Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
AI Transportation Technology

Driverless Cars Begin 8,000-Mile Trek 151

Posted by kdawson
from the if-you-see-marco-wave dept.
apoc.famine writes "Driverless technology from the University of Parma's VisLab was deployed in a real-world test on Tuesday. Two driverless chase vehicles will attempt to follow two lead vehicles across multiple continents, from Italy to China, over the course of three months. The journey will cover over 8,000 miles, (~13,000 km) as the chase vehicles use lasers and cameras to navigate hazards along the way. The team expects to collect about 100 TB of data, which requires a hefty electronics and battery load — the scale is such that the cars can only run for about three hours before needing 8 hours to recharge the batteries. This journey is being billed as just a test, and far from a real-world application. The vehicles don't go more than about 35mph, and need a person behind the wheel to take over at a moment's notice. 'What we are trying to do is stress our systems and see if they can work in a real environment, with real weather, real traffic, and crazy people who cross the road in front of you and a vehicle that cuts you off,' said project leader Alberto Broggi. The goal is not to produce just road vehicles, but to improve the technology so it can be used in military and agricultural roles as well. The team hopes to have helped mature the technology within the next 10-20 years to the point that it can be used on the road."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Driverless Cars Begin 8,000-Mile Trek

Comments Filter:
  • The future (Score:3, Funny)

    by ceraphis (1611217) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @02:13AM (#32974522)
    While I can't wait to see how this pans out, I still wouldn't like to be so close to the bleeding edge of the future that I get run over.
      • >> world's first road traffic death in 1896

        What a crock. Are they genuinely claiming that prior to 1896 there were no roads, or just that no-one ever chased their dinner-rat into a street in front of a cart?

        Or is it just another bit of factually incorrect gibberish to try and divert money from genuine need into their coffers?

        • I would assume they go for a more contemporary meaning; this would exclude beast-drawn transport along the roads that certainly did exist, and indicate more those deaths attributed to machine-driven transport.

          While I acknowledge that it did happen, I find it hard to fathom people getting killed by a horse-drawn carriage without some sort of severe mental impairment, with any regularity; and those rates would almost certainly be a fraction of injuries and deaths attributed to modern automobile accidents.
          • by ultranova (717540)

            While I acknowledge that it did happen, I find it hard to fathom people getting killed by a horse-drawn carriage without some sort of severe mental impairment, with any regularity;

            I don't. Apart from the fact that cart-drivers can be just as much irresponsible selfish maniacs than car drivers, there's also the fact that a horse is a living thing and as such quite capable of getting out of control and causing mayhem on its own.

            On a good side, a drunk cart-driver who just lets his horse take him home at wal

          • by jadavis (473492)

            those rates would almost certainly be a fraction of injuries and deaths attributed to modern automobile accidents.

            Once you divide by the number of people-miles traveled in both cases, it may be quite close.

            Cars are quite safe and quite clean (for the environment). The only reason that they are a leading cause of death and environmental concern is because we drive so much.

        • by iangoldby (552781)

          Does it really have to be spelled out to you?

          On 17 August 1896, 44-year-old Bridget Driscoll became the first person to be killed by a motor car. [newstatesman.com]

          the first person world-wide who died as a result of being hit by a car (not in a car crash) was Mrs Bridget Driscoll [answers.com]

          The quote relates to the first person to be killed after being hit by a car. You may note the profound irony in the coroner's statement.

          • Kinda missed my point there Skippy.
            People have been killing themselves and others through carelessness, clumsiness, incompetence and negligence for a lot longer than there have been combustion driven vehicles.
            That various countries fail to impose sensible restrictions on vehicle licensing, and fail to impose sufficient deterrents to driving while being a moron is hardly grounds to make out that such deaths only started when cars were introduced.

            • by ultranova (717540)

              fail to impose sufficient deterrents to driving while being a moron

              And what would those be? "Moron" means someone who doesn't understand the consequences of his actions; and that includes any and all possible deterrents you could come up with.

              This is the same problem as with the laws against drunk driving: someone who doesn't care that he's risking his own life isn't likely to worry about a fine, loss of license, or jail time either.

            • by iangoldby (552781)

              No, I completely understood your point - that there are other ways of dying besides being hit by a motor car. No argument there.

              But that is irrelevant when you had missed the point of the comment you were replying to, which was that, relating specifically to deaths caused by being hit by a motor car, while the first time this happened it was felt to be unacceptable, it has happened many millions of times again since then.

              • You didn't read the page linked to from the comment I responded to and misread my comment then.
                The article makes the specific claim that the death of Betty or Gertrude, or whatever her name was, was the very first death in history caused by traffic on a road, which is plainly and clearly nonsense.

                • by iangoldby (552781)

                  Actually did read the page and your comment. What I was however unprepared for is your apparent belief that the distinction between being killed by a car hitting you and being killed as a car occupant is vastly more important than than the point being made by the link.

                  OK, you win. The best way to discredit an argument is to pick a hole in an irrelevant detail.

                  • >> "distinction between being killed by a car hitting you and being killed as a car occupant"

                    Um, no, that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any of the posts I have made on this topic. Not even tangentially.

                    My point was that the page linked to was using factually inaccurate hyperbole to try and enhance their argument; Specifically, they ignore/try to deny the fact that people were killed on roads before there where cars, or even carriages.

                    I wouldn't call it the "best" way, but pointing out e

                    • by iangoldby (552781)

                      Except that in this case the argument does not depend on this distinction. If the argument is unaffected by a particular inaccuracy (or more to the point lack of clarity) then to attack the argument on this ground is to obfuscate what is actually important.

                      Truth is important. It would be better if the WHO website had been clearer about what they meant by "the world's first road traffic death". They don't mention that they are referring specifically to the death of a pedestrian caused by a motor vehicle hitt

    • by Psaakyrn (838406)
      It's not the future until they are programmed to run over for the shortest possible path, terminator style.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      While I can't wait to see how this pans out, I still wouldn't like to be so close to the bleeding edge of the future that I get run over.

      Did they name the car Sally? [wikipedia.org] The "get run over" made that story jump into my head.

  • vinith98 (Score:2, Funny)

    by vinith98 (1730262)
    This is amazing, if it is a success it would completely change the face of transportation.
  • Digital Driver (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dr Max (1696200) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @03:00AM (#32974696)
    I can't wait for this to be on sale for the public. No need to park your car in the city to go to work just have it drop you off at the front door, park somewhere free, avoid the parking police, then when your finished for the day call it up to come and get you. That’s just on a weekday can you imagine the fun you could have on the weekend knowing you have a computer driver ready to take you to the next pub, or get you back to the flower garden next to your driveway.
    • Re:Digital Driver (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Nialin (570647) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @03:51AM (#32974850)
      I'd love if it went and got itself serviced while you're still at work.
      Or heading off to the grocery store to pick up pre-ordered goods at the full-service "delivery" window (must tip the kind shop keep).
      How about going home and parking itself to charge, while the other one goes and pick the kids up from school and drops them off at soccer practice.

      Ah, the future. I wonder what people used to think of ~70 years ago...
      • Re:Digital Driver (Score:4, Insightful)

        by zarzu (1581721) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:01AM (#32974876)
        they thought of flying cars... and we still don't have them.
      • by urusan (1755332) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:03AM (#32974886)

        The only problem is when it goes in to get serviced and the mechanic convinces it that it needs a bunch of expensive repairs...

      • by coldtone (98189)

        If or when we get a Digital Driver it will change commutes forever, and for the worse. I can see people in camper like vans so they can sleep on the 10 hour commute, or not even go home during the week, just let the car drive all night and drop you off at work in the morning. The concept of home will be totally gone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by shyampandit (842649)
      So we would end up with tons of empty cars searching for parking spots everywhere and clogging up roads instead?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Would unmanned cars still honk their horns obnoxiously when one of their counterparts takes their sweet time escaping a parking spot?
        • by LilGuy (150110)
          At least they wouldn't make turns at .025 mph and sit through 3 red-lights before paying attention...
        • They could wirelessly honk at each other without making any noise, using Wireless Car Communication Protocol codes n00b or f4g.

    • by bazorg (911295)
      dude, sell the car and get a horse...
      • I was thinking something like that. You can train your dog or your horse as a truck driver! Dog- and horsecarts just got bigger.
    • by selven (1556643)

      So, essentially, a driverless taxi?

    • The big problem with this idea is that, much like other "society changing" ideas, no one will use it. The inherent fear/insecurity that humanity has towards things outside of their control ensures that this, and any other technology of this sort, will go unused and disregarded. I'm not being cynical, I'm being honest. I think this is a great idea, and I think it needs to be researched and experimented with further. I will, however, never use such technology since it impinges on my inherent need to have con
      • by dylan_- (1661)

        The inherent fear/insecurity that humanity has towards things outside of their control ensures that this, and any other technology of this sort, will go unused and disregarded.

        You mean like being in a train, or bus, or aircraft, or train, or basically any vehicle when someone else is driving?

        Actually, perhaps a better example is a lift (elevator). When they were first produced there were similar predictions and indeed many people refused to use them, using the stairs instead. Now, though, they're so commonp

  • .. starting from Italy?!

    They'll most likely be barged off the road by the hand-waving angry Italian motorists!

  • But where are the driverless *flying* cars? You know that's what we're all really waiting for!

    • by mmkkbb (816035)

      Modern autopilot technology calls for a crew of a human and a dog. The human's job is to feed the dog. The dog's job is to bite the human if he or she attempts to touch the controls.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      In Afghanistan and Pakistan, shooting at people.

  • They would probably make better time on this historic journey if they drove more than 1/6th of the time. Just sayin'.

  • Major differences (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JanneM (7445) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:05AM (#32974890) Homepage

    * The car can park itself anywhere, get service or pick up stuff while you're working. Less need to use valuable city real estate and street area on parking. And as people no longer park along the streets they get effectively wider, with more space for traffic but also for bicycle lanes.

    * A two-car family may only need one, as the car can go by itself to pick up family members as they need it.

    * A family may in fact own no car. Car pooling becomes much more effective when you can call up a car from the pool to your front door at any time.

    * No need for a license. People with dementia, or taking medication, or with severe disabilities, or underage can still get around, no problem.

    * The cars will be scrupulous about obeying traffic laws and speed limits. But even with a small part self-driving cars, they will act as pace cars and slow and smooth traffic for everyone. Even more so, as they'll be recording everything happening around them, and other drivers know it. Pace will be slower, but people will arrive sooner.

    * Life becomes tough for taxi drivers. Taking a taxi would become the same as short-term car rental in practice, and cheaper than taxis as there's no drivers salary to pay.

    * Point to point transport becomes cheaper too, with driverless vans and trucks shuttling between shipment centers.

    * Driverless drive-ins means you can send a car to do a lot of your errands.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by captainpanic (1173915)

      Almost every point you wrote down increases the amount of traffic on the roads and the amount of fuel used.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JanneM (7445)

        True to some degree. But many, even most, of those trips (go charge somewhere, transports) would happen with or without self-driving cars. And it's not clear to me that a car going directly to a somewhat distant parking garage is actually using any more energy than a car circling for fifteen minutes looking for a convenient nearby spot.

        The smoother, slower ride of an unhurried automatic car will use less energy than the jerky stop-and-go of impatient human drivers. And as they act as pace cars there'll be a

      • by renoX (11677)

        Not really: think about the oil used for building a car in the first place!

        'self-driving car pooling' would allow using less cars to do the same kind of transport that we have now,
        except that it would be better because you don't have the need to find a packing place.

        Of course it's not simple: in Paris we have 'bicycle pooling' and there are issues with vandalism, theft, etc, 'self-driving car pooling' would have the same issue (but worse as car are more expensive).

      • Not necessarily.

        Self driving cars could network together and all apply the brakes at the same time (if needed) so they could travel a lot closer together. This could also reduce fuel consumption by the drafting effect.

        Congestion would also be reduced by the 'drivers' not having egos and letting other cars merge/change lanes etc.

        Also, if you're not driving, there's less incentive to get a car with a massive engine, so more people would be driving 'sensible' cars which use less fuel.

        Lastly, with more nuclear/

      • by b0bby (201198)

        Yeah, that always hits me too. If I can just get into my comfy minivan, sleep all night, and wake up in Florida or Maine, I'm going to be taking a lot more road trips. And I won't be the only one. Some of the problems of increased traffic will be offset by the self driving cars not doing stupid things to slow everyone else, but I think they'll certainly lead to more miles driven. Hopefully they'll be powered by something other than an ICE...

      • Almost every point you wrote down increases the amount of traffic on the roads and the amount of fuel used.

        Sorry, you are incorrect. And unlike your post, I will elaborate (though I do understand that on the face of things, your post didnt seem to need elaboration).

        * The car can park itself anywhere, get service or pick up stuff while you're working. Less need to use valuable city real estate and street area on parking. And as people no longer park along the streets they get effectively wider, with more space for traffic but also for bicycle lanes.

        As one who has had to drive around NYC for 30 minutes looki

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dargaud (518470)

      The cars will be scrupulous about obeying traffic laws and speed limits. But even with a small part self-driving cars, they will act as pace cars and slow and smooth traffic for everyone. Even more so, as they'll be recording everything happening around them, and other drivers know it. Pace will be slower, but people will arrive sooner.

      I agree with everything else you wrote but the above. Some experiments have shown that a few outliers (read, poor drivers: too fast or disregard of others) can actually better the flow of traffic. One example: you have an intersection in complete deadlock; the asshole who drives on the sidewalk to escape can actually free a spot that will end the deadlock. If everybody follows the rules in this case, nobody comes out. There are other cases.

      The other point is that driving slower doesn't necessarily always

      • by xaxa (988988)

        I eagerly wait the day when I don't have to waste concentration at the tedious and dangerous task of driving.

        So far this year I think I've travelled about 2500km on land without driving (in a train). I've also gone about 3000km by bicycle, almost all of which could easily have been done by train instead.

        Is it really necessary to use a 2 tonne metal box to transport a person around a city?

        • Try cycling on the road in Moscow...

          There's a reason there are no bikes and very few motorbikes - longevity is severely reduced if you choose either.

          The Metro, though very good, would not be able to manage if people stopped driving.

          Depends on where you live. I'm really hoping the Cycle Highways in London work well, would love to cycle to work, but currently risk outweighs benefits.

          In Moscow its not even close...
          • by xaxa (988988)

            The cycle "superhighways" in London, which officially opened on Monday, look like nothing more than some blue paint on the road. I haven't had a look myself yet, but from the news reports it looks like they're on the busiest roads, that cars are allowed to park in them for much of the day, and much of the distance is shared with buses. The mayor said they'd be wide, safe, direct routes where bikes would have priority over cars, but they aren't wide or safe, they're less direct than the car route, and little

            • I'm really hoping it'll be the first step towards something better.

              I hate (as a driver and a pedestrian) cyclists around london, I would love to cycle but won't do so until

              a) It's much safer for me
              b) I won't make life hell for everyone else

              Hopefully this is the first step of many.
      • >I agree with everything else you wrote but the above. Some experiments have shown that a few outliers (read, poor drivers: too fast or disregard of others) can actually better the flow of traffic. One example: you have an intersection in complete deadlock; the asshole who drives on the sidewalk to escape can actually free a spot that will end the deadlock. If everybody follows the rules in this case, nobody comes out. There are other cases.

        Except that if everybody scrupulously follows the rules, and the

        • by dargaud (518470)

          Except that if everybody scrupulously follows the rules, and the rules themselves can then be modeled based on the expectation of perfect behavior - then deadlocks can't happen in the first place.

          Hah! You are telling that to a guy who just gave up after 3 months debugging deadlocks in a multithreaded app...

          • >Hah! You are telling that to a guy who just gave up after 3 months debugging deadlocks in a multithreaded app...

            Multithreading *is* breaking the rules :P

        • Ok, was modding, but decided it was more important to respond to this common misconception.

          Obviously the righthand lane has far more traffic then since it feeds two roads. While it's understandable it would be slower, it is far worse than it ought to be and the reason: the selfish pricks who assume they have more reason for haste than anybody else - who drive in the left hand lane until the very last possible moment and then try to push into the right to jump the qeue, thus slowing everybody down far more t

          • There IS no "merging" here.
            The lane on the left is SUPPOSED to be ONLY for people going to the East-onramp. The lane on the right ONLY for people going to the WEST-onramp OR Straight ahead.
            In other words - the people changing into the left lane are the ones merging here - and that's not the lane with the problem. People are going in a lane reserved for a different turn-off and at the last moment squeezing into a lane reserved for the other way making everybody slower.

            Perhaps you misunderstood. I should have

            • Ah, sorry if I misunderstood. I have an angry knee-jerk reaction to people complaining about cutting into a lane at the last second is. Yeah, purposely entering an exit lane only to return to your original lane after bypassing 100ft of the jam is definately no good.

              My bad. :)
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Some experiments have shown that a few outliers (read, poor drivers: too fast or disregard of others) can actually better the flow of traffic.

        Citation badly needed: I simply don't believe you, sorry. It's illogical and unreasonable.

        One example: you have an intersection in complete deadlock; the asshole who drives on the sidewalk to escape can actually free a spot that will end the deadlock.

        That's such an extreme, rare case that it's completely meaningless, and having one car's difference breaking up the de

        • by dargaud (518470)

          Your comment is an excellent example of why robot cars will be a damned good thing

          Yes.

          you're a really, really shitty driver and shouldn't be behind the wheel.

          That is uncalled. I never caused an accident in 20 years of driving (although I've been hit several times while stopped). The incident I mention didn't result in anything more than a tow bill to get back on the road.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            I never caused an accident in 20 years of driving

            You probably caused a lot of accidents and never even knew it, as you weren't involved in the accidents. You think you're a safe driver when you fall asleep at the wheel? Jesus H. Christ, man... you're fucking ASLEEP. Your car drifts into the left lane, the car in that lane swerves and slams on the brakes to avoid an accident with you, hits the guardrail and slides into another car. You, meanwhile, are completely oblivious to it because you're fucking asleep

            • by dargaud (518470)
              It happened ONCE. BECAUSE I had to follow a long line going below an already slow speed limit on a perfectly straight road in the middle of the desert where you aren't even allowed to pass. And by the way: FUCK YOU and your high horse.
      • by Kijori (897770)

        Surely with automatic cars deadlocks would be no problem. For three reasons:

        1) Automatic cars wouldn't enter the junction with no way out, so the only people that could cause deadlocks would be the human drivers, whose numbers would progressively shrink.
        2) If you did get a deadlock, inter-car communication makes it easy to fix - an entire lane of traffic can move backwards to let people out.
        3) Even if that option were not available (maybe if a car had broken down) the same inter-car communication can fill t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Krneki (1192201)
      * New taxes to replace all the lost ones.
    • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:05AM (#32975710)

      * The cars will be scrupulous about obeying traffic laws and speed limits. But even with a small part self-driving cars, they will act as pace cars and slow and smooth traffic for everyone. Even more so, as they'll be recording everything happening around them, and other drivers know it. Pace will be slower, but people will arrive sooner.

      I don't know what you're smoking, but when I was in Germany, the blitz camera (for speeding) in my part of town didn't cause people to go slower except in the very spot it was in. It caused enough rage that it was actually shot at night on multiple occasions.

      In America, I live near a highway still marked an antiquated 55 mph, and everyone goes at least 70 mph. In my experience, there is nothing magically special or wise about the arbitrary speed limits, except they are set way too low in order for the cops to generate revenue on demand.

      Your little do-good buggy will a) in fact slow me down on the highway causing me to get there slower and b) cause road rage in someone that will drive that little piece of shit off the road, taped or not.

      As for you pace car idea, here is the execution in real life:
      http://green.autoblog.com/2007/08/25/what-happens-when-highway-drivers-are-forced-to-go-55-mph-its/ [autoblog.com]

      • by kent_eh (543303)
        Another pace car attempt http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/678348/posts [freerepublic.com]
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Speed limits are frequently set too low, but for varying reasons, some good and some bad. Bad ones include ticket generation, usually in small towns. These are called "speed traps".

        Others are because people think it's OK to do the speed limit no matter what the road or weather conditions are. On a highway with a 65 mph limit it's usually safe to do 75 or more, but when it's raining it isn't that safe to do more than 70. When it's snow covered and visibility is severely limited, you're not really safe unless

      • by xaxa (988988)

        As for you pace car idea, here is the execution in real life:
        http://green.autoblog.com/2007/08/25/what-happens-when-highway-drivers-are-forced-to-go-55-mph-its/ [autoblog.com]

        I don't see the problem with that (the article says "it's not pretty").

        On some roads (e.g. the M25 motorway around London) reducing the limit when it's congested improves traffic flow.

        In construction zones on British Motorways there are often "average speed cameras", which measure vehicle speed over the whole length of the zone. It's not possible to cheat that, and IME it's quite relaxing to sit at 40mph (or whatever) without having people jostling to go a few mph faster.

        • by isorox (205688)

          In construction zones on British Motorways there are often "average speed cameras", which measure vehicle speed over the whole length of the zone. It's not possible to cheat that, and IME it's quite relaxing to sit at 40mph (or whatever) without having people jostling to go a few mph faster.

          Assuming a 50mph limit, most drivers will err on the side of caution, and their speedo will read 48. They'll be constantly checking it too, rather than the road conditions.

          While their speedo says 48, in reality the car's

        • by internewt (640704)

          In construction zones on British Motorways there are often "average speed cameras", which measure vehicle speed over the whole length of the zone. It's not possible to cheat that, and IME it's quite relaxing to sit at 40mph (or whatever) without having people jostling to go a few mph faster.

          If you straddle the lanes as you pass the cameras (just leisurely change lanes at the appropriate time) the cameras will probably miss you.

          Or sit close behind a large vehicle as you pass cameras. If you are familiar with the roadworks then you will know how many sets of cameras there are, and if you are only seen by 1 set of cameras then you won't be ticketed.

          I personally almost always straddle lanes when driving past any cameras that are clearly reading number plates, not so I can break the law and get awa

      • by vertinox (846076)

        Your little do-good buggy will a) in fact slow me down on the highway causing me to get there slower and b) cause road rage in someone that will drive that little piece of shit off the road, taped or not.

        Don't worry. By the time this technology comes out, cars will be federal mandated to have automatic speed regulators... Oh I'm sorry... Speed reporting units that will automatically have the local authorities send you a ticket.

        Remember, speed limits and laws are selective enforcing to increase revenue. I wo

    • by sgtrock (191182)

      * The cars will be scrupulous about obeying traffic laws and speed limits. But even with a small part self-driving cars, they will act as pace cars and slow and smooth traffic for everyone. Even more so, as they'll be recording everything happening around them, and other drivers know it. Pace will be slower, but people will arrive sooner.

      Oh? Does this mean that the cars will know the traffic laws in every jurisdiction? For example, it is illegal to slow traffic down in the fast lane in Minnesota. So, you

      • by b0bby (201198)

        Oh? Does this mean that the cars will know the traffic laws in every jurisdiction?

        Most GPS units already have some knowledge of speed limits; my one, for example, knows all the major roads around me, and knew a lot of the roads in France too. It's not hard to imagine that as these vehicles become more feasible, national databases and local updating systems will be created. It would be pretty trivial for there to be updates broadcast (like traffic updates to current GPSs) in the event of weather etc, and the autonomous systems should be able to react to accidents etc that are extremely lo

  • The real question is: can it be remotely hacked/cracked or whatever you call it when someone takes control over your car from a basement in their mom's house?

    Will a car with mallware drive you only to a mall to convince you to buy things you don't need?

    • by Krneki (1192201)

      The real question is: can it be remotely hacked/cracked or whatever you call it when someone takes control over your car from a basement in their mom's house?

      Will a car with mallware drive you only to a mall to convince you to buy things you don't need?

      Would you rather trust the state / corporation to handle your security or will you take the responsibility to make sure you car security is up to date?

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      The real question is: can it be remotely hacked/cracked or whatever you call it when someone takes control over your car from a basement in their mom's house?

      Well, if the software comes from Microsoft, Adobe, or a few other places that write swiss cheese software, yes. If Sony makes the hardware it's probably going to be rooted at the factory.

  • by JustOK (667959) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @05:37AM (#32975272) Journal

    do while NOT there
      print "Are we there yet?"
    loop

  • Totally autonomous cars also mean surrendering control and anonymity. Is the reduction of traffic jams and maybe a reduction of accidents worth being tracked in real time? One might even have to declare how many occupants for the levying of fuel/power consumption taxes. Law-and-order types will demand only legal citizens be allowed on the 'auto' roads (papers, please). Oh, and since you can't have a mix of manual and guided cars sharing the same road, the poor need not bother (to the mud and washboard f
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zerth (26112)

      Oddly enough, this is an issue I'm willing to hand the Feds a glove and say "go for it".

      While I enjoy a good road trip, I consider commuting a complete waste of time and would much rather spend my drive sitting in the passenger seat doing something useful while Robo-Jeeves does the work for me.

      I would feel slightly bad for the elimination of taxi drivers, but robot taxis would actually reduce the impact of car non-ownership on those that can't afford one.

    • by PingSpike (947548)

      Absolutely. Driving makes me seriously consider both suicide and homicide on a daily basis. I could instead play with/give attention to kids, play a game, read a book, catch up on some work, take a nap or many other activities. As it stands now, almost an hour and a half of my life is spend every weekday on a pointless and soul crushing endeavor that offers me neither a financial nor a personal reward.

    • by Kijori (897770)

      I'm no fan of being tracked, but I think it would be worth it. Automatic cars would be an incredible step forward in quality of life: people who commute would suddenly have an hour or two more each day to pursue their interests; parents would be freed from the drudgery of ferrying children to school, sports and hobbies; children would be able to take up more varied activities since they could be assured of transport there and back; and the elderly would be able to get around safely and easily - in our agein

  • I'm fine with this, as long as it respects robots.txt

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.

Working...