Sunday, March 6, 2016

Why Driverless Cars are Better at Responding to Unpredictable Events on the Road than We Are

This is pretty amazing.

Via Chris Urmson who heads up Google's driverless car program.


  1. That was really cool. Can't wait to get one. Although I do enjoy driving myself, it would obviously be a great thing. Tesla's autopilot is really cool too. Fun

  2. Great vid. Owning a self-driving car would be fantastic, allowing people a safer more productive travel experience.

    I wonder how this would affect the hotel/motel industry? If an SD car can drive me, non-stop, overnight or over many nights to my destination while I sleep, that's time and money saved. Hopefully, the car's interior design would change as well, with more comfortable seats in which to sleep for longer periods of time. Would more people switch to larger van-type vehicles so they have the freedom to move around while the car drives? Would cars have larger gas tanks? Given the ability to drive through the night, SD cars could travel at slower speeds during the late/sleep hours.

    Will self-driving trucks be coming along soon after? I wonder how the trucking industry would change? How would that affect truck-stops? Would mobile gas-filling vehicles appear to gas-up trucks and cars as they drive?

    If more vehicles are on the road during the late night hours, how will this affect mechanics and tow truck operators?

    How could an SD car travel through toll booths? A universal scanning system would have to be put into place to charge non-local vehicles - or would tolls become obsolete in favor of per-mile charges?

    Would less people travel by plane? Would we need more tires? How would this affect road wear? This could really shake up huge sectors of the economy!

  3. I think fewer people would actually own driverless cars. Why own one when you can summon one from a common fleet to your exact location as needed? Economically, these make more sense as shared rentals. Unless the monopolist taxi police have their way.

  4. this is so bogus. It may be a catchy PR google propaganda vid, but it will never happen in reality. it will never happen and will never work. Just days ago a google 'driverless car' veered INTO THE PATH OF AN ONCOMING BUS. and its not the first time. google cars have caused crashes and injuries to others before, such as in 2015.

    1. The google automated car in this instance shows the kind of programming I predicted automated cars to get. The collision was due to the assumption that the through traffic was obligated to yield. One of many backwards notions the public holds and are often what government has been teaching for decades. These are not only contrary to good traffic flow but often the letter of the vehicle code.

      We can expect automated cars to follow the sort of nonsense that has been coming out of government for the last fifty years with regard to driving. This means more congestion not less. Ask your self how Joan Claybrook or Ralph Nader would want the cars programmed and that won't be far from what happens.

  5. Nice graphics, but they don;t explain anything about how the car judges something. The intersection with many cars and pedestrians is never explained. Stop at a policeman's hand signal? What about a bum who wants to ask you for money? Or a bad guy seeing a single girl in a driverless car. Can it tell a policeman from a bum? Could an annoying person stop the car at an intersection for as long as he wants by faking stepping off the curb then stopping until the car starts again then stepping into its path. Often when someone else has the right of way they signal me to go first, headlight flash or hand waive.

    On the NJ turnpike traffic travel s at 75 to 80 MPH (10-15 mph over the legal speed limit) except when someone spots a police car. It is just as illegal to speed when entering an on ramp into heavy traffic as any other time. You might be ok traveling 15 mph slower while you read or sleep, but you would be a problem for safety if other drivers are going a much different speed. Every inch you travel will be available to the authorities forever in the future.