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Transportation Google

Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel 583

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-soviet-google,-car-drives-you dept.
cartechboy writes: "We've already discussed and maybe even come to terms with the fact that autonomous cars are coming. In fact, many automakers including Mercedes-Benz and Tesla have committed to self-driving cars by 2017. Apparently that's not ambitious enough. Google has just unveiled an in-house-designed, self-driving car prototype with no steering wheel or pedals. In fact, it doesn't have any traditional controls, not even a stereo. The as-yet-nameless car is a testbed for Google's vision of the computerized future of transportation. Currently the prototype does little more than programmed parking lot rides at a maximum of 25 mph, but Google plans to build about 100 prototypes, with the first examples receiving manual controls (human-operated). Google then plans to roll out the pilot program in California in the next several years. So the technology is now there, but is there really a market for a car that drives you without your input other than the destination?"

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Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

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  • by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @07:12AM (#47106669)

    Just look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] (look ma no hands)

    While the A380 is capable of autolands on properly equipped runways (which by the way
    takes quite a bit of work by the pilots to set up), this video doesn't show one.

    Final approach and landing are in fact flown in full manual mode. It's Lufthansa policy
    to land manually whenever possible, as to not lose manual flying proficiency.

    Other airlines do have other policies, but I doubt any use autolands routinely -
    as I said, they are more work.

  • by dave420 (699308) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @07:50AM (#47106839)
    Speak for yourself! The public transport in the city in which I live is wonderful, as it frequently is across the country where I live (Germany). You just need to be relatively near to a tram stop (which is the vast, vast majority of people, even those in the styx), and you can get wherever you want quickly, efficiently, and cheap. Great connections to the high-speed rail means you can be anywhere very quickly with minimal fuss, including neighbouring countries. It's awesome to leave your house, walk 20m to the tram stop, take a tram to the train station, then ride at 186mp/h+ to your destination while sat in the diner car drinking awesome beer and eating suspiciously-delicious food. Don't assume all public transport is broken just because your locality can't manage it.
  • by rtoz (2530056) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @07:59AM (#47106889)
    We can watch Short Duration Video of this Google Car here [youtube.com]
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @08:03AM (#47106917)

    I'm afraid your assertion is quite false - about 90% of all landings done daily by large civil aircraft (737 upward) is done by the autoland system, with the only requirement for a manual landing being to retain certification for the pilot.

  • by Chuq (8564) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @08:03AM (#47106919) Homepage Journal

    > "I don't believe..."

    That's not really a counter argument.

  • by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:40AM (#47107763)

    I'm afraid your assertion is quite false - about 90% of all landings done daily by large civil aircraft (737 upward) is done by the autoland system, with the only requirement for a manual landing being to retain certification for the pilot.

    Using ILS, I totally believe. Full autoland, i.e. flare, touchdown, rollout: I'd like to see a very good source.

    Considering that autoland requires that the runway be equipped with ILS CAT III(b), this seems unlikely: China has one FAA approved [faa.gov] CAT III runway, Hong Kong 25R.

    There are none in Singapore, none in Thailand, there's one in Australia (Melbourne 16), three in India (all the same airport though, Delhi).

    Of the 1369 ILS-equipped runways in the US [faa.gov] (Excel warning), just 113 have CAT III (no idea whether those are level a or b).

    Sure, most of them are at the biggest an busiest airports, but considering that an autolanding
    plane severely limits a runway's capacity due to increased spacing requirements, I doubt ATC
    would be too happy to accomodate lots of autolands especially on those.

    They just don't have the timeslots.

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