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How long before most automobile driving is done by computers?

Displaying poll results.
10 Years
  4487 votes / 15%
20 Years
  9393 votes / 32%
30 Years
  4635 votes / 16%
40 Years
  1129 votes / 3%
50 Years
  917 votes / 3%
More than 50 years
  1435 votes / 4%
  1255 votes / 4%
You'll have to pry the steering wheel out of my cold, dead hands
  5527 votes / 19%
28778 total votes.
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How long before most automobile driving is done by computers?

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  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Friday October 04, 2013 @04:28PM (#45039127) Homepage
    I'm in my mid sixties, and I doubt that my reflexes and reaction time are as good as they were when I was in my early thirties. Eventually, I will probably need to drive in the slow lane, at no more than 55 mph, for my safety as well as everybody else's. When (not if) that happens, having a computer do the freeway driving might seem like a good idea, even though I still love to drive. It's not, as you try to make it, a question of competence, but of being realistic about how your body slows down as you get older.
  • by Verity_Crux (523278) <notacommie@gLAPL ... m minus math_god> on Saturday October 05, 2013 @08:43AM (#45043417)

    Ironically racing is probably a better defined operating environment so easier to successfully automate.

    I work for a company that automates vehicles (ASI). We specifically target controlled operating environments like vehicle proving grounds, mines, and commercial harvesting operations. These places all have one thing in common: ten foot fences (aka, no toddlers in the vicinity).

    The biggest struggle we have had is obstacle detection; it only works at distances less than 50m. The various vision devices aren't accurate enough beyond that range (or get lost in smoke, fog, dust, shakiness, etc.) And differentiating small objects (aka, 20cm cube) from standard terrain is neigh impossible with current technologies. The algorithms used to process that information can't run in real-time on embedded hardware.

    I'm excited for a lot of recent progress in electronic vehicle control. Look for your favorite auto-manufacturer to introduce electronically controlled steering, transmissions, and throttle over the next few years. The pedals, knobs, and wheels will soon be fancy computer joysticks.

  • by khchung (462899) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @11:52PM (#45048795) Journal

    When I once was stopped at a red light and a fire truck stopped behind me and started honking I hesitated for a while even though there was no other traffic and then decided to drive despite the red light. In order for a computer to handle that kind of situation properly, there must be a legislative clarification since otherwise the computer would handle it poorly by obeying the red light.

    When autonomous cars become common, emergency vehicles will simply tell vehicles in its way to make way ahead of its arrival. There are many ways to accomplish this, most simply by automatically uploading its target location and route to all major mapping services, so those services will then notify the autonomous vehicles to make room.

    With the majority of the cars programmed to cooperate and communicate, the roads can be hugely more efficient than it is now.

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