Alphabet's Waymo sharpens self-driving car tech, expands testing lead over rivals like App...

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Even as Apple tests remain shrouded in secrecy, prototype self-driving cars by Waymo -- formerly under Google -- are dramatically improving their skills, data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles revealed on Wednesday.




While Waymo's test fleet in the state drove 635,868 miles in 2016, 50 percent more than in 2015, safety-based disengagements fell from 0.8 per 1,000 miles to just 0.2, something highlighted by Waymo's head of self-driving technology, Dimitri Dolgov. The executive credited progress to a "more capable and mature" mix of hardware and software, and operating on "complex urban or suburban streets," helping to build experience dealing with complicated situations.

In all Waymo dealt with 124 disengagements. The company blamed most of these on "software glitches," but "unwanted maneuvers," "perception discrepancies," and "recklessly behaving road users" also played a part.

Crucially, in no case did Waymo cars crash or otherwise get into an accident.

Waymo is believed to be well ahead of its rivals in testing self-driving cars, having kickstarted the modern rush by showing the technology could work. The company is transitioning away from self-designed test vehicles and should soon deploy modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

Apple has expressed interest in testing a car on public roads, but is thought to have temporarily shelved the idea of designing its own vehicle until late 2017, if ever. The company could choose to partner with an existing automaker for its self-driving efforts, known as "Project Titan."

In the meantime Apple is thought to be testing systems in virtual reality, and experimenting with augmented reality for purposes like navigation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    sog35sog35 Posts: 11,949member
    Self driving cars are silly.


    Herbivore2
  • Reply 2 of 37
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    ppartekimcoolfactorcali
  • Reply 3 of 37
    I really like the idea of the ability to have self driving cars as an option. That said, the Way car in my Chandler neighborhood likes to do illegal U-Turns so it has a ways to go yet.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    I'm predicting that self-driving vehicles will prove so much an improvement over current vehicles that insurance rates will eventual make non-computer assisted driving all but unaffordable except for the very wealthy.
    gatorguyRoger_FingasjSnively
  • Reply 5 of 37
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 
    fotoformatpatchythepiratecaliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 37
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 


    We'll look back on posts like this in a few years chuckle at the quaint thinking it represents.  Is "a few years" 3 year, 5 years, or 20 years?  I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that in my lifetime I'll be saying "I remember when everyone drove and owned their own cars."

    There are drivers running over kids in the streets every single day.  The standard can't be "when will self-driving cars be PERFECT?"  They are rapidly approaching the ability to being better and safer than a good human driver, and that progress isn't going to reverse itself.

    Are you ok with blind, demented elderly people riding in taxis?

    edited February 1 patchythepirateStrangeDaysppartekim
  • Reply 7 of 37
    sog35sog35 Posts: 11,949member
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 


    We'll look back on posts like this in a few years chuckle at the quaint thinking it represents.  Is "a few years" 3 year, 5 years, or 20 years?  I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that in my lifetime I'll be saying "I remember when everyone drove and owned their own cars."

    There are drivers running over kids in the streets every single day.  The standard can't be "when will self-driving cars be PERFECT?"  They are rapidly approaching the ability to being better and safer than a good human driver, and that progress isn't going to reverse itself.

    Are you ok with blind, demented elderly people riding in taxis?

    Nah. There will always be a market for normal cars.

    I don't want to wait 10-15 minutes for a self driving taxi to pick me up
    cali
  • Reply 8 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,789member
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 
    Is Mercedes also serving Kool-Aid? What about Audi, still just Kool-Aid? BMW Kool-aid? Ford, and Nissan, and Delphi, and Tesla, and Toyota, and Volvo and. . . 
    You're letting the fire in your eyes at any mention of Google blind you. Within 3-4 years self-driving cars will be on streets in a city near you, and sold by several of those real car companies. Some may well be running Google software making it possible. Count on it. 

    EDIT: Since you appear to be completely unaware of how many companies are committing to autonomous transport and the progress they've made perhaps it might be a good idea to read this relatively short article prior to more comments.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/companies-making-driverless-cars-by-2020-2016-10/#tesla-is-aiming-to-have-its-driverless-technology-ready-by-2018-1
    edited February 1 randominternetperson
  • Reply 9 of 37
    sog35 said:
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 


    We'll look back on posts like this in a few years chuckle at the quaint thinking it represents.  Is "a few years" 3 year, 5 years, or 20 years?  I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that in my lifetime I'll be saying "I remember when everyone drove and owned their own cars."

    There are drivers running over kids in the streets every single day.  The standard can't be "when will self-driving cars be PERFECT?"  They are rapidly approaching the ability to being better and safer than a good human driver, and that progress isn't going to reverse itself.

    Are you ok with blind, demented elderly people riding in taxis?

    Nah. There will always be a market for normal cars.

    I don't want to wait 10-15 minutes for a self driving taxi to pick me up

    We don't disagree on either of those points.  Although "always" is a long time.
    edited February 1
  • Reply 10 of 37
    Herb - Maybe not Mass Transit, but Mid-Transit? A Computerized taxi could decide the best way to pick up the most passengers headed in the same direction. And each person it picks up would reduce your cab fare, so you would have a financial incentive to let it go a few minutes out of your way. And as more people use it, the more efficient it can be. And every person it picks up is one less car on the freeway at rush hour. In ten to 15 years, we could really see traffic get lighter for the first time in history. Money now being spent to widen freeways could go to maintain them. We could see our infrastructure improve without having tax increases.  But you think its silly. Unless your a full time Uber driver, your car spends 95% of its time parked. The amount of money we spend to buy, maintain and insure our cars versus the amount of time we spend in them, well thats the silly part. As for your safety concerns? You say they are not safe? Well, obviously you are correct. Thats why nobody has released any self driving cars to the public yet. But they will, when that software engineer/programmer get its just right. And will it be 100% safe? No. But its not 100% safe now either. I think you are being shortsighted.
    ppartekim
  • Reply 11 of 37
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,188member
    randominternetperson said:

    I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that in my lifetime I'll be saying "I remember when everyone drove and owned their own cars."
    I could see how autonomous cars could replace taxis someday, but there is a reason that muscle cars and 4-wheel drive luxury SUVs have been so popular for decades - lots of people simply like to drive, they like luxury, they like to be in control and to own their own vehicle so they can leave some belongings in the car, like a gym bag or a child's car seat. Not many people are going to enjoy hailing a ride in a crappy little generic car. It will also be annoying to wait for it to arrive, especially if you are in a hurry. I hope in my lifetime I still have the choice to own a big luxury automobile. I certainly won't mind if it has some automatic safety features like crash avoidance or even optional autonomous driving. I'll give up driving when they pry my lead foot off the accelerator.
    edited February 1
  • Reply 12 of 37
    gatorguy said:
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 
    Is Mercedes also serving Kool-Aid? What about Audi, still just Kool-Aid? BMW Kool-aid? Ford, and Nissan, and Delphi, and Tesla, and Toyota, and Volvo and. . . 
    You're letting the fire in your eyes at any mention of Google blind you. Within 3 years self-driving cars will be on streets in a city near you, and sold by several of those real car companies. Count on it. 
    There may be some form of driver assist technology. But I am certain that fully automated driving technology is many years away. 

    The automobile manufacturers were also big on HCCI and all sorts of technologies that never became reality. Just because several companies are looking at it doesn't mean that it will be feasible or that it will sell. 

    Not that it matters because it doesn't. But self driving technology as envisioned by Google will not happen in 3 years. And I will be happy to report back on Feb 1, 2020 to remind you of that. 

    Auto pilot technology has been available on the major airliners for several years. Yet they all still have human pilots. 

    Why is that? Piloting an aircraft is a far more controllable activity than driving a car. 

    Self driving cars have huge legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome. To think that they will be commonplace in three years is a stretch. 
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 13 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,789member
    gatorguy said:
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 
    Is Mercedes also serving Kool-Aid? What about Audi, still just Kool-Aid? BMW Kool-aid? Ford, and Nissan, and Delphi, and Tesla, and Toyota, and Volvo and. . . 
    You're letting the fire in your eyes at any mention of Google blind you. Within 3 years self-driving cars will be on streets in a city near you, and sold by several of those real car companies. Count on it. 
    There may be some form of driver assist technology. But I am certain that fully automated driving technology is many years away. 

    The automobile manufacturers were also big on HCCI and all sorts of technologies that never became reality. Just because several companies are looking at it doesn't mean that it will be feasible or that it will sell. 

    Not that it matters because it doesn't. But self driving technology as envisioned by Google will not happen in 3 years. And I will be happy to report back on Feb 1, 2020 to remind you of that. 

    Auto pilot technology has been available on the major airliners for several years. Yet they all still have human pilots. 

    Why is that? Piloting an aircraft is a far more controllable activity than driving a car. 

    Self driving cars have huge legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome. To think that they will be commonplace in three years is a stretch. 
    I don't think anyone said commonplace and even if so it wasn't me, but there will be autonomous vehicles being sold within 3-4 years IMO, and offered by more than one manufacturer. Car company engineers believe that too.
    edited February 1 randominternetperson
  • Reply 14 of 37
    metalcase said:
    Herb - Maybe not Mass Transit, but Mid-Transit? A Computerized taxi could decide the best way to pick up the most passengers headed in the same direction. And each person it picks up would reduce your cab fare, so you would have a financial incentive to let it go a few minutes out of your way. And as more people use it, the more efficient it can be. And every person it picks up is one less car on the freeway at rush hour. In ten to 15 years, we could really see traffic get lighter for the first time in history. Money now being spent to widen freeways could go to maintain them. We could see our infrastructure improve without having tax increases.  But you think its silly. Unless your a full time Uber driver, your car spends 95% of its time parked. The amount of money we spend to buy, maintain and insure our cars versus the amount of time we spend in them, well thats the silly part. As for your safety concerns? You say they are not safe? Well, obviously you are correct. Thats why nobody has released any self driving cars to the public yet. But they will, when that software engineer/programmer get its just right. And will it be 100% safe? No. But its not 100% safe now either. I think you are being shortsighted.
    I'm the one short-sighted? Wait a minute here. I can see a far bigger picture. 

    If fully automated transporting technology is feasible then why would I waste time on a car? Maybe for short trips to town.

    Having that kind of technology for an airplane, however, would be much nicer. A four hour drive could be reduced to a 1.5 hour flight. With a computerized pilot doing the flying. 

    The idea of allowing a computer to do the flying is ludicrous to the majority but somehow a road vehicle is different. 

    I do understand what you're saying. I don't see it working out in the way you are envisioning. 

    Most people just want to hop in the car and go. Not wait. It's why people own their own vehicles. And for short jaunts, I personally would never engage the automated function. Maybe on long freeway runs when I am tired.  But the feature will come at a significant cost. I would rather have other features to be honest for the same price. And I will still own my own vehicle. I don't really want to share it. I don't want to wait. And I don't want to get into a vehicle where someone may have just upchucked their last meal. 

    I really don't see the technology as any major advance and I really don't see it changing much other than allowing someone to get a little shut eye on long freeway stretches. Or to text a friend. It is going to come at a cost. A cost that only a small segment of the population would be willing to bear. The elderly person who is faced with the prospect of losing his/her driver's license. 

    I am not knocking the technology. But in the human world, it isn't going to change much really. 
  • Reply 15 of 37
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 
    Is Mercedes also serving Kool-Aid? What about Audi, still just Kool-Aid? BMW Kool-aid? Ford, and Nissan, and Delphi, and Tesla, and Toyota, and Volvo and. . . 
    You're letting the fire in your eyes at any mention of Google blind you. Within 3 years self-driving cars will be on streets in a city near you, and sold by several of those real car companies. Count on it. 
    There may be some form of driver assist technology. But I am certain that fully automated driving technology is many years away. 

    The automobile manufacturers were also big on HCCI and all sorts of technologies that never became reality. Just because several companies are looking at it doesn't mean that it will be feasible or that it will sell. 

    Not that it matters because it doesn't. But self driving technology as envisioned by Google will not happen in 3 years. And I will be happy to report back on Feb 1, 2020 to remind you of that. 

    Auto pilot technology has been available on the major airliners for several years. Yet they all still have human pilots. 

    Why is that? Piloting an aircraft is a far more controllable activity than driving a car. 

    Self driving cars have huge legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome. To think that they will be commonplace in three years is a stretch. 
    I don't think anyone said commonplace and even if so it wasn't me, but there will be autonomous vehicles being sold within 3-4 years IMO, and offered by more than one manufacturer. Car company engineers believe that too.
    Mazda once sold cars with rotary engines too. They were real production vehicles.  GM execs also fully expected to sell a rotary engine also at one time. 

    How did that technology pan out? How about the Chrysler turbine program?

    Engineers aren't exactly good prognosticators. 

    Frankly, I would rather have a vehicle that can crash into a concrete barrier with minimal damage than a self driving vehicle. Perhaps the engineers would be better using their limited resources elsewhere than a technology that really is limited in its usefulness. 
  • Reply 16 of 37
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 
    Uber bought the company "Otto" which makes self-driving trucks. They are also allegedly looking to expand into buses.

    https://ot.to
    edited February 1
  • Reply 17 of 37
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 
    Why don't we want old people being carted in SDCs? I'd want to be able to get driven around when i'm too old to drive. Sounds great. 
  • Reply 18 of 37

    metalcase said:
    Herb - Maybe not Mass Transit, but Mid-Transit? A Computerized taxi could decide the best way to pick up the most passengers headed in the same direction. And each person it picks up would reduce your cab fare, so you would have a financial incentive to let it go a few minutes out of your way. And as more people use it, the more efficient it can be. And every person it picks up is one less car on the freeway at rush hour. In ten to 15 years, we could really see traffic get lighter for the first time in history. Money now being spent to widen freeways could go to maintain them. We could see our infrastructure improve without having tax increases.  But you think its silly. Unless your a full time Uber driver, your car spends 95% of its time parked. The amount of money we spend to buy, maintain and insure our cars versus the amount of time we spend in them, well thats the silly part. As for your safety concerns? You say they are not safe? Well, obviously you are correct. Thats why nobody has released any self driving cars to the public yet. But they will, when that software engineer/programmer get its just right. And will it be 100% safe? No. But its not 100% safe now either. I think you are being shortsighted.
    An automated transit vehicle company is demoing to my city. They're like mini buses that carry people around. 
    metalcase
  • Reply 19 of 37
    Herb -  Your main complaint seems to be time and convenience. Imagine taking half the cars off the road right now. How much better would traffic flow? How much quicker could you get where you want to go?  If the majority of those cars left are computerized taxis, how much time are you really going to spend waiting on getting picked up? I just checked uber and I can get a ride in two minutes, and uber is probably, what, 1 in 10,000 cars on the road? I would imagine wait times would be far less if open taxis were 1 in 100 or better. And convenience? You would get dropped off at the front door of wherever you're going, no more looking for parking, parking, then the walking through whatever weather to get inside. How much time do you spend doing that? Or stopping for gas? Or getting/doing oil changes? Car washes? Or any of the other dozen things you have to do for your car.

    Trust me, I get your point, and I don't disagree. I average almost 20,000 miles a year and have for more than 25 years. I love to drive. I would never buy a self driving car. If fact, I don't think many people will. It will be a service and I think it will go similar to Apple Music. 20 years ago, you bought an album, 10 years ago you might buy an album, but you probably bought a bunch of singles from iTunes too. Now, you pay $10 a month and stream whatever you want.  I think now, a family owns 2 cars and drives everywhere. 10 years from now, maybe you only need 1 car and can have that computerized taxi take you to work and back. 20 years, you'll pay $10,000/year and be thrilled you don't need all the hassle of cars anymore.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    2old4fun said:
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    As you are silly. Self Driving Cars are mass transit but not constrained by timetable as public mass transit is.
    Self driving cars are NOT mass transit. Nice way to buy the Google Kool Aid. 

    Self driving cars will still mostly transport one passenger per vehicle which isn't mass transit by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Self driving cars are computerized taxis. 

    I myself find the notion of self driving cars unsettling. There are a whole host of ethical and legal issues to still be worked out. Testing autonomous vehicles without passengers in semi-controlled conditions is one thing. 

    Riding in one as a passenger knowing that I am in the hands of another software engineer/programmer is another. The software will be built to the ethical standards of someone else. And how will the software react to a child running into the street chasing a ball vs. runaway grocery cart. In one case, I would accept the vehicle steering into a wall. In the other case, I would not. Unless the cart had a child in it. 

    While the technology is serious, the flagrant promotion of self driving technology by Google is frankly, quite silly. I don't want it. And neither do the vast majority of my friends and colleagues. 

    The only people who do want it? People who have no business operating a motor vehicle in the first place. And do we really want a blind, demented elderly person being transported as the only passenger in a self driving vehicle? 

    I certainly don't. And if you believe it should be the case, then I would invite you to take flight on a commercial airplane without human pilots. 
    Why don't we want old people being carted in SDCs? I'd want to be able to get driven around when i'm too old to drive. Sounds great. 
    It sounds great until the person gives the wrong address and the car drops the person off in some remote area and the person gets out then gets lost. Or to a shady area of town where the person gets mugged. Or the person trips getting out of the car falls and breaks their leg. Maybe the car can activate a powerful electromagnet, pull the person into the vehicle and self drive to the hospital. There are many more circumstances where such technology can actually be harmful. 

    If harm comes to the person, who is liable? If I am too old to drive, a human driver is still far preferable. 

    Things sound great on the surface but then there are always those pesky details that cause problems. 

    Self driving technology is still of limited benefit. AR technology is quite helpful. 

    I just don't see the technology amounting to much really other than a curiosity. Like Google glass. Interesting but not anything that will change much. 
    cali
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