up.  Will there come a day when there's no passenger control of the vehicle?  



ctrzaska

I’m happy with automated safety enhancements like with emergency braking and avoidance of unintended lane shifts.  But no one will ever take my shifter away without an outright ban and a fight. 


yahooyahoo

I'm with ctrzaska.  I like to drive and will certainly want the choice in the future.  I can't see an outright ban happening realistically until several more generations of people die off.


gonets

I don't think there will be a ban of traditional vehicles. More likely it will be a transition as more autonomous vehicles hit the road, they'll probably allocate the left lane of highways to autonomous vehicles. An enticement to upgrade will be if they're flying along at 100MPH with traffic a rarity while the rest of us trudge along in the traditional lanes.


Jaytee

Maybe it will solve all these problems we now have. 

They would have priority to be in the left lane doing exactly the speed limit. And they would park head on into parking spaces.

They would automatically slow down near a school or play ground.


gonets

They wouldn't even have to park in the parking lot. They could drop you off and then run errands (e.g. driving to Whole Foods to pick up the groceries you ordered).


Jaytee
gonets said:
They wouldn't even have to park in the parking lot. They could drop you off and then run errands (e.g. driving to Whole Foods to pick up the groceries you ordered).

 Whole foods would have to set up a drive through window....


mrincredible

autonomous vehicle technology is going to keep improving. Ultimately, it's likely that autonomous vehicles will be safer and far more efficient then the current system of fossil fueled meatsack-piloted cars on the road today. They'll obey traffic laws, they won't be subject to distraction, or road rage. They won't treat the parkway like their own personal NASCAR track like I saw two people doing yesterday.

If you intend to be one of the holdouts I also agree there's not likely to be a full band on cars driven by people in the future. Although in 1900 oh, how many people thought that there would be a band on horses and horse-drawn carriages? Also I have no doubt that it will become apparent to the insurance companies that insuring a human to drive a car in the world of mostly autonomous vehicles it's going to be financially untenable. If you think your premiums are bad now, wait until you're one of 10% of people still trying to drive a regular car.

It will probably take decades, and the technology is going to have to be a lot cheaper.

I'm not sure it's easy to imagine a fully-realized system where vehicles are fully autonomous. I don't think you can think about stuff like parking in the same way as we do now. For instance, you wouldn't need to worry about the Dust reans mingling with moving cars in a parking lot. People would just get dropped off by their vehicle at the front of the store and even if vehicle wasn't going off to do something else, it would just go park itself. There wouldn't be any people around to run over while trying to negotiate a parking space.


mrincredible
Jaytee said:
 Whole foods would have to set up a drive through window....

 Any smart retailer or Food Service establishment would figure out how to incorporate this into their business model. For instance, if there was a local pizzeria the needed easy for me to send my driverless car to go get my pizza, I might be more likely to use that establishment.

Imagine that if you will. You pull up an app on your phone and order some food. It alerts your car. The restaurant sends a notification to the car when the food is going to be ready. Your car leaves to go get it ( obviously a human would have to come to the car from the restaurant to place it inside). The next thing you know you'll get a message from your car that it's back in your driveway with food ready for you.

So you go from a single interaction with an app to your food being delivered by your own vehicle later.


dave

Or your car gets the pizza pick up signal from the app, compares it to your last known weight, and then either picks up the pie or drives and parks 5 miles away from you so you can stretch your legs to retrieve your car.  


mrincredible
dave said:
Or your car gets the pizza pick up signal from the app, compares it to your last known weight, and then either picks up the pie or drives and parks 5 miles away from you so you can stretch your legs to retrieve your car.  

 Ha! Or just straight up changes the order to steamed chicken and vegetables and brown rice from the Chinese takeout next door.

Driverless cars save lives in lots of ways.


Klinker

I'm just jumping in here at the end without reading the whole thread so, perhaps, this was discussed above but driverless cars would save a lot of lives by simply eliminating traffic stops for African Americans.  

ETA:  I wrote this out and then I realized that AA folks could still be stopped for "broken tail lights" and all the other bs reasons that lead to people being shot by the cops.  But, in an ideal world.....


Red_Barchetta
Klinker said:
I'm just jumping in here at the end without reading the whole thread so, perhaps, this was discussed above but driverless cars would save a lot of lives by simply eliminating traffic stops for African Americans.  
ETA:  I wrote this out and then I realized that AA folks could still be stopped for "broken tail lights" and all the other bs reasons that lead to people being shot by the cops.  But, in an ideal world.....

 But if those driverless cars were designed and built by white men...


mrincredible
Klinker said:
I'm just jumping in here at the end without reading the whole thread so, perhaps, this was discussed above but driverless cars would save a lot of lives by simply eliminating traffic stops for African Americans.  
ETA:  I wrote this out and then I realized that AA folks could still be stopped for "broken tail lights" and all the other bs reasons that lead to people being shot by the cops.  But, in an ideal world.....

 Well, like I said before maybe if there is a mechanical issue with the car which would be a ticketable offense (broken tail light for instance, or tinted windows) then the vehicle would prevent driving more than a few more miles until it's fixed. It could cause a shift in police-public relations. 

Another related thought is if you remember the justification some police officials adopted for profiling stops. Drugs and weapons were supposedly coming in via the highways in cars driven by young black men. But what if you can just load that stuff into a driverless car and send it on its way? It's going to obey traffic laws and not draw any attention to itself. No more profiling? Maybe.


mjc

For myself, i'm glad it won't happen in my lifetime.  For people with vision or orthopedic problems that prevent driving (most of us, eventually?) who live in areas underserved (to put it politely) by public transit, it would be a huge liberating development.


bub

We will get used to sitting in cars and reading, napping, web surfing etc. and the days of having to hold the wheel and pay attention will seem barbaric.  


mjc

bub, i'm sure you will be right, but to me it seems as though traveling by car will become boring, and i'll be less and less observant and present where i actually am....



Tom_Reingold

I am in favor of replacing the word "accident," because it implies that it wasn't preventable. Improved attention can prevent many collisions or crashes, if you want to use one of those words.

I am in favor of automated cars, but there are a lot of problems to work out. For instance, they are currently programmed to avoid hitting pedestrians at all costs. That's good, right? I can stand in front of your vehicle and prevent it from moving for as long as I'm willing to stand there. What is a solution to that?


bub

Being the driver is boring and, on long rides, increasingly unpleasant .  Much rather be the passenger looking out the window and taking in the scenery.  I still enjoy looking out the window on a long train ride.


gonets

Plus, cars themselves will be different. Why have the seats configured like they currently are. You could set up a conversation nook with a table. Have a card game (people will still do that right?), or sit down to a meal while you're trying to get across the state of PA.


ctrzaska
bub said:
Being the driver is boring and, on long rides, increasingly unpleasant .  Much rather be the passenger looking out the window and taking in the scenery.  I still enjoy looking out the window on a long train ride.

Depends on the road and the car.  I will never not relish the drive up to Boston on the Merritt, for example. 


bub
ctrzaska said:


bub said:
Being the driver is boring and, on long rides, increasingly unpleasant .  Much rather be the passenger looking out the window and taking in the scenery.  I still enjoy looking out the window on a long train ride.
Depends on the road and the car.  I will never not relish the drive up to Boston on the Merritt, for example. 

 Yes, the Merritt is beautiful.  Being the driver isn't beautiful.  Much more pleasurable to be the passenger on that ride than the driver.  Keeping your hands on the wheel, foot on a pedal, and having to pay attention to the road and other drivers does not add to the beauty of that or any ride, it detracts from it.  


drummerboy

This thread is turning into a Jetsons retrospective.



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