1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

AI Controlled Cars, or Your Right to Drive

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by illram, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. TheDuckOfFlanders

    TheDuckOfFlanders the fish collecter

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,247
    Location:
    pond 59
    What makes you believe that they would always be more expensive? In fact there are a number of rational reasons why automated cars could save money and therefore lead to cheaper transport.
     
  2. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    15,651
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    It's more expensive to put an intelligent computer and a bunch of sensors into a car than it is not to do so. You still need most of the mechanisms of a manual car anyway.
     
  3. Loppan Torkel

    Loppan Torkel Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,756
    They could fill the front window with commercials, subsidizing the tech.
     
  4. TheDuckOfFlanders

    TheDuckOfFlanders the fish collecter

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,247
    Location:
    pond 59
    A onboard computer doesn't have to be that expensive, electronics are fairly cheap these days. And you will safe some costs, like the steering wheel, pedals, handbrake, mechanical controls of things like windows, car mirrors become useless, certain lights become unnessecary ...

    Given the cheapness of electronics, i dare to think that you would actually save money by throwing out the manual controls and put electronics instead. mass produced onboard computers would become rather cheap i think, a GPS aint that expensive nowadays neither and include's some of the functionality needed, the battery and electrics are there already too.

    And that is just what regards the cost of the cars, obviously this is not taken into account all the cost savings we could achieve by having automated cars becase of reduced costs with traffic jams, fuel costs, etc.
    Most of the peopel here who are pro automated cars also consider that the yearly transport cost bill would be significantly reduced by it.
     
  5. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Messages:
    49,429
    Location:
    Stamford Bridge
    Bold prediction by some people who claim they know what they're talking about here

     
  6. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    16,593
    Even if sensors themselves become relatively inexpensive, they still aren't free. The middleman capitalists will take their cut. Please also don't forget one of the key components of installing something that requires a high degree of precision to operate properly, maintenance. Sensors are, well, sensitive even at the best of times. They're going to need routine care and repair. Particularly because a malfunction seems to be pretty perilous. Doubly so when ubiquitous enough to mean that there may not be any human competent enough in the car to override. And people don't check thier oil and tires enough now. Either way, that isn't free. So then you look and see if there are cost savings on the product to counterbalance this. Maybe in fuel economy, maybe, but definitely not on the mechanical or maintenance side. This doesn't simplify the vehicle, it makes it more complex. FP is right to be concerned. Particularly about the demographic that both has the highest rates of poverty, the highest need for transportation, the least access to public transportation, and the least compelling needs for a system such as it is being discussed.

    On a tangential concern, of this works properly, it also automates out of work another significant subsection of employment available to the lower middle class. So this is a win for who again? Probably a sure thing for the people that need a win the least, and maybe a lose for those that need one more. But, like Cutlass touched on, there's too much money in it for the rich to not see this come about eventually.
     
  7. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    45,355
    Location:
    US of A

    The price will drop over time, as with all electronics. This isn't something which is going to happen in the next 10 years. In the 20-30 years it would take to make self driving cars that common that manually driven ones may be disposed of, the price will drop immensely.
     
  8. Cheetah

    Cheetah Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,775
    Location:
    the relative oasis of CFC
    In all honesty, I've never really grasped why automatic transmission because some ubiquitous in North America, while Europe continued with manual transmission...

    They're more or less agreeing with my timeline! :D
     
  9. TheDuckOfFlanders

    TheDuckOfFlanders the fish collecter

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,247
    Location:
    pond 59
    [
    Depends to what extend society deems "capitalist" should/could take a cut if any.
    Automatization of transport can be an interresting development i would think from many perspective's irrespective of the "economic system", just like say medicine.

    What about not needing to buy the car even?

    Automated cars might one day be able to drive themselfs. That would allow a lot of people to just use the car when they need it by renting it, the car would drive itself to the person that needs it and transport the person. This might bring about that a lot of people stop buying those cars and instead just rent one.
    Less expensive than a cab, because there's no driver to pay afterall.
    There are many ways in which automated cars could save us money, but as to access one would think this would make cars just far more accesable to the poor rather than vice versa.

    Wether you are pro social darwinism or social justice, when engineers search technical sollutions to technical problems and try to advance technoligy via that way they do not calculate in much of ideoligy.
    Personally, i would gladly see social darwinism, a imho stinky product of capitalist logic, rot in the deepest pits of obsolete hell.
    So no, i am no "capitalist", far from it.

    To explain this in a different way. Maybe, in a distant future, engineers will develop robots that will be able to do whatever we did in the past so much better and more effecient than us, to the point that our labor becomes obsolete.
    Engineers might see a point in having an army of robotic slaves, by Assimov's standards the robots would even slave happily for us.

    But then we might scratch our head over the idea of a society that requires humans to do merriticous service to the productional system to aquire wealth if there is no service that is interresting to be done by humans, and yet it would be rather stupid if we had this army of slaves before us and we told them:

    "sorry, we can't take youre produce, because we have devised a social darwinist model of economic distribution that requies us to work, and you took our jooobs!!! And while you might be our product and we should be god to you, we really must shoot ourself social-darwinisticly in the foot, so robots, you will have to continue on from now ...."

    Personally, i am more interrested in engineering idea's that can provide sollutions for humans by logical standards. Now how humans use that potential, well thats up to society.
    Personally, i'd suggest to use the potential in what i think would be the most humane way to apply it. And i would not like to see technological progress impeded by social issue's.
    It would almost be like saying well we shouldn't try to find a cure for cancer because that would lead to less employement among nurses and only the rich would be able to afford it innitially.
     
  10. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    15,651
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    At a guess, because North American roads tend to be wider and longer than European ones, making a generalised 'drive' setting quite a good idea. On British roads, which even at the best of times require a fair bit of slowing down or stopping, then picking up speed again, then slowing down again, drivers quite like being able to choose when they progress through the gears.
     
  11. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    45,355
    Location:
    US of A
    Automatic transmissions became common in the 1960s, and dominant in the 1970s. Really, at the time the American drivers wanted big and convenient cars, but didn't give a damn about gas mileage. And the cost of the cars, even with the automatic transmissions, was low. So they were very affordable. After a couple decades of that, large segments of the American driver simply no longer knew how to drive manuals, and couldn't be bothered to learn. So the manufacturers cut out the option of manual transmissions from most of the car models. We still don't care as much about fuel economy as European drivers ( and governments), and in any case, the mileage advantages of manuals is mostly gone now.

    In contrast, for most Europeans at the time, cars were less affordable, gas was very much less affordable, and so cars tended to be smaller, lighter, have fewer luxuries, and so the more efficient yet less expensive manual transmission remained more common. And so the European driver is much more more commonly experienced and comfortable with the manuals.
     
  12. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    28,601
    Location:
    London, UK
    All the more reason for automatic cars in Britain :confused: Seriously, I like driving manual - it's hella fun - but there's really no sensible reason why constantly changing gears like that is a benefit. An automatic, clutchless car would suit the UK's stop/start city driving and hilly countryside perfectly.

    Cutlass's "cost" rationale makes more sense as a descriptive explanation.
     
  13. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Messages:
    42,654
    Location:
    Pale Blue Dot youtube=wupToqz1e2g
    This really is a true thing, and on the other hand we have dropping tech prices and the potential for insurance costs to drop. I don't know which way this will go.
     
  14. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    15,651
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    You forget, I think, that drivers feel like they know best when to change gear. They would feel like they could do a better job than the machine, and so drive more efficiently, if the car was automatically changing gears many times in a short period.
     
  15. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    28,601
    Location:
    London, UK
    Fuel costs would also go down.
     
  16. Silurian

    Silurian Warlord

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,567
    Certain types of farming are likely to be one of the first adopters of robot controlled vehicles on public highways. It is also likely to be one of the last industries that will still operate manually operated vehicles.

    When harvesting cereals in an area with good straight roads that are lightly used by the local population a robot controlled truck is likely to be accepted earlier than in a town. So it would be possible to harvest 247 with just a couple of people to carry out maintenance and take over remote control if something unplanned happens.
     
  17. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    16,593
    I don't think you are grasping the demographic I'm concerned about. The rural working poor exist in greater percentages than do the urban poor, there are high rates of rural low line of the middle class too. Doesn't matter if these people live actually in the country, in villages, or in small towns. These are places where that individual is going to probably need to drive for just about any good or service they want, there's no pizza delivery. There are also no cabs. The amount of distance the cab would have to travel to get from wherever it was to the new renter, then to that person's destination, then back, then to wherevertheheck the next customer is isn't particularly feasible due to fuel alone. Especially given the high intermittent demand per person without the huge density of potential customers. The rural working poor own the cars they own not because they are a luxury item, but because they need a vehicle available to them to work, to get food, to get to daycare, etc etc. Which is why it's not unusual to see a rural family with two working members but without a ton of money still owns two vehicles. They need to be able to work on different schedules or be able to travel at the same time. If you add a third worker to that family, you very well might add a third vehicle. Same thing with a 4th.
     
  18. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    33,999
    Location:
    USA #1
    Many Americans can't be bothered with learning how to operate a manual transmission, much less make the effort to use one on a daily basis. They are far too busy doing other things while driving.
     
  19. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    5,602
    Location:
    Canada
    I bet those losers in Europe waste half an hour each day applying their make-up, eating, and texting plans before they get in the car.
     
  20. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    9,429
    I use automatics, and on my way to wearing out my second transmission, but it would seem to me that most would wear out the clutch itself on a manual transmission. We also forget that in America, there is the cruise control and that takes away one's need to even use the gas pedal. Manual people use both feet; and in America, we do not even have to use either. It may not be efficient, but just switching the cruise control will slow down and speed up a car when needed.

    @ distractions driving:

    Once in college I had to leave class and go straight to work and changed my outer clothes and shoes on the way to work driving a manual on a 6 lane highway going 111 kmph.
     

Share This Page