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Automated cars would call ahead and schedule a time for the intersection

Some major technology firms see the future of the automobile as a much more automated device that can navigate on its own without a driver. There are, however, differing visions of what those automated vehicles of the future may look like.
Google sees those vehicles as needing no driver and being standalone with sensors and GPS capability to successfully navigate the roads that we have today without human interaction. Others see a more automated type of vehicle where the intersections and roads themselves tell the vehicles when and where to go.
A computer scientist working at the University of Texas at Austin named Peter Stone is working on technology that will help fully automated vehicles reduce traffic and navigate intersections safely. Stone believes that future intersections won’t need stoplights or stop signs. Instead, a virtual traffic controller that schedules when the vehicle stops and when it starts would manage automated vehicles.
"A future where sitting in the backseat of the car reading our newspaper while it drives us effortlessly through city streets and intersections is not that far away," says Stone, a professor of computer science at The University of Texas at Austin.
Stone is creating AI computer systems that will allow the autonomous vehicles to call ahead and reserve a space and a time at the intersection. An automated intersection manager would then approve the request and the vehicle and move through the intersection during its allotted time. The idea is that by scheduling these automated vehicles in such a way, there will be very little stopped traffic reducing traffic jams and allowing for faster transportation between two places.
"Computers can already fly a passenger jet much like a trained human pilot, but people still face the dangerous task of driving automobiles," Stone says. "Vehicles are being developed that will be able to handle most of the driving tasks themselves. But once autonomous vehicles become popular, we need to coordinate those vehicles on the streets."

Source: University of Texas at Austin

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RE: Pedestrian interface
By tayb on 2/21/2012 4:59:50 PM , Rating: 2
I happen to agree with him here. The solution is not just the car, it is the road itself. Look for automated cars on special roads where they can operate via tags in the roadways, roadways that have limited access to the road to eliminate things that will jump out in front of your automated car.

I think intelligent software and a huge array of cameras and sensors can do a far better job recognizing and avoiding random obstacles than any human can. That deer coming out from the dark forest that you can't see? IR and thermal can see it. Camera and sensor technology 15-20-30 years from now is beyond my imagination.

Also I will take RC77s viewpoint that once you automate the cars and roadways, there is plenty of room for abuse by Government, both at a local and federal level to check on where/when you are all the time. At some point the government left unchecked with this type of thing will own us.

That's definitely a concern but I don't think these cars will be much more connected than they are now. Just essentially an ad-hoc car to car network with GPS. I think you are right to have that concern but the government could track our cars right now if we would let them.

RE: Pedestrian interface
By JediJeb on 2/22/2012 3:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
Then there is always the what if question where the government has control of the programs running the vehicles and what happens if the government decides you do not need to travel where you want to go? If you can not over-ride the system then the government could control where and when you travel with very little effort.

RE: Pedestrian interface
By JKflipflop98 on 2/22/2012 5:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
The same thing that happens now, genius. They post an officer at the end of the road that says "you can't go that way".

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