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  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #34 is available now with topics timestamped. We covered Tesla's rollercoaster prices, Toyota pushing junk science, Mike's new Model 3, Optimizing track mode for snow driving, FSD V11 apparently coming by the end of this week, and more. You can watch and check out the chat replay on YouTube.

Self-Driving Future from 1995

I read an article today on Clean Technica about some of the earliest attempts at self-driving vehicles. One of the most fascinating was the Eureka Prometheus project which resulted in a self-driving Mercedes S Class that could drive 109 MPH on the Autobahn and even do it's own unassisted lane changes. In 1995.

Since I'd never heard or read about any of this before, and since I found it all so fascinating, I just wanted to share. Especially this short 2:46 minute video on YouTube.

Enjoy!

 
Terrific video. Thanks for posting!

On the surface, at least, remarkably little progress over a full quarter century of development efforts facilitated by substantial advancements in enabling technologies.

Sometimes it's amazing to see how fast technology is changing; other times, not so much....especially when looking back.
 
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I totally agree. There are some obvious advancements, like the fact that the computer took up the entire trunk. But other things seem to have taken so very long.

Still, when you think about the overall challenge of self-driving it's the "last mile" that's the most difficult. It's relatively easy to get a vehicle to stay within two lines but the real challenges lay in the millions of edge cases. Pedestrians, dirty signs, human drivers not paying attention, etc. From the Wikipedia article, that self-driving car had a record of 98 miles without human intervention but a mean distance without human intervention of only 5.6 miles. That 98 miles was probably on a very long stretch of simple highway with few, if any, other vehicles. When you compare to all the edge cases our Teslas manage to navigate each and every day, I think that's where the real progress has been.
 
I like the example of the "self-driving horse". They'll never go off a cliff, wander out of their lane or off the road, crash into something, or risk their own safety and that of their passenger (other than maybe a low-handing branch). And in some cases, they can even "automatically" navigate to your home.

Maybe we need to clone a horse brain into silicon.o_O
 
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