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Chevrolet EN-V urban mobility concept  (Source:
GM will use technologies including GPS, distance-sensing, and vehicle-to-vehicle communications in the Chevrolet EN-V urban mobility concept

When many think of the future, they think of flying cars zooming from place to place. While we're not quite there yet, the development of self-piloted vehicles are in the making, and General Motors plans to deploy such vehicles by the end of the decade.

GM has announced that it is currently working on the tools needed to create self-piloted cars, such as radars, sensors, cameras, GPS, and other portable communication devices. These technologies combined will allow vehicles to navigate the roads partially on their own by the middle of the decade, and by the end of the decade, more advanced functions are expected to allow autos to drive themselves completely.

Two important aspects of the self-driving vehicle are vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. This allows the car to learn more about vehicles around it, such as their speeds and locations, as well as surrounding traffic signals, accidents and detours.

GM will use technologies including GPS, distance-sensing, and vehicle-to-vehicle communications in the Chevrolet EN-V urban mobility concept. This system will allow the vehicle to dodge collisions, identify pedestrians, park itself, and pick-up the driver. All of this can be accomplished via systems placed in the vehicle or through a smartphone app.

"The technologies we're developing will provide an added convenience by partially or even completely taking over the driving duties," said Alan Taub, GM Vice President of Global Research and Development. "The primary goal, though, is safety. Future generation safety systems will eliminate the crash altogether by interceding on behalf of drivers before they're even aware of a hazardous situation. In the coming years, we believe the industry will experience a dramatic leap in activity safety systems, and hopefully, a dramatic decline in injuries and fatalities on our roadways. GM has made a commitment to be at the forefront of this development."

The Chevrolet EN-V urban mobility concept will be on display at the ITS World Congress this week.

A few years back, the fully autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe was the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge winner. Other companies, such as Google, have announced the development of self-driving vehicles as well.

Source: Green Car Congress

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Computer Error
By mjrpes3 on 10/17/2011 4:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
This brings up the interesting question of how much computer error (that leads to a crash) society would be willing to tolerate before accepting this technology. Everyone thinks they're a better than average driver, so the fact that you could get in an accident that you could have avoid on your own sets a high barrier.

What if it was 1 computer error per every 2 human errors? You'd save 15,000 lives a year, but the computer caused accidents would get major headlines and there would be backlash. And lawsuits. I don't think this would be good enough.

What if it was 1 in 100, or 10,000? What if the technology was so good that statistically only one person dies from a computer caused accident each year? The threshold is somewhere there; I think around 1 in 1000. Just a handful of accidents would be tolerated.

RE: Computer Error
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 4:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'd agree which is why technological we might be allowed to do this in a couple decades but legally we would could be limited for a century

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