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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:18 pm    Post subject: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

From the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel online. P.S. to Java--just pulling your leg, buddy!

A robot in your garage?
Scientists say driverless cars would save lives

By RICK BARRETT
rbarrett@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 5, 2007
Victorville, Calif. - Car crashes could become a thing of the past, saving thousands of lives a year in the United States alone, if Americans turned their driving over to robots.

That prediction comes from Larry Burns, vice president of research and development at General Motors Corp., a sponsor of the winning vehicle at Saturday's Urban Challenge robot vehicle race in southern California.

The modified Chevy Tahoe was named "Boss" in honor of Charles "Boss" Kettering, legendary GM inventor and founder of the automotive industry's first research organization.

Co-developed with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the robotic Tahoe successfully navigated a 60-mile course in a mock urban setting, all without a driver or remote control.

The robot race, which included an entry from Oshkosh Truck Corp., was a glimpse into the future of driving, according to Burns. He envisions a day when cars and trucks will be electronically controlled, smart and driverless.

"This technology, we believe, will eliminate car crashes . . . and ultimately will save millions of lives worldwide," Burns said.

Scientists are tackling the problem of developing autonomous vehicles through the use of laser scanners, night vision systems, radar, sonar and other sensor technologies.

The goal is to create vehicles that can "think" their way through complex situations without a remote control or even a driver behind the steering wheel.

In other words, relax, enjoy the ride and leave your driving to a computer.

No driver error
A cluster of central processing units will crunch sensor data in microseconds, making driving decisions faster and more reliably than most human drivers.

The computers won't fall asleep behind the wheel on long, tedious road trips. They won't get distracted by cell phone calls, and they won't panic if the road becomes snow covered and slippery.

Night vision? No problem. Heavy traffic? No worries.

"We think the new technologies will allow cars to get through cities much more smoothly," Burns said. "We envision things like virtual valet, where you pull your car up to your office building and the car parks itself."

How soon could all of this happen?

It's hard to say, especially since many Americans won't relish the idea of turning over their car keys to a robot - no matter how competent the machine might be.

There are tremendous legal and societal challenges to having fully automated vehicles on public roads, according to scientists.

The changes are likely to come gradually, Burns said, much as the way Americans came to accept technology advances such as cruise control and anti-lock brakes.

"Twenty years from now, we are going to look back (at this time) and realize it was a turning point in history," Burns said. "Some day you will be able to have breakfast in your car on the way to work, watch a movie, and answer your e-mail" during commuting time.

It's amazing how fast you could get used to a driverless vehicle, said David Barrett, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Olin College and member of the autonomous vehicle team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"It's kind of thrilling the first time you ride in one of these vehicles. But after the third or fourth time, you realize the robot is going to get to your destination just fine, and you go about doing other things like reading the newspaper," Barrett said.

Autonomous vehicles have made cross-country trips, on Interstate highways, without much intervention from the person sitting behind the steering wheel monitoring the vehicle's actions.

"It's not much different than getting on a bus or taking a taxi. You assume it's going to be safe," Barrett said.

To help it drive through the mock city, Boss had 18 sensors and 300,000 lines of computer software that made driving decisions 20 times a second. The robot was able to sense other moving vehicles around it and make decisions based on anticipated actions.

Early adopters of driverless technologies will probably be commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks on long, straight stretches of open highway.

"After a while, there will only be a 'safety officer' in the truck cab for legal and safety reasons. Depending on the highway, the truck could drive itself," Barrett said.

At some point, probably many years from now, steering wheels might disappear from cars all together.

Instead, drivers would get into their vehicles, plug in trip coordinates, and be on their way.

"We think it's possible that cars can be driven without accidents, and that car crashes are truly avoidable," said Karl-Thomas Neumann, board chairman of Continental Motor Systems in Germany.

Some deaths are inevitable if driverless cars malfunction in the worst ways.

"Rather than human error, there will be some errors by the robots," said Eric Schwartz, a machine intelligence laboratory lecturer at the University of Florida.

Schwartz said he doubts that many Americans would be willing to trust computers to make driving decisions for them, at least not at first.

"This is a heck of a bigger change than accepting anti-lock brakes," which also are computer controlled, Schwartz said.

More than 40,000 Americans lose their lives in traffic accidents every year. Robots behind the wheel could reduce that number drastically because they would be better drivers, according to scientists.

"Over the next 10 years or so, cars will get more and more automated. Saving thousands of lives a year is a very good reason to do this," Barrett said.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:33 am    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

....why do they want to take all the fun out of driving.... Sad
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

cpapashley wrote:
....why do they want to take all the fun out of driving.... Sad


Barrett wrote:
More than 40,000 Americans lose their lives in traffic accidents every year. Robots behind the wheel could reduce that number drastically because they would be better drivers, according to scientists.

"Over the next 10 years or so, cars will get more and more automated. Saving thousands of lives a year is a very good reason to do this," Barrett said.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:33 am    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
cpapashley wrote:
....why do they want to take all the fun out of driving.... Sad


Barrett wrote:
More than 40,000 Americans lose their lives in traffic accidents every year. Robots behind the wheel could reduce that number drastically because they would be better drivers, according to scientists.

"Over the next 10 years or so, cars will get more and more automated. Saving thousands of lives a year is a very good reason to do this," Barrett said.


Man that is tragic, my skim through missed that info, made me go looking for this

http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds.htm

some interesting stats...but right up there is the motor vehicle accidents. Safety has been a huge focus over here in Australia especially with Motor Vehicles, I presume it has the same focus over there in US.

Just so I can understand how bad ours is in comparison. Is there a ratio of number of vehicles to deaths for a year or something like that so I can compare??

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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

cpapashley wrote:
Dan wrote:
cpapashley wrote:
....why do they want to take all the fun out of driving.... Sad


Barrett wrote:
More than 40,000 Americans lose their lives in traffic accidents every year. Robots behind the wheel could reduce that number drastically because they would be better drivers, according to scientists.

"Over the next 10 years or so, cars will get more and more automated. Saving thousands of lives a year is a very good reason to do this," Barrett said.


Man that is tragic, my skim through missed that info, made me go looking for this

http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds.htm

some interesting stats...but right up there is the motor vehicle accidents. Safety has been a huge focus over here in Australia especially with Motor Vehicles, I presume it has the same focus over there in US.

Just so I can understand how bad ours is in comparison. Is there a ratio of number of vehicles to deaths for a year or something like that so I can compare??


I believe the most common measuring standard is number of deaths per 100,000,000 miles driven. I odn't have any figures on hand right now, but I'm sure someone could quickly look it up.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
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Madbrad
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

They've had that for 25 years. It's called the Knight Industries Two Thousand.

MPV gone Sad
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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

Madbrad wrote:
They've had that for 25 years. It's called the Knight Industries Two Thousand.





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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

Here is an article about traffic fatality rates in the US and other countries, and how they have changed over time. Some interesting comments and statistics on types of cars (example:
Quote:
3,500 fewer people would die each year if 60 percent to 80 percent of the light trucks — sport utilities, minivans and pickups — on the road were cars or station wagons
).

The US used to have the lowest rate of traffic fatalities, but no longer.

Right around 2001/2002 the US fatality rate per 100,000,000 miles was 1.51. Australia was 1.45 and Canada was even less.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:19 am    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

Some pretty sad statistics there Dan.

I know about ten years ago across the nation there was a big push to put all drivers with company cars through defensive driving courses. Don't know if this has had any impact, but my assessment would be yes. I know that ever since I have taken a different attitude to driving on the roads and around other vehicles.

Also our licensing laws across the nation, now require pretty well all drivers to have 100 hrs of practice driving under supervision before being allowed to try for an open license. Also added to this, pretty well unless a young driver has had a number of hours driving lessons from a driving school instructor they will simply not get there license.

What is the process over there in NA??

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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

cpapashley wrote:
Some pretty sad statistics there Dan.

I know about ten years ago across the nation there was a big push to put all drivers with company cars through defensive driving courses. Don't know if this has had any impact, but my assessment would be yes. I know that ever since I have taken a different attitude to driving on the roads and around other vehicles.

Also our licensing laws across the nation, now require pretty well all drivers to have 100 hrs of practice driving under supervision before being allowed to try for an open license. Also added to this, pretty well unless a young driver has had a number of hours driving lessons from a driving school instructor they will simply not get there license.

What is the process over there in NA??


When you are about twelve years old and mom and dad aren't looking, you lift their car keys and off you go!! Twisted Evil

Actually, this is pretty much governed state by state. Some states have started to restrict new drivers in what they can do, i.e. no driving after dark, or no driving with more than one other kid in the car, things of that nature.

Otherwise, I think it is fairly typical that a new driver needs to have passed a classroom course, and have enough practice behind the wheel (a few hours with an instructor and then more practice with mom and dad) to be able to demonstrate proficiency at a licensing exam. Actually, I don't believe that the behind the wheel instruction needs to be with a certified instructor. It could be solely with mom and dad, but again, that varies by state.

Somewhere I read that part of the higher fatality rate in the U.S. is due to being more tolerant of drunken driving (it is not unusual to read something in the news about someone getting arrested for the 8th or 9th time for intoxicated operation) and less use of safety belts compared to other countries.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

If it runs windows software it'll just keep crashing Wink
Help! I'm Diagonally parked in a parallel universe! '93 MPV Goat transporter(DIED AT 199,985 MILES), '73 Levi edition AMC Gremlin,'88 GMC 1TON (ex-caltrans highway dept.) Pickup. 2001 Gold Honda Odyssey LX (drove it three days and blew up the tranny! And SEVERAL THOUSAND Hot Wheels! Emoticon advocate!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

cpapashley wrote
Quote:
What is the process over there in NA??

Anymore I think they are distributed in CrackerJacks and Capt'n Crunch. At least from my observations!

Help! I'm Diagonally parked in a parallel universe! '93 MPV Goat transporter(DIED AT 199,985 MILES), '73 Levi edition AMC Gremlin,'88 GMC 1TON (ex-caltrans highway dept.) Pickup. 2001 Gold Honda Odyssey LX (drove it three days and blew up the tranny! And SEVERAL THOUSAND Hot Wheels! Emoticon advocate!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

Jackofalltrades wrote:
cpapashley wrote
Quote:
What is the process over there in NA??

Anymore I think they are distributed in CrackerJacks and Capt'n Crunch. At least from my observations!


Hey, a big hello there.

Hope all is well and you are enjoying the new ride... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:48 am    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

I pretty much like the Ody, but like most other vehicles they have their problems too. Had it a year now and the tranny blew up the third day I had it then it was abck to the shop for another 2 weeks while the dealer fixed what he should have done during the dealer certification...EGR recall, front suspension recall, a full set of MATCHING tires and a WHOLE BUNCH of other stuff. It really blew me away that the Ody I bought "certified" from the dealer had so many problems. The Ody club members are a like minded bunch as are the MPV club guys and we like to keep up on the latest and it seems the Honda Odyssey has it's share of major problems too. NTSB is investigating the front coil springs on the 2000 and 2001 odys unexpectedly breaking Shocked . Will keep intouch from time to time. BTW I'll post in off topic why us Yankees drive on the right hand side of the road...something to do with cigars Wink
Help! I'm Diagonally parked in a parallel universe! '93 MPV Goat transporter(DIED AT 199,985 MILES), '73 Levi edition AMC Gremlin,'88 GMC 1TON (ex-caltrans highway dept.) Pickup. 2001 Gold Honda Odyssey LX (drove it three days and blew up the tranny! And SEVERAL THOUSAND Hot Wheels! Emoticon advocate!
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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:15 am    Post subject: Re: Robotic cars--something Java might benefit from ;<) Reply with quote

Jackofalltrades wrote:
I pretty much like the Ody, but like most other vehicles they have their problems too. Had it a year now and the tranny blew up the third day I had it then it was abck to the shop for another 2 weeks while the dealer fixed what he should have done during the dealer certification...EGR recall, front suspension recall, a full set of MATCHING tires and a WHOLE BUNCH of other stuff. It really blew me away that the Ody I bought "certified" from the dealer had so many problems. The Ody club members are a like minded bunch as are the MPV club guys and we like to keep up on the latest and it seems the Honda Odyssey has it's share of major problems too. NTSB is investigating the front coil springs on the 2000 and 2001 odys unexpectedly breaking Shocked . Will keep intouch from time to time. BTW I'll post in off topic why us Yankees drive on the right hand side of the road...something to do with cigars Wink


Just great to hear from you, and that all is going well.

will find that post later today...

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