Driverless Cars Became a Reality in 2017 And We Hardly Notice It

Although most of us think driverless cars belong to the future, they are already here, on public streets of Phoenix. 

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still a long way to go. I has to be covered by adequate infrastructure and regulations

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That may turn out to be a question for regulators, and the answer may depend on how well the first Level 4 vehicles perform in ride-hailing service. If they have a lot of problems, it'll take longer. 

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More importantly, how many people will want the technology on their privately owned vehicles, and how much will they be willing to pay for it? I am sure it is not cheap

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was thinking just now, how did they solve the issue of snow with driverless car? I tried to find info on it but google is no help

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I mean, they're 'here', but they're not 'here'--yet. It's going to take quite a while to be able to actually 'drive' a driverless car on American streets without major restrictions. I think it's an obvious eventuality, but it's going to be a complicated one in terms of transition. 

Enjoyed reading this journalist's description of 'driving' the Waymo ...

My ride in Waymo’s fully driverless minivan lasted all of 15 minutes, took place on a closed-to-the-public decommissioned Air Force base in Central California, and only encountered Waymo employees disguised as drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians along the road. Not exactly a recipe for fireworks. And yet it was the most thrilling 15 minutes in a car I had probably ever experienced in my 37 years on this planet. My fellow passengers included another reporter and a Waymo employee named Diondra, who was unflappable throughout. I managed to conceal most of my giddiness beneath a layer of journalistic cynicism, but when the car expertly threaded a complicated intersection, my veneer slipped slightly and I think I said “wee!” 

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3 minutes ago, JohnAtronis said:

was thinking just now, how did they solve the issue of snow with driverless car? I tried to find info on it but google is no help

If the car can detect ice-slicked roads through its sensor suite, or through vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, it can activate the proper electronic systems that are already on vehicles to react.

Reaction, in some ways, is the simple part. Autonomous technology developers know how to make a car drive itself. It’s making the car see through visual noise such as snow or buildup on the sensor that is challenging. Even if driving on snowy or icy roads is solved, I would still rather drive it myself

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7 minutes ago, JohnAtronis said:

was thinking just now, how did they solve the issue of snow with driverless car? I tried to find info on it but google is no help

I believe some company from Finland developed first fully autonomous car to handle snow-bound streets. Finland, makes sense

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Most self-driving cars rely on Lidar—that’s Light Detection & Ranging, which uses light from a pulsed laser to measure distances between objects—but it doesn’t work well in whiteout conditions. 

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Researchers at the Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre are tackling that problem head-on with Martti, an autonomous vehicle specifically programmed to safely navigate public roads blanketed in snow. Built on a Volkswagen Touareg, it’s equipped with a variety of antennas, sensors, cameras, and laser scanners.

VTT is hardly the first self-driving company to experiment with snowy conditions, but it certainly has a head start on their competition, as Waymo and Yandex just began their adverse weather tests a couple months ago.

The team is planning to upgrade the optical components and increase the resolution of the radar. Early next year, Martti will also be able to communicate with existing transport infrastructure via communication modules.

 

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(edited)

Unrelated to this: if you don't like e electric cars but still care for environment, then there's a a story making the rounds that'll support your worldview. It claims that the production of Tesla battery produces carbon emissions equivalent to driving an internal-combustion vehicle for eight years—8.2, to be precise.

Edited by Stephen
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10 hours ago, Joanna said:

If the car can detect ice-slicked roads through its sensor suite, or through vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, it can activate the proper electronic systems that are already on vehicles to react.

Reaction, in some ways, is the simple part. Autonomous technology developers know how to make a car drive itself. It’s making the car see through visual noise such as snow or buildup on the sensor that is challenging. Even if driving on snowy or icy roads is solved, I would still rather drive it myself

I'd pay good money to see a driverless car that can navigate my driveway in December.

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Just now, Rodent said:

I'd pay good money to see a driverless car that can navigate my driveway in December.

pie... sky... or something like that comes to mind. driverless cars will be an epic fail in most markets. 

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I wonder how the insurance for those cars will work

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That's a tricky question. Auto industry of course thinks that driverless cars reduce the number of collisions so there should be a reduction in the risk premium. And that would hit insurance industry really hard. 

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But questions regarding liability depends on what level of driverless cars we are talking about. If it is a car that drives without any human intervention, than the manufacturer should be the one completely responsible because  driver is not doing anything. 

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Volvo has accepted to take a fully liability if its self-driving car gets in a crash.  Is a confident in their products on nonsense because they believe in the reliability of their vehicles? 

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Tesla already had an accident with Model S which failed to brake. And this company had a really stupid explanation about that accident. Unfortunately driver died. But NHTSA determined that Tesla Autopilot wasn't at fault because the driver had enough time to brake. 

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Major problem with self-driving cars is a lack of infrastructure and shortage of charging bays. British call it "very challenging" what is actually a second name for impossible. 

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