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Google Transportation Technology

Google Using Self-Driving Car Data To Make Cars Smarter 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the always-turns-off-its-blinker dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "One thing Google has perfected is using massive data sets generated from users to improve user experience. Google's self-driving cars may be subject to the same cycle of improvement, as they have racked up considerable mileage on public roads, and each mile generates data that Google engineers can use to 'teach' vehicle. Meet Pricilla — a Google test driver on the self-driving car project as she does a video walk through of some of the improvements created so far. Some are fairly simplistic, for example: 'The car does move to avoid large obstacles." That said, the car can also detect a bicyclist signaling and stay clear — oddly, even when that cyclist changes his mind and zig zags a little." Google is now testing cars on the city streets of Mountain View.

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Google Using Self-Driving Car Data To Make Cars Smarter

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  • by NewWorldDan (899800) <dan@gen-tracker.com> on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:23PM (#46862601) Homepage Journal

    1. Cop directing traffic
    2. A more complicated construction zone with a badly marked detour
    3. A snow storm

    Things are coming along nicely, but I still imagine these are a decade away. Still, they should be common and affordable by the time I'm ready to plow through a farmer's market.

    • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:35PM (#46862745)
      A snow storm is the big one. Also, rain and dust can be a big problem as well. The thing is, when you R&D these systems in sunny California, silly things like "precipitation" seem to get forgotten. I remember seeing a presentation about the Google street view cars, and how when they deployed them to other regions, they had to institute lens cleaning procedures because they had pretty much forgotten it rains in other places in the world.
      • by PvtVoid (1252388)

        A snow storm is the big one. Also, rain and dust can be a big problem as well. The thing is, when you R&D these systems in sunny California, silly things like "precipitation" seem to get forgotten. I remember seeing a presentation about the Google street view cars, and how when they deployed them to other regions, they had to institute lens cleaning procedures because they had pretty much forgotten it rains in other places in the world.

        The cars use a combination of optical, ultrasonic, and radar sensors [economist.com]. I doubt rain presents too much of a problem. Hell, I imagine they could drive pretty well at night with the headlights off.

        • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:55PM (#46862945)
          I know what they use. I use the same sensors. Rain is a problem. Dust is a problem. Snow is a HUGE problem. Of the sensors on the car, the Velodyne HDL-64E on top is by far the most important, and provides the most critical data used for localization and detecting dynamic objects. With rain in particular laser beams can get refracted or reflected by the raindrops, which incredibly fuck up your distance measurements. The typical solution is to do a lot of filtering (i.e. take the median of two measurements) but this cuts down your effective frame rate, which already isn't that high to begin with.

          Snow pretty much guarantees that "manual operation mode" is going to be a primary interface in autonomous cars for a long time to come, as we wait for not only sensors to get up to speed, but also machine learning in general.
          • Maybe in 5 yrs hyper spectral imaging sensors will be cheap enough to be used in these cars...or perhaps inter-car communications will make up for the degraded sensing. For now, I'd think a solution for 95% of the time would work for most people.

          • I'm perfectly OK with the tradeoff though of having the car drive on sunny days and then have a manual operation mode when a blizzard crops up.

            Or for that matter, I was driving along the interstate yesterday when a Tornado siren went off. Even I wasn't entirely certain what to do, but it's certainly a problem that could be solved with technology. My phone knew that the tornado siren was activated since it received an emergency text message simultaneously. Unlike me, the car would have instantly known wh

            • But since you've been using the automatic function for all the sunny days, you're out of practice driving when the manual operation mode is required. In other words, when you need your driving skills most, you're sorta dumped into the role but out of practice.

              • by MightyYar (622222)

                If that really becomes a problem, we could always make sure the car makes sure you get enough "hours" each year. Then again, we have the technology to measure reaction time at start time and don't do it today. But this isn't a tech problem.

          • by Animats (122034)

            A better LIDAR sensor is needed. Something more like the Advanced Scientific Concepts flash LIDAR. [advancedsc...ncepts.com] Right now, it costs too much (about $100K) but that's because they're hand-made in Santa Barbara for DoD and space applications. It has custom ICs made in volumes of tens. Volume production would bring that way down. You don't get the full circle field of view of the Velodyne, so it may take multiple sensors.

            To deal with rain and snow, you need "first and last" [psu.edu] return data. This is used in air to ground sen

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        To add to this, if the car is good enough to drive itself 99.9% of the time, how well will the driver be able to drive when the car fails and they have to take over. All systems I've seen require the user to be paying attention in case something goes wrong with the computer. When the computer is good enough that you haven't had to do any driving in the past 3 months, how much are you really going to be paying attention when something goes wrong?
        • The autonomous miles driven figure is a bit overblown. They've been testing in the same conditions and using the same methods since the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. At some point whether you've driven 100 million miles or 100 billion miles it doesn't matter when you haven't driven a single mile in the snow.
          • by mysidia (191772)

            At some point whether you've driven 100 million miles or 100 billion miles it doesn't matter when you haven't driven a single mile in the snow.

            I'd still be interested in this car, because it never snows down south around here either. If it does snow, everything shuts down, and nobody dare drive, anyways.

        • I think a fallback behavior of stop safely and pull over before [confusion situation] is well within algorithmic acceptability.

        • by American AC in Paris (230456) on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:07PM (#46863071) Homepage

          When the computer is good enough that you haven't had to do any driving in the past 3 months, how much are you really going to be paying attention when something goes wrong?

          I'd suggest that once this is consumer-ready, the vast majority of "something goes wrong" scenarios where the car doesn't know what to do would fall into one of two categories:

          • "I don't know what to do, therefore I will come to a complete stop (and pull over to the side of the road, assuming I can identify a safe path);" or
          • "If I can't react adequately to this situation, there's very little chance that you, meatsack, would have done even half as well as I can manage right now."

          These things'll never, ever be perfect. They will almost undoubtedly reach a point where they're at least an order of magnitude safer than humans, though. That'll be more than good enough for most people.

          • Please mod parent up! (Had mod points to burn just a couple days ago.)

            How confusing the inputs of a system is to the computer is something that the program should be easily able to figure out, except in cases where the human drivers are hosed as well.

          • They will almost undoubtedly reach a point where they're at least an order of magnitude safer than humans, though.

            Considering how good humans actually are (per vehicle mile traveled), that's actually a pretty tall order.

          • by Kjella (173770)

            Well, it depends on how many problems people avoid before they become traffic problems. For example imagine that ahead of you there is a truck with apparently a poorly secured load, you can see it moving, ropes fraying so you hit the brakes and give yourself a wide gap in case it spills all over the road. That drunk pedestrian who looks like any moment he'll swerve into the road, maybe we should pass him with extra margin. Those kids that just sent a soccer ball across the road, is anyone running to get it

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              You've gotten a lot of shit for this, but I think you're right. Sadly, I don't think most drivers actually can account for most of those situations much better than a self-driving car would today, especially the oncoming truck which is about to convert their solids directly to vapor. But perhaps I'm wrong. I do notice that most drivers are quite oblivious to what's happening around them most of the time. Perhaps this is an area in which the cars will actually surpass us... but not today.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          no worse then the driver is now? Most people most of the time do not handle an emergency situation correctly. They may get lucky and avoid it, but is' seldom the best course of action.

          You might as well ask the same question about anti-lock brakes.

        • by lorinc (2470890)

          I am pretty much waiting for the other way around: when I, as a human, known that I am quite bad at handling the current situation and that the machine will do much better than I'll ever be capable of. In particular, I am thinking of traffic jams where you have to find maximum speed that maintains a smooth global flow, without falling into chaotic start/stop sequences like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

          Most humans typically tend to drive too fast in such situations, leading to an average speed well

      • The summary says that Google is testing cars in Mountain View. According to this website [weatherspark.com], with respect to Mountain View:

        During the cold season, which lasts from November 26 to March 6, there is a 34% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light rain (57% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain), moderate rain (31%), and heavy rain (11%).

        I think it is safe to say that it rains there, as compared to, for example, Disneyland [weatherspark.com] (18% of cold season days have precipitation) or Las Vegas (12% of cold season days have precipitation).

      • Many Infrared frequencies will quite happily go through rain and fog. Not sure about snow but don't assume all wavelengths are affected the same way.

        Anyway its not like a car would try driving anyway with bad data. It would just pull over to the side of the road and say it can't continue, please drive manually.

      • Worst case, it's not hard to make a vehicle pull over and ask a human to drive when the weather gets bad. And we already rely on mechanical windshield wipers for humans to operate cars in weather.
    • by khasim (1285)

      1. Since they can read a cyclist's hand signals that probably isn't much of a problem.

      2. Possibly not on the first attempt. But, ideally, those cars will be sending data back to Google which will then relay the improved instructions to the next cars to attempt it. But hang onto that thought.

      3. Probably better than a human would.

      Anyway, back to #2. I'd be concerned about the number of idiots around construction zones who are NOT using the autonomous cars. The ones that will change lanes without signalling. T

      • by geekoid (135745)

        1) Around here the cyclist only have one hand signal, and its to tel you were YOU should go.

        As for you other points, I look forward to my car sending a video, date, and time of the other vehicle behaving in that manner.

    • Not sure we need it (Score:5, Informative)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:51PM (#46862897) Homepage

      These kinds of problems do need to be addressed, but I'm not sure they need to be *fixed* before you turn this into a product. For the snow-storm example, I don't think the car needs to be able to drive in the snow. It's much more important that the car is capable of detecting "this is a situation in which I can't operate safely," and refusing to try. It should be good enough if the car's AI can say, in effect, "Listen, human, I can't take responsibility for driving in this snow storm. If you're comfortable driving in it, go ahead and take manual control. Otherwise, we're staying right here." On the other hand, I could see an interesting application in providing some kind of intelligent 'driver assist' for bad weather conditions that helped the driver maintain traction.

      Regarding details, I think the ideal would be for most road conditions, detours, and traffic issues to be kept up-to-date on a database that could allow for dynamic routing instead of the car relying completely on markers. It's not a complete solution, but again, it may be enough to pair a large database with some ability for the car to say, "I don't know what to do here, so I'm going to either give back manual control or pull over and wait."

      • by Kjella (173770)

        It should be good enough if the car's AI can say, in effect, "Listen, human, I can't take responsibility for driving in this snow storm. If you're comfortable driving in it, go ahead and take manual control. Otherwise, we're staying right here."

        And if you're in the middle of some remote mountain pass, you haven't driven in ages since it handles regular conditions just fine and and the car just says "nuh uh, I'm not moving another inch" then what? It's not like staying to freeze is a real option, it's basically forcing you to take over at the worst possible time. It might be enough, but my guess not until a huge court case decides it's enough.

        • by timeOday (582209)
          Meh. It's an edge case that won't even arise for years and years, until driving is mostly automated, such that people start to get out of practice. I would guess that by then roads will be instrumented with special reflectors on the signs, or markers embedded in the surface, so all these fancy sensor systems aren't even needed any more.
          • Look at the accident rate in areas where in snows part of the year.

            It appears that people can't remember how to drive in the slick for 6 months. They have to relearn every year.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          maybe the driver needs to be responsible for taking a path he isn't qualified to drive on in the first place?

          Anyways, the car will be tied into the weather and it could let you know whats coming up, so you can turn around and go back.
          Also, when crossing mountain paths, take extra water and blankets.
          I speak form experience. I'm sure my former, and tasty, passenger agrees with me :)

        • I'm not sure there's a great solution. One way or the other, you could possibly run into a fringe case where the vehicle won't operate safely, so there should be a protocol of "what happens when it can't operate safely?"

          It might be that it turns over manual control. Perhaps if you really can't drive, there could be an override that says, "I understand that it's not safe, but I'm overriding the safeguards. I take legal responsibility in case something goes wrong." It would probably be a better answer to

          • by swillden (191260)
            You can also throw in having the car use its Internet access to predict ahead of time when there's a potential for trouble, and ask you to make the decision then. Weather reporting these days is highly accurate when it's only looking a few hours ahead.
            • by jabuzz (182671)

              While I in general agree with you, it can in practice be absolutely abysmal. Take last weekend, throughout the weekend it kept telling me it was going to rain basically all weekend where I live. It did rain heavily on Friday night into the early hours of Saturday. However after that it stopped, the mist/fog lifted by lunchtime on Saturday and it them remained dry for the rest of the weekend.

        • It takes an incredibly narrow minded and anal personality to come up with situations 99% of customers will never encounter and therefor conclude that because 1% might encounter them in a life time, an entire line of products is useless.

          Oh no, a product isn't perfect for everybody! USELESS!

        • by swillden (191260)

          It should be good enough if the car's AI can say, in effect, "Listen, human, I can't take responsibility for driving in this snow storm. If you're comfortable driving in it, go ahead and take manual control. Otherwise, we're staying right here."

          And if you're in the middle of some remote mountain pass, you haven't driven in ages since it handles regular conditions just fine and and the car just says "nuh uh, I'm not moving another inch" then what? It's not like staying to freeze is a real option, it's basically forcing you to take over at the worst possible time.

          That's easy to solve: The car should force you to make that decision earlier. It knows where it's been told to go. It has access to weather forecasts.

          "I'm sorry Dave, but there's a 30% chance of snowfall along that route, and I can't handle driving in a snowstorm. Do you want to chance having to take manual control or should I book you a nearby hotel so you can wait for the weather to clear?"

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        On the other hand, I could see an interesting application in providing some kind of intelligent 'driver assist' for bad weather conditions that helped the driver maintain traction.

        We have that already. It's called yaw control, which also implies traction control. It's mandatory on all passenger cars sold in the US since about 2010, I forget the precise switchover date. Four-wheel ABS and a yaw sensor plus a steering wheel sensor combine to keep the car headed in the direction the driver is requesting by pointing the wheel. Modern ABS can even detect that it's being useless (from accelerometer input) and lock up the brakes for just a moment to build up a pile of snow or sand in front

    • Don't forget...
      4. moron in the road
      5. deer in the road
      6. moronic deer in the road
    • Re #2: People do die from complicated and badly marked construction zones from human error. Happens all the time. So the computer does not have to be 100% to be vastly better than a human. Having the humility to slow down, instead of the human pride that causes us to drive hard forward in the face of uncertainty, will be a huge advantage to the computer program.
  • In the future... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ichijo (607641) on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:23PM (#46862607) Homepage Journal

    ...our children and grandchildren would wonder why we ever allowed humans to operate motor vehicles on public roads.

    • by dlt074 (548126)

      and they will be incapable of doing another simple daily task.

      i love technology, but i shudder to think how bad a collapse will be.

      • Yes, and this is why the preservation of civilization and knowledge are so important.

        The vast majority of people are no longer able to take basic care of themselves without modern society. Or do you know how to grow crops? Because I sure don't, I do however know how to shop at Walmart for food.

        Could I figure it out? Yea, sure... in the time required if food left store shelves? No, not really...

        A bigger issue? We now have too many people to go back to living off the land, so we need civilization, or we

        • So grow a vegetable garden and hunt.

          It's calming, fresh vegetables and game are good and if the shit hits the fan you are steps up the learning curve for feeding yourself.

          It would still suck, hopefully less.

          • That is a nice idea, but there are problems with it and it doesn't solve the core problem.

            I live in a nice suburb, our population density is much lower than many urban areas, but still WAY too high to live in the 19th century.

            We generate a ton of trash, we need a working water and sewer system, and the power needs to be on or we'd all be standing around in the dark and cold (or heat).

            Having a small vegetable garden is nice, but wouldn't feed my family and it doesn't scale up to the size that would. First,

            • If you never _need_ the gardening skills, you're still ahead a bunch of tomatoes you can't buy at any price and kids with a clue.

              Move to a better neighborhood. Horse properties. With a well. You can afford at least a quarter acre backyard if you can afford helicopter time.

    • by tirerim (1108567)
      Hell, I wonder that now. As far as I can tell, the vast majority of drivers only barely escape disaster every time they get behind the wheel, mostly because their frequent lapses are adjusted for by other drivers who happen to be paying attention at that time. If two lapses occur simultaneously, *crash*.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:25PM (#46862621)

    Fucking cyclists are going to have a free lunch with self driving cars.

    Just plain old taking over the streets because they know the computers will give them right of way everytime.

    Google needs to program the cars with some assholery in mind where scaring cyclists is as common as checking for the car's fuel.

    • by PvtVoid (1252388)

      Fucking cyclists are going to have a free lunch with self driving cars.

      Just plain old taking over the streets because they know the computers will give them right of way everytime.

      Which will be completely fucking awesome.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        If grid lock, anger, douch baggery, and killing automated cars is you goal, then sure.
        Otherwise, we will just have the self righteous assholes going 15 MPH in a 25 MPH zone becasue they are too precious to use the bike lane.

        • by Ichijo (607641) on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:49PM (#46862867) Homepage Journal

          What if there's no bike lane, or it's filled with debris, or the bicyclist needs to make a left turn?

          • by geekoid (135745)

            Then it's fine. I wan't talking about those situation. That said, it takes some arragonce to expect everyone to have to be hindered bacause you can't go fast enough.

            Everyday I am behind a bicyclist in the middle of the road, when there is a perfectly clear bike lane.
            Every fucking day .

            Also:
            They Run Stop signs, swerve onto and off of the sidewalk at random, stop.

            And one time I was rear ended by a bike While I was stopped specifically to let them pass me on the right. What did I get for my troubles? the finge

            • by geekoid (135745)

              Sorry for the rant. As a former cyclist these people piss me off.

            • by Ichijo (607641)
              If you were stopped to let a bicyclist pass on the right, it suggests you were about to turn right, and that you hadn't properly merged into the bike lane as you are legally required in the USA outside of Oregon. A safe bicyclist knows that it's unsafe to pass on the right [bicycling.com].
            • Somebody else already pointed out the link, but you should NEVER put yourself in the situation where you are stopped to let a bicycle pass on the right. Even if I'm 100% absolutely positively certain that a driver has seen me and is waiting for me, I will never pass a car on the right in a situation like that unless there is literally no other option (ie I can't slow down and move behind them or to their left). You should have been paying closer attention, and either known that you could safely turn in fron

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            And while those cases do occur, the vast majority of cyclists outside the bike lanes are just asshats who think the rules of the road don't apply to them, or that hand signals are only for beginner cyclists.

          • More or less all bike lanes are filled with debris. Don't ride a 130psi road bike on the street then complain that debris flattens your tires.

          • by mjwx (966435)

            What if there's no bike lane, or it's filled with debris, or the bicyclist needs to make a left turn?

            If a cyclist needs to make a turn across traffic (right hand turn here in Australia) they should be doing a hook turn.

            http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/safety/queensland-road-rules/~/media/Travelandtransport/Cycling/Bike%20user%20guide/Road%20rules%20for%20cyclists/Rules_image_six.ashx [qld.gov.au]

            A cyclist should never try to merge into traffic for their own safety.

            And if you cant ride in the bike lane for any reason or in traffic without obstructing other road users, its time to get off and walk. Unreasonable obstru

            • by Ichijo (607641)

              That hook turn looks very unsafe.

              Is a bicyclist obstructing anyone if cars can change lanes to pass?

              In the USA, if five or more vehicles are formed in line behind a slow moving vehicle, that slow moving vehicle is required to pull over when it is safe and allow traffic to pass.

        • by PvtVoid (1252388) on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:51PM (#46862889)

          If grid lock, anger, douch baggery, and killing automated cars is you goal, then sure. Otherwise, we will just have the self righteous assholes going 15 MPH in a 25 MPH zone becasue they are too precious to use the bike lane.

          And the car will have the simple common sense to wait ten or fifteen seconds until it's safe to go around the cyclist, who will inevitably catch up at the next traffic light anyway. This behavior seems to elude humans.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            We were talking about cyclist intentional hinders the vehicle and ignoring traffic laws becasue they know the car won't hit them.. you know, abusing the system.

    • If Jean Claude can do the splits between two volvos, you can certainly have the computer get your Honda 6 inches from a bike rider, lol.
    • I hear google will program them with a formalized model of aggression which will be required in order to keep up with the flow of manned traffic. :)

    • An extremely loud air horn, such as those used on locomotives, sounded repeatedly, might get the point across to errant cyclists.
    • by mysidia (191772)

      Google needs to program the cars with some assholery in mind where scaring cyclists is as common as checking for the car's fuel.

      Why not just have a system that captures abusive cyclist behavior on video, uses facial/body recognition to identify them, then uploads the video stream to Youtube and submits to law enforcement.

      Make abusive cyclist behavior such as entering the roadway/cutting off a vehicle, an offense where the cyclist gets a ticket in the mail and loses their bicycle privileges.

    • by dasunt (249686)

      Oh as a cyclist, I'm looking forward to self-driving cars.

      Seriously. It's going to be nice. Not because I'm an asshole, but because these things are going to follow the law, which means stuff like 3' passing distance!

  • by PPH (736903)

    It appears that back seat driving is a legitimate profession.

  • by portwojc (201398) on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:28PM (#46862657) Homepage

    Lets see it drive the road to Hana and back. That would be interesting. Bonus points for not getting yelled at.

    • by Animats (122034)

      Solved problem. See 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. [wikipedia.org] Dirt roads with no guardrails, no problem.

  • I guess they couldn't find anything that would make drivers smarter, so designing self-driving cars was the easier choice.

    • Also, when I leave work, I have to drive for 30 minutes, then cook 30 minutes.

      With a driverless car, I'd still have to spend 30 minutes in the car and cook 30 minutes, a total loss of 1 hour.

      If instead, they built me an automatic chef cook, they would save me 30 minutes!

  • Why is every article about driverless cars about Google's cars?

    Car manufacturers, like Mercedes, Audi, VW, are also working on this topic, and are probably even ahead of Google.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Because those companies aren't talking about their RnD?

    • by kqs (1038910)

      Those companies don't want to replace drivers. Drivers buy cars, and if you can't "imagine yourself behind the wheel of this car" then it's harder to sell someone an overpriced hunk of metal just because it is styled a bit differently. Those companies just want to assist drivers (help them park or stay in in their lane), so their videos will be much less impressive.

      Only google seems to want to replace drivers completely.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Why is every article about driverless cars about Google's cars?

      Car manufacturers, like Mercedes, Audi, VW, are also working on this topic, and are probably even ahead of Google.

      Actually, Mercedes and VAG (Audi and VW are the same company) are way behind Google in the automation race.

      Japanese companies like Nissan and Toyota are looking to Google to provide the technology for automated cars (but Japanese auto makers of recent years are extremely risk averse).

  • by zmollusc (763634)

    The comments section is filled with people saying how the computer's senses and reflexes are so much better than a puny human, yet in the video clip, whenever the car is faced with anything except an open empty road, the default behaviour seems to be to slow to a crawl. If the other vehicles were also google cars, it would be interesting to see how they reacted to each other's manouvering.

  • People talk about cars as the next big thing, but in reality, it's trucks. Google 18 wheeler will be able to get on the highway and travel across the country in a couple of days. The big transit points and warehouses are already next to the freeway, just load up Google 18 wheeler, have it take off and two turns later it is on the highway trucking across the country. Just need to make gas stations with attendants that will fill up the trucks gas tanks and check the tires.

    • by eulernet (1132389)

      Trucks are valuable because of their content.
      It won't be easy to avoid robbery, especially if the truck is devised to avoid accidents, since it can be blocked by a single bicycle.

      • Is there an epidemic of truck hijackings? (note that Fast and the Furious is a fictional movie).

        Who is going to steal a truck's load not knowing what's inside it? Even if you knew what was in the truck, how does one go about unloading a locked truck in the middle of the road in less time than it takes for the cops to respond to the automated 911 call?

        • by eulernet (1132389)

          Is there an epidemic of truck hijackings?

          This is because hijacking trucks is a little bit complex when humans drive and protect them.
          You cannot predict what will happen, so it's dangerous.
          With automated trucks, everything is completely predictable.

          Who is going to steal a truck's load not knowing what's inside it?

          Once the truckers' jobs will disappear, do you believe that more jobs will be created by some miracle ?
          This will increase poverty, and poverty encourages stealing (I didn't imply that poverty means stealing), and poor robbers will steal anything that could be sold or consumed.
          So yes, I think it's reasona

        • by Cytotoxic (245301)

          It looks like there are roughly 1,000 trucks hijacked each year in the US, representing some half a billion dollars in stolen goods. I don't know if that counts as an epidemic or not. Google tells me that about 100 people die each year from the drug ecstasy. Slate tells me that 297 people have been killed in school shootings since 1980 - or roughly 10 per year. Those topics are all over CNN. State officials are eager to do something! about them. So a thousand could be a pretty big number.

          The NHTSA see

  • No matter how many failsafes they put into the engineering and algorithms, there will be accidents. Darn fewer of them since the majority are cause by human error, but they will still happen. I want to know what will happen when the self driving car is in an accident. How will it detect it? How will it determine what works and doesn't work? Will it automatically notify the necessary services (fire, police, ambulance)?

  • Smart cars for people with smart phones. How smart is that?
  • One thing Google has perfected is using massive data sets generated from users to improve user experience.

    I have to disagree. Google Search keeps changing the rules and doesn't always respect your query elements.

    For example, you can read about how Google replaced the plus-sign operator with quotation marks: http://www.seochat.com/c/a/goo... [seochat.com]

    But what's worse than that: sometimes Google just plain ignores the quotation marks you put in your query. They're supposed to mean that each search result must contain the search term that you've surrounded with quotes. Nope, lately I've been getting a lot of search results

  • We're all aware that bots are all around us. Anyone with a website has probably more bot-generated traffic than human-generated traffic.
    I wonder what will happen with cars. In 10 years we will not just have the occasional Google car filming the neighbourhood.
    There will probably a whole industry of robot-cars without humans. Designed to look like cars, like a mini-car, but without seats, without stearingwheel and dashboard, etc.
    It will be designed just for the robot. I cannot oversee just for what they will

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