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Traffic Future: Driverless Cars

Discussion in 'Autonomous Vehicles' started by EdA, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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  2. voyager

    voyager Member

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    The intersection is one of the most difficult things because you’ve got two competing flows fighting for the same real estate,” Ratti explains. “So if you solve it, then the whole network would benefit.”... A future with digital, driverless vehicles sounds idyllic, but is it realistic? Well, part of that future is on the road right now. Jeff Manning owns a Tesla Model S... “It’s a stylish car, it can fit my family and a great deal of luggage,” he says. “It can fit me, I’m 6-foot-7, and I can’t fit in a Volt, I can’t fit in a Leaf, I can’t fit in the Toyota Prius, and that’s one of the reasons I got this car.”

    Driverless will also have to deal with space utilization. Fact is that a Model S, Manning says he needs, occupies twice as much 'real estate' as say a Fiat 500.
     
  3. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    #3 Ludus, May 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
    Carlo Ratti's idea is pretty obvious and I suspect I posted about it before he did. It's not about roads with a mix of human drivers and autonomous vehicles. Once you ban human drivers and network the L5 vehicles though, the traffic rules can change dramatically.

    For example you can have two streams of traffic just pass through each other at an intersection at full speed. To people used to current traffic it would be a white knuckle stunt. It would be very safe though. Every vehicle in both streams would know the exact positions of the other vehicles and could tweak it's speed appropriately. Compared to the speed of the processors it would happen in slow motion. So you wouldn't need overpasses or traffic lights, roundabouts or stop signs. Traffic could move quite a bit faster and draft bumper to bumper. It would seem kinda alien but be a lot more efficient.

    If you add up the speed and efficiency gains these options are significant enough to drive urban areas to ban human drivers sooner than might otherwise occur. Any humans in the system would be pretty costly to everyone else. Compare your driving experience now with just heading straight through every interesection at full speed often 50% faster than current speed limits, never getting stuck behind slower vehicles, rarely even using brakes rather than regen. Picture the only thing holding that back is a few humans behind the wheel.
     
  4. animorph

    animorph Member

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    Unless one wheel falls off and screws up the entire pattern! That could get messy. I'm thinking there'll be enough of a safety margin between cars that it won't be too harrowing. Otherwise it might take a while to convince people to ride in those cars.
     
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  5. EVie'sDad

    EVie'sDad Member

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    If all cars were automated, there would be no 'traffic' and cars would flow seamlessly between one another without all that human 'lollygagging'.
     
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  6. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    I think that's just projecting human driver concerns. It's not like genuine accidents can't occur, they'd just be much rarer and the system would respond faster and in a superhumanly coordinated way. What you're used to is human driver safety margin. That assumes also that there's no direct communication between human drivers. They just see each other and react. Sensors would detect a wheel issue and at the very least pull over. Human drivers are much less connected or responsible. An object in the road would trigger an immediate response within microseconds by ALL of the traffic at the same time so the sort of chain reaction collision you're picturing doesn't happen. Vehicles don't need to see the problem to react, they're networked and they don't need human reaction time safety margins to do it. What one vehicle knows, they all know pretty much instantly (in human terms). Even vehicles around the corner well out sight react to the situation with full knowledge.
     
  7. voyager

    voyager Member

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  8. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    there is a future for autonomous cars, however we are a long way aways from that future. the issues currently cropping up are growing pains that seem to always occur in rapidly advancing technologies
     
  9. renim

    renim Member

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    driverless cars are here now, if you consider a mining truck to be a 'car'.

    surprisingly they don't use less fuel. (it was expected that they would). Their main advantage is that they don't have down time for toilet stops. That is sufficient to continue to roll them out. (they are expensive)

    Mining systems tend to LIDAR biased, transient dust clouds is an unexpected problem, LIDAR systems misinterpret that, humans don't even need to intentional think about it.
     
  10. zenmaster

    zenmaster Member

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    AFAIK, not a single one of these issues are in the least bit unexpected by the developers of the tech. Mobileye seems to be at the forefront with their system and when explaining their progress, they actually get into the technical details of the current challenges. It all makes sense with no magic involved. On the other hand, there are certain CEOs of car companies that I believe are irresponsible with their over-optimisitic promises of ridiculously high autonomous car performance (level 4) in the short term (2 years).
     

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