Self Driving Cars on 60 minutes


#1

60 minutes did a segment today on self driving cars. Several companies are working on it. I was impressed at the level they reached. Some of the technology has already been introduced - “Collision avoidance” and “Self parallel parking cars”. Other technology will be introduced next year…“Driving city traffic mode” and “Highway cruising”.

What really struck me though was that the companies said they would take full responsibility and liability if an accident happened that was caused by the self driving vehicle.


#2

I saw part if that. I guess I’m just not ready to give up the hands on at this point although it would be nice sometimes going cross country.


#3
I saw part if that. I guess I'm just not ready to give up the hands on at this point although it would be nice sometimes going cross country.

Neither am I…but my son is. I might be more inclined after the technology has been around for a couple of decades…but by then I’ll be retired and old…and would actually welcome it.

I do think that some people in their 70’s and OLDER would appreciate it. Especially after loosing their license because of their inability to drive. I have an uncle who lost his license at 70 because of vision…yet he was in very good health otherwise.


#4

I am in the camp that would rather steer myself, not sure about my kids though. Just finished watching it and they are working hard on navigating tight traffic in the cities. I wonder how much would the cars cost though. If it is like Tesla’s savings, my kids better save for driver’s ed.


#5

With all the info they gather while driving, any crash will be extremely well documented. Hard for the other driver to lie about what happened.


#6

“I do think that some people in their 70’s and OLDER would appreciate it.”

If it can be perfected, it would be an absolute boon to older folks who are no longer able to drive or who simply don’t wish to drive.

If the technology ever gets to the point where a back-up driver isn’t even necessary, I can see myself putting my dog into the car, and programming the car to drive him to the Vet’s office for his check-up. Then, after their work is done, the Vet’s staff could push the “go home” button to return the car and my dog to my house.

Yes, this sounds fantastical, but then again, so did much of the stuff contained in these predictions for life in the year 2000, which were penned over 100 years ago:

http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/france-in-the-year-2000-1899-1910/


#7

Years ago in the early days of passenger air travel, I wonder what percentage of the public had similar fears about traveling by air.


#8
Yes, this sounds fantastical, but then again, so did much of the stuff contained in these predictions for life in the year 2000, which were penned over 100 years ago:

The difference is…this is actually happening. There are several prototypes from several different companies already on the road. It isn’t some wild prediction about a technology that doesn’t exist.


#9
Years ago in the early days of passenger air travel, I wonder what percentage of the public had similar fears about traveling by air

People still do.


#10

“The difference is…this is actually happening. There are several prototypes from several different companies already on the road. It isn’t some wild prediction about a technology that doesn’t exist.”

What I was referring to was the future prospect of self-driving cars that don’t require the presence of a driver for back-up purposes in case the car’s electronics become “confused”.
I am well aware of what exists right now, but all of the cars they portrayed on 60 Minutes seem to need a driver to be present…just in case.

I am talking about the day-which WILL come–when no back-up driver is needed.


#11
What I was referring to was the future prospect of self-driving cars that don't require the presence of a driver for back-up purposes in case the car's electronics become "confused".

Those vehicles exist NOW. They are not allowed on public roads yet…but Google and Mercedes has them NOW. They were even showing them sitting in the Mercedes car and swiveled their seats around facing the back to talk. There were no controls for anyone to take over the vehicle.


#12

“Those vehicles exist NOW. They are not allowed on public roads yet…”

Correct!
That is why I referred to this idea as a future prospect.
When they are allowed on public roads, then they won’t be a future prospect.


#13

I read a business forecast that said that in 25 years …most people will not own cars…There will be fleets of self-driving taxis on every street . You will simply step into one/ swipe your credit card and punch the address you want to go to. This will be cheaper transportation than owning an auto.
It is estimated that once all cars are self-driving, 90% of all accidents will be avoided since human error caused them. Yes, computers are not perfect but vastly more accurate than humans …and they don’t do drugs or drink.
In fact, there may come a time (2065?) when it may be illegal for an human to drive a car on public streets.


#14

“You will simply step into one/ swipe your credit card and punch the address you want to go to.”

I bet credit cards would be long gone by then, it’ll all be handled by whatever an ‘app’ is 25 years from now. Kind of like Uber without the driver.


#15

You can already buy things at a store with an app on your phone. Iphone has their own app. And there’s apps like Level-Up.

I read a business forecast that said that in 25 years ...most people will not own cars...There will be fleets of self-driving taxis on every street .

That’ll work for the cities…but not rural areas. Today there’s a highway intersection in MA (I93 and I95 aka 128). It’s a clover-leaf…and it sees over 75k cars each morning and evening. That’s a lot of taxis if what you’re saying is true. I also suspect that if you drive a lot, then owning your own vehicle would be a lot cheaper then a taxi. Taxi’s in Boston right now is $2.80 per mile. I know a guy that was stuck in TN on 9/11 and had to get back to Boston. All bus seats were sold out…so he took a cab at a cost of well over $1000.


#16

These self driving cars rely on GPS so one issue I see is when the GPS gets lost. That has led to a few tragedies.

Overall though, I’m glad the technology is being developed as I am approaching that age where I might need it.


#17

“These self driving cars rely on GPS so one issue I see is when the GPS gets lost. That has led to a few tragedies.”

Even w/o tragedies, GPS can be…very frustrating.
A few months ago, I wanted to attend an event at a county park in a neighboring county. My in-car GPS did not recognize the name of the park. So, I decided to use Google Maps on my new Smartphone to guide me to that park.

Somewhat prematurely (I thought), it announced that I had arrived at my destination, even though there were no signs indicating a park entrance. Thinking that this was…curious…I decided to drive on for a bit, turn around, and see what message the GPS gave me on the reverse go-around.

At more or less the same spot, it again announced that I “had arrived”. Seeing an unmarked gravel road I decided to turn down that road, even though I was skeptical. At the end of the gravel road was…a cemetery. Nothing else, and no county park anywhere in sight!

A few days later, I managed to locate the park on an online map, and it turned out to be in a different town (albeit in the same county), at least 10 miles from where Google Maps had directed me in error.

Go figure!


#18

I think the GPS gets confused if the software is not kept up to date. That’s what Garmin says, and. Is why I update the software once a year on my most recent GPS. If any of you have an older unit and it m ales errors, it might be time to retire it before it drives you off a cliff.


#19

^I thought the GPS existed for the needs of the US military, civilian users were just “lucky bystanders,” and that the gov’t can and will shut down GPS as it sees fit.


Safety-oriented things should be “robust,” and piggy-backing on somebody else’s signal seems anything but!


#20

Been using my Iphone for GPS functions for about 5 years now…never had an issue. GPS is getting better.

The way people use GPS these days…it wouldn’t matter if you’re in a self driving vehicle or not…GPS goes down…they’re lost. I suspect there’s some safety mode if that happens. It depends on GPS for general direction…but other sensors for the second to second driving.