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Print 16 comment(s) - last by Misty Dingos.. on Oct 25 at 3:17 PM


  (Source: inhabitat.com)
The research will include topics such as safety standards (such as crashtest results) and software security (to ensure that hackers don't take over)

Recognizing that autonomous vehicles are the future of the automotive industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that it is getting ready to create performance standards and regulations for the driverless cars through an extensive research project.
 
The NHTSA said today that it will partake in a two- to three-year research project that will lead to new rules and regulations for autonomous vehicles. The research will include topics such as safety standards (such as crashtest results) and software security (to ensure that hackers don't take over). 
 
Autonomous cars could prove to be beneficial in terms of reducing congestion and fuel use. They could also assist those who are unable to drive, such as the elderly and those who are blind.  
 
Google is one major technology company that is backing the deployment of autonomous vehicles -- mainly because it has been testing its own driverless vehicles on public roads. The company recently logged 300,000 accident-free miles
 
Last month, California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a bill to create safety standards for autonomous vehicles after taking a cruise in one himself. Senate Bill 1298 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) states that self-driving cars can be used on public roads for testing purposes only as long as there is a licensed operator in the driver's seat. 
 

Source: The Detroit News



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overreach
By chromal on 10/24/2012 8:53:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Recognizing that autonomous vehicles are the future of the automotive industry,


How do you reach that particular conclusion? This turn of phrase, "the future," suggests the rationale behind this announcement is that autonomous vehicles will be the sole province of the automotive industry.

Autonomous vehicles may be a future staple of the industry, but there are going to be a majority of normal people-driven cars on the streets into any foreseeable future, though with more passive and active safety systems as time goes on.




RE: overreach
By Jeffk464 on 10/24/2012 8:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
I've been driving a truck with adaptive cruise and automatic emergency braking for a couple of days now. Its pretty cool except for when someone passes you and cuts back into your lane without giving you room. All in all, I would say its already ready for mainstream use, thumbs up.


RE: overreach
By Jeffk464 on 10/24/2012 8:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
After the data comes back in from some road use I think DOT should quickly make these systems mandatory on all vehicles over 10,000 lbs.


RE: overreach
By drycrust3 on 10/25/2012 10:52:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
All in all, I would say its already ready for mainstream use, thumbs up.

When you add to this things like Nissan's electric steering, you can see that soon you may well just have something like a Playstation console to drive with. Large trucks, buses, and other vehicles which require a fair amount of investment to buy them, are also the places where the cost of autonomous driver control wouldn't add a significant amount to the cost of the vehicle.
...Unfortunately, I do think this is another case where computers will replace people. In the future ... being "a truck driver" could well be a job done in an air conditioned office done in the middle of a city.


RE: overreach
By Jeffk464 on 10/25/2012 1:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine for a while it would still be like commercial aviation where you have the driver sitting in the seat driving in some places ex loading dock and for safety, while the computer does the highway driving. In aviation the pilots basically land and takeoff but don't do much flying in between, they are still managing the systems though.


RE: overreach
By Ramstark on 10/25/2012 2:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I share that opinion, a human driver could take "out of the box" decisions when parking those huge trucks and boy they are quite agile on those things!

In my country City roads are not designed for them, nevertheless, you see them loading and unloading cargo using such small space that it turns out in an spectacle worthy of the applause of the passing byers...


RE: overreach
By gwem557 on 10/24/2012 10:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. I predict within 50 years, it'll all be automated.


RE: overreach
By Solandri on 10/24/2012 10:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
One major impetus for switching to automated vehicles is traffic capacity. With driver-controlled spacing between vehicles, even with unsafe tailgating, a highway's capacity is limited by the number of lanes and the speed of the cars. With automated vehicles, you can clump them closer together (since braking by the front vehicle can be detected and responded to almost instantly by trailing vehicles). That increases capacity without adding more lanes or increasing speed limits, both of which aren't viable options in many cities.


RE: overreach
By Shig on 10/25/2012 12:48:52 AM , Rating: 2
I think the bigger advantage to having autonomous cars will be that people will no longer need to own a car to get all the benefits from one.

It's much more likely autonomous cars will become a service, not a product you own. Cars are typically used very rarely by people for driving (time driven / total time), they usually are sitting in a parking lot or a garage the vast majority of the time. The biggest advantage in my eyes for autonomous cars is to take cars off the road and free people from the burden of having to own one.

Autonomous cars will also be amazing at solving the 'last mile' problem with public transportation. I can take the train to downtown Chicago, but the train station is still too far to walk to on a daily basis from where I live. A ride from my house to the train station in an autonomous car would be awesome. Then after the car dropped me off, it would go to the next person, etc etc.

I like to drive my car, but most of my 'driving' consists of sitting in soul crushing gridlock, and that I hate.


RE: overreach
By Jeffk464 on 10/25/2012 1:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
'last mile'

Uhm, thats what legs are for. If american walked an extra couple of miles a day obesity, and associated medical costs would go way down.


RE: overreach
By Jeffk464 on 10/25/2012 1:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
and yes I think most people would love to turn over the morning commute to their car and read a book or browse the internet instead.


RE: overreach
By bsd228 on 10/25/2012 2:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
> With automated vehicles, you can clump them closer together (since braking by the front vehicle can be detected and responded to almost instantly by trailing vehicles).

I think we could quickly take it a step beyond that and couple cars together like a train, getting maximum efficiency. For long hauls like between LA and San Francisco, these clumps could persist for hundreds of miles. There, software isn't as critical, but for shorter distances like a 20 mile commute, you really needs the power of software that knows the destinations of every member for intelligent decisions to be made about when to disengage the vehicle. Individually we're just not capable of acting in concert.

As you write, huge increases in capacity can be realized. In some sections, like bridges, where no one is exiting for at least a few miles, you can eliminate most of the lane spacing as well and add a couple more lanes of traffic.


RE: overreach
By Ammohunt on 10/25/2012 1:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
Not as long as Unions are around look at the Freight train market seems to me that would be the easiest thing to make fully autonomous. The train engineers have time enough to smoke a spliff and tap a button every two minutes I think a computer could do that job better minus the spliff.


RE: overreach
By Misty Dingos on 10/25/2012 9:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
This is simply a general observation and not a specific critique of your comments.

We complain when the government doesn't take action when we see a problem, then we complain when they do take some action when they do.

The TSA is a horrible example of government over-reach yet they actually enjoy the support of the majority of the public. Look it up. I wanted to vomit myself. Yet the TSA is an example of government showing up late to the party.

The NHTSA has decided to grab the bull by the horns here and figure out what they are going to do with autonomous traffic. All in all I don't see a real need for it today but ten or twenty years from now they may actually be ahead of the game. An example of the government actually trying to stay relevant.

All in all I think this is a tempest in a tea cup.


RE: overreach
By Jeffk464 on 10/25/2012 1:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
The TSA is a horrible example of government over-reach

Government over-reach and over fondling of the genitalia.


RE: overreach
By Misty Dingos on 10/25/2012 3:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
You should be given a gold medal for that!

I salute your wit this day!

TSA Awards
Gropination, given for groping more than 10,000 people in a week.
The Cupper, given for accurately assessing a woman's cup size with your eyes shut.


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