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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 Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday October 04, 2013 @03:47PM (#45038745)

    The technology is getting better rapidly, but until someone can legally flop wasted into their back seat, at 4 AM, shout "Take me home!" and drunk text their ex-girlfriend like they currently can in a taxi, it's not going to get much traction.

    Reminds me I was once told that the horse that pulled my grandmother's and her sister's wagon when they were in their teens and twenties could do that. I thought that was cool until she mentioned it was handy on dates to be able to give the horse the reigns. That was TMI.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Friday October 04, 2013 @05:09PM (#45039483)

    It may not all be the high end guys. I remember looking at a self-parking car. Then I remembered an old French brand (Citroen) that had a compact car that had two pairs of small wheels mounted sideways. A flip of a button, the car was lifted onto the wheels. A move of a slider, the vehicle moved left or right directly. The Lexus parallel parking capability is impressive, but the little French car being able to just stop, move 90 degrees into a space without requiring any movement forward/reverse and park was more practical.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 04, 2013 @05:10PM (#45039487)

    Building automated cars that only drive around other automated cars is 80s technology. The whole point of automating driving is getting the algorithms good enough to handle "erratic drivers" which are just one of the hazards of the road.

    I would turn your sentence around and say automated cars will be the biggest threat to anyone without top notch reflexes. Unlike a human, an algorithm can control the speed and breaking distance to 1 inch from the next car during an emergency stop. The automated cars will also communicate their intentions with one another and have practically no latency in issuing the command, so they will be able to drive faster and more aggressive than a human, while still safe. This will create a dangerous environment for unaccustomed drivers, who will tend to drive "with the flow", that is: faster than the road conditions allow for a non-robotic driver.

  • by Imrik (148191) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @06:47AM (#45043099) Homepage

    No, the biggest threat to automated driving algorithms is liability. As long as the manufacturer is liable for accidents they'll never get anywhere.

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @12:58PM (#45051545)

    I think we should start with the Interstate system. A vehicle can operate manually until hitting an on ramp where a computer will take over and log into the roadway system. In this manner things can happen gradually as no one will be able to take the Interstate unless their car is compatible. Others can continue to use the back roads and streets until over time the busiest ones will also be included in an automated road system. Eventually only the smaller side streets will continue to be manually operable.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @01:26PM (#45051743)

    The difficulty of everyday driving is the "predictability" of what will happen on the road. Too many humans are unpredictable on how they will handle a given situation.

    Case 1: "the polite driver". This driver will give me the right of way when I shouldn't have it. They may stop and let me make a left turn in front of them at an unmarked crossing when they should just proceed and I will wait until a clear spot. Drives me nuts when people do that as it may cause an accident with a driver behind them not expecting what they will do.

    Case 2: "the impatient driver". This guy will make be behind me and make a left turn around me because he thinks I am not moving fast enough. I saw one guy nearly lose the back meter of his car to an oncoming motorist.

    Case 3: "the don't know where I am going driver". This guy will suddenly realize that his turn was 10 feet back and make it anyway.

    Automation should smooth out all those kinks and make it predictable....the obvious problem is the transition period between mostly human and mostly automated....perhaps designated lanes for automation.

    I can see all this being automated. We can have a "polite mode", a "quick mode" and a "quick route change" option.

All great discoveries are made by mistake. -- Young


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