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self driving cars...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by martinss01, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. martinss01

    martinss01 blissfully stupid

    not sure if there is a thread floating around on this topic already, if so my apologies and please merge.

    it seems everyone and their sister thinks self driving cars are teh awesomes and will soon be our primary form of transportation. it will make driving safer, faster, more efficient and bring about world peace.

    the following are my initial thoughts on the struggles self driving cars will face once they actually... you know.... "become sellable".

    1. they are a fad - much like flying cars, self driving cars sound amazing on paper. in reality people will not want them. flying cars exist today and some models aren't much more expensive than the average new car. yet their market share, not so significant.

    2. maintenance - show of hands, how many of you ever figured out how to get your vcr to stop blinking 12:00? yep... kinda the ratio i expected. you do realize that constant software updates are going to be a requirement for these vehicles right? so not only will you have to change the ol oil... but making sure the latest build is on your car (lest it not be safe to self drive), is going to be your responsibility. so when your car's cpu takes a flying leap halfway through an update.... who fixes it? you? or does chevy have a tech come out on site to do it? that should be cheap.... oh and thank god gps based map software is safe! just think what it would be like if such software lead a real person to drive themselves off a cliff or into a lake or into a house or... good thing we don't have to worry about that with our self driving cars!!

    3. 100% reliable right..? its a computer, how could it possibly fail? back to flying cars. which didn't take off (pardon the pun) because well. assume just for a second that every car on the side of the road represented a flying car falling from the sky resulting in the death of an entire family. when "you" blow a tire, "you" pull your vehicle to the side of the road. when a problem occurs in flight...? you probably fall to your death. and when you blue screen at 70 mph in a self driving car you.... what specifically?

    4. you trust these people? so "all the sudden" we are willing to trust our lives even further to car companies that can't make a car starter that won't kill you? looking at you chevy. oh and before you flock to the foreign car makers, everyone gets their parts from the same suppliers. it stands to reason they are going to get their software the same way as well. how many recalls across all brands were there over the last 5 years again? oh and just for the record, i don't know of any software company that would hesitate to roll out a new "patch" loaded with new bugs. *cough*microsoft*cough*. but if you think any other company is different your nuts. as of late companies have been gutting their qa depts. if you honestly think companies that write the software that make your car "go" are somehow different... good luck with that theory... besides, who is responsible for error checking? who is responsible for tech support? who is responsible for simply reporting the errors that are received?

    5. responsibility - while i realize that computers are incapable of error *snickers*. what happens in the completely impossible chance that two self driving cars have an accident? who is at fault? you? the other person? the manufacturer? their 3rd party supplier? hope you enjoy being car-less while the court system figures it out. then goes through the appeals process. that should only take a couple years or so... im sure you'll be fine without a car or any financial compensation for that short a length of time.

    6. all of lifes problems are solvable with software! so we already know current cars can be easily hacked to the point of the hacker being able to take control of the steering wheel, accelerator and brakes remotely in some cases. thats on current model vehicles. scary huh? but lets take a step back and think less malicious. what would it do to the US economy, let alone the world if some script kiddie wrote some code that made it impossible for these vehicles to start? what would happen to you, your company, this country if even 1/3 of all working americans were without transportation for a few weeks? or a few months? if a software change renders your vehicle unselfdrivable and someone has to come on site to your home to dig out the crap code and kick off an update... how long would that take? just assume one of the big 3, let alone all.

    so yeah... go pick up a self driving car. as a tech who looks at the same industry that will be writing your software every day... ill just sit here shaking my head as i increase my salary demands prior to your "emergency support calls start rolling in.
     
    LovelandBuckeye likes this.
  2. exhawg

    exhawg Self Mythologizing Monster Staff Member

    Question. Would you feel safer sharing the road with my 95 year old grandma or a car controlled by Google's self driving software? Same question, but replace my grandma with someone that just left the bar and is blowing a .2? Are people going to immediately like self driving cars? Absolutely not, but we're still a decade away from cars that can truly drive themselves. It will start slowly with high end cars that will be able to drive themselves, but most people won't use it. I'm guessing the features will be turned on as a safely precaution to try to catch the things that a human would miss. Oh you didn't see that deer running across the road? Well your car did and made the adjustment necessary to save your car and the deer.

    Eventually it will be required that all new cars have to have the self driving systems and then at some point after that they'll all be networked together so they can better anticipate what each other are doing. I don't think it's fair to compare self driving cars with flying cars since a fender bender between 2 cars on the ground is a pain in the ass, but likely not fatal. A fender bender at 1000 ft is likely fatal for anyone in the air or on the ground below it. Do flying cars exist? Sure. Do we really have the technology to make the Back to the Future 2 flying cars work? Nowhere close. Same as we don't have the technology that makes Ironman fly. Who knows if it's even possible.

    20-30 years from now when self driving cars are fully accepted (which they will be even if you are holding onto your 2007 Camry until they rip it out of your cold dead hands) it will open the door for the flying cars when you no longer need to worry about my grandma or the drunk causing an accident that carpet bombs a block with flying car parts. If I could tell my car to drive to my parents house and then watch a movie or work for the 2+ hours that it will take to make the trip all the better. By the time I'm a 95 year old grandpa it would be great to jump in my flying car in Florida and 3 hours later be at my grandkids doorstep in Cleveland. We aren't going to have self driving cars tomorrow, but check back in 10 years and see what you think.
     
  3. jwinslow

    jwinslow It's not the perfection but the direction Staff Member

    I don't trust computers, or the extreme carnage you can cause as a terrorist, or a ten year old (same thing), by hacking the system or throwing an obstacle in the road. I imagine cars will be far more efficient at driving and not leave absurd gaps between each other like humans do when there are an oppressive amount of cars at a stoplight (read 5+).

    Thing is, old people are horrible drivers. Kids are horrible drivers. Drunk people are even worse as are distracted drivers, which is a huge chunk of the population. Then there is the road rage insanity, the fast lane hoggers, the Indy car superstars, and the entitled jerks who feel that two miles of bumper to bumper traffic should halt and make way for a constant stream of jerks who can't bother to merge before the actual on ramp for the exit.


    My wife raises a very valid concern, how soon do folks get forced off the road if they don't own or can't afford a smart car ?
     
    LovelandBuckeye likes this.
  4. exhawg

    exhawg Self Mythologizing Monster Staff Member

    There would have to be some way to grandfather in the 57 Corvette that my dad wants, but I'm guessing 10 years after they pass the legislation would be a fair amount of time to force everyone into a self driving car. Noted all new cars would probably have the self driving package for a few years before they even make it the law. I'm sure it would also require that cars get yearly computer checks to make sure the computer is fit similar to echeck, but as El Presidente said the cars would have to be getting constant updates either by mobile connection or wifi to keep the OS and maps up to date so I'm sure the computer will report in if there is a problem and force you to get service. There's still a ton to work out, but it's crazy to say self driving cars are a fad that will go away.
     
  5. jwinslow

    jwinslow It's not the perfection but the direction Staff Member

    rendering a hundred years of cars as obsolete and largely without value is going to be a disastrous stance to take as a politician.
    there will need to be daily updates in a country that rarely keeps antiviruses or operating systems up to date. Huge chunks of America still use xp. That is a gigantic and difficult problem to solve.

    That's also a lot of connectivity for a country with many limited incomes. What are the people supposed to do that cannot afford these vehicles ? Public transportation is not a realistic option. Is that going to be suddenly fixed simultaneously ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    LovelandBuckeye likes this.
  6. exhawg

    exhawg Self Mythologizing Monster Staff Member

    We're also talking about 20-30 years in the future. Have wifi at the gas or charging station for the cars to get their updates. I wouldn't be surprised if in 20 years Google provides wifi pretty much everywhere for the small price of knowing everything about you.
     
  7. jwinslow

    jwinslow It's not the perfection but the direction Staff Member

    Probably true. See the edit for my questions about trivializing all older vehicle investments and update concerns (beyond having access to them). Google better force them on us, and there better not be a ton of options (which there should be if America is healthy ) for the vehicle eco systems .
     
  8. LostLassie

    LostLassie Scarlet, Gray, and Gold

    Had a cab driver tell me about his friend who was relying on GPS--it turned him down an alley and straight into a brick wall. Yeah, I'd feel safe letting GPS guide the vehicle I was in, too.
     
  9. exhawg

    exhawg Self Mythologizing Monster Staff Member

    I'm not worried about junkers as much. If the govt wants to get everyone moved over to the new self driving cars they can offer another cash for clunkers deal to get the non-compliant cars off the road. I'm sure there would be a market to add the self driving features to the classics that people want to keep if they required that all cars handle the driving. If they could get the self driving upgrade down to 1K the biggest concern would be that your mint 57 Corvette wouldn't really be mint anymore if you installed the self driving kit.

    Another big use for self driving cars that I've read they are working on is to replace cabs and services like Uber. I wouldn't be surprised to see Amazon come out with free rides in a self driving "Fire Taxi" and all you have to do is watch a stream of ads the whole time you are a captive audience in the car. If you would rather listen to music than the ads you can pay for the ride. Problem there is you put Uber and Taxi drivers out of jobs, but the ride gets a lot cheaper when you don't have a driver. Say I live 10 miles from work and it costs me 4 bucks round trip to take the driverless "Fire Taxi". Do I really need to invest in a second car for my family or do I pay the $4 a day and let Amazon drive me to work?
     
  10. jwinslow

    jwinslow It's not the perfection but the direction Staff Member

    Listening to music is a fun dream. Working to and from work is more likely. For some people, their commute is their only consistent time to themselves. That may end with smart, connected cars.
     
  11. Buckeyeskickbuttocks

    Buckeyeskickbuttocks Z --> Z^2 + c Staff Member

  12. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck 2014 National Champions!

    Getting a self-driving car to be more reliably "glitch-free" than even an excellent human driver isn't going to be very challenging IMO.
     
    Fungo Squiggly likes this.
  13. Onebuckfan

    Onebuckfan classof76

    Do trains first then cars.
     
    Dryden and jwinslow like this.
  14. scarletmike

    scarletmike Researching the Magic!

    No one is going to like them once they realize they can't turn their 10 minute drive into a 5 minute one by speeding.
     
  15. Onebuckfan

    Onebuckfan classof76

    Maybe on the west coast but I defy these driverless cars to make my commute in winter with 1 to 2 foot drifts ice and -40 wind chills.
     

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