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Say Goodbye to Driving! Ford Will Have Self-Driving Vehicles in 5 Years

 
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:11 PM
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Exclamation Say Goodbye to Driving! Ford Will Have Self-Driving Vehicles in 5 Years

Read the latest Ford news by Chad Kirchner here:

Say Goodbye to Driving! Ford Will Have Self-Driving Vehicles in 5 Years - Ford Trucks

Are you ready for this?
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:04 AM
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So why don’t we seem them already for purchase? There are, of course, legal issues involved, especially in the event of a crash. But also, people don’t like rapid change. Over the past few years, manufacturers have been slowly introducing these new autonomous technologies into vehicles. This slow roll out doesn’t shock the public, but eases them into allowing the new technologies into their lives.


People may not like rapid change and likewise, the auto industry can bring these technologies on slowly and demand a huge price increase for them.
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:06 AM
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My only issue or "problem" with all this so-called emerging new technology as it relates to vehicles is what seems to be a growing inability to avoid it all. Looking at the newest cars in all market segments I see so much potential distraction crap that's pretty much 100% integrated in a way it can't be disabled or avoid

Gone are simple radios, gauges, switches replaced by touch screen displays that seem to eliminate the simplicity actually driving a vehicle was once-upon-a-time. I'm far from an old fogey or technophobe but apart from what I'm sure will be ridiculous costs to fix or replace that crap how many more distractions do we need or want?

I can't see cars that drive themselves being a good idea however given the current state of distracted or unconcerned drivers I'm thinking I need a better vehicle suited to today's highways----maybe a retired APC or similar?
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:49 AM
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i think you will have a better chance of seeing people living on mars than you will of ever seeing this happen.
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:31 AM
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Really nothing new about the autonomous vehicle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_car
The way I figure it, if driving yourself was really such an odious chore, we would all have lined up for public transit years ago.
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
i think you will have a better chance of seeing people living on mars than you will of ever seeing this happen.
Maybe in your neck of the woods, but here in Silicon Valley Google has been testing their self driving cars for a couple years now. I for one can't wait to be able to hop in my car, tell it to go to work, and go to sleep for the ride.

As stated in the article we're nearly there with the new Fords. My Fusion has adaptive cruise control which slows me down when traffic slows, and speeds back up when traffic starts moving again. It even does a good panic stop, which is quite the thrill when you experience it the first time. Would you trust your car to stop very very quickly in a panic situation? It's fun!

The other HUGE HUGE benefit of the self driving vehicles is getting the human equation out of it. You could have most of the traffic humming along in the "fast lane" and leave the "slow lane" mostly open to allow traffic to enter and exit the freeway without impacting traffic.

I can't wait. I'm certain the cars will be available for purchase inside of five years.
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:51 PM
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the only way it will ever work is if every other vehicle on the road is self driving. as long as there i one vehicle that can throw a monkey wrench into the works because it i has a human driving it instead of a computer, the system will not work.
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:55 PM
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Yes for a full system that is true, but you can phase in cars that drive themselves no problem. As long as it can sense the other cars around it, it's better than a lot of folks who pay less than full attention to the road. It won't surprise me if CA starts dedicating lanes on the freeways to them.
 
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:33 PM
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While I understand the resistance to change, and Lord knows I love to drive, I think that this will end up being a good thing. Besides the fact that many people probably shouldn't be operating two-ton vehicles in the presence of others for a whole host of safety reasons, probably the biggest benefit is that as the technology enters the mainstream, traffic jams will be mitigated.

I read a really funny account written about 115 years ago by devotees of horses and buggies about the dangers of automobiles. The authors listed all of the potential problems with cars and predicted they would never become mainstream. The thing is that, from the point of view of pure truth, they were right: cars were, for example, a lot less useful than a horse when it came to navigating the muddy roads of the day. And cars could, and did, run out of fuel and could not get more by simply grazing on the side of the road. But we solved those problems.
 
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:07 AM
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I'd welcome the concept for a lot of trips. I like to drive a lot -- but not a lot of the time ( rush hour, crap weather, tired, etc).

Having said that, there are a couple of caveats:

1) It depends on how they implement it. As JWA mentioned, a lot of 'features' on newer vehicles can get really annoying. Plus, the price may have us all walking

2) IM(NS)HO, they're not really as far along as they're saying. The Googlemobiles hand off control to the human whenever the going gets tough. And, I've read reports --from folks who should know -- that claim that they're still having issues identifying some objects. A traffic cone can screw them up in some cases.

Not to mention that they never show them handling things like severe winter weather. I'm also wondering how it will be when there are a lot of them on the road and the Lidar beams from one get picked up by the sensors on another.

So, we'll see, but I'm not holding my breath. Unless, of course, the guvmint decides to jam them down our throat the way they did the emissions/economy rhumba. We had some pretty awful vehicles until they got that technology figured out.

hj
 
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:34 PM
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Overall I'm not a fan of all this automation when it comes to driving. Largely cause I think it creates bad drivers just like spell check creates bad spellers. Secondly cause I hate how all these things become mandatory, if I want a truck without air bags and ABS I should be able to buy that.


More to the point the tech may get there but IMO we will not have driver-less cars in my lifetime. Not cause they won't be able to build the vehicles but cause the infrastructure required will never be there. You may be able to drive to a main road, enter your GPS and hit go, but you'll always need a driver for the unknown and adverse conditions. Cause of that and all the other issues of self driving cars I think it will lead to huge dangers due to drivers that can't deal with it.


Me I am however a proponent of road trains, let me explain. Standardize and install in vehicles a communication system for both the vehicles and the drivers. In the vehcile to let many vehicles computers communicate wirelessly about speed, direction, and control throttle, steering etc. along with a bumper that allows safe contact. Also a system for drivers to communicate in a local area network that is defined and created automatically by the vehicle communication to group those going in the same direction on the same road in the same LAN. Combine this with a road train licence endorsment with two levels, leader and follower. Use this system to allow/promote road trains that are basically high tech drafting convoys. Drivers use the sytem to identify others to join with, communicate to join up and form lines with bumpers againts each other and each vehicle lightly pushing the one in front. This would at least doube fuel economy, reduce the traffic slow downs caused by vehicle speed variation, get more vehicles down less road, and let following drivers only have to pay attention to driving enough to take over at a moments notice.


The leader endorsment is to specify those responible and safe enough to take responsibility for all those following, only a leader can initiate a train, and the leader is rewarded with near infinant fuel economy as they are pushed down the road by the other vehicles whose combined throttle the leader controls via the system.


The ideal place to implement this would be in the trucking industry where you already have professional drivers going long distances on the highways and who could benefit the most from the fuel economy.
EDIT
Though this brings up vehicle and driver variation, as many trucks would slow more then others on hills, no longer be able to keep up and need to downshift. I'd envision that as soon as the truck is no longer able to push and thus can't keep up with the train an alarm goes off for the driver, that driver then exits the train to the right and climbs the hill at his best pace as the train goes by. That truck can then later join the train at the back later. This over time would lead to a train that self organizes fastest to slowest. If a lead truck is slow a driver with a leader endorsement can then request to lead and the slow leader moves right joining back up in the gap created by the first truck unable to keep up with the new speed. A train that is 30 trucks on the level may on a hill break up into several small trains and some individuals, reorganizing in order of climbing ability and those able to catch up joining back up.
EDIT 2(I keep thinking)
Another issue would be easy identification of those with a leader endorsement. Those with only a follower endorsement would want to stay behind a driver with a leader endorsement even if not at the front of the train. The reason being that if a leader can't keep up the train behind him stays intact, where if a follower can't keep up then the train behind must break up back to the next leader. Simple answer would be a placard placed like/with HazMat placards with a L or F. Secondly the bumper issue works out well with semi/trucks, the rear bumper is for the most part standardized on all but lift gate trucks/trailers. Front bumpers on generally rather flat, tough, and at the same level, would really just need to add a push bumper, a part already used in heavy haul trucking, pushing isn't new to the trucking industry.


Largest issue I see is there would be no gaps for indipendent merging, so on most highways the train would need to occupy the left lane and left lanes couldn't have merges.
 
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:01 PM
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I don't think this will ever be practical, at least for a long, long time.
GPS isn't accurate or reliable enough to use for calculating road position.
Radar or LIDAR might be, but what about snow hills on or around a highway?

Sure, maybe magnets could be implanted in highways and roads, or other beacon location technology, but the cost for that infrastructure seems unavailable when so many roads are already in disrepair.

This seems more of a luxury than a necessity, so who would pay for all the roadside equipment? I doubt tax payers.

I always thought a neat future concept would be "cars on trains".
What I mean by that, is that in the city, a railroad could be installed similar to a subway or skytrain, or mix between the 2, and it would be a train comprised or only flat bed cars, and run on electricity.
At certain stations, the track level would be below the street, at a station, and you would just drive on to the flat car. This could be used to solve congested areas, and maybe even utilize existing railway systems between cities as well.
Rails and steel wheels offer much less friction than rubber on pavement, and there are also already self driving electric train systems.
Also, some cars could be passenger cars, so you could utilize the train and track system for pedestrians as well.
With such little friction of the train wheels, the only issue would be the massive weight of the whole train, but I suspect with upcoming regenerative braking, a very efficient "stop and go" train could be built.
The best part is that it's modular, you could add 2 flat vehicle cars at first, and add more as it catches on, instead of outfitting an entire city with radio beacons and stuff, and not solving any traffic problems.
 
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by parkland View Post
I don't think this will ever be practical, at least for a long, long time.
GPS isn't accurate or reliable enough to use for calculating road position.
Radar or LIDAR might be, but what about snow hills on or around a highway?

Sure, maybe magnets could be implanted in highways and roads, or other beacon location technology, but the cost for that infrastructure seems unavailable when so many roads are already in disrepair.

This seems more of a luxury than a necessity, so who would pay for all the roadside equipment? I doubt tax payers.

I always thought a neat future concept would be "cars on trains".
What I mean by that, is that in the city, a railroad could be installed similar to a subway or skytrain, or mix between the 2, and it would be a train comprised or only flat bed cars, and run on electricity.
At certain stations, the track level would be below the street, at a station, and you would just drive on to the flat car. This could be used to solve congested areas, and maybe even utilize existing railway systems between cities as well.
Rails and steel wheels offer much less friction than rubber on pavement, and there are also already self driving electric train systems.
Also, some cars could be passenger cars, so you could utilize the train and track system for pedestrians as well.
With such little friction of the train wheels, the only issue would be the massive weight of the whole train, but I suspect with upcoming regenerative braking, a very efficient "stop and go" train could be built.
The best part is that it's modular, you could add 2 flat vehicle cars at first, and add more as it catches on, instead of outfitting an entire city with radio beacons and stuff, and not solving any traffic problems.
I completely agree, I've had very similar train thoughts as well including some improvements. For example a curtain-side train car. Make one side of an enclosed train car a curtain on a roller that rolls closed front to back. The train car pulls into an enclosed car/train transfer dock at which point the curtain opens, as it leaves the dock it closes. Next make each train car automated and powered, the dock is on a spur so others can go by while the train car is stopped at the dock. Once loaded the train car self merges with the main line.


Two big issues though, first few cars car far enough in one direction often enough to make the time and expense worth it. Secondly securing the car to the train deck, couldn't trust the drivers to do it and very hard to automate.


Back to the commercial trucking example this kind of thing is already done in a way. Both with conex boxes and complete trailers being loaded on trains to cross the country with a truck on either end to take the previous and next step.


Also passengers cars on trains driven on and off by the driver etc was done in Europe. The Chunnel train carried cars between the UK and France but IIRC was shut down a few years ago.
 
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:29 AM
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I'm on the fence about driverless vehicles. I personally wouldn't own one because I actually enjoy driving, even in the worst of traffic. And, they can say it's got all the fail-safes they want, but I still think there would be too much stuff on them that could go wrong (really goes for a lot of regular cars nowadays too).

But...there do seem to be an awful lot of people that could benefit from an autonomous vehicle...people that never use turn signals, erratic drivers, etc. And, maybe...just maybe...auto-drives could help to reduce some severe traffic congestion. Maybe.

I bet my girlfriend would end up with one should they ever see the light of day, particularly given her daily commute. But me...I'll take the "old-fashioned" way of driving.
 
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BruteFord View Post

Two big issues though, first few cars car far enough in one direction often enough to make the time and expense worth it. Secondly securing the car to the train deck, couldn't trust the drivers to do it and very hard to automate.
I pictured something like an automated car wash entry. At the train station, which would be parallel to the road, you'd pull into a waiting lane. There would be a box to wave your transit card in front of. There would be a light with "STOP, DRIVE AHEAD, BACK UP", and it would line the car up on conveyors that would roll it into the train car. Once loaded onto the car using sensors, it would automatically block the car, and close the side on it.
There is actually quite a bit of robotic car handling equipment coming on the market.
 

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