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

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 37
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,075member
    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.
    Yep insurance companies will impose the future on us.   They will tell the state governments what will be legal.  There is no right to drive in the constitution.
  • Reply 22 of 37
    metalcase said:
    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.
    It is all about convenience. And the moment someone gets into a computerized taxi that someone else urinated in, and sits on will be the last day they use such a service. 

    At least a human driver would clean up the mess before putting the vehicle back into service. 

    Automated driving technology does have a role. However, the technology will not displace the need for human operators. And the vast majority of the driving public does not want nor need the technology. They would rather pay for other vehicle options instead. I know I would. 

    The segment of the public that does, the elderly person who shouldn't be driving, shouldn't be relying on the technology in the first place. 

    Transporting objects in self driving trucks is fine. Transporting frail human beings is another matter entirely. 
  • Reply 23 of 37
    I don't see computerized taxis as a major component of self driving cars, except in the case where they are replacing taxis.  I see people owning their own self driving car as the future.

    pervasive self driving cars are inevitable because they represent a major safety improvement for everyone.  

    World wide 1.3 million people die per year from traffic accidents and 20-50 million people are injured or disabled from traffic accidents.  These numbers can both be close to 0.

    Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year.  This could also be close to 0.
    edited February 2017 cali
  • Reply 24 of 37
    metalcase said:
    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.
    It is all about convenience. And the moment someone gets into a computerized taxi that someone else urinated in, and sits on will be the last day they use such a service. 

    At least a human driver would clean up the mess before putting the vehicle back into service. 

    Automated driving technology does have a role. However, the technology will not displace the need for human operators. And the vast majority of the driving public does not want nor need the technology. They would rather pay for other vehicle options instead. I know I would. 

    The segment of the public that does, the elderly person who shouldn't be driving, shouldn't be relying on the technology in the first place. 

    Transporting objects in self driving trucks is fine. Transporting frail human beings is another matter entirely. 

    why would you want transporting frail humans in the hands of other frail, error prone, who are at times impaired or distracted instead of computers who will pay 100% attention to every detail at all times.  
  • Reply 25 of 37
    My guess is someday self-driving cars will be pretty normal and probably the majority of what is seen on the road.  I look at it from the perspective of manual transmission vehicle vs automatics.  More and more people drive automatics, mostly because it's "too hard" to learn a manual.  With decreased demand it is harder to find a vehicle with a manual transmission.  Enter the self-driving car.  Even less to learn! "Why should I learn how to drive?  The car just takes me there!!"

    I'm not interested in self-driving vehicles (although maybe on the highway only, maybe.  Simply to help speed up the travel time I think there are many benefits) but future vehicle users may look at things very differently.
  • Reply 26 of 37
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,075member
    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.
    Google has some advantage with google Maps (I still don't trust iMaps ) and Google Now, But Apples big advantages are:
    1   MacOS/iOS just more efficient that android.
    2.  Custom chips-Apple could create a custom version of their Ax  chips for the major auto companies to use in their cars.

    Tells is ahead of both because a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  • Reply 27 of 37
    joncojonco Posts: 25member
    Forget about all the people put out of work. For some driving is their only option. What about action films? How will they pad out the script without the impossible car chase gag? It will kill the Mad Max franchise.
  • Reply 28 of 37
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,224member
    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. 

    These are TEST vehicles. Once the technology has matured to a trustable level, self-driving cars will definitely take whole families at once.

    Self-driving cars are the only real solution to today's problems on the road. Human drivers have proven to be untrustworthy. Too many terrible drivers out there, and yes, that includes those that are good drivers, but just don't care about anybody else, and therefore are irresponsible and inconsiderate. SYI (Signal Your Intentions!)

    I am normally an Apple Maps user, and I find the tech very impressive. But recently, I used Google Maps (via the web on an iPhone!), and it was several notches better! As I was driving, the verbal instructions are exact and perfectly timed, even within mere meters. For example, I'm in a round-about, and it asks me to leave the round-about at the exact time. That's impressive!
  • Reply 29 of 37
    My guess is someday self-driving cars will be pretty normal and probably the majority of what is seen on the road.  I look at it from the perspective of manual transmission vehicle vs automatics.  More and more people drive automatics, mostly because it's "too hard" to learn a manual.  With decreased demand it is harder to find a vehicle with a manual transmission.  Enter the self-driving car.  Even less to learn! "Why should I learn how to drive?  The car just takes me there!!"

    I'm not interested in self-driving vehicles (although maybe on the highway only, maybe.  Simply to help speed up the travel time I think there are many benefits) but future vehicle users may look at things very differently.
    I have two teenagers (19 and 17) and neither have yet bothered to get their driver's licenses.  Most of their friends don't drive either.  And we live out in the suburbs.  Sure there are/will be kids who LOVE to drive, but for many of this generation, driving is just a chore.  Four teenagers would greatly prefer to be together in a self-driving car than having one of them driving.  And given how poorly kids drive, that would be a good thing.  I think families like mine (out in the burbs) will continue to own cars, but will drive less.  Personally, I'd love to leave the driving to a computer, especially at night or in bad traffic.

    And at some point in the future there will be a tipping point when "the system" will no longer tolerate uncoordinated, inconsistent, unsafe human drivers interfering with the network of autonomous vehicles.  At that point human drivers may be legislated out of existence.  After all, we don't allow wagons and horses on our highways any more.
  • Reply 30 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. 
    I don't think you're looking at the big picture. There are several things happening that mean a permanent shift in thinking is in the works: the population shift and the rise of artificial intelligence. The first part of that trend is driving the second part. Demand is driving the shift of capital to create the automated systems that will be there to take care of and look after the vast elderly population. This is inevitable.
  • Reply 31 of 37
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    I think an Apple taxi service with automated driving would be like a mini party. 

    I imagine it being the "cool thing" to do that'll put Uber out of business.

    Imagine being picked up by an Apple Car with couch-like circle of seats inside. Beats Radio is playing and you can scroll through Apple Music or select movies/shows to watch, play Carpool Karaoke etc.

    Ever seen those party vans? These would be cooler. Imagine a small more fun autonomous limo.

    Not the party type? On your way to a business meeting? Scroll through Apple News or tune in to talk radio on Apple Music.

    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.
    HELL NO.

    I don't want strangers riding in my car with me. 



  • Reply 32 of 37
    lukeilukei Posts: 379member
    sog35 said:
    Self driving cars are silly.


    No they are the future of 'driving'
  • Reply 33 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,697member
    I am just puzzled how the writer knows 'a lead has been expanded over other rivals like Apple' when no one knows anything about Apple's developmental position on anything let alone its car R&D.
    edited February 2017 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 34 of 37
    I really like the potential of augmented and self driving vehicles. The potential to increase safety and reduce traffic and get from point A to point B more efficiently is appealing.
  • Reply 35 of 37
    The potential to increase safety and reduce traffic and get from point A to point B more efficiently is appealing.
    Years ago I read an article in, I believe, Car and Driver.  It speculated about the future of highway transportation with an "intelligent" highway/vehicle system where once you hit the on-ramp the driver would  relinquish control of the car.  All vehicles would be broadcasting their destination to the system.  The system would control the speed of all vehicles and what lane they would be traveling in.  In the authors vision, cars would be traveling in "packs" at high rates of speed.  

    If some sort of road hazard was ahead or a lane was closed it would move the cars in all packs to different lanes so that they could maintain their travel speed but account for whatever they needed to navigate around.  

    The theory also had vehicles in the pack frequently changing position, so cars that had further to go would be moved left, the closer a vehicle go to it's exit the more it would move to the right.  That way cars wouldn't have to be moved much if they were going further and the system could deal with a little less.

    When a car's exit was approaching it would be moved to the far right lane to line up with the exit and the driver would be alerted that soon it would be time to regain control of the car.

    Some of the benefits cited were improved fuel economy, fewer accidents (granted, there could still be some. There is always the chance of a blow out or some other kind of unforeseen vehicle failure) and importantly shorter travel times.

    It seems like the author was onto something but incorrectly assumed the road system would be an integral part of the whole.  As I mentioned earlier, I feel like I wouldn't mind an automated highway experience, I HATE rubbernecking and automation would likely go a long way in cutting that sort of slow down out.  If auto manufacturers could agree on a standard then eventually this could happen.  It would take a long time, though, because for it to truly work all cars would have to be self-driveable. Throwing in the one driver who wanted to do things their own way would just mess things all up.

    Maybe we can use the HOV lane for the non-self-driving cars. :wink: 
  • Reply 36 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,109member
    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. 
    I didn't realize until this morning that the is actually an old problem resurrected: The Trolley problem. 

    It had never been tested tho in real life, getting a better idea of how people would really react if given the option to saving five lives but become responsible for killing one. Now it has and you can see why, how, and what happened here:


    In a nutshell most people take no action at all....
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 37 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    MacPro said:
    I am just puzzled how the writer knows 'a lead has been expanded over other rivals like Apple' when no one knows anything about Apple's developmental position on anything let alone its car R&D.
    Whenever an author claims to be a mind reader, their entire story can be safely ignored as an editorial.
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