Feeds

back to article Nissan promises to sell self-driving cars by 2020

Nissan has said it is two car generations away from building mass-market self-driving vehicles, and has promised to have the first hands-free automobiles available for sale within the next seven years. Nissan self-driving car Nissan want this on the road by 2020 "Nissan Motor Company's willingness to question conventional …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Bronze badge
Stop

Driverless buses

And we're looking at them coming in Vancouver.

There are a few systems that work, but Translink is bound to find some way to screw it up.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Great

When I'm totally p**sed out of my mind from a major session I can press an ap on my phone and my car will come and collect me and take me home. Fab.

2
0
FAIL

Re: Great

That aint how the law will work. You are still in charge of the vehicle. No drink'n'drugs for you.

1
1

Re: Great

You've just talked me out of ever wanting one

0
0
Bronze badge

Excuse me?

I work at a hotel and have met plenty of truckers. Forcing truckers to seek an alternative means of employment is seriously a bad idea.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Excuse me?

Well automated trucks means they could drive 24/7. There would be no cowboys, drugs, speeding or tail gating.

Trucking is an industry driven on price. Automated trucks means deliveries faster and cheaper.

As much as it is terrible for people to lose their job, it's still going to happen. I wouldn't want to be a taxi driver, truck driver or video store owner. Ten years from now they won't exist.

4
0

Re: Excuse me?

I bet the truckers are still there. Quite apart from anything else, somebody will need to act as load master and general stevedore at each end of a job because its quite unlikely that all endpoints will have either people with the skill of loading a truck so its safe on the road or robots that can do that job. Before you ask: I think trucks with built-in robot loaders would be unlikely. The bulk and weight of that equipment is likely to make self-loading trucks uneconomic.

0
0
Silver badge

I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

Too much to go wrong ... and it'd be a hell of a lot cheaper to teach people to drive properly in the first place. There are no magic fix-it pills.

1
9
Silver badge

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

Too much to go wrong???? Like drunken idiots?? Hoons???? Druggos??? Talking on mobiles???? Tired drivers????

Something like 90% of accidents are due to the driver. Mechanical issues account for a very small part.

I think I'll bank on Google's magic fix-it pills before your training classes.

You might say you won't buy that but give it maybe 25 years and legally you won't be able to go on the road without it.

7
3
Silver badge

@Thorne (was: Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.)

"I think I'll bank on Google's magic fix-it pills before your training classes."

So you think that not learning how to properly operate a motor vehicle is a good idea when allowing people to operate motor vehicles? Really?

Honestly, the mind boggles ...

0
4
Thumb Down

Re: @Thorne (was: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.)

As much as I adore driving I would have to say yes, I would rather that people were not in charge of them.

As pointed out 90% of accidents are caused by the people driving them. Whether that be the person has had a bad day and is not completely concentrated, or whether they are just bad drivers full stop. Or whether they think they are Jensen Button, or just doddering people who should have given up their license years ago.

Of course people should be trained to the right level before getting into a car, and should adhere to that level when driving.

But having a license for 19 years now (ouch, that long!) I know that I have some bad habits when behind the wheel. Not holding the phone, texting or other insane stuff, but there have been times where someone was in my blind spot and I obviously didn't check properly because as I started to move I saw them and had to stop the maneuver, or you do something and immediately think it was a bad idea.

And I see far worse - sometimes I think my car is a magnet seeing as the amount of people who wander into my lane when overtaking me on the motorway - because they are distracted, or because they just haven't seen the nearly 4.8m long Volvo in the lane next to them. Or because they are just staring at their crotch where they are busy composing a text, tweet or facebook post (or email or whatever!)

And if you say you have never had those experiences then I am going to call you a fibber! :)

Yes, give me self driving cars - once the legalities have been sorted!

10
0
Silver badge

Re: @Thorne (was: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.)

It isnt just organic meatbags that break though, technology does too. A cascade of trucks and busload of nuns going off the road will be just as nasty.

I would have thought automated trains being a better option. Afterall the rail network would be better suited already having limited mobility options.

2
0
Bronze badge

PEBCASW

is for cars what PEBCAK is for computers.

Too many times the problem is the user himself/herself

0
0

"...25 years and legally you won't be able to go on the road without it."

Probably not, since the cost of all those new cars (let alone the environmental cost of destroying millions of old-but-still-working classic cars) would be prohibitive. There's plenty of us out there who are quite fond of some of those old-fashioned machines.

But I suspect that once the self-driving cars' liability issues are resolved it'll cost a lot more to insure a human to do the driving.

2
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

"Too much to go wrong"

Lots that could go wrong, but that's why they're being extensively tested in real-life situations. Of course accidents will still happen - Even if with driverless cars, accidents and fatalities are reduced by a factor of 1000, or even 10,000, there's still millions of vehicles on the roads, hundreds of thousands of accidents, tens of thousands of fatalities. So yes, stuff will go wrong and people will get injured / die. BUT it will be a lot less. Isn't it better to have 10 fatalities a year due to computer error than 10,000 a year due mostly to driver error?

"Nissan says it wants all the information the car needs to operate on-board rather than beamed-in"

eminently sensible

3
0
Silver badge

Re: @Thorne (was: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.)

Human drivers are already pretty much as good as they will ever be. There can be a marginal increase of skilllevel with better training, but if unskilled / careless drivers don't want to improve their skills (possibly because they think that they're excellent drivers already), then they won't.

And it doesn't matter how skilled drivers are when they are tired or under the influence, and even the best drivers can be momentarily distracted, emotionally upset etc.

I don't think any one is advocating for stopping driver training and tests, those would still happen. It's just a LOT more effective to switch to driverless cars than to improve training.

And possibly, 20-30 years in the future, this:

"not learning how to properly operate a motor vehicle is a good idea when allowing people to operate motor vehicles"

would be redundant because people won't be allowed to operate motor vehicles at all

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @Thorne (was: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.)

"automated trains being a better option"

Already exist on a small scale metro. Also have teh advantage that they can stop at exact positions, meaning peole can be guided to the correct point of teh platform where a train door will be. And one other bonus - number 1 reported stress factor for train drivers is jumpers. Software won't have psychological problems if a meatbag gets squished

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

" it'd be a hell of a lot cheaper to teach people to drive properly "

People are taught to drive properly already, especially those who are supposed to be professionals and have to have advanced driving tests, such as truckers and bus drivers. The problem is that people ignore (or forget) their training and become complacent. Taxi, bus and truck drivers are some of the worst offenders for this, and end up taking risks other drivers won't take, or simply get lazy and clog up the roads with their inconsiderate driving practices. A machine will always do what it's told.

I look forward to the reduction in the number of meat bag drivers on the roads, to be honest, and in the long run it'll be cheaper to use the tech than people.

1
0
Terminator

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

"90% of accidents are caused by drivers"

What percentage of these accidents would have still happened if a car was driverless?

In a multiple vehicle collision, it only takes 1 driver to do something unexpectedly stupid and the other vehicles containing either software or wetware drivers, can't necessarily do anything about it.

1
2
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

Software can do a LOT more about it

1. The vehicle having a problem can instantly alert other vehicles to the emergency so they can start braking/taking evasive action

2. Vehicles can automatically monitor each other for potential problems

3. reaction time of a vehicle is much faster than a humans, again - alerts can propagate faster through the flow of traffic

4. Vehicles can be "taught" coping techniques for a wide variety of emergency situations

There is no reason why multi vehicle pileups cannot become a thing of the past once inefficient and inattentive humans are taken out of the equation

1
0
Silver badge

Re: @Thorne (was: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.)

"Of course people should be trained to the right level before getting into a car, and should adhere to that level when driving."

But they don't.

Most drivers would FAIL a driving test if retested with no warning (theory and practical). That there are so few crashes with meatbags at the wheel says a lot more about luck than management.

I suspect that when driverless cars become practical, mandatory periodic retesting will become the norm to be allowed to obtain and keep a driving license.

WRT the comment about truckers: A stevedore could sleep in the cabin while the robot does the easy part (driving) but (s)he isn't going to get much rest compared with having stevedores onsite or nearby who can be called out to handle loading/unloading (the first applications will be longhaul warehouse to warehouse in any case). Robot trucks are most likely to be run at low speeds to obtain maximum fuel efficiency. No 12 hour limits or drivers getting bored shitless to worry about, etc.

.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

For starters you reduce reaction times by 1 second (notice red light, lift foot off accelerator, put foot on brake). That's the reason for the "2 second rule" and would shorten braking distances by that much.

Secondly even given ABS and ESP, most drivers will still plough into an obstacle in front of them rather than trying to go around it. Electronics is likely to better handle collision avoidance.

Plus it can "see" in the dark and it doesn't get distracted by the kids fighting in the back seat or the passenger blurting out that he's pregnant/wants a dvorce/both, or the legs of the cute female/buns on the cute male it just drove past.

Plus it doesn't indulge in dickwaving activity for the benfit or other drivers/observers/personal jollies

Plus it doesn't get impatient and start barrelling down safety lanes, or blocking main carriageways by rubbernecking at something that's happened on the lanes in the other direction.

It might be boring but it'll get you there, safely. That's more than I can say for the average taxi driver I've encountered.

1
0
Meh

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

Software can do a LOT more about it.

1. The vehicle having a problem can instantly alert other vehicles to the emergency so they can start braking/taking evasive action

You're assuming that ALL cars will be driverless - which they won't be.

2. Vehicles can automatically monitor each other for potential problems

See above response.

3. reaction time of a vehicle is much faster than a humans, again - alerts can propagate faster through the flow of traffic

Any half-decent driver doesn't need the same reaction time as a machine as they drive within the limits of their abilities and the road conditions.

4. Vehicles can be "taught" coping techniques for a wide variety of emergency situations

So can humans. Its called advanced driver training.

0
2
Bronze badge
Holmes

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

It’ll be the cars with drivers which will carry on ploughing into other vehicles. Those with software controlling them will be safely coming to a stop out of harms way.

Most drivers have no idea about safe distances

And as for “Advanced training” you must be joking,. Most people get just below the legally required minimum and then scrape through the test after a number of attempts

Most people are capable of driving safely but the risk of death isn't great enough for them to bother with it

0
0

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

@Alan Brown - That was exactly the point I was trying to make. Thank you :)

"3. reaction time of a vehicle is much faster than a humans, again - alerts can propagate faster through the flow of traffic

Any half-decent driver doesn't need the same reaction time as a machine as they drive within the limits of their abilities and the road conditions."

Aside from the fact that I don't think this happens, ever, you are missing the point. Someone else driving outside of their limits heading towards you. You still need your 1 second reaction time, the computer still needs it's ms (if that) reaction time. That difference in time could be the difference between a nasty accident and an 'OMG! That was close!' moment.

Of course the benefits will be limited until all cars are self-drive, but the benefits will start as soon as people start to use them, and only get better as the technology propagates down to the second hand cars.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: @Thorne (was: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.)

"So you think that not learning how to properly operate a motor vehicle is a good idea when allowing people to operate motor vehicles? Really?"

People have to complete driving training now and complete a test to drive. They then go out and get drunk to celebrate passing the test and then drive home.

Some people are idiots and no amount of training will change that.

Vision fades and reactions slow for old people and no amount of training will change that.

A computer has perfect concentration, perfect reactions and 360 degree see in the dark vision. No amount of training can beat that.

Yes there will be accidents with self drive cars but there will be a fraction of the accidents.

Eventually self drive vehicles will be the law.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: I, for one, will not purchase this tat.

"Software can do a LOT more about it

......

There is no reason why multi vehicle pileups cannot become a thing of the past once inefficient and inattentive humans are taken out of the equation"

Plus the computer will maintain a safe distance automatically to prevent pile ups and in the event of an unavoidable accident, it can calculate the safest way to control the accident to prevent deaths.

1
1
Bronze badge

The sanity test will begin-

when the first automated car kills someone (my money is on a damned cyclist).

Will reason rule and 'the number of deaths caused by cars driven by humans but people in general still allowed to drive' be considered, instead of some knee-jerk political response?

It's good that Google has more money than the affected unions too!

5
1
Silver badge

@ Paul J Turner (was: Re: The sanity test will begin-)

My money is on the car swerving to avoid a deer, thus killing the idiot !driving it.

1
2
Paris Hilton

Re: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-)

Doesn't matter if the car swerves itself or the blockhead behind the wheel swerves it... the end result will still be the same. At least when there's a driver, IF he remembers what he's been told about having a deer in front of him, he WON'T swerve, and just run down Bambi... Swerving hard WILL cause the car to roll... hitting the deer, even at speed, might not, just destroy the front end of the car. When I hit that little whitetail deer at 60 MPH, I didn't have time to swerve, and just hit it square, and did $7,000 damage to the car... but my wife and I walked away with no injuries. One of the pick 'em up trucks that refused to stop to help us managed to load up his freezer out of season.

Barbi, Bambi, not a lot of difference...

0
0
Silver badge
Pint

@ LateNightLarry (was: Re: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-))

If he refused to stop to help, how did he manage to load up his freezer?,

Did you stuff stuff in your own freezer?

I save road-kill (mostly for sausage) several times per year ....

Greetings from Sonoma, Mr. Napa :-)

Beer, because there isn't a wine option.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: @ LateNightLarry (was: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-))

Up here its quail, pheasant and grouse that screw your car over. Those things punch holes in the front when hit at speed and it isnt like there is much to eat on them afterwards :-(

0
0
FAIL

Re: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-)

Dunning-Kruger strikes in the assumption that these sorts of emergency avoidance maneuvers haven't been gamed out and tested.

Give me a system with better reflexes than me, every day.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Swerving to avoid a deer, thus killing the idiot driving it

Hang on. There is someone driving the deer? WTF

3
0
Silver badge

Re: The sanity test will begin-

As long as the insurers accept to insure the driverless car, everything will stay as it already is. From the point of view of the owner of the driverless car, if their car causes an accident, their insurance will pay, same as their insurance would pay if they themselves caused an accident.

Probably the first driverless cars will cost a bomb to insure as insurers will be playing it safe. If / When insurers have a few years' worth of data showing driverless is safer, costs will fall.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: The sanity test will begin-

"my money is on a damned cyclist"

I think the automated car will be smart enough to look out for cyclists. Another improvement over human drivers

3
1
Silver badge

Re: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-)

Bambi is a little different when it's a moose/14 point red stag or even just a friesian cow.

All the above will come through the windscreen feet first and kill you if you hit 'em square on, seatbelts, airbags and any other safety features notwithstanding.

With the extra reaction time afforded by computers that hit might even become a near-miss - which little johny's mother will be very glad about when he darts across the road from between 2 parked cars (my standard driving pattern in cities includes "WATCH THE BLOODY FOOTPATH AND LOOK UNDER PARKED CARS FOR FEET ON THE OTHER SIDE" - which has led to passengers wondering why I'm braking well BEFORE Little Johnny appears. Computers will doubtless be programmed to do the same thing and not have to shush passengers)

1
0
Silver badge

Re: The sanity test will begin-

"when the first automated car kills someone (my money is on a damned cyclist)."

The car will record 360 degree vision and will show the idiot cyclist caused himself to get killed.

Maybe then the laws will get them off the road.....

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-)

"My money is on the car swerving to avoid a deer, thus killing the idiot !driving it."

The car will never swerve wildly like a human driver. It will see the deer, calculate the safest path based on the deer's trajectory and if unavoidable run the damn deer down in the safest way for the driver....

0
0
Silver badge

@Thorne (was: Re: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-))

You have entirely too much faith in technology.

Rest in peace.

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: @Thorne (was: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-))

The car will use infrared sensors to sense the deer before the deer even got to the road.

Car will marginally adjust speed to allow the deer to pass in front/behind the car

Deer and car do not collide

Passenger continues reading the paper/watching TV oblivious to what's happened

0
0
Silver badge

Leave the truck drivers in the cabs...

But get them from behind the wheel.

That way we don't get the idiots driving drunk, on the phone, watching videos, reading the paper, overtaking another truck with an 0.1mph speed differential, driving three inches behind a slow car, squishing bicycles, falling off the road, using the rumble strip to wake them up, not having the right (or any) licence or other documentation...

Someone has to get the stuff out of the back of the truck at those midnight meets in laybys, or even at their official destination, so there'll always be employment for them.

(As an aside: I can see that normal driving isn't that different in a truck or a car or a 4*4 - largely a matter of scaling the mass and inertia details. But an autopilot that can do all that and, say, reverse accurately into a loading bay, or queue nicely and then put itself onto a ferry? An interesting challenge...)

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Leave the truck drivers in the cabs...

"But get them from behind the wheel."

I think it would be fun to give them a seat on the cab roof, and a pair of reins to hold. The reins would be linked to a Google Glass stagecoach driving app.

Yee-hah!

0
0
Bronze badge

Call me uneasy...

If we're moving towards a driverless era (which is a shame - I still enjoy driving), I'd imagine that we're going to go through a dangerous interim first.

We're talking about first/second generation commercialised technology sharing the road with somewhat more meat-derived drivers. Not only is the tech rather new (I'm sure it's been well tested, but....), but these robocars are sharing the road with some great fellow road users.

How about 18 year old Daz in his 10 year old Corsa with lowered suspension, a fart exhaust and a stereo worth more than the car? He's out wid 'is mates, innit? Showing how fast he can drive, darting in and out of traffic. Can our silicon miracle judge the way this guy is driving and keep out of his way?

Or then there's 80 year old Enid in her Fiesta. She's driven (to the shops) for fifty years and never had an accident. She forgets where the indicators are and sometimes stops a bit sharply when she panics as she nearly misses her turn or doesn't see the traffic until the last minute. She'd be the ideal buyer for robocar, but convincing her might be a challenge (she still uses cheques...).

I'm not opposed to self driving vehicles, but I don't think the short term is going to be straight forward and 100% safe.

0
0
Happy

Re: Call me uneasy...

Actually... I think the two situations you describe would be far better handled by a RoboCar than a human.

Both in terms of safe driving to begin with (just how close to Enid are you driving - someone slamming on their brakes should not be the start of an accident, though it often is) and in terms of reaction times ms for the computer vs a second for the human.

The same goes for Daz, if a computer doesn't have the reaction time, or space to move out of his way then yu have no chance.

I'm more concerned about the legalities of what happen when a RoboCar *does* have an accident? Who pays for the medical bills and repairs? I think that this needs answering before it can really happen...

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Call me uneasy...

"Who pays for the medical bills and repairs?"

Insurance, same as usual. Might be expensive to insure robo-cars first time round, though

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Call me uneasy...

"I'm more concerned about the legalities of what happen when a RoboCar *does* have an accident? "

All the onboard cameras and blackboxes will leave no doubt whatsoever who's at fault and if it's the robot, (which is doubtful based on experience so far - the google cars have been subjected to most fo the situations discussed and so far their only bump was when one got rear ended by a meatbag at traffic lights) programming will be updated quickly.

Liabilities are something for insurance companies to work out, as they are now. And int he absence of a driver, the vehicle owner or the nominal "person in charge" will bear responsibility, as per usual. Actual software errors will be covered by standard business liability insurance (which is surprisngly cheap).

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Call me uneasy...

"If we're moving towards a driverless era (which is a shame - I still enjoy driving), I'd imagine that we're going to go through a dangerous interim first."

Daz and Enid are already on the road causing accidents. How is a computer going to do worse than a human?

0
0
Silver badge

Can't wait to see their test track

How 'real world' will their test environment be? Stone buildings are all very well, but what about stray doggies crossing the road. Idiots crossing while zonked out on loud music from their iThing. Kiddies rushing across the road to the ice-cream van - will they invite the local primary school to visit to provide test material? Will they have nice deep potholes that can make the car swerve? Two men crossing the road with a giant pane of glass?

Nice idea on a motorway, but urban areas? Nah...

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Can't wait to see their test track

"How 'real world' will their test environment be? Stone buildings are all very well, but what about stray doggies crossing the road. Idiots crossing while zonked out on loud music from their iThing. Kiddies rushing across the road to the ice-cream van - will they invite the local primary school to visit to provide test material? Will they have nice deep potholes that can make the car swerve? Two men crossing the road with a giant pane of glass?"

How well do human drivers handle it? You people all quote the same scenarios forgetting that human drivers usually kill the pedestrian anyway. Yes robocar might run a little kiddy over but a human driver would have as well. The difference is with perfect vision, reactions and decision making, if the robocar could avoid the accident it will.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.