Time for driverless cars?

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Time for driverless cars?

Postby dekay23 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:15 pm

After too many close shaves and serial abuse lately, I'm thinking it must be time to start advocating to make all new cars driverless (and illegal for humans to drive). The technology is available. That would surely start improving safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and any remaining human drivers?
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by BNA » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:23 pm

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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby il padrone » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:23 pm

Trouble is, despite a better overtaking technique, the passengers would all probably still hang out the window and hurl abuse because their car computer slowed them down for 3.2 seconds :roll:
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby dekay23 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:12 pm

il padrone wrote:Trouble is, despite a better overtaking technique, the passengers would all probably still hang out the window and hurl abuse because their car computer slowed them down for 3.2 seconds :roll:


I hadn't thought of that - Could be safer but the abuse could actually be worse!
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby Strawburger » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:11 am

I would think when the prototypes are done and they went to market the manufactured driverless car would be enclosed and have the doors locked whilst in motion. So, if they passengers were to yell abuse they would need to scream very loud! :)
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby rkelsen » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:39 am

Roadblocks:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2733925/Will-Google-s-driverless-car-need-steering-wheel-make-roadworthy-New-motoring-laws-alter-vehicle-s-design.html

It seems that the motoring lobby is pretty powerful.

I'm confident that we'll see them soon enough. They'll be everywhere within 2 decades.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby bychosis » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:56 am

I watched a doco on the driverless car challenge where an autonomous car is put through a series of challenges and if someone succeeds they get a big prize. Some of the things that went wrong with them was funny, but some was very scary. Car's stuck waiting at an intersection becuase they couldn't pick a gap or couldn't work out a way around a road block, alternatively seriously crashing when the situation was outside design parameters.

They are getting closer for everyday joe, but at the moment they are still very expensive.

re the driver taking over thing above I'd like to be able to switch on autopilot in traffic or on motorways, but would still like the option to take control and enjoy the drive from time to time.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby V8rider » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:26 pm

I'm ok for other people to have driverless cars, just so long as I don't have to have one. Mind you the next step would probably be driverless moto's, then bikes. I guess everyone gets to be equal 1st on strava segments then.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby mitchy_ » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:38 pm

why punish everyone for something the minority have done?

there are numpty cyclists as well, doesn't mean we should all resort to indoor trainers.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby dekay23 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:08 pm

mitchy_ wrote:why punish everyone for something the minority have done?

there are numpty cyclists as well, doesn't mean we should all resort to indoor trainers.


I used to think along these lines, and most drivers are considerate and polite. However, the behaviour of the 0.1% (or whatever) of dangerous and rude drivers has a devastating impact on other road users, and does not seem to be changing despite laws and education. Is it realistic to expect these people's behaviours (and attitudes/worldviews) to change? We need to consider more drastic options to make the roads safer for everyone. The issue is with drivers rather than cars or roads per se - lets do something about it.

While clearly a few cyclists are dicks, their behaviour does not threaten, bully or kill other road users anywhere near as much as drivers.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby rkelsen » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:19 pm

mitchy_ wrote:why punish everyone for something the minority have done?

Punish? I reckon they'll be pretty popular. Imagine being able to get an hour's work done on the way to the office, and being able to arrive feeling relaxed because you haven't had to worry about dealing with idiots on the road.

Not everyone enjoys driving. For many people it is a necessary evil.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby kPrdfHTb » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:20 pm

I think all cars should have an override that lets the human take control back from the computer. That way, if the computer is slowing down the trip because it's giving a cyclist more room than he really needs, then the human can just step on it and zoom straight past. It's not fair that you should have to slow to below 80 just because there's a vehicle in front of you. Especially if they're smaller than you.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby il padrone » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:14 am

kPrdfHTb wrote:I think all cars should have an override that lets the human take control back from the computer. That way, if the computer is slowing down the trip because it's giving a cyclist more room than he really needs, then the human can just step on it and zoom straight past. It's not fair that you should have to slow to below 80 just because there's a vehicle in front of you. Especially if they're smaller than you.

:shock: :shock: :x

Are you aware of your obligations under the road rules?

If it is not safe to change lanes and pass a cyclist, EASE OFF THE ACCELERATOR AND SLOW YOUR VEHICLE DOWN!! It's not rocket science. That's what your driverless car will do. Don't go thrashing the engine and elbow-shaving the cyclist, please. If it is safe to change lanes and pass, any driverless car computer will be well able to do this, and so should you. :roll:
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:51 am

il padrone wrote:
kPrdfHTb wrote:I think all cars should have an override that lets the human take control back from the computer. That way, if the computer is slowing down the trip because it's giving a cyclist more room than he really needs, then the human can just step on it and zoom straight past. It's not fair that you should have to slow to below 80 just because there's a vehicle in front of you. Especially if they're smaller than you.

:shock: :shock: :x

Are you aware of your obligations under the road rules?

If it is not safe to change lanes and pass a cyclist, EASE OFF THE ACCELERATOR AND SLOW YOUR VEHICLE DOWN!! It's not rocket science. That's what your driverless car will do. Don't go thrashing the engine and elbow-shaving the cyclist, please. If it is safe to change lanes and pass, any driverless car computer will be well able to do this, and so should you. :roll:


Hook line and sinker Pete. :-D
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby diventare » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:01 am

GPS guidance will be interesting in tunnels.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby Strawburger » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:45 am

diventare wrote:GPS guidance will be interesting in tunnels.


This can be done easy and more accurately than using satellites. Configure a local coordinate system in the tunnel and have stations every 100m or so, or use laser technology built into the pavement to guide the cars (this would be a secondary guidance system.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby exadios » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:07 pm

Strawburger wrote:
diventare wrote:GPS guidance will be interesting in tunnels.


This can be done easy and more accurately than using satellites. Configure a local coordinate system in the tunnel and have stations every 100m or so, or use laser technology built into the pavement to guide the cars (this would be a secondary guidance system.


Actually, the most interesting technology may be based upon the method that bees navigate.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby KenGS » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:30 pm

exadios wrote:
Strawburger wrote:
diventare wrote:GPS guidance will be interesting in tunnels.


This can be done easy and more accurately than using satellites. Configure a local coordinate system in the tunnel and have stations every 100m or so, or use laser technology built into the pavement to guide the cars (this would be a secondary guidance system.


Actually, the most interesting technology may be based upon the method that bees navigate.

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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby KenGS » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:30 pm

exadios wrote:
Strawburger wrote:
diventare wrote:GPS guidance will be interesting in tunnels.


This can be done easy and more accurately than using satellites. Configure a local coordinate system in the tunnel and have stations every 100m or so, or use laser technology built into the pavement to guide the cars (this would be a secondary guidance system.


Actually, the most interesting technology may be based upon the method that bees navigate.

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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby maestro » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:33 pm

dekay23 wrote: and does not seem to be changing despite laws and education. Is it realistic to expect these people's behaviours (and attitudes/worldviews) to change?


IMHO it's the lack of enforcement that's the cause. Laws and education won't make much difference if people just ignore them.

Driverless cars may have some extra positive benefits for cyclists...
1) There will be less accidents/incidents with driverless cars and consequently less police resources tied up, so more police available for the rest (until they cut the numbers of cops down to match).
2) Driverless cars will set a high, and well documented, driving benchmark which hopefully will raise expectations
3) Penalties for bad driving may include restrictions to driverless only. This would have a much lower impact on the offender so the courts may be more likely to impose such a restriction. Also, there is far less reason for bad drivers to violate that restriction.

I am still guessing at whether there these driverless cars will be open to abuse from other drivers. For example people pulling in front of a driverless car knowing that the car will avoid the collision, and therefore unfairly forcing it to give way. I could forsee a scenario where a driverless car could be stranded at a lane merge due to the overly aggressive merging from human controlled vehicles from the other lane never giving the computer the required room to guarantee a safe merge.

It will be very interesting... I think that it will be better overall, however there will be some teething issues resulting in accidents.

Of interest is an Aussie company making wireless communication devices for vehicles to talk to each other to help avoid accidents http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/cohda-wireless-set-to-win-big-from-us-vehicle-collision-prevention-plans-20140825-106mn2.html. Apparently this sort of thing will be mandatory on all new vehicles in the US reasonably soon, and european carmakers have an agreement that this will be brought to market by 2016. I am always concerned with this sort of active collision avoidance as both vehicles must have it in order for it to work which ends up with any vehicle not equipped becoming more vulnerable as people get used to the new protection and paying less attention to the driving.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby maestro » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:37 pm

Strawburger wrote:
diventare wrote:GPS guidance will be interesting in tunnels.


This can be done easy and more accurately than using satellites. Configure a local coordinate system in the tunnel and have stations every 100m or so, or use laser technology built into the pavement to guide the cars (this would be a secondary guidance system.


I'm pretty sure that the GPS system would be more to identify which road you are on for speed limit and navigation purposes. GPS is not accurate enough to reliably tell you what lane you are in, or to enable you to corner within lanes (especially when there are high-rise buildings as they screw with the signals). They would all have some sort of vision or laser system built in to detect the kerb, lanes and other vehicles, and this would allow then to traverse tunnels quite satisfactorily.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby Oxford » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:43 pm

maestro wrote:
Strawburger wrote:
diventare wrote:GPS guidance will be interesting in tunnels.


This can be done easy and more accurately than using satellites. Configure a local coordinate system in the tunnel and have stations every 100m or so, or use laser technology built into the pavement to guide the cars (this would be a secondary guidance system.


I'm pretty sure that the GPS system would be more to identify which road you are on for speed limit and navigation purposes. GPS is not accurate enough to reliably tell you what lane you are in, or to enable you to corner within lanes (especially when there are high-rise buildings as they screw with the signals). They would all have some sort of vision or laser system built in to detect the kerb, lanes and other vehicles, and this would allow then to traverse tunnels quite satisfactorily.
There are GPS navigation systems that mimic the satellites, used for private networks where drone technology is used, could also be used for tunnels so that standard GPS units would still navigate and actually be more accurate than satellite signals.

As for the people hanging out windows and abusing, easy fix, just don't let the windows go down, climate control air system and just let them suck it up.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby dekay23 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:51 pm

maestro wrote:2) Driverless cars will set a high, and well documented, driving benchmark which hopefully will raise expectations


Particularly interesting point. This kind of example may lead to culture change in drivers.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby maestro » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:04 pm

Oxford wrote:
maestro wrote:
Strawburger wrote:This can be done easy and more accurately than using satellites. Configure a local coordinate system in the tunnel and have stations every 100m or so, or use laser technology built into the pavement to guide the cars (this would be a secondary guidance system.


I'm pretty sure that the GPS system would be more to identify which road you are on for speed limit and navigation purposes. GPS is not accurate enough to reliably tell you what lane you are in, or to enable you to corner within lanes (especially when there are high-rise buildings as they screw with the signals). They would all have some sort of vision or laser system built in to detect the kerb, lanes and other vehicles, and this would allow then to traverse tunnels quite satisfactorily.
There are GPS navigation systems that mimic the satellites, used for private networks where drone technology is used, could also be used for tunnels so that standard GPS units would still navigate and actually be more accurate than satellite signals.

As for the people hanging out windows and abusing, easy fix, just don't let the windows go down, climate control air system and just let them suck it up.


Yes there are systems like that, but the other systems required for driverless cars are more than adequate to make up for the brief loss of GPS when driving through a tunnel (driverless cars need to be able to track lanes, and can measure distance travelled very easily). There isn't any need to go to the expense of installing local navigation beacons.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:25 pm

I'm all for driverless cars but I don't expect to see them in widespread use in my lifetime. Assume the first ones are on the road by 2020 but that will mean most likely in the US and some parts of Europe. For us? Well, the huge infrastructure costs and need for standardisation between the states and territories would mean a much later start-up date for Australia and even then, given that the average age of our carpark is about 11 years that could mean another 15-20 years before the technology is basically across-the-board so probably no widespread use until 2040.
And that is before you start getting into the business of insurance, who's at fault in a crash and all of the rest of it. Not to mention the people who will reject the technology out of hand.
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Re: Time for driverless cars?

Postby march83 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:26 pm

they're inevitable. give it 20-30 years, maybe more because we're so backwards technologically in this country, possibly sooner in one of the more progressive states of the US, Canada or somewhere in Europe (thinking Scandanavia?).

The motor industry are only trying to slow this down if they're not ready to bring a product to market while others (google) are (or are very close). when they're ready, the auto lobby will be the ones pushing for them to be legalised (and probably placing restrictions on the old manual cars - think driverless motorways with 200km/h limits and cars travelling only metres apart), along with the insurance companies (who will keep charging you the same to insure a car that almost never crashes - sounds like a perfect business model).

on of the other interesting things to come out of this will be the upheaval of the transport industry. there are hundreds of thousands of jobs in australia alone that will become redundant once a computer can drive an 18 wheeler or a ute or a taxi. expect interesting things akin to the taxi drivers VS uber saga when that becomes a reality.

there are other social issues relating to acceptance which will probably take a generation to overcome, but one day our grandkids or great grandkids will be surprised to hear that we were ever allowed to drive ourselves around.

as for technological challenges, there is nothing novel about automating the task of driving, it's just a massive, massive, massive amount of work, research, testing, etc even for a very large pool of very smart people. every technical challenge you can think of will be solved. the greatest challenges will comes in the form of reliability VS affordability - we're talking about meeting SIL3 levels of safety ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_Integrity_Level ) while meeting or staying close to current consumer prices. it will happen and it will be awesome.
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