back to article Experts agree: Your next car will be smarter than you

Forget Google's self-driving car – for a few years, at least. Today's real action in the computer-meets-car arena is in the development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), as was made abundantly clear at last week's GPU Technology Conference. "We're not going to find ourselves driving in an autonomous car tomorrow," …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. jake Silver badge

    Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

    If you can't fucking pay enough attention to drive safely, get the fuck off the road.

    EOF

    1. solidsoup
      Thumb Down

      Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

      Agree. Fucking stupid idea. This is akin to ABS and lack of predicted safety improvement. It's called risk compensation. People will simply take proportionally more risks, relying on technology to keep them safe.

      Moreover, any one who drives frequently and does so well, can infer other vehicles' intent and plot projected movement almost mechanistically from tiny wobbles and driving style. (As well as auto make - if there's BMW overtaking you, you somehow know he's likely to cut you off soon enough) However, this is based on meatbag behavior and if you throw electronics in the mix, this predictability becomes less effective.

      We already have vehicles that are able to take you from place to place without your intervention. You can even text, read, or watch a movie while riding them. They're called cabs and buses. Some of them are even driven by "professional drivers".

      1. Sea Stories

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        Or worse, when accidents happen the offender will blame the auto pilot. Think of an accident involving a fellow by the name of Chip making the headlines: Fault does not lie with Chip, accident caused by faulty chip.

        1. Stacy
          Meh

          Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

          Wow, a sensible comment.

          This is my biggest concern. The law is going to have to take this sort of thing into consideration and sort through the ramifications.

          That said, much as I adore driving, bring it on. Less congestion, more safety! How many hours have the Google cars ran on the public road? How many accidents have they had, and how does this relate to a human driver? Easy way to see the safety.

          Those who think it is akin to ABS in that people will adjust to it... How? The human does not take control of the car, there is no risk to take.

        2. Ian Yates

          Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

          They'll have blackboxes to record if/when the autopilot is engaged.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        "They're called cabs and buses."

        Some are even called <cough> "trains"

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

      Speaking as someone with a professional interest in the optimisation and rationalisation of traffic flow and performance, bring it on. Humans are pretty terrible at operating machinery, all things considered.

      I'd be quite happy to drive a car that can drive itself in built-up areas, where most driving stress occurs, but which you can take control of, particularly when you're on an interesting road out in the mountains for example.

      Self-driving cars can give significant improvements in congestion and safety, especially pedestrian safety, in built-up areas. Being forced into autonomous mode raises a few philosophical issues, but there are very good reasons to do it in areas such as city centres. I do worry about "big brother" getting mixed up in the equation though.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        "especially pedestrian safety"

        Pedestrian safety is up to the pedestrian, not the vehicle operator.

        If you step into traffic without paying attention to your surroundings, my Percheron & buckboard will run you over, same as in 1849. A "road" is for vehicular traffic, not pedestrians.

        Yes, in many "built up areas" pedestrians have an easement, allowing them to freely meander about in cross-walks ("zebra crossings" to you Brits) & the like, without fear of being at fault in an ensuing collision. Doesn't keep the fucking idiots alive, though, now does it? A ton(ne) or so of steel takes more time to stop from 35MPH than it takes you to verify there is no potential danger if you set foot into the crossing. Seriously. Think about it.

        1. auburnman

          Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

          On a slight tangent, as a frequent pedestrian I bloody hate it when you're trying to cross a road and THE ONLY CAR ON THE ROAD stops to let you cross; thanks for slowing both of us down instead of just getting out of my way by continuing your journey. I love crossing in front of a multi-ton death machine driven by someone who has just demonstrated a lack of situational awareness.

          1. jake Silver badge

            @auburnman (was: Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.)

            As a dude who frequently strolls about central Sonoma, CA with a dawg or two, I agree.

            Worse is the fucking idiot who "helpfully" allows one, single, solitary car out of a parking-lot onto Hwy12, thus holding up a couple dozen other drivers. It's not "being nice", rather it's "impeding the flow of traffic" and a ticketable offense. You have the right-of-way on the thoroughfare, the car in the parking-lot has no transit rights whatsoever. IMO, the idiot holding up traffic should be taken out behind the barn & severely flogged.

          2. Dr_N Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

            Rant against courtesy? Nice.

            I hate pedestrian crossing hangers.

            You know the ones: loitering at pedestrian crossing looking like they wish to cross the road,

            then madly gesticulating at you to move-on after you've stopped to let them cross.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

            We only stop to assess if you're worth running over.

            Either that, or because you do not know what the pedestrian is going to do and you do not want the psychological scar of having taken or ruined someone's life, or because in some areas it is a legal requirement to give way to pedestrians if safe to do so, or even just because we value something called courtesy even if it means being slightly inconvenienced sometimes. Who knows?

        2. Santa from Exeter
          Stop

          Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

          @Jake 27/3/13 08:27

          "Yes, in many "built up areas" pedestrians have an easement, allowing them to freely meander about in cross-walks ("zebra crossings" to you Brits) & the like, without fear of being at fault in an ensuing collision."

          Actually, for us 'Brits' a zebra crossing is not an 'easement', that is what you have when you have a dip in the pavement to allow access to your driveway and you have *no* right of way on the pavement either.

          According to the Highway Code for drivers

          'Zebra crossings. As you approach a zebra crossing

          look out for pedestrians waiting to cross and be ready to slow down or stop to let them cross

          you MUST give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing

          allow more time for stopping on wet or icy roads

          do not wave or use your horn to invite pedestrians across; this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching

          be aware of pedestrians approaching from the side of the crossing.'

          The Highway code for pedestrians states,

          'Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles will need more time when the road is slippery. Wait until traffic has stopped from both directions or the road is clear before crossing. Remember that traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing. Keep looking both ways, and listening, in case a driver or rider has not seen you and attempts to overtake a vehicle that has stopped.

          So the onus is equally on the pedestrian and the driver to ensure there is time to stop, but if the pedestrian has set foot on the crossing you commit an offence by not stopping.

          Icon, because you have to.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge
            Go

            Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

            Be careful when driving in America because pedestrian rights vary form state to state. Some only have the right of way when crossing at an intersection with the light. Some have right of away in almost any situation and then there are the variations in-between.

            But mostly, you should remember the old saying: "If you don't like my driving, get off the sidewalk!"

        3. Flywheel Silver badge

          Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

          "especially pedestrian safety"

          Pedestrian safety is up to the pedestrian, not the vehicle operator.

          You've obviously never been a pedestrian in Guildford. This is one of the few places I know where they really will run you over (or at least have a good try) rather than wait for you to get out of the way.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        " I do worry about "big brother" getting mixed up in the equation though."

        And on past experience you damm well better be.

        Whenever someone spunks this idea out (2nd or 3rd time round for this I think) the government approach always turns out to be a)big b)centralised c)holds stupid amounts of data for absurd lengths of time d)outsourced

        QED clusterf**k waiting to happen.

      3. Andy 70

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        so... the driver has to operate gadgets and gismos whose sole purpose is to stop the driver being distracted by gadgets and gismos?

        right. what idiot thought of that one?

        eventually the driving test will consist of. those who can drive a manual, those who can only operate an auto, and the fuckwit test.

        passing the fuckwit test and driving a fully autonomous fuckwit car has lowered the legal age at which one can hold a driving license to 8 years old.

        good to see audi trying so hard in targeting their current demographic's mentality.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

          "so... the driver has to operate gadgets and gismos whose sole purpose is to stop the driver being distracted by gadgets and gismos?"

          Errm, no. Assistive driving technologies are remarkably well thought out so that they do not get in the way unless they absolutely need to. At least from the manufacturer I bought my last car from.

          What is your own experience, on the basis whereof you comment?

    3. LarsG
      Meh

      Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

      Where will I get my adrenaline rush from when I look up and realise the traffic has stopped, forcing me into emergency braking manoeuvres?

      The relief I feel afterwards, having missed rear ending the car in front by millimetres is such a rush its close to sex.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        " The relief I feel afterwards, having missed rear ending the car in front by millimetres is such a rush its close to sex. "

        Actually, that's exactly what autonomous braking systems do: they intervene late and stop you *very* uncomfortably close to the vehicle in front. Both by design: the former in order to allow you more time to take control of the situation yourself, the latter, the maximise the stopping room for the car behind you, and lessen the chances that you will get rear-ended after an emergency stop.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

      Cars will never be smart enough to know the best way to get child sick stains off the back of the drivers seat headrest and door trims!

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 08:21 (was: Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.)

        Two words: Nature's Miracle.

        http://www.natures-miracle.com/products/pet-odor-stain-removers/original-pet-stain-odor-remover.aspx

        Works on everything from "teenager after fourteen pints of Stella" stains, to "pissed off goat pissing on the sofa in the clubhouse" to "Three feral Toms trying to clam ownership of the pickup after I left the window down one late Fall evening".

        Children's puke is pedestrian ...

        1. J. Cook Silver badge
          Go

          RE: Nature's Miracle

          Sweet Crom YES, although I imagine there's a story about the pissed off goat in the clubhouse.

          There's a reason why the pet supply stores sell it by the gallon.

    5. Andrew Moore Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

      Totally agree. I'd say this generation of cars are probably smarter than some of their drivers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        Some car clocks are smarter than some drivers

      2. Andy ORourke
        Joke

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        Andrew Moore - I'd say the LAST generation of cars are probably smarter than this generation of drivers (or am I just getting older?)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

      So @Jake, you have never had an accident, even a fender bender? Never once come close to almost hitting another car? Never knocked a sidewalk? Never had any loss of traction on any road surface?

      Because if you ever have then you nee to "get the fuck off the road".

      You also enjoy sitting in queues of traffic for hours keeping alert just to move forward 10 foot? Enjoy a long commute when you have a load of documents to review for the next meeting?

      Finally, do you also believe that every road user you might encounter during the day is so safe they aren't going to cause yourself or your family harm and therefore this wouldn't be an advantage?

      I work in motorsport and have raced, I love driving and rallying. However I'm not so blinkered to not be able to see massive advantages in these 'driver aids'. The same way as I wouldn't have air-con, a radio, electric windows etc in my car if I wanted the most performance and best driving experience, but I do have them, go figure.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 09:31 (was: Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.)

        Reductio ad absurdum doesn't work around these parts. Go try to scare uneducated people.

        Oh, wait ...

        1. fandom Silver badge

          Re: @AC 09:31 (was: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.)

          You never got a "Reductio ad absurdum" proof at math class?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

        " So @Jake, you have never had an accident, even a fender bender? Never once come close to almost hitting another car? Never knocked a sidewalk? Never had any loss of traction on any road surface? "

        Of course not, you Anonymous idiot. Can't you see our jake is God's gift to the automotive world? He is the Chuck Norris of drivers, the Mohammed Ali meet Bruce Lee meet Attila of the road, the Saviour of our highways.

        At least in his strange mind he is. :)

    7. Robert E A Harvey

      Umm.

      I got accused elseforum of being a luddite for suggesting that "not wearing google glass while driving" was a sensible precaution.

      I don't fancy your chances much with this idea! But yet, mysteriously, no such charge has been raised...

    8. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

      Actually some of these are good ideas. There are cars on the road now that detect when you're nodding off and nag you to pull into the nearest rest area or hotel. I always rather thought that was a good idea. It's not a feature I need (I have the sense to get off the road for a quick nap when I need to, which has annoyed my non-driving wife a time or two), but definitely one I'd like other people to have. And I have to admit I'd love to have a car that checks its own blind spots when preparing to change lanes. That would eliminate one of my bigger causes of road stress. For some reason I can't fathom my relatively small car has absolutely huge blind spots and no amount of fiddling with my mirrors has succeeded in shrinking them. I'd also love for the other drivers around here to have such a feature in their cars. I've had more than a few close calls because someone tried to make a lane change in heavy traffic without checking their blind spots.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    FAIL

    It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

    who cause all those accidents for the 17-24 year olds... oh, wait...

    I'm with Jake. I don't believe that adding more and more automation to vehicular control will do anything more than make driving even more frustrating. I can see it now... all those thrusting young executives in their sixty grand cars doing 50mph two feet behind each other and all behind a great smelly farting HGV... and the kids driving twenty year old fiestas doing ninety in the outside lane laughing as they go past.

    DO NOT WANT.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

      "I don't believe that adding more and more automation to vehicular control will do anything more than make driving even more frustrating"

      You ain't kidding. Our car has all kinds of whats-it sensors hooked up to the computer - which has decided to go faulty. The garage want £100 just to hook it up so the first 15 minutes of any drive is interrupted with loud beeps and flashing messages on the display telling the driver that tyre pressures aren't monitors - I can do that myself thanks, that ABS isn't working - it is and some other random messages about windscreen wipers and auto-headlights - again, I can turn those on myself.

      How much are these cars going to cost to maintain/repair?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

        > Our car has all kinds of whats-it sensors hooked up to the computer - which has decided to go faulty.

        Recently hired a Passat from Enterprise on a driving trip around the UK.

        *The* most frustrating car I have ever driven.

        Pulled off from the hire place with the engine running, pulled over to a motorway services for a bite, got back in and couldn't figure out how to start it (it worryingly stopped itself when I parked up). Eventually rang the hire people to discover that you have to do a funny little dance with the keyless lock thing and the clutch.

        It doesn't have a handbrake either. You have a little button instead that operates a "power" brake. Looking past the obvious problem of how to apply the handbrake in a fault situation, like total electrical failure, it makes hill starts practically impossible, especially since you have to have your foot on the foot brake to disengage the "handbrake".

        The car had some new tyres on. About halfway through the trip, it decided to tell me that there was a problem with the tyre pressures. Didn't tell me which ones or if it was serious or anything. I had no way of knowing if it was predicting a blowout or if they were just a "bit" low. Kinda freaked me out. Looked around the tyres and they seemed OK, nothing obviously flat, so I carried on. Eventually stuck a bit more in at a petrol station, still got a warning. Carried on to see if the warning would go, it didn't. Read the manual: turns out you have to manually "recalibrate" the tyre pressure system.

        If that is the future of motoring, then you can count me out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

          Skelband, you make a very good illustrative point for most of the comments in here. Please allow me:

          -> Pulled off from the hire place with the engine running, pulled over to a motorway services for a bite, got back in and couldn't figure out how to start it (it worryingly stopped itself when I parked up).

          <- Yes, it's called a Start/Stop system and most new cars have had them for the last two/three years: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/engine-stop-start-systems-explained-tech-dept The "funny dance" with the keys consisted of switching the ignition off and then on again (you can only switch back on if the car is in neutral, or park if auto, and the brake depressed) because you did not realise that although the engine was not running, the ignition was still on. To be fair, I got confused the first time I drove a car with a Start/Stop system too--some car hire people will point out this feature to customers in case they're not aware of it, but most don't.

          -> It doesn't have a handbrake either. You have a little button instead that operates a "power" brake.

          <- Which frees up space in the centre console (Mercedes approach is to use a pedal on the left hand side).

          -> Looking past the obvious problem of how to apply the handbrake in a fault situation, like total electrical failure

          <- It is a failsafe system, so the handbrake stays on even if you remove the battery from the car.

          -> it makes hill starts practically impossible, especially since you have to have your foot on the foot brake to disengage the "handbrake".

          <- No, you do not. The handbrake disengages automatically at the right moment when you depress the accelerator pedal (and engage the clutch in the event that you're driving a manual transmission). It makes hill starts a non-event. IIRC VWs also tend to have an auto-hold feature, so that if you use the brake on a hill, it will keep brake pressure applied even if you release the brake pedal, until you actuate the accelerator.

          -> The car had some new tyres on. About halfway through the trip, it decided to tell me that there was a problem with the tyre pressures. Didn't tell me which ones or if it was serious or anything

          <- Tyre pressure monitoring systems are fitted to all new cars in the EU by law since last year [ http://www.techeurope.co.uk/tech/news/view/35/European-legislation-on-TPMS-imminent ] (and it has been a standard feature since long before it), and it works using the ABS / ESP systems already in the car to detect a persistent discrepancy in wheel rotation speeds. VWs, like Audis, also have the option of fitting pressure sensors to the wheels so that you can read out the actual tyre pressures on the dashboard, but that is an optional extra.

          -> If that is the future of motoring, then you can count me out.

          <- More than happy to do so, but if you must get on the road again, consider familiarising yourself with your new ride before you set off.

          The anecdote: yours, like many opinions here and elsewhere, are formed out of ignorance so should be taken with a large pinch of salt, mine included (I do not hold this against you though! At least you have explained your experience in some detail so one can see where you're coming from).

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

      Convoy slipstreaming behind an "18-wheeler"?

      Clearly only in America... I think that's the only place the big lorries have the same motorway speed limit as the cars. It really won't fly in the UK when you can SARTE and get there an hour later per 200 miles than in "manual".

      Yes, it'll save a lot of fuel - but driving at 50 insteads of 70 saves most of that fuel anyway, and nobody does it.

      Aside from the technology barriers, are you really going to wait for one of those to come along before starting your journey? Of course not! If you're happy to wait for a scheduled journey, you'll take a real train or a plane and hire a vehicle at the other end.

      The technology needed to do this is a useful stepping stone to cars that drive themselves on motorways, but don't kid yourself that consumers will ever do it.

      HGVs might, though. Many of them already slipstream anyway, I'd rather a computer was doing it.

      The whole concept is a very scary thought for other road users though - getting safely on or off at a junction could be made very difficult by one of those formations.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

        "Clearly only in America... I think that's the only place the big lorries have the same motorway speed limit as the cars"

        Uh, no. For example, see:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_the_United_States#California

        1. Rukario

          Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

          "Clearly only in America... I think that's the only place the big lorries have the same motorway speed limit as the cars"

          Also Washington State... "Speed Limit 70"..."Trucks 60"... Will take a picture next time I walk across the I-5, probably Friday.

      2. sisk Silver badge

        Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

        Aside from the technology barriers, are you really going to wait for one of those to come along before starting your journey?

        Wait for one? No. Jump in behind one on the road? Sure. I don't know about the rest of the world, but in this little corner or the world it's danged near impossible to be on a major highway for more that half an hour without finding (and, since they tend to go slightly under the speed limit, usually passing) a big rig.

        Personally if the system were set up the right way I'd have no problem slaving my car to a semi and getting to my destination a little later. Those guys are (usually) some of the most skilled drivers on the road. That's what happens when you've got a million or so miles of road behind you. Of course there's a lot of room for setting the system up wrong.

      3. Blain Hamon
        Alert

        Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

        The whole concept is a very scary thought in general, especially when you consider these things:

        1) In order for car slipstreaming to work (It's easier for big rigs/lorries since they have a much larger shape), the cars have to be playing NASCAR, i.e. nearly bumper to bumper and nowhere near the good 3-4 seconds needed for a proper stopping distance.

        2) There's often this fraud done of stopping immediately in front of a big rig and getting rear ended, then suing for such.

        So, who's up for a doing this setup, big rig suddenly stops due to failure or (2) above, and decapitation due to the lower half of the car sliding under the trailer? We could call it heads-free driving!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

          "The whole concept is a very scary thought in general, especially when you consider these things:"

          Would you believe that you're not the first one to "consider these things"???

          1. Read up on inter-vehicle short range comms and forward-looking radar. You do not need the 3 second stopping distance because the cars brake automatically as necessary without driver intervention.

          2. With newer lorries and buses having automatic braking systems that does not really work either (heavy vehicles tend to have much more braking power than cars and light trucks. I have heavy vehicle driving experience, and licences, btw).

          As for the car sliding under the trailer, at least in Europe (which is where this tech is being developed and trialled), trailers are fitted with underride guards that would stop you from sliding under it in either a side or rear crash (if it's a frontal crash, you've just hit a parked trailer).

          Do people really assume that automotive engineers are psychopaths intent on killing as many road users as possible or what?

          1. James O'Shea Silver badge

            Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance

            "Do people really assume that automotive engineers are psychopaths intent on killing as many road users as possible or what?"

            I've seen Smart Cars on the highway. I used to drive a Lada. I've seen the results of Mitsubishi Evo vs almost anything else with four wheels and Honda Life (a.k.a the four-wheeled motorcycle, or just Honda Death) vs anything on the road down to and including a motorcycle. I _know_ that some (many?) automotive engineers (especially German, Italian, and Japanese ones) are psychopaths intent on killing as many road users as possible.

        2. Pookietoo

          Re: big rig suddenly stops

          You're so close behind it that there's very little speed difference at impact ...

  3. Neoc
    Stop

    Hold on...

    "Riches said that one clear advantage of SARTRE is that it would save money. "The guys behind will be saving some fuel," "

    TAANSTAFL :- yes, the guy behind you saves on fuel... but as the guy in front "dragging", *you* use more fuel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hold on...

      I'm not sure if that's true with slipstreaming. I'm no physicist, but you're displacing the same amount of air as when you aren't "dragging" someone. The trailing cars simply sit in the wake of that displacement so experience less resistance themselves. That displacement would still be occurring whether they are there or not.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Hold on...

        It's not "dragging". It's increasing the length of the total package, whilst minimizing the total drag without compromising the power to weight ratio. The trailing cars actually decrease the friction ("drag") experienced by the front car, by smoothing the airflow off it's rear (and making it rear-end light). The cars "in the middle" experience a loss in overall aerodynamics, and can get quite twitchy. The tail-end car has more rear traction than the front car, and can sometimes use that to it's advantage when passing.

        Drafting at Daytona or Talladega or Indy is more an art-form than anything else, but the physics is clear.

    2. Pookietoo

      Re: as the guy in front "dragging", *you* use more fuel.

      No, the vehicle behind you is effectively acting as a spoiler for your air flow, because it occupies the space where your turbulence would otherwise be creating a low pressure zone.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Just an (fun) impression...

    Aaah, here we go... Gotta go visit a customer in Amsterdam, it'll be a one hour or so drive from Wageningen and with my new smart car I can work out some paperwork along the way. HA, those suckers in public transportation with their big brother chipcard.... (in Holland you need a chipcard for this; thing is that to get access to reductions and such you need to register with $company and give them access to your bank account so that they charge you automagically. Many people like myself call that big brother because they can very easily track you).

    And so we're on our way, the car drives me through Wageningen and Ede flawlessly. I do get the occasional weird looks when people see me read the newspaper right behind the wheel while the light turns green but they're just jealous. Suckers! :-)

    Soon we're on the highway to Amsterdam and the speed also increases. Due to traffic the car remains in the right lane (we drive on the right side of the road, no pun intended) and everything is going just fine.

    Until all of a sudden: "Warning, gas station about in 2 km, please get ready for a quick stop to pick up required fuel". What?! I filled her up only yesterday, what's this for nonsense? I check my dashboard and there it is; 80% full. That is WAY then enough to make it to Amsterdam and back, so that we can get some fuel in Germany later on (much cheaper over there). Aah, must be a glitch...

    So we continue and what do you know; "Warning, gas station in 1 km, please get ready for a fuel stop!". No, what the heck is this for nonsense. I hit the dashboard meter and it remains on 80% full.

    "Warning, taking exit in 500m to refuel". Ok, screw this. I throw my paperwork on the passenger seat, click the override button and take the wheel myself. "Override engaged, have a good drive" the automated voice tells me. Finally we're getting somewhere, I increase speed and go over to the left lane. Time to get moving!

    Then, only 10 minutes later, "Warning, fuel tanks nearly empty. Enforcing fuel stop in 2km", the autovoice goes again. What?!

    And what do you know; 8 minutes later: "Warning, overriding car control for emergency fuelstop. Please do not be alarmed", and all of a sudden I can no longer steer the car myself. It takes back on the throttle, returns to the right lane and obviously gets ready to stop at a gas station with a nearly full fuel tank.

    What the hell ?!

    As expected; there we are 2 minutes later... "Warning, emergency fuel stop. Please get out and replenish fuel reserves".

    But but but.... "You're completely filled up, you moron!" I cry out, knowing very well that this car doesn't have voice dictation or such. "Fine!...", I get out completely pissed off, and refuel the car for a meager E 5,-.

    When paying the man behind the desk points me to a sign: "Minimum fuel consumption 10liter". Great! So now I gotta pay for fuel I couldn't even buy.

    Quite agitated I get back in the car, fire her up and get ready to drive away. "Warning, fuel reserves nearly depleted, getting ready for emergency stop on parking lot!". WHAT?!

    I pick up my phone and call my dealer. What the heck is going on here, this is just way stupid. Right, the mechanic will be here in one hour or so, great. Better cancel that appointment, because there's NO way I'll be able to make it this way.

    And finally he arrives, takes place behind the week, starts the car... "Ah yes, I see what's going on. No need to worry sir, it seems the battery is nearly dead. This car has a small software bug where it sometimes doesn't detect the fuel source as expected; so it mistook your battery for your fuel tank".

    "So what do I do now? I need to be in Amsterdam today"... But the mechanic told me not to worry; he would simply grab an emergency firmware update from the company, install it and all should be well.

    And what do you know? 20 minutes later I'm finally back on the road, behind the wheel and the morning paper again. MUCH better...

    "Warning, screenwiper water reserves nearly empty. Getting ready to stop to replenish water at next fuel station". What?!

    Now quite annoyed I call the car company again demanding to speak with that same mechanic who helped me out. "Yeah well, we couldn't really fix the firmware just yet so we simply switched two other sources. Water reserves you say? Let me look it up... Ah yes, here it is: that would now mean that your oil reserves are a bit low". "No they're not, I filled those only last week", I protest.

    "Yes, but you now forget to take tank capacity into account. While the oil tank maybe full enough, if you take the same storage percentage, apply that on your much smaller water tank then it would be a lot emptier".

    That doesn't make any sense to me, but ok.. I'll just fill both tanks up and then I can finally be on my way again. What a lousy day this is turning out to be.

    As soon as we stop at the gas station I get right to work; just to make sure I fill both the water and oil reserves, and to rule out anything else also take care of tire pressure.

    AND we're on our way again... "Warning, oil tanks filled beyond maximum capacity. Risk of fire in engine imminent, making emergency stop!".

    WHAT?!

    Damn this shit, this is almost as bad as the time Windows told me that I didn't have enough free space on my drive to delete some of my files!

    "There's no need to become insulting sir", my car suddenly responds...

    (sorry; start of the day, I feel energetic, ready to DO stuff so before I knew I had this all written up. Sorry for possible typo's, not gonna reread just yet).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But think of the data..

    There is already a serious issue at the moment with car manufacturers sticking in Google features without making it very clear that it will only work when you supply personal details (I'm dealing with a case right now), and as long as that has not been solved properly I would advise to keep well away from any of such technology.

    The parking thing will only work if your location can be matched against a parking space - who ensures this search is kept anonymous? Who makes sure the car manufacturers (who are chronically naive when it comes to IT, security and privacy in car design) do not buy in technology which has those issues left "unmentioned" (from what I've seen so far, "covered up" or at least "gingerly avoided in discussions" seems to be more accurate)?

    The war on terrorists has turned into the war on privacy because the companies that grew up in the wave of privacy invasions post 9/11 are not going to let go of their main source of vast income willingly - why do you think Brussels and Bern are awash with Google lobbyists right now? This is also why I really, really would not want a Google car to drive me around. No thanks.

    SARTRE is an interesting idea because that's more LAN than WAN - it needs not extend beyond the chain of cars. I just suspect that some people never want to be the first in the chain, because that's the one car that does NOT benefit from chaining. Maybe it needs to have a counter, so that after 5 chains or x kilometres it automatically designates you as head vehicle. It may also need a disqualifier for yobs who will swing back and forth over lanes just to see the whole chain snake back and forth :)

  6. Rampant Spaniel

    I'm not sure I like the idea of the car having a computer with control over steering, breaking and acceleration. First thing I did on my bike was pull the fuse on the abs. A highly computerized car is just more to go wrong, more to pay in servicing all the convenience of forgetting how to park the damn thing. As long as it doesn't become mandatory and we can avoid it if we want. It just needs some serious ass testing.

    1. Andy ORourke
      Joke

      Freudian Slip?

      "computer with control over steering, breaking and acceleration"

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Freudian Slip?

        hehe well caught Andy :-) most definately!

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      ...and go wrong, it will.

  7. MrT

    So...

    ...adding more electronics to a Renault will solve the problem?

    I'm kidding - my grandfather had a Renault, up to the point he died peacefully in his sleep. Unlike his passengers...

    OK, so that isn't true either - he had a Volvo, but with the Renault V6 engine...

    On a lighter note, are the system designers saying that truck drivers never fall asleep at the wheel? Renault make trucks as well. Plus there'd have to be some way of mitigating all the convoy members getting ticketed if they latch onto a foreign wagon that's going flat out through, say, a 50mph average speed check in roadworks. Just because someone drives for a living doesn't always mean they behave professionally at the wheel...

  8. Mark 65 Silver badge

    Audis, BMWs etc

    They only need proximity sensors so they can sit right up your arse on the motorway and then box you in when they park.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Audis, BMWs etc

      Right?

  9. MrT

    The cognitive dissonance thing...

    ... is also a bit bogus. It already happens when a driver glances at the instruments. What the example shows might be a clever way of fitting the text in with the image perspective, but it distorts the letters. This might be better for HUD systems, since it is less distracting than having text floating over the important stuff (traffic, pedestrians, etc), but assuming this will more likely be seen on a dashboard display it makes the text harder to read at a glance - drivers will spend more time decoding the distorted text, and even a fraction of a second could make a big difference in city streets.

  10. pierce
    Pint

    I'll stick with my 1992 Volvo 740 estate, the only 'computer' in it is the Garmin Nuvi stuck to the windshield. with its voice is permanently shut off,. and my laptop in the bag behind my seat.

    beer, just because. everything goes better with beer. make mine a porter, gratzi ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      with its voice is permanently shut off

      I just use a woman's voice - easy to ignore :)

      No! It's (bash) just a (whallop) joke! Ouch! Put that handbag away!

    2. Stacy
      Happy

      As Mr Bennet says...

      You think that, if it gives you comfort.

      The 740 has a few computers in it. And when they break that are quite expensive (as a friend of mine found out)!

    3. Wize

      Its all down to personal preference. I prefer the voice on. That way I don't have to look at the screen constantly. I can follow the road, watching out for traffic/pedestrians till a voice warns me that my turn off is approaching.

  11. hplasm Silver badge
    Devil

    AUDI-

    It's German for ADHD.

    (Not really...)

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: AUDI-

      That certainly explains a LOT.

  12. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    SARTRE

    "...cars would platoon behind a professional driver..."

    I think it's a great idea. But considering how some of those "professional drivers" zig-zag over the road I'd rather keep my eyes open and my hands on the wheel.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Professional Driver" is a rather less than specific term...

    You may consider a trained UK HGV driver a "professional", but can you really say the same about an Eastern European rig and driver?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Professional Driver" is a rather less than specific term...

      Give me a Shell lorry driver any time - they even get LGV skid pad training!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Professional Driver" is a rather less than specific term...

      Glad you had the quotes around "professional". Whilst no doubt there are plenty sensible and professional Uk HGV drivers, there are too many utter t**ts who think, just as an example, that its ok to suddendly swing across to another lane right in front of another vehicle doing 70mph or more, whilst themselves struggling to do 50mph.

      Or how it is ok to block dual carriageway overtaking another lorry with ~1mph speed difference.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Professional Driver" is a rather less than specific term...

      "[...]but can you really say the same about an Eastern European rig and driver?"

      Or over here, the barely-trained moron behind the wheel of the semi who wants to ride 2ft off your rear bumper, who uses his Jakes (exhaust brakes) to come to a stop at a stop sign but rides his regular brakes going down a 10 mile long 10% grade, and who will pull out into the passing lane just before you get to him, and SIT THERE NOT PASSING the other truck (which is against the law in many states, not that I've ever seen it enforced).

      Truck drivers will often sing the "We are professional drivers and safer than you car drivers" - I assert that is bull. Most accidents happen in the cities, not on the highways. Car drivers tend to do most of their driving in the city, not the highway, while truck drivers do most of their driving on the highway, not the cities.

      Doing the Baysian:

      Assume the same probability of an accident for both drivers, given the same circumstances:

      P of accident given city and car = P of accident given city and semi

      P of accident given highway and car = P of accident given highway and semi

      P of accident given city >> P of accident given highway

      P of accident given semi := P of accident given city and semi * F of time on city given semi + P of accident given highway and semi * F of time on highway given semi.

      P of accident given car := P of accident given city and car * F of time on city given car + P of accident given highway and car * F of time on highway given car.

      Since F of time on highway given semi >> F of time on highway given car, and P of accident given highway << P of accident given city

      P of accident given semi << P of accident given car

      Even though the semi and the car have the same likelihood of accident in the same circumstances.

      And I also assert that P of accident given semi is actually > P of accident given car for equal cases. It's just that the semis drive in safer places more that makes it look otherwise.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Professional Driver" is a rather less than specific term...

      "You may consider a trained UK HGV driver a "professional", but can you really say the same about an Eastern European rig and driver?"

      Yes, absolutely. And I am a (non-Eastern European) qualified HGV/PCV driver (and a "glorified bus driver" for a living).

      I've seen UK drivers trying to negotiate continental roads and they get just as confused as continentals in the UK, btw. Unfamiliar roads are a bitch wherever you come from and no matter how professional you are they can still make you look very stupid in the eyes of the locals.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    "Your next car will be smarter than you"

    The author should visit rural Australia. His statement is already true here.

    <-- Beer icon. It lubricates the drivers.

  15. Seanmon
    Stop

    They forgot the most improtant feature.

    i.e. the big red button marked "Off"

  16. nevstah

    i'm sorry dave,,,,

    i'm afraid i can't allow you to do that.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    convoying "will save money"?

    maybe billions, but not a penny to the drivers, that's for sure. More like: "the overall cost increase (of driving on the road) would be _less severe_ to individual motorists".

  18. Calum Morrison
    FAIL

    "And we also have a lot of young hipsters,"

    Honda? Really? Driving Jazz's are they?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Platoon?

    There's prior art - its called the train.

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    Ah SARTRE

    Proving that in future hell will be other people.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Ah SARTRE

      That's pretty much the case already. At least where I work.

  21. trashbat
    Go

    Poor old Mr Riches

    "Generally it's the handsome guy driving on a mountainous, twisty road, the handsome guy phoning his gorgeous girlfriend, the stuff you see in the marketing videos. That's not what real life is like."

    Maybe not for you, pal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Poor old Mr Riches

      « Maybe not for you, pal. »

      Respect, sir. ;)

  22. ecofeco Silver badge
    Trollface

    Will Be?

    I'm sure this has already been posted, but it must be said again. Cars already ARE smarter than most owners.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or how it is ok to block dual carriageway overtaking another lorry with ~1mph speed difference

    That's not entirely their fault - their stupid regulators get in the way, and when you come out from the slipstream you may not have the delta in speed for overtaking you thought you had.

    I don't drive an LGV for a living, but I have all driving licenses and sometimes I wish others would get a bit of education too. Realise that there is up to 50 tonnes of mass moving, which makes for interesting collision physics, shortly summarised as "in your puny car, you lose" (shifting load may then provide a supporting death act, but it gives you an insight in the decision process of a driver). Give these people some space, realise they're driving for a living and they don't really WANT to spend a week overtaking but their regulators often get in the way. Is it really that big a deal to wait a little while? You car takes seconds to speed up again, whereas they may take many minutes to regain speed they lost, which is why they drive as smooth as possible.

    Also, try to avoid nipping into the space an LGV needs for braking. It's the kind of life changing experience you really ought to avoid.

    I'm not saying all of them are angels, but maybe make an effort to see the world from their side. It may save your life one day.

    1. Hexer
      FAIL

      "[i]Or how it is ok to block dual carriageway overtaking another lorry with ~1mph speed difference[/i]

      That's not entirely their fault - their stupid regulators get in the way, and when you come out from the slipstream you may not have the delta in speed for overtaking you thought you had."

      If you're trying to tell me that these "truck heroes" really have to even attempt passing when one truck's limiter is 1 mph off you failed all the way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you're trying to tell me that these "truck heroes" really have to even attempt passing when one truck's limiter is 1 mph off you failed all the way.

        Oh really? You obviously haven't figured out that that leads to all LGVs driving at the speed of the slowest one (which is what you can see when they're not allowed to overtake at all).

        The worst that can happen for an LGV driver is people like you overtaking when it is clear they will need to overtake in the next minute or so, because it means they will need to slow down and thus lose all that hard-won momentum (which than leads to the 1 mph overtaking). If an LGV starts indicating, giving them room is the intelligent thing to do (and a bit less selfish). That way, the LGV can keep its momentum and overtake at a sensible clip. It's not fun for them either, and a bit of consideration goes a long way in keeping everyone that little bit safer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          « If an LGV starts indicating, giving them room is the intelligent thing to do (and a bit less selfish). »

          Exactly. There are countries and regions where other drivers take a lorry's indicator as a signal to rush forward in a mad attempt to overtake before the lorry occupies the adjacent lane, which in turn leads to lorry drivers having to make more aggressive manoeuvres in order to be able to overtake, for the efficiency reasons outlined above.

          And if you have been paying attention to your driving (as everyone in these comments claim they do), you should know when a lorry is about to overtake even before they start indicating. In that case, the sensible thing to do is to get out of the way either by overtaking positively, or getting in lane behind them to allow them to commence the manoeuvre. Do not stay just behind them on the overtaking lane, waiting for them to get frustrated.

          And another thing: tailgating is never a good idea. Tailgating a heavy vehicle is a remarkably bad idea--they may not be able to see you and their braking power likely exceeds that of your car by a good margin.

          1. HeyMickey
            Trollface

            Re: LGV drivers

            "If you're trying to tell me that these "truck heroes" really have to even attempt passing when one truck's limiter is 1 mph off you failed all the way."

            -Good point, although you would be lucky to get a whole mph speed differential most of the time.

            "Oh really? You obviously haven't figured out that that leads to all LGVs driving at the speed of the slowest one (which is what you can see when they're not allowed to overtake at all)."

            -But the suggestion was not NO overtaking, just that it is inconsiderate to overtake when speed differential << 1mph. If you allow yourself to slow down by <1mph to match the speed of the truck in front it won't significantly affect your journey time. If the vehicle in front of you slows further because the vehicle in front of the vehicle in front's limiter is even slower, then congratulations you now are capable of generating >1mph speed differential and overtaking both in the time it would have taken to overtake one, thereby leading to less obstruction of traffic overall as two or more manoeuvres become one, with the double overtake occurring in the time previously taken by a single overtake.

            Of course, this would never happen in the real world because it would mean that truck drivers would have to (shock horror) actually have to put some effort into controlling their own speed like the rest of us, rather than driving around with foot to the floor the whole time...

            "And another thing: tailgating is never a good idea. Tailgating a heavy vehicle is a remarkably bad idea-"

            - True, but yet LGVs/HGVs seem to be the worst offenders at this - they wait until they are about 1 metre away from the one in front before braking/changing lanes (often with indicators on only after commencing the manoeuvre)

            "And if you have been paying attention to your driving (as everyone in these comments claim they do), you should know when a lorry is about to overtake even before they start indicating"

            - Yes you can tell they are about to indicate by the fact that they have already started to change lane yet still haven't seen the car/bike overtaking in their blind spot. The indicators usually come on 1-2 seconds after the car/bike toots the horn to stop themselves from getting sideswiped.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      « That's not entirely their fault »

      Why did my fellow AC above got downvoted? Because he provided an explanation of fact of life that state that you're not the most important person in the whole world and other road users *also* deserve consideration?

      Gentlemen, like the other AC I do not drive ground transport for a living but I also have all the licences, and some experience, and he is absolutely correct. Just take in what he says and try to be a bit more courteous next time you're on the road. Someone has to be the first, in due time others will follow.

  24. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    "direct a driver where there is an open parking spot"

    And that "open" spot is open because the timer ran out ?

    No thanks. An open spot is a spot where there is no car, not a spot where the meter has reached the end of the alloted time.

    There is a rather big difference there, and it's the difference between being able to park and calling the machine names whilst searching for another spot and ignoring the stupid computer telling us we just passed another "open" spot that was full of car.

    Cue a bunch of enraged drivers madly competing for an inexistent spot in the same area, situation degenerating into fisticuffs when the inevitable collision ensues . . .

    I can see this as a perfect scenario for totally decredibilizing the whole idea and ridiculing the company that markets it - and that is even without the Big Brother connotations.

    As for the whole assisted driving concept, in my opinion it will only work when the vast majority of cars are of that type. Personally, I will adamantly refuse to drive a car that tells me what to do and actively keeps me from driving as I see fit. I will, however, gladly get in to a vehicle where I can say where I want to go, then have a snack and read something on the way without bothering with the whole "driving" concept.

    And yes, I know I can call a cab, but most cabbies don't like food in the car (and rightly so). Besides, I don't like waiting for cab either. If my car could drive me around automagically, then the crumbs are my problem and my choice.

  25. Hexer
    Stop

    No thx.

    It's scary that all development goes into removing drivers attention from the car instead of making a mass transit efficient enough so people who do not like driving would have no excuse. Somehow we suppose to pay in a price of a car for not driving a car?

    What's wrong with taking a train or a bus when you do not want to sit in a traffic? If I'm going downtown I do not plan to drive, I take a train which gets me there at the exact time and I can do with my time whatever I want. Why would I need my car at all? Give me a good mass transit and I am happy. I can even stop by a pub on my way home without worry I have to get in a car to "be driven" home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No thx.

      I take a train which gets me there at the exact time

      And *that* is the problem with some public transport systems: reliability. Make it dependable and not so tightly run that you have to stand most of the time and people will come out of their cars.

  26. Robert Moore
    Thumb Up

    I love to drive.

    I for one can hardly wait for self driving cars to hit the market (No pun intended.)

    The reason is that the people who would be first in line to buy self driving cars will be a lot of the people you don't want driving. Partial list below:

    My mother. (Slow, and unobservant.)

    My sister, (Aggressive.)

    My brother, (Drinker.)

    In fact when the price gets reasonable, and if I can get a deal on insurance, I might think about getting one myself, for the boring commute to and from work. I wouldn't mind taking a nap in the back seat.

    Keep my real car for when i can actually have some fun with it.

    1. Hexer
      Stop

      Re: I love to drive.

      "Keep my real car for when i can actually have some fun with it."

      Were you just born last night?

      Did you notice how governments work?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Such driver aids just result in a driver with less brain engagement with what they are doing.

    HGV drivers were involved in more accidents after HGVs were made a lot easier to drive.

  28. emariacher
    Devil

    Do driverless cars need V2V communication?

    My guess, is that by the time a common V2V protocol is established, most driverless cars will be able to drive completely autonomously, and V2V won’t bring anything to the driverless cars world. Sensors such as cameras, lidars and others will do the job anyway.

    My feeling is that V2V for driverless cars is a dead end.

    http://driverless-cars.blogspot.fr/2013/01/do-driverless-cars-need-v2v.html

  29. DougS Silver badge

    Something to keep in mind about Google's driverless car

    They've been approved to have autonomous vehicles in Nevada and conduct most of their testing there. For those of you who live elsewhere, or haven't otherwise visited Nevada, it is probably the singular best place you could ever hope to program a vehicle to drive itself, because the roads are all perfectly smooth, wide, with lines boldly painted on and reflectors often in the road between lanes (you have those in the states where it doesn't snow, where it does snow they don't work because the plows would tear them out)

    Contrast that with many states in the US, where the lane paint wears off much faster than it can be repainted, potholes cover the road, the edges are sometimes ill defined with a ditch conveniently located nearby if you fail to notice the edge. And that's during clear weather. Try it during a downpour, or when snow covers the road, and you've really got fun. As a human with far better visual processing than any computer yet invented, I have trouble seeing where the road is sometimes when it is snow covered, no way a driverless car could navigate it without having something embedded in the road to help it know where the lanes are. In a lot of places in Europe the roads are far narrower than they typically are in the US, to the point that vehicles need to practically drive off the road to avoid clipping side mirrors. People over there definitely have far more awareness of the exact boundaries of their vehicle, for us yanks driving over there can be a bit terrifying when the locals are driving 60 mph and missing our mirror by an inch. (I think you guys do it deliberately when you see us coming ;))

    If the car can only drive me on the easiest driving experiences, and leaves me the ones that are the most difficult and stressful, the value of having a self driving car, other than having it drive me home after I've had too much to drink, or perhaps sleeping in the back while it eats up the miles on the Interstate in lieu of a TSA fondling, is somewhat lost on me. I know a lot of people think Google can work miracles, but human equivalent visual processing and the level of AI necessary to drive in dense traffic filled with lots of unreliable and semi-suicidal humans is a HARD problem, one that has been worked on for decades by exactly the type of PhDs Google hires with little real progress to show for it. If it were a matter of just needing x times more CPU power I'd hold out more hope that Moore's Law would help us, but our problem isn't lack of computing power, it is knowing how to apply it.

  30. Scott L. Burson
    Happy

    But as C.W. McCall knows...

    You can't have a proper convoy without a chartreuse Microbus.

  31. TheDillinquent

    Over complication - KISS

    More superflous bells and whistles to go wrong, push up the price and ensure that you have to take the thing to an overpriced main dealer when the inevitable happens and it stops working.

  32. Armando 123

    Huh?

    > "repetitive and dull and boring" things such as parking and driving in congested traffic.

    Seriously? Some of the most "interesting" driving I've had to do is in congested traffic, particularly in Chicago and DC. Both can be worse than Italy some days.

  33. Wize

    But what if...

    ...the lorry overtakes another lorry (without this system). Suddenly the cars are going to find themselves without a lead vehicle, or at least one in the wrong lane with the possibility of something getting in the way. Driver has to be awake and ready to take over, not snoozing/watching a film.

    And if the car is so smart, it can go fix itself, rather than wait for me to patch it with gaffer tape.

  34. emariacher
    Devil

    Do driverless cars need V2V communication?

    My guess, is that by the time a common V2V protocol is established, most driverless cars will be able to drive completely autonomously, and V2V won’t bring anything to the driverless cars world. Sensors such as cameras, lidars and others will do the job anyway.

    My feeling is that V2V for driverless cars is a dead end.

    http://driverless-cars.blogspot.fr/2013/01/do-driverless-cars-need-v2v.html

  35. cortland

    No, it won't

    My next car will be a 1998 model, replacing a '97.

    So there!

  36. WellKnownSid

    Not so smart...

    Oh great. It's pissing down outside. You're in the middle of nowhere. It's dark. You jump in the car and go to start the engine. Nothing happens. Then the big screen in the middle of the dashboard lights up. Three words stare back at you, burning into your retinas.

    Connect to iTunes

  37. chr0m4t1c

    Pedantic?

    >"We're not going to find ourselves driving in an autonomous car tomorrow," said Ian Riches of the research >and consulting firm Strategy Analytics.

    I hate to point this out, but it's highly unlikely we'll ever find ourselves driving an autonomous car, because, well that's kind of the point of autonomous cars, isn't it?

    Presumably autonomous cars could drop you right outside wherever you wanted to be, then push off to an out of town car park and come back to pick you up when you want them, which would be jolly handy.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019