Print 13 comment(s) - last by Kuroyama.. on Feb 19 at 11:05 AM

Stanford's robotic VW Touareg -- Winner of 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge
"We have no intent to kill anybody."

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By Sanctusx2 on 2/17/2006 2:53:31 PM , Rating: 2
This is pretty scary if you ask me. I mean I was ecstatic that someone finally won the DARPA challenge, but there are so many more unpredictable events that could happen in traffic(particularly with so many humans involved). Pedestrians, bad drivers, highway wrecks, pile-ups, adverse weather conditions, construction projects, detours... the list goes on. Even with someone at the wheel I think it'll be very difficult. How fast can you really react if the vehicle decides to crash into a shoulder or another car?

Very premature, maybe in a few years...

RE: Scary
By KristopherKubicki on 2/18/2006 4:21:36 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but a ridiculous amount of those things are human error. But these things will come in small steps.

The new BMW (or is it Benz?) that uses ground radar to automatically brake if youre approaching another object is a small step. Then you'll start seeing automated swerving for collision avoidance. Then automated parking. Pretty soon you'll have systems to the point where the driver is doing so little he can practically just read the paper anyway.


RE: Scary
By JarredWalton on 2/18/2006 8:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
I for one sincerely hope this all works out eventually. Obviously, were not going to have all vehicles fully controlled by robots in the next two years. Given refinements in the software, updated hardware, updated roads and traffic laws... I think there's a very real possibility that we could all be sitting around in computers steered vehicles within the next 50 years.

I sure as hell hope so, because long road trips suck. Imagine hopping into your car, telling it to drive you to Vegas, and then either taking a nap or powering up your laptop and fragging away for a few hours! I remember reading sci-fi books as a kid where this was supposed to be the future, and I'm sure it eventually will be -- or at least some version of it. Whether or not that happens in our lifetimes is the real question.

RE: Scary
By stephenbrooks on 2/18/2006 3:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
I think the important change will come when someone can demonstrate that the computer vehicles are actually safer drivers than humans, which is quite possible given they can radio each other and have senses that we do not.

Then the "safety" argument will be swinging the other way. I mean if it can be demonstrated that using these vehicles decrease the number of people killed in road accidents by 25%, I think we'd have many less posters like the first few above.

Prius automated parking
By Kuroyama on 2/19/2006 11:05:25 AM , Rating: 2
The Prius in Japan already has automated parking, but as suggested above, Toyota does not offer it in the US because of fears of litigation.

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