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Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:47 PM

What Intersections Would Look Like in a World of Driverless Cars

What Intersections Would Look Like in a World of Driverless Cars
EMILY BADGERMAR 01, 2012COMMENTS
Reuters

OK, so first you have to accept the idea that we will one day all be in driverless cars. But the people who think about such things for a living are seriously convinced this will happen.

“The technology is pretty much already there,” says Peter Stone, a computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. And this was also the jarring promise of Tom Vanderbilt’s recent profile of the autonomous car in Wired. “But the question is when will it be cost-effective? When will the legal industry wrap its head around it, and the insurance industry, and when will people buy into it? I don’t know when it will actually happen. But the potential advantages are so huge that it has to happen eventually.”

Stone is thinking of the advantages for the disabled and elderly who can’t currently drive, for parents who don’t have time to take their kids to soccer (they can take themselves!), and above all for traffic safety and the more efficient movement of people everywhere.

It’s one thing, though, to realize that Google engineers have been zipping through our midst in autonomous concept cars. It’s another to picture what will happen when we’re all in these things – when the eye contact and social rules that currently govern urban driving are replaced by computer systems chatting with each other.

“When they do interact,” Stone says, ...


http://www.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2012/03/what-intersections-would-look-world-driverless-cars/1377/

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply What Intersections Would Look Like in a World of Driverless Cars (Original post)
kristopher Mar 2012 OP
liberal N proud Mar 2012 #1
JHB Mar 2012 #2
KT2000 Mar 2012 #10
leveymg Mar 2012 #3
CJCRANE Mar 2012 #4
TheMadMonk Mar 2012 #5
Speck Tater Mar 2012 #6
arcane1 Mar 2012 #7
KansDem Mar 2012 #8
Politicalboi Mar 2012 #11
liberal N proud Mar 2012 #14
saras Mar 2012 #9
Politicalboi Mar 2012 #12
CJCRANE Mar 2012 #13

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:49 PM

1. That ant race is hard to watch

You just know something is going to screw up and wham.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:59 PM

2. Know what is missing there: Pedestrians!

Won't need stop lights or traffic signals, huh? So how is someone to walk across the street? And we all know people are completely predictable in the way they will move.

Once you start adapting this to real-world conditions, will it be worth it? And who pays the bill (money and butcher's) to find out?

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Response to JHB (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 04:31 PM

10. when they put in roundabouts

here, they said there were fewer pedestrian accidents. I know why - pedestrians are terrified of entering a roundabout with cars coming at them constantly and no controls. Pooh bahs do not care though. People now cross in the middle of the block.
Easy - ignore the fact that there are pedestrians!

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:59 PM

3. That future truly sucks.

Except that half the cars on the road have no human operators, as it is, anyway.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 03:01 PM

4. I predict...

that eventually it'll be illegal to drive yourself.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 03:06 PM

5. Looks just like just about any intersection in Asia today. /nt

 

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 03:11 PM

6. And these cars will be powered by what exactly? Gasoline? Solar?

 

Realistically, our future will be driverless because it will be autoless.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 03:21 PM

7. "This will allow us to use the same roadways we have now, just use them now more efficiently"

 

It would be much more efficient to use buses and trains on those roads, no?

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 03:22 PM

8. Reminds me of this video...


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Response to KansDem (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 04:57 PM

11. Looks like he did hit both cars

 

Just barely, but then drove off. But the pedestrians are the lucky ones.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:28 PM

14. You should see intersections in China

And from what I hear India is worse still.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 03:28 PM

9. They are proposing a system based on the rule of the stupid...

 

If you don't have drivers, then you can have cars follow rules - you don't need a whole bunch of stupid modern traffic techniques that are designed to compensate for incompetent drivers - like eye contact and "social rules", as though every driver is supposed to negotiate every interaction with every other car as a relationship. It's a good way to slow traffic down and raise stress levels, hence awareness and safety, which is what it's used for and why it's replacing things like stop signs and stop lights, which require drivers to follow the rules fairly precisely.

We'll have driverless cars when we outlaw anything else that might interrupt them.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:06 PM

12. I've thought about

 

Cars of the future as still driven by people, but only cars would have a receiver and there would be transmitters throughout the city limits that could control speed of vehicles, and not let cars run lights. Or maybe a force beam around cars that won't allow them to hit each other. Like 2 magnets. And night vision windshields or a laser scan that tells you when something is in the road ahead, and how far ahead.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:22 PM

13. That's feasible

and that type of computer-assisted driving is probably the intermediate step before computers take over driving completely.

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