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Toyota To Show Off Autonomous Prototype Car At CES Show 126

coondoggie writes "Toyota is going to show off its autonomous car/accident avoidance technology at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas nest week. The 2013 Lexus LS uses what the car company calls its Intelligent Transport System and is fitted with on-board radar, video cameras and sensors to monitor the road, surroundings, and the driver all with the goal of preventing accidents and avoiding problems."
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Toyota To Show Off Autonomous Prototype Car At CES Show

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:46AM (#42495275)

    A couple times a year, I drive 12 hours each way to visit family. I'm very concerned about falling asleep or a lapse in concentration causing an accident sometime during those 12 hours.

    In 10 years, my daughter will be going to college. I know how much sleep college students get. I don't want her to get in an accident coming home for a break because she's tired.

    A better question is, who WOULDN'T want this technology? Do you have any idea how many people get killed every year because we don't have this technology?

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:49AM (#42495299)

    I imagine there may be a handful of people who are interested in this technology

    Old people... and there's lots of them. With a side order of rich parent buying new car for teenager that might be less likely to kill them.

    However, invent an idiot proof car and evolution will invent a better idiot.

    One interesting side effect is much like ABS and 4-wheel drive, this will probably just backfire and increase death rates. "Sure, I'd never go out on the steep mountain road in 50 MPH winds during a icestorm at night with my old car, but I'm sure the new car's computer will keep me safe no matter what... " followed by death and lawsuit. Followed by a quick firmware reprogramming job such that the car's sensors will be used primarily to shut the car down unless its well above freezing, no wind, no precipitation, horizontal terrain, and daylight. In other words, when you should probably be riding a bicycle. This is an interesting way to save gas, too.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:56AM (#42495365)

    The problem is an immense economic gulf from where its technologically possible but horribly expensive, until its cheap enough that a college student econobox car has it. At this time, looking at the cost of tech vs how often you'll need it, you're probably WAY better off taking mass transit like a aircraft (chartered if necessary) and/or hiring chauffeur service and a limo. Its kind of like those guys who try to rationalize a giant $75K pickup truck because they buy approximately one sheet of plywood per year so the "need" the truck. In a similar way any alternative is better economically, than turning a commuter car into a 12-hour cruising machine.

    Hmm for the cost of the in dash GPS on my wife's car, well into the 4 digits, I could afford a chartered helicopter flight from my nearby little airport to the big airport, then a chartered jet (only about $700/hr) to my mom's airport, followed by another helicopter flight at the destination. Yet its supposedly cheap and prudent to spend more on the in-dash GPS. F it I'll just use my wife's phone GPS to navigate us, which doesn't even lock out when the car is in motion unlike a POS in-dash GPS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @11:10AM (#42495459)

    Cars do not kill people. *
    People driving cars BADLY kill people.

    *Yes, there are some very rare exceptions where design flaws have been found to cause death/injury that could not be avoided by a competent driver.

    Of course, if cars drive themselves, this will definitely change and cars WILL begin to kill people eventually.

    Better than self-driving cars would be to increase the driver ability standards and require competence behind the wheel.
    For those who do not wish to exercise self-discipline and drive well- there are buses, trains, cabs and more- you can safely operate your cell phone, laptop or read your newspaper just fine while using any of them, and conserve resources for the planet as well.

    Those who do prove the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and competently could then do so without worrying as much about the idiot who just has to send a text to their significant other while changing lanes at 80 mph on the highway without using a turn signal.

    While we are at it- modify the traffic laws to promote rapid, safe transit:
    higher speed limits
    larger fines for safety infractions:
    failure to use a turn signal while changing lanes? $100 for first offense annually, $200 for second, 30 day suspension for 3rd offense in a 1 year period.
    Failure to keep to the left hand lane clear except when passing (when possible)? Same fine as above.
    Run a stop sign or red light? $250 first offense, $500 2nd, 30 day suspension for 3rd.
    Offenses past the third in a calendar year: 90 day suspension, 6 month, one year and so on.
    Using a cell phone/tablet while driving? 30 day suspension for first offense plus $100 fine.

    It is not the CARS that are dangerous, folks, it is the DRIVERS.
    Lets get rid of the DANGER we already have rather than add a new one.

  • by cruff ( 171569 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @11:18AM (#42495511) Homepage

    Hmm for the cost of the in dash GPS on my wife's car, well into the 4 digits, I could afford a chartered helicopter flight ...

    You failed to amortized the cost of the GPS among all of the trips taken by the car, which brings the cost per trip down, unlike your example of a single expensive trip via chartered aircraft.

    F it I'll just use my wife's phone GPS to navigate us, which doesn't even lock out when the car is in motion unlike a POS in-dash GPS.

    Now that's a real reason to dislike the expensive POS in-dash GPS with its crippled functionality imposed by lawyers.

  • by WaywardGeek ( 1480513 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @11:41AM (#42495667) Journal

    Self driving cars will be huge. They'll start changing the world as soon as California allows these cars on the road without licensed rivers. At that point, a fairly expensive self-driving car will have plenty of uses.

    • Zipcar/taxis: now it picks you up where you want and drops you off where you want. They show up much more reliably and are cheaper.
    • Old people and people with vision impairments would buy them. The increase in personal freedom is worth a lot.
    • Working parents could schedule self driving cars to pick up their kids and get them to soccer practice.
    • Workers who's time is very valuable would by these cars so they could do their work while commuting.
    • When self driving cars start networking, they could save gas and improve traffic on freeways by linking up like a train.
    • Instead of having 2 cars in my garage, where they sit unused for 95% of the time, we'll be able to share a small fleet of cars among a large number of owners, saving tons of money.
    • For real cheapskates, and environmentally concerned citizens, these cars could automatically form car-pools, getting people around with a lot less gas per person, with a fraction of the hassles of carpooling today.

    I personally suffer from Stargardt's disease, and am losing central vision. I'm expecting to be in a financial position to buy one of these. My preference would be a self-driving Tesla Model S, though beggars can't be choosers. I'll buy whatever is offered. I'll even move to California to be able to own and use one.

    Here's a tough question: Should I start planning to move to California in a couple years, in anticipation of being able to own a car that can drive me around? What's the likelihood that California will be first by enough time to make the move worthwhile?

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:12PM (#42498267)

    But ABS brakes have drastically reduced the number of high speed collisions, mostly rear-end collisions, and missed turns and sliding into ditches at 50mph with the wheels all locked up.

    Bullet proof vests have led to an increase in broken rips a bruised torsos.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.