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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Bot Run Vehicles!

    I found this amazing video. Since it's the tech I want to talk about, I start a seperate thread for it:



    Of course, I dont buy into the introduction of the video. This obviously is promotion of Gxxgle.

    Back when I was in a Hong Kong college, a faculty member from the Civil Engineering department introduced to us students of the college at the time all (I am not Civil Eng myself, I am Econ) a technology he was working in, an AI system to run road traffic. All cars on a designated section of a road, radio controlled (this is the key, no car in his system was standalone, I will explain) cars were all driven by a centralized computer system. This system would adjust positions and speeds of all the vehicles under its control. Even in a congested road, those cars, through coordination, could safely maintain their speeds above 50km./hr. It is substantially more sophisticated than the traffic control systems running most of railway systems in the world. However, this system is extremely centralized. The AI system that Professor participated in develop was not advanced to act discretely for every single vehicle. It could centrally coordinate all vehicles in its controlled section collectively, but each unit could not make its own move. As I recalled, that project was a US government funded project run by the General Motors, and the video demo we were shown was taken in California, sometimes around 2002, and the US government at the time had high hope that this kind of system could achieve a variety of solutions, from traffic congestion problems to energy problem (the Professor said that arrogant driving behaviors led to fuel wastage, and this obviously should make this problem go away). Sadly, he said though, was that there were way too many competitors for the development. In GM alone there were hundreds of teams cutting each other's throat as he put it.

    I dont have a driver license myself, although both my dad and my married elder brother have theirs. Maybe I will not ever need one thanks to this.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    I feel that the biggest problem driverless cars face is not a software or hardware issue but people. I'm quite happy to let someone else drive a car with me in it (most of the time), but a machine? Yes, I realise that this is just a prejudice, but my first thought on driving a car with an automatic gearbox was "It's trying to drive itself! I don't like this!". People don't like leaving machines in control, just look at jet-liners, the planes virtually fly themselves nowadays, but we still need two trained pilots sat up front.

    As devices such as radar- or laser-guiding auto-braking, cruise control and lane holding systems become more common, I imagine that motorways and their equivalents elsewhere will become the domain of the self-driving vehicles, but do you feel comfortable letting go of the steering wheel?

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    I'm not sure we even have any fully automated trains in the UK yet, do other countries? I'm sure its well within our technological capabilities. Automated public transport is bound to happen eventually, cars would come after that but I'm not sure they'd ever become fully automated.

    People seem to have a fear of computer error far more than human error. Any automated transport system would be subject to such rigorous tests and safety margins that the likelihood of a crash would be far lower than a human controlled vehicle, but the prospect of putting your life in the hands of a machine scares people that don't give a second's thought to driving on roads where a drunk, careless or criminal driver could easily cause an accident.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    I'm not sure we even have any fully automated trains in the UK yet, do other countries?
    Maybe not full sized trains, but there is the Clockwork Orange and the DLR.

  5. #5
    Network Hub bad guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    People seem to have a fear of computer error far more than human error. Any automated transport system would be subject to such rigorous tests and safety margins that the likelihood of a crash would be far lower than a human controlled vehicle, but the prospect of putting your life in the hands of a machine scares people that don't give a second's thought to driving on roads where a drunk, careless or criminal driver could easily cause an accident.
    ^This.

    Alot of peolpe enjoy driving a car. A computer can make it fun too:
    Last edited by bad guy; 30-12-2012 at 11:46 AM.

  6. #6
    Network Hub Henke's Avatar
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    bad guy, that's an awesome video. :D I read about Google's self-driving cars in Wired last year, but seeing the speed and precision that the car drives through the training course with is impressive.

    The writer of the Wired article described the feeling of driving the car as being similar to riding a horse. You can grab ahold of the wheel and ride it with tight reigns, or let go and it'll still find it's way along the trail. It can even make it's back home on it's own as long as you let it know that's where you want it to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Of course, I dont buy into the introduction of the video. This obviously is promotion of Gxxgle.
    No actually. IIRC Google have had self-driving cars cruising around in California traffic for about a couple of years now.

    You guys might also wanna check out DARPA Grand Challenge which is an annual competition of robot-driven vehicles. My favourite participant is the Ghostrider Motorcycle. :)

    Last edited by Henke; 02-01-2013 at 01:48 PM.

  7. #7
    Activated Node mizzu's Avatar
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    Cool to finally see stuff like that happening outside of a military context.

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