Th Future of Our Cars and Hobby/Passion - Page 4 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #46 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 03:17 PM
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Self driving cars communicating among themselves are going to virtually eliminate traffic jams, virtually eliminate crashes, shorten trip times dramatically, dramatically improve fuel efficiency across the "fleet", and dramatically reduce emissions. Highway capacity will be expanded several times, stoplights and signs will be eliminated completely...
Just like television was going to bring culture to the masses and elevate the level of civility in society. Instead we got sitcoms and reality TV.

Or the way the internet was going to deliver higher education which would result in universal enlightenment. Instead we got polarized news services and narcissistic social networks.

Be careful believing that everything promised for the future will really be better. Maybe self-driving cars will be OK, but I can also imagine them delivering quality on a par with a third-world bus service.
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post #47 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Be careful believing that everything promised for the future will really be better. Maybe self-driving cars will be OK, but I can also imagine them delivering quality on a par with a third-world bus service.
I'm visualizing a long line on a hot day at the Disneyland Autopia with a 2 hour wait if government provides it. Or maybe nearly empty like most light rail lines. And try as I can, I can't see them much used far outside bigger cities, or towing or hauling stuff. If they are based on current Google maps, good luck. I got sent down more one-way streets, convoluted routes and dead ends than I care to recall on a recent Euro trip. Not holding my breath.

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post #48 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Might be a real boon for the vintage racing scene though. Chris
Might be a niche in open areas for 100 acres of old closed circuit roads to just take a nostalgic drive! Like a zip line park or adventure park but for old cars, not even racing. Put in an old diner and roadside teepee motels and roadside picnic areas. And clearly a gas station. Trailer them in and take a drive down memory lane.

So what happens with boats? Self-driving boats too??? :0
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post #49 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 06:06 PM
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Or the way the internet was going to deliver higher education which would result in universal enlightenment. Instead we got polarized news services and narcissistic social networks.
And people chatting endlessly about obsolete cars. Obviously the Internet doesn't work at all. All engineers are liars and cheats of course. Only a stupid libtard would think two people could communicate over the Internet.

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post #50 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 06:11 PM
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I'm visualizing a long line on a hot day at the Disneyland Autopia. Or maybe nearly empty like most light rail lines. And try as I can, I can't see them much used far outside bigger cities, or towing or hauling stuff. If they are based on current Google maps, good luck. I got sent down more one-way streets, convoluted routes and dead ends than I care to recall on a recent Euro trip. Not holding my breath.
Maybe you're not great at following directions? I've been all over Europe letting Google guide the way. The only time I ever had an issue is where I came up to a confusing junction and I picked the wrong path. Google knew but I just didn't understand what it was trying to say.


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Might be a niche in open areas for 100 acres of old closed circuit roads to just take a nostalgic drive! Like a zip line park or adventure park but for old cars, not even racing. Put in an old diner and roadside teepee motels and roadside picnic areas. And clearly a gas station. Trailer them in and take a drive down memory lane.

So what happens with boats? Self-driving boats too??? :0
They've had self driving boats for years. And can you believe they'll have airplanes that land themselves in a few years? This is 1960, right? I predict they'll have passenger planes that will land themselves by 1965! Wait and see!

Chris

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post #51 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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GV27 - seems like you are letting a little animosity bleed over from getting stomped in the Global Warming thread. Your cheap shots are not appreciated here. Go away if you are going to act infantile.
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post #52 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 06:28 PM
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I can't take seriously some one who is using the Internet to talk about mechanical things who turns around and says that nothing an engineer produces could ever be any good. And much less people who are proud of their own ignorance. Just keep your head in the sand and nothing will ever change. Have fun with that.

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post #53 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 07:05 PM
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I'm visualizing a long line on a hot day at the Disneyland Autopia with a 2 hour wait if government provides it.
Privately-owned self driving cars could work OK. But I can imagine private ownership becoming the exception (sort of like owning your own airplane - just for enthusiasts and gazillionaires). Most people will chose to subscribe to a car-sharing service. After all, if the car is self-driving, there is no need for it to spend 98% of its time unused in your garage.

So you'll just summon one when you need it. But my prediction is that the shared car that shows up will have a discharged battery, partially inflated tires and an interior littered with fast food wrappers. And it will arrive late.

I've lost track whether this prediction brands me as a liberal or a conservative. Perhaps just as a pessimist.
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post #54 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 09:54 PM
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One big question I have is how will the self-driving car know when things are wrong? I can't imagine trusting the brain to know when the brakes are getting spongy, the fan belt is slipping, or the water pump is about to fail... I would feel compelled to get under the hood whenever one showed up from my ride-sharing service to know that I will make it after all. I've rented cars that had serious driveshaft issues, were losing steering pressure etc. and I found all this out by driving. (and then promptly returned the vehicles of course) I work in a very engineering-heavy field, and there is a reason why we have deliberately shied away from automation in a number of areas. It just doesn't meet the equipment and personnel safety requirements like a trained operator does. Would I trust Elon Musk (or more actually his employees) with my life? My answer is a resounding NO but perhaps my tech-addicted peers would differ in their opinions. I'm surprised the Highway Safety Administration didn't kill the movement entirely after the below occurred.

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...-car-elon-musk

"The car continued to travel after passing under the truck’s trailer, veered off the road, and then crashed through two fences and into a power pole, the local police report said. Brown died at the scene."

That's just as terrifying as the accident itself. How can we predict what will happen after contact does occur when our car becomes confused and starts veering all over the place? Imagine hitting a Tesla and then having it proceed to ram into someone else when a normal driver would have stopped immediately!
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post #55 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 08:42 AM
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Moderator here. Discussion on this thread got reported. Please, we all know this is the off topic forum, but retain civility at all times. Refrain from personal attacks. Off Topic still has the same rules as all other posts. Mods are evaluating a few threads here, please for the sake of continued discussion keep to the topic and issue, not to the poster(s).

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post #56 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 09:40 AM
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One big question I have is how will the self-driving car know when things are wrong? I can't imagine trusting the brain to know when the brakes are getting spongy, the fan belt is slipping, or the water pump is about to fail...
Exactly. If it travels from one user to the next, who inspects its condition before you get it? And the problem may be more basic than spongy brakes; what if the last user barfed in it, or parked it under a tree where birds roost? Sure, the company that owns and manages the cars will know who the prior user was, but they will invariably say "hey, it was like that when I got it".

Jay Mackro
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post #57 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 10:49 AM
My older brother is at an age and health where he had to give up his license this month. It hit him like a ton of bricks and the now the once proudly independent man is reduced to being driven around when someone is not too busy - it's killing him. I could see the advantage of having an autonomous car for him. The other intriguing use of the technology would be autonomous RVs...seriously. When we had one I hated it because I was the only one that could drive it while everyone else got to sleep, eat and hang out. Imagine hopping into your ARV at 11pm and waking up at 8am at your vacation spot. That would be fantastic (assuming you don't leave a trail of carnage in your wake...).

I'm not opposed to autonomous vehicles and I think the technology is fascinating. I just don't want it encroaching on my right to drive when and where I please.
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post #58 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 11:37 AM
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Low tires and a dead battery? Why? These things are instrumented on almost every new car sold today. TPMS has been mandatory on all new cars sold in the US for nearly 10 years! A car is just a machine and sensors can monitor every aspect of it. Spongy brakes? That's super easy to monitor - the car hits the brakes with a certain force and compares that to it's accelerometers. If it doesn't get the expected rate of deceleration and detects no wheel lock up, then something is wrong with the brakes. Issues like that are REALLY easy from an engineering point of view. Trusting people to monitor it? I commonly run into people who have major safety issues with their car and I say "hey, you should really get that checked out" and they say "why? The car starts and drives, what do you mean there's a problem?".

To be accurate the Tesla accident referenced by Jonathan should include the note that the Tesla was not a self-driving car. It was a car with extensive driver aids that the driver had been told very specifically was not self driving, but the guy behind the wheel chose to ignore their admonitions to not try to deploy those features in a self-driving manner. It should also be pointed out that that was a single accident and the bug (the car was relying on only optical data for accident avoidance rather than also using it's adaptive cruise control radar) was quickly fixed and pushed out to all Teslas. It should also be pointed out that it is VERY common to have somebody have a health issue with cruise control on and the car to just go zombie and keep going, or a dead or unconscious driver's body ends up jamming the pedal down as the car accelerates wildly away with nobody at the wheel. Or the throttle gets stuck and the driver doesn't know what to do, crashes and the car's stuck throttle continues to cause the car to accelerate until it hits something solid. A computer can detect a stuck throttle in a fraction of a second, shut the motor down and apply the brakes before a human would even detect the problem.

Should the whole concept be killed for a single accident, when there are thousands of accidents every day caused by driver error? In the US alone over 100 people die in traffic accidents every day - almost all of them caused by a single car component: the driver. Globally the number is over 3500. EVERY DAY! Almost all of them caused by driver error. Jonathan references "trained operators" but at least in the US the training is minimal at best. My wife took her driving test in a parking lot when she got her license and has never been re-tested. In some countries there in no training at all.

Of course self driving cars won't be 100% perfect to start nor will they ever be. Nothing created by man will ever be perfect. That can't possibly be the bar when we're talking about replacing such a radically unreliable component of current automobiles and truck. By far the worst component of any car is the driver. Driver reaction times are poor in the best of conditions, drivers don't work particularly well together. Drivers drive different speeds in the same conditions, drivers know that the car is broken but don't want to spend the money to fix it, drivers run each other off the road, drivers change lanes without looking etc. etc. etc. etc.. The list is endless. And that doesn't even include the distractions and impairments. To start a never-ending list:

Texting
Talking
Makeup
Burgers
Kids
Coffee
Having a bad day
Being mad at your spouse
Music
Videos
Books
Illegal Drugs
Legal Drugs
Alcohol
Poor eyesight
Illness
Medical emergencies
Being an A-hole
Sleeping

Feel free to add as you see fit. That's an awful lot of bugs to work out of the system with no good way to work them out - other than replacing that component with something more reliable.

Chris

1990 Spider Veloce

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post #59 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
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Extracted from an article on LinkedIn, "Must read article on how our lives will change dramatically in 20 years by CEO of Mercedes." David Delahunty/Designer, Published on July 16, 2017. One man's opinion.

"- Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don't want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver's licence and will never own a car.

- It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.

- Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

- Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla.

- Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

- Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

- Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.

- Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact."

The question is, where do our vintage cars fit in the landscape here?? Trailered to and run on vintage car circuits and vintage car nostalgia drive parks (a new niche), if at all??

Personally I am still doubtful that this will work well for service personnel with tools, equipment and materials, larger delivery vehicles (think semis, dump trucks and cement trucks) and in the countryside, and there is a lot of countryside here. What for boat and trailer haulers. Farm equipment? What for recreational boating? RV's?? Electric and self-driving? Where is the recreation element?? Clearly better city use. Try and get an Uber in Llano or Kingsland now.

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post #60 of 142 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 07:13 AM
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I'll be very impressed if we can pull this off as quickly as these articles propose. The tech seems to out pace what I think many people can actually handle with respect to lifestyle change. I'm not sure how all the career change or job loss fits into this debate. I don't see much related to necessary infrastructure change or how laws and regulations are brought up to speed locally or across the country. All things that can be dealt with, I just see the timeframe as a bit longer.

John
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