HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Transportation

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #41  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2014, 7:30 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
De-Pave Paradise: Driverless Cars Will Kill the Parking Lot
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/de-...he-parking-lot

Quote:
So there'll be fewer cars, but those that remain will be in use more often—might as well kill the parking lot, then. Some experts estimate that today's cars spend roughly 95 percent of their time in parking spaces, and up to 30 percent of all car traffic in city centers is due to cars looking for parking spots. In fact, cars are parked over 90 percent of the time even when people are generally awake. With no need to store them, that city-center traffic goes away, as do parking lots and garages that are taking up valuable downtown space.

[...]

Driverless cars, Molly Cohen, a contributor to Harvard Law School's City Law blog wrote last year, "Could revolutionize the look and feel of urban spaces, as all the land devoted to parking lots could be transformed into other uses. (Some cities have as much as 1/3 of their useable land mass dedicated to parking, and a parking spot can cost up to $5,000 to build.)," she wrote. "Imagine parks and playing fields outside of big box stores rather than a sea of parking spaces. Zoning codes would have to adapt and eliminate their extensive parking requirements."
So we can generally agree that while areas of sprawl will only sprawl more, dense urban areas will become more dense.
The interesting part of this is that the dense urban cores will not become more dense overnight. There will be a process of converting parking areas into more useful urban settings...
Does this mean that density will come in the form of more buildings and offices, or will it come in the form of more parks and green space? This seems like a perfect opportunity to completely transform downtowns from urban concrete jungles to something more... what's the word... sustainable? Green? Environmental? Karma?
The question I have is how will we seize this opportunity, and not let all the newly available ex-parking lots go to waste?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #42  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2014, 7:33 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973

http://www.technologytell.com/in-car...-driving-cars/

Sorry Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #43  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2014, 7:45 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
Are driverless cars only a generation away?
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbani...neration-away/

Quote:
A lot of the discussion on driverless cars focuses on the considerable problems of implementation, particularly the transition period during which human-controlled vehicles are likely to share road space with machine-controlled vehicles. This could take decades so there’re bound to be serious problems. Some of them will be technical but most will be political. What would the reaction be, for example, the first time an autonomous vehicle collides with a pedestrian?

I think there’s a parallel here with the introduction of cars at the end of the nineteenth century. Back then it wasn’t obvious cars would succeed on the scale they ultimately did. They were expensive to buy and operate for all other than the extremely rich. There was limited supporting infrastructure such as fuel stations and all-weather roads. The vehicles themselves were mechanically unreliable, difficult to control and operate, and unsafe for occupants. They were seen as a serious threat to pedestrians and horses as they were capable of what must’ve seemed incomprehensible speeds.

Moreover, there was active opposition to cars. As Aaron Wiener notes in the Washington City Paper:

….in the early days of the automobile, when the technology itself was being questioned and few rules existed to govern traffic and parking, there really was a war on cars. Driving could get you arrested in some places, whacked with stones in others, and actually shot by gun-wielding police in at least one. This wasn’t a philosophical debate over parking or bike lanes. It was a real, knock-down, drag-out battle.

I don’t think autonomous cars will provide the same quantum leap in mobility and productivity that cars and trucks offered back in the early twentieth century, but it seems likely they’ll nevertheless offer a compelling, even irresistible, proposition.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #44  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2014, 7:54 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizened Variations View Post
I wonder about the time when there are both autonomous and human controlled cars on the road.

Let's say an autonomously controlled car and a human driven car have a collision.


1) Is the rider of the autonomously driven car responsible for unforeseen bugs in the car algorithms?

Or in a differing vein:

2) What effects on human resumption of control would major electronic flux do to autonomously driven cars? What would the legal liabilities to, say Google, be? Would the definition of "Acts of God" have to expand?

There are others.

The legal murkiness seems to be a big reason as to why there aren't already more features of autonomy (such as steering cruise control) already available in the current generation of automobiles.
Somewhere on page 1 of this thread, I included an article where Google argues that if a Google-powered autonomous car gets in an accident, then Google should be the one to pay - i.e. Google wants to take responsibility for their own crashes. They seem to be getting their way with the forming laws in California, and it is generally accepted that other states will base their autonomous cars laws off of California's.

A few things dealing with legalities and liabilities:

Autonomous cars could have “black boxes”
http://www.inautonews.com/autonomous...s#.U6kkXpRdWSo
Quote:
The German customers are increasingly worried about outside or inside surveillance, but the plan to install devices that would keep track of what self-driving cars do could actually be key to the implementation of the technology. Besides that, the plan makes for a restrictive flow of data, which could also aid the carmakers fend off technology companies – such as Google – from entering the segment.
Driverless tech: First comes carriage ... then the law
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...e-then-the-law
Quote:
Analysts aren't in even full agreement on the present legality of driverless systems. Some say the law's lack of wording makes the systems tacitly legal, much as some new recreational drugs are legal until lawmakers or regulators say otherwise. For testing purposes, manufacturers already have special plates that should cover them.
[...]
Even basic terminology of autonomous vehicles isn't agreed upon. "Driverless" and "autonomous" are the more widely used terms. Many developers and manufacturers who would put these systems on the road prefer "automated," raising the possibility that the phrase "automated automobile" could be used in all seriousness — not an encouraging sign for anyone looking to clarify the law.
Muddying things further are the many gradations of automated vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and SAE International have applied levels to these gradations to bring some definition to the subject. Lower levels have the least amount of automation — features like adaptive cruise control — while the highest level means a person doesn't have to be in the car to "drive" it.
It's at these higher levels where the most society-changing effects would be — in safety, use of time, land use — and also where the biggest legal questions arise.
"Everything will have to be redone in the context of this technology," said David Cole, former longtime chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor and now chairman of AutoHarvest Foundation in Detroit.
And so on and on.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #45  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2014, 6:19 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
Elon Musk on his forthcoming 'autopilot' feature, and on Google's autonomous car:


Stuff meets Elon Musk
http://www.stuff.tv/tesla/stuff-meets-elon-musk/feature

Quote:
Telsa plans to follow the Model S with something more affordable. The next car after the Model X will be “mass-market”: “we’re aiming for 20% smaller and half the price, and it’ll be coming to market in about two and a half years.” And it'll be self-driving, too, using Tesla’s AutoPilot technology. “Autonomous driving will get rolled out into cars quite rapidly, in the next year or so. We want to get to the point where you can go from highway on-ramp to highway off-ramp completely autonomously, without touching any controls, in the next 12 months.”

So what does he make of Google’s self-driving, er, ‘car’?

“It’s not the most attractive thing. I haven’t seen it in person, but it’s only going to go 25mph, and it has two feet of foam bumper on the front. I’m not sure if it’s sending quite the right message. I hope they put an ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button on the dash, which you can press and it’ll just go somewhere.” Tesla’s self-driving auto, he reassures us, is “not going to be some weird-looking thing. It’s going to be the car that you see now. The radar will be hidden inside the bumpers - the bumpers are plastic, so the radar can see through it - and the cameras are packaged into quite a small space, where the mirror is. If you look for them, you’ll be able to find them, but otherwise you won’t notice it.”
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #46  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2014, 7:25 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
Why design a self-driving vehicle from the ground up?

Video Link
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #47  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2014, 7:41 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
One of the more interesting articles I have read on the subject in a long while:

Google, Detroit diverge on road map for self-driving cars
http://articles.economictimes.indiat...utonomous-cars

Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO/DETROIT: In 2012, a small team of Google Inc engineers and business staffers met with several of the world's largest car makers, to discuss partnerships to build self-driving cars.

In one meeting, both sides were enthusiastic about the futuristic technology, yet it soon became clear that they would not be working together. The Internet search company and the automaker disagreed on almost every point, from car capabilities and time needed to get it to market to extent of collaboration.

It was as if the two were "talking a different language," recalls one person who was present.

As Google expands beyond Web search and seeks a foothold in the automotive market, the company's eagerness has begun to reek of arrogance to some in Detroit, who see danger as well as promise in Silicon Valley.

For now Google is moving forward on its own, building prototypes of fully autonomous vehicles that reject car makers' plans to gradually enhance existing cars with self-driving features. But Google's hopes of making autonomous cars a reality may eventually require working with Detroit, even the California company acknowledges. The alternative is to spend potentially billions of dollars to try to break into a century-old industry in which it has no experience.

"The auto companies are watching Google closely and trying to understand what its intentions and ambitions are," said one person familiar with the auto industry, who asked to remain anonymous because of sensitive business relationships.

"Automakers are not sure if Google is their friend or their enemy, but they have a sneaking suspicion that whatever Google's going to do is going to cause upheaval in the industry."

NO STEERING WHEEL

Analysts estimate Google has invested tens of millions of dollars in an effort that's ultimately a side project. But car companies, all too familiar with the devastating financial and brand damage of recalls, would see any hiccups with the self-driving car as a threat to their main business.

Nowhere is the disconnect more evident than in Google's latest prototype. Two people sit abreast in the tiny pod-shaped car, which has a flexible windshield for safety and is topped by a spinning cone that helps navigation.

The electric vehicles, unveiled in May, are limited to a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and do away with several decades-long constants in motoring: the steering wheel, brake pedal and accelerator pedal.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has described self-driving cars as an on-demand service that consumers summon when needed. That would represent a seismic shift from a longstanding model based on individual ownership, an annual $375 billion U.S. market according to J.D. Power.

Moreover, a study by consulting firm KPMG last year found that American consumers would trust brands like Google and Apple more for self-driving cars than they would automakers.

General Motors' global product development chief Mark Reuss recently said Google could become a "very serious competitive threat."

EVOLUTION VERSUS REVOLUTION

Chris Urmson, director of Google's self-driving car group, would not discuss any negotiations with automakers but argues that self-driving cars will benefit car companies and consumers by expanding the number of car users.

"I'm confident that when there is technology that makes sense, and when there is a business model that makes sense, that there will be interest and partnerships" with car makers, Urmson told Reuters in an interview.

Self-driving cars can free people to do more of the things that earn Google money, such as Web search. But Urmson said Google is still figuring out how to make a profit from the technology.

"I would imagine that this is probably different than just making more time for people to click on web sites," he said.

Car makers such as GM, Mercedes and Volvo have been developing their own autonomous vehicle technology for years.

But most favor an incremental approach to self-driving cars, in which features such as lane centering and parking assistance are gradually integrated into vehicles. Car makers are also hesitant to invest in new features until they are certain there is enough demand to pay for them.

That approach and car makers' long development process are at odds with Google's ambition to create a fully autonomous car in one swoop. The Internet company seemed to have little patience for Detroit, according to people involved in the 2012 talks with automakers.

"There was a certain amount of arrogance on the Google side, in the sense of 'We know what we're doing, you just help us,'" said a second person, representing a major car maker, who was involved in discussions with Google.

"We'd say, 'Well you don't really know that much. And we're not going to put our name on a project like that because if something goes wrong, we have a lot more to lose.'"

Another potential sticking point is maps developed by Google and essential for its robo-cars to operate, says Sven Strohband, a robotics expert who worked at Volkswagen until 2006 and was not involved in the discussions. That data, compiled by Google, can be extraordinarily detailed, down to the height of curbs or location of signs.

"The question is who owns the data," he said. "You need to have frequent map updates and your car can only go where you have really accurate map data."

Without a driver to blame when accidents happen, the vehicles could bring greater liability for car makers.

Google's assurances to one car maker that it would take responsibility for accidents due to its technology, and that the data collected by the cars makes it easy to pinpoint fault, was dismissed, according to the first person involved in the 2012 discussions.

"I just couldn't believe my ears and was like 'Wow you live in a bubble,'" the person said. "Car makers never get to decide who is at fault. It's the lawyers, the judge and the jury."

STARTING SMALL

Whether Google opts to license its technology or seeks to build cars to its specifications, Google will need Detroit for the last mile, say industry experts and insiders.

Google has made headway in less sensitive areas such as entertainment and navigation. In January, Google teamed up with GM, Audi, Honda and Hyundai to form the Open Automotive Alliance to incorporate its Android operating system, the software for mobile phones and tablets, into cars.

And it has taken steps to understand regulations better, hiring Ron Medford, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's former Deputy Director, in November 2012.

"My view on this is both parties probably need each other," said Strohband, now Chief Technology Officer at venture capital firm Khosla Ventures.

A source at one automaker said the company talks to Google on a weekly basis about auto matters, though they have not partnered on self-driving cars.

Some in the industry predict fully automated cars will be available as soon as 2020, though research firm IHS Automotive does not expect the cars to be widely available until 2035. For now, Google is starting small with 100 to 200 prototype cars. It wouldn't identify manufacturing partners, though industry reports pinpoint Michigan-based Roush Enterprises, which assembles small volumes of custom vehicles such as race cars. Roush declined comment.

To build anything more than a couple thousand cars would likely require an automaker partner. Industry insiders point to critical systems such as steering and suspension, the intricacies of working with hundreds of suppliers and high-volume production at consistent levels of reliability as skills that cannot be learned overnight.

While Tesla Motors offers an example of an outsider breaking into the business, the electric car maker has benefited from a hefty government loan and from having access to the shuttered GM-Toyota NUMMI car manufacturing plant in Fremont, California.

The cost to launch a new car model, including costs of developing and tooling, is generally $1 billion to $1.5 billion. For a company starting from scratch, such as Google, that cost would likely be higher, say auto industry experts.

Some industry observers have suggested that Google should pair up with Tesla, which is also developing self-driving technology and which shares Google's Silicon Valley mindset. With roughly $60 billion in cash, Google could also acquire a smaller auto company, some speculate, though they note that such a move would involve more ongoing costs, liabilities and cultural challenges then Google may be willing to accept.

"Google is the 800-pound gorilla in the room and nobody wants to miss the boat," said Edwin Olson, assistant professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, who works with Ford on an automated vehicle project. "But at the same time I don't think automakers want Google to be dictating terms if the time comes and Google is the only game in town."

I think at this point it is getting easier to see that autonomous cars will function like personal computers, in that the hardware is made by a company that usually makes less money than the separate software company. Google is set to become the software company, and it wants car manufacturers to become their 'hardware' providers. And, like PC's, the software is where all the money is at.

Last edited by Hatman; Jul 3, 2014 at 8:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #48  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 8:20 PM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
Even if you don't read anything else previously posted on this thread, please read this:

Autonomous Vehicles: A Powerful Tool if You Can Get the Problem Right
BY PETER NORTON - ROBOHUB | JULY 1, 2014

http://www.futurestructure.com/Auton...lem-Right.html



Quote:
“When the American people, through their Congress, voted for a twenty-six-billion-dollar highway program, the most charitable thing to assume is that they hadn’t the faintest notion of what they were doing.” So warned Lewis Mumford in 1958, two years after the inauguration of the U.S. Interstate Highway system. “Within the next fifteen years,” Mumford added, “they will surely find out.” The following decades indeed proved Mumford right.

As the “preposterously unbalanced program” pursued the utopian mirage of a city in which anyone could drive anywhere, anytime, and park at the destination, it destroyed much of the urban America it was meant to serve. Since the 1930s, as state highways funded by gasoline taxes entered cities, packed surface parking lots and parking garages erased much of America’s urban space. The urban interstates accelerated the trend. At their worst, they were “pyramid building with a vengeance: a tomb of concrete roads and ramps covering the dead corpse of a city.” If the consequences were not always so bad, it’s because local residents stopped some of the most destructive projects, and because some resourceful communities pursued alternative futures.

Autonomous vehicles can correct for these excesses—or exacerbate them. Getting this right will demand recovering a history we’ve lost, and escaping a history written for us by those with a stake in it.

Solving the Wrong Problem

Such destructive extravagance was sold as the rational product of applied science. It was indeed substantially rational in its methods, many of which were so routinized as to be almost automatic in their application: traffic demand measurements, level of service grades, and functional classification systematized highway engineering processes. But routinized programs can only implement solutions to the problems humans define.

Ludwik Fleck, the Polish scientist and philosopher of science, explained that “the formulation of a problem already contains half its solution.” If we misstate the problem, we may preclude the best solution. The more effectively and the more zealously we solve the wrong problem, the worse the result. When bleeding and purging patients didn’t work, eighteenth-century doctors bled and purged them more—to the detriment of their patients. They got the problem wrong. To them, the problem was “how do we cleanse the blood and restore balance to the humors?” The destruction of American cities to accommodate automobiles, the urban sprawl surrounding these cities, and the loss of alternatives to driving were not the wrong solution. They were the right solution to the wrong problem. Autonomous vehicles can treat these symptoms or exacerbate them, depending upon how we formulate the problem.

In autonomous vehicles and other intelligent transportation systems, we may have a solution so powerful that we fail to pause and ask what problem such systems are best suited to solving. We may fail to ask whether the problem formulation we inherited is the right one. We may justify an emphasis on autonomous cars out of a misreading of history that tells us that we must begin with the assumption that Americans prefer to drive. Above all the neglect of history—or what is much the same, the uncritical acceptance of agenda-driven histories others have packaged for us—may deprive us of hard-earned experience. Experience is the parent of judgment. How strange, then, that so often we find innovators contending that innovation negates the validity of experience: “this changes everything.” Our solutions may be new but the problems of society—the problems of living well together—ultimately are not.

The problem formulations we inherit are the products of history. Born in the 1930s, accelerating to a crescendo in 1956, and persisting ever since, the dominant American surface transportation problem has in effect been: How can motorists be permitted to drive wherever and whenever they want, and to park at their destinations, with minimal delay and with reasonable safety? In rural America this problem formulation was not unreasonable. In cities, however, it began as a revolution against older formulations that were antagonistic to automobiles. Because the private motor vehicle’s spatial demands made it incompatible with density, the new formulation had profound implications for cities.

Autonomous vehicles will be a powerful tool. But they cannot tell us what purpose they will serve. The time to ask is now, before autonomous vehicles become common.

If we retain the problem formulation of the mid twentieth century, autonomous cars will offer us a better solution to the wrong problem. Each car will safely travel faster, require less lane space (width and length), require less fuel, make better use of existing road and parking capacity, and demand much less attention from the driver. If total driving (vehicle miles of travel—VMT—per person) remained constant, the achievement would be spectacular. But under the prevailing problem formation, per person VMT would not remain constant.

If engineers continue to seek to accommodate all of motorists’ demands, and if they accommodate such demands much more efficiently, each car may make much more efficient use of road and parking capacity, but total demands may rise so much that even more space will be needed for road surface and for parking. In the fully autonomous vehicle, as the driver need pay little or no attention to driving, driving time may become work or play time—in effect negating the time cost of travel. Autonomous cars might also safely travel much faster. Such changes might turn the 50-mile commute of today into the 100-mile commute of tomorrow. Today, people trying to travel by other modes—such as walking or bicycling—must contend with urban sprawl governed drivers’ perceptions of distance. How will they reckon with distances that have doubled again? Presumably many of them too will resort to driving. However reluctantly they turn to it, their decision will be taken as a vote for driving. Finally, as the skill demands of driving fall we’ll have more drivers. Such trends would mean that we would continue to rebuild the world for drivers, instead of asking what world we want to live in and conforming driving to it.

In 1865 William Stanley Jevons cautioned that more efficient steam engines would not conserve Britain’s coal supply; instead they would increase total national coal consumption because more enterprises would make more use of the more efficient engines. More recently, “Jevons’ paradox” has been independently rediscovered by each web user, who finds that faster connection speeds mean more total time spent online, not less. If intelligent systems accelerate vehicular “connection speeds,” Americans may spend more total time in vehicles, use them for even more tasks, and negate the space and fuel savings that autonomous vehicles might offer through a different problem formulation. Given difficult facts such as climate change, depletion of fossil fuels (or recourse to fracking, tar sands, and other controversial means of supply), urban sprawl, and the public health costs of physical inactivity, such trends would be cause for alarm.

History and Problem Formulation

In averting these trends, history is our greatest ally—and our greatest threat. History legitimizes some problem formulations, and in so doing delegitimizes others. Parties with agendas to advance tell versions of history that serve these agendas. But impartial histories, pursued with care by researchers with no financial stake in the result, and who welcome correction from each other, can expose and excise false formulations.

The most influential histories we have inherited were designed to serve agendas, however. For example, one of the first defenses of any effort to accommodate all driving demands at any cost is the assertion that Americans prefer driving. More precisely, history allegedly shows that Americans in general have an unconditional preference for driving over alternatives. Critics and defenders of the automobile agree that Americans have had a long “love affair with the automobile.” For the critics, the love affair is a misguided infatuation from which Americans must be rescued; for the defenders, the love affair is the free preference of a free people and must be honored as such. But both agree that Americans prefer driving.

Yet no one on either side of this debate seems to recognize that the “love affair” metaphor is not a sociological fact, finding organic expression in a term of folk wisdom. It was an invention propagated to serve a purpose. Introduced in 1958 in a criticism of the automobile industry (John Keats’ The Insolent Chariots), the phrase was readapted as a defense of the automobile in 1961 in a one-sided television history of the American car. Millions saw “Merrily We Roll Along,” an episode of NBC’s Du Pont Show of the Week (Du Pont owned a 23 percent share in General Motors, to which it sold varnishes and fabrics). Host Groucho Marx told Americans the history of the automobile in the United States as a love affair between the American man and the (feminized) automobile. Love is blind; social critics can find fault with it but in a free society the will of the people must be honored. And love will find a way—whatever the costs. In this little drama, critics of the automobile’s excesses become outdated, prudish chaperones.

Though its origins were soon forgotten, the love affair thesis and similar stories overwhelmed older stories of the automobile in the American city—many of them characterizing the car not as love object but as despised intruder. Nevertheless the love affair thesis remains the dominant explanation of Americans’ extravagant accommodation of the automobile. If there is an official history of the automobile in the United States, this is it. Since 2003, visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., in the General Motors Hall of Transportation, have found the love affair thesis in exhibit form. Besides GM, major sponsors of “America on the Move” include the American Automobile Association, State Farm, and ExxonMobil; support from the American Public Transportation Association, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the Association of American Railroads, the National Asphalt Paving Association, and UPS is also noted. Acknowledging some of the costs of accommodating the automobile, the exhibit attributes the car’s dominance overwhelmingly to mass preference: in a free market of transportation modes, “Americans chose … the automobile.”

The love affair thesis is essentially a free choice thesis. It is history written by those with a stake in history. It is an ex post facto justification. It is not an outright falsehood. Such lies seldom work. Instead it is a tactical distortion that sidelines appeals to common sense by appeal to a greater power—love. What’s lost in this stratagem is the negation of choice in an environment lacking good alternatives. Lock a man in a 7-11 for a week and study his diet. If we find that he eats a lot of processed food products, we can’t conclude that he has a thereby expressed an unconditional preference for them. Urban Americans chose the car only after a protracted struggle for control of the formulation of traffic problems—a struggle in which many of them fought on the losing side, and which the victors were a minority. Americans still choose the car—but they do so in an environment deprived of good alternatives. They choose not in a free market of equal alternatives, but in an environment in which drivers don’t pay the full cost of accommodating cars and in an environment built to accommodate cars at all costs.

Beyond Good and Evil

The love affair thesis, by which the car is always “good,” invites an equally fatuous rejoinder: the car is always “bad.” Too many have accepted the invitation. Those who do unwittingly support the love affair thesis by accepting its premise—that cars are either good or bad. Like any useful tool, the car has purposes to which it is ideally suited. It is particularly well suited to low-density areas and as a connector between transportation hubs. As a taxi or shared vehicle it can also be very useful in dense cities. But those with an interest in promoting cars succeeded in casting America’s transportation problem not as a problem of moving people but as a problem of accommodating cars everywhere—even to the point of rebuilding cities for cars. In so doing they diminished Americans’ range of transportation choices, as if their free choices could not be trusted.

Autonomous vehicles can serve the right solution to the right problem. In a city built for primarily people, and in which vehicles serve people, autonomous cars can valuably supplement integrated transportation systems in which each mode is suited to its purpose, in which transportation modes serve the city (not the other way around), and in which transportation success is measured by people moved and not by vehicles moved. They can serve a city in which more needs can be met without vehicles, in which vehicles can be shared, in which walkable distances can be conveniently walked, in which bicycles can connect homes and shops, and in which mass transportation services can make a virtue out of density. But before we make autonomous cars the solution, we must formulate the problem correctly. Until we do, we risk accelerating a journey to the wrong destination. If we rebuild the landscape for autonomous vehicles we may make it unsuitable for anything else—including walking. What kind of city do we want—and what kind of mobility will serve it best? Before we uncritically accept the answers we inherited from the past, let us reexamine the question.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #49  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2014, 7:15 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
I mostly agree with this fellow's Utopian vision:

We Need to Think Bigger About Transit-Oriented Development
BY GABE KLEIN

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/...opment/373838/

Some selections:
Quote:
...

To answer these questions we need to re-think what transit is, just as we're re-thinking what TOD is. If a chain of autonomous vehicles with vehicle-to-vehicle communications operate in a train-set type format, is that functioning just as transit would? Is that more or less efficient than the current local bus systems in some cities? I know this scares some people to talk about, and the answer often seems to be some sort of litmus test as to whether or not you really support public transportation, but I think to have an honest conversation we have to get rid of the sacred cows.

[...]

My utopian vision of how this could play out is to rededicate a lot of space in cities that was de facto applied to cars in the 1950s, after the death of the streetcars and the explosion of expressways, over to active transportation. Cars entering city limits would have to be autonomous or switched to driverless mode, as these will be deemed safe for all users of the transportation system and will operate in much less road space than drivers need now. (As a reference point, auto accidents are the leading killer of young people worldwide.) Parking needs could decrease dramatically, too, as most autonomous vehicles will be on-demand and active, compared to the 95 percent of time that current cars sit parked. We would have a transit backbone consisting of heavy and light rail/streetcars, and regional/arterial buses. The rest of the network and space would be slanted towards walking, bike-share, and other alternative modes.

...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #50  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2014, 7:25 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
This is an ad featuring adaptive cruise control and automatic lane centering, but then they do this...

Video Link


Read more here: http://transportevolved.com/2014/07/...-cars-thought/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And if you're impatient waiting for self-parking cars, try this robotic parking system in the Dusseldorf Airport in Germany

Video Link


Read more here: http://transportevolved.com/2014/07/...-parking-cars/
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #51  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2014, 7:27 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
The Driverless Car Tipping Point Is Coming Soon
http://mashable.com/2014/07/07/drive...tipping-point/

Here is the 'best parts' version

Quote:
Here's a recent prediction from Cisco's technology trend watchers: In 5 to 7 years, it'll cost us more to drive our cars than to let them drive us.

[...]

"It’s a best-case scenario, from a technology perspective, but possible," said Chunka Mui, managing director of The Devil's Advocate Group, and author of The New Killer Apps, regarding Cisco's 5-to-7-year prediction surrounding the cost advantages of driverless cars. "There are two types of cost to consider: the cost of accidents and the cost of operation."

The first set leads quickly into considerations of not only medical bills and insurance claims but also ethics and decision-making — that is, costs that come to us on a wholly different level.

On the first point, says Mui, "In the U.S. alone, we estimate that vehicular accidents inflict about $450 billion in annual costs. From a safety standpoint, it costs a lot to let humans drive."

According to Ravi Pandit, an automotive-engineering expert who is the chairman and group CEO of KPIT Technologies, if the human-driving equation were eliminated from the vehicle-safety scenario, insurance companies could create additional incentives for what would then be vehicle passengers/owners.

"When autonomous vehicles are proven safe for roads, at scale, insurance companies will pass on significant rewards to those using such a vehicle," Pandit said. "Even today, many insurers will pass on savings if the vehicle owners allow access to driving parameters such as speed, location, time and acceleration/deceleration patterns."

Granted, there's plenty of research still to come before we can assert for certain what "proven safe" means — and at what scale, in fact, humans will begin to feel right about taking their hands off the wheel for good.

[...]


Here's one model. Fixed annual ownership costs for the average U.S. passenger vehicle start at approximately $8,700, according to Andreas Mai, director of Smart Connected Vehicles for Cisco. In this model, a driverless car — in part due to its ability to communicate with other smart and connected cars on the road, driverless or not, as connected-car tech presumably becomes more commonplace — would help eliminate some 80% of human-caused crashes involving that vehicle. According to Mai, as an average based on AAA, Texas A&M Transportation Institute and DOT numbers — encompassing all U.S. passenger vehicles — that kind of reduction could create some $1,800 in accident-related savings for our owners. So, now the average annual operating cost is roughly $6,900. Then we look at how the very concept of ownership might change.

"Conventional vehicles are used less than 5% of their usable time," Mai said. "The convenience of being able to call an autonomous vehicle when it is needed and easily release it for others to use when it is not needed is likely to make autonomous-car sharing a much more convenient and cost-efficient mode of transportation for many. Assuming the remaining average ownership cost ($6,900) can be shared by three users, this would equate to additional savings."

In other words, now you're into the operation of an autonomous car for $2,300 per year, on average, or just about 25% of what you'd spend to operate a human-driver vehicle. Would 75% savings be a tipping point for the consumer?

[...]

Meanwhile, tipping points, whatever they might be for the consumer, probably won't prevent passengers from sitting in a driverless car now and then if commercial fleets take on the technology faster than the individual.

When Columbia University researchers crunched numbers — considering the possible cost of a driverless taxi, per mile, versus the cabbie-piloted versions we know now — it came out with a significant savings projection. For example, given a robot fleet of Manhattan taxis, The New York Times reported, the cost per trip-mile of your future ride could drop from $4 per to about 50 cents per trip-mile.

For some, that's already reason enough to keep the meter running on next steps for driverless cars.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #52  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2014, 7:17 PM
logan5's Avatar
logan5 logan5 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Mt.Pleasant
Posts: 3,762
I've read a few articles that state driverless cars would triple the capacity of freeways, as long as all cars are driverless and can communicate with each other so they can drive much closer together. But I haven't found anything on how much increase there will be in capacity for city streets with signals. With the cars being able to move in tight formations and all vehicles being able to proceed simultaneously (like a train) when the light turns green, the capacity gains would be even more than 3 times. If a 6 lane arterial street - which there are plenty of - has a capacity of 10 000 cars per hour per direction, then why would a city need any transit at all, including rail transit.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #53  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2014, 10:30 PM
Innsertnamehere's Avatar
Innsertnamehere Innsertnamehere is offline
Insertoronto
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,170
parking space.

also there will always be people driving manually.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #54  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2014, 8:50 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by logan5 View Post
Why would a city need any transit at all, including rail transit.
Autonomous cars are still autonomous cars. Sure they take up less road space by driving closer together, and sure they can be built smaller like Google's new car to take up even less space, and sure they don't requireany parking space because they simply drop off their occupant(s) and then drive away - and all these things are why we are so excited about autonomous cars and why we think they will change everything about how cities are built and lived in....
....BUT!!! Autonomous cars are still cars, meaning that they can still transport a lower volume of people overall than trains and buses do.
Dense places like NYC will always be more dependent on trains and buses than on single (or double) occupancy autonomous cars. Less dense places like suburbs, or lower density cities will be the largest beneficiaries. In these places, low-ridership bus (and maybe train) routes will certainly be replaced.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #55  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2014, 9:03 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
Also there will always be people driving manually.
I can agree with this statement if we were to add "just like there are still people who ride horses."

Almost all the inefficiencies in automobile travel - such as stop lights, wide lanes that waste space, proper following distances, traffic jams, and even wasted consumption of energy because of inefficient accelerating/braking - all these are a result of manual driving. They come with the territory.
Municipalities wanting to make their cities less congested and also wanting to save money will leap at the chance to make their denser parts 'autonomous only' zones, where the city doesn't need to maintain super-wide roads or hugely expensive traffic signals (though crosswalks would still need to be maintained). They could even take space from the unused city streets and convert them into parks, landscaping, separated bike paths, anything you want.
The advantages outweigh the cost so much that I have a hard time believing that manually driving your car through city streets will be allowed at all in the future - except maybe in the 4th of July parade, after the horse-drawn carriages in a sort of 'march of progress' sort of thing.
Interstate Freeways are also prime pickings to make autonomous-only. They are limited access, hugely expensive to maintain, and are extremely vital to the cities they serve. Too vital to leave to chance.

I can see things like 'scenic byways' maintained as 'manual driving zones' for recreational purposes. If your future autonomous car is also equipped to be manually driven, then you can have it drive you out of the city and out to the byway, then take over for the scenic parts - the fun parts, the parts where people actually enjoy driving a car.

Other than that though, I see car driving becoming just like horse riding - a rich person's hobby. The advantages of a fully autonomous network of roads are just too many to allow for the few 'hobby motorists' who want to drive everywhere.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #56  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2014, 9:14 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
In the news:

California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan... and now Georgia?

Could Self-Driving Cars Be Coming To Georgia? One Politician Hopes So
Quote:
By Rickey Bevington
ATLANTA — Self–driving cars-- they're not science fiction any more.

Georgia legislators are so serious about the idea, they want to pass a law that would make those cars legal on the road.

Representative Terry Kelley (R- Cedartown) leads a house committee that will study autonomous vehicle technology.

He says that technology is coming, so Georgia needs to figure out how to deal with it.

"We're still somewhere 10 to 15 years away from full implementation, but it's important to start looking into how to further develop this technology and prepare for tomorrow when it gets here,” said Kelley. “20 years ago, people were walking around with briefcases and calling them cellphones, so as technology moves even faster, that's something that can catch on and we need to be ready for."

Representative Kelley says those vehicles could be the next big thing in the car industry , and that's an economic opportunity that Georgia needs to jump on.

Self–driving vehicles are already road legal in Nevada, Florida, and California.

Kelley is hoping to pass legislation for Georgia during the next legislative session
http://www.gpb.org/news/2014/07/08/c...ician-hopes-so

Also, this is a more comprehensive article about autonomous cars as a 'disruptive technology'. It doesn't contain anything new to this thread, so I won't post the text, but I liked it, and here is the link:

http://recode.net/2014/07/08/auto-au...rd-disruption/
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #57  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2014, 2:30 PM
logan5's Avatar
logan5 logan5 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Mt.Pleasant
Posts: 3,762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman View Post
Autonomous cars are still cars, meaning that they can still transport a lower volume of people overall than trains and buses do.
Dense places like NYC will always be more dependent on trains and buses than on single (or double) occupancy autonomous cars. Less dense places like suburbs, or lower density cities will be the largest beneficiaries. In these places, low-ridership bus (and maybe train) routes will certainly be replaced.
Have you seen any figures on how much capacity a city street would have with 100% autonomous cars? I can't find any info on that.

Vancouver is a fairly dense city and transit mode share into downtown Vancouver is at 50%, with the other 50% obviously being private vehicle. In order for city streets into downtown to accommodate Skytrain and bus riders, road capacity would have to double, which a fully automated system of vehicles could easily accomplish. Any city with a car mode share of more than 33% should be able to eliminate all forms of transit as road capacity would only need to triple. There are not too many cities with a car mode share of less than 33%.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #58  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2014, 4:31 PM
Mikemike Mikemike is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 971
That's assuming that those autonomous cars have somewhere to park or that their reverse trips don't take up road space(thy do, doubling the total vehicle mileage), that autonomous vehicles can efficiently and safely operate in areas with high pedestrian density (probably never will - pedestrians are as unpredictable as those human -driven cars), that everyone currently taking public transit can afford a auto-automobile (they can't), and as the article above points out, that even if everything else is worked out and things work smoothly, fast,east autonomous cars will encourage longer an longer commutes, more and more driving until we're back in the same congested situation.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #59  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 7:30 AM
Hatman's Avatar
Hatman Hatman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 973
^^^
Well said, Mikemike.

And sorry, logan5, I don't have any precise info on how much more capacity a fully autonomous road has vs the present. I've heard anywhere between doubling the capacity to increasing it by an order of magnitude (10x the current capacity). The latter assumes that autonomous cars collectively compute traffic patterns over a whole network of city streets. That enables the cars to distribute traffic over the city grid more evenly. In some cases they can even make certain streets one-way for the rush hour, and then reverse it in the evening. So I guess it isn't so much road capacity as it is network capacity. I wish I could provide a link to all this, but I've lost it all. I read far too many articles about this stuff.

And, speaking of too many articles:
Tesla Motors Inc Hiring Aggressively For Its Autonomous Car Project
http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/07/tes...s-car-project/

Quote:
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced last week that the company will hire a large number of military veterans in coming years. Meanwhile, the company is quietly hiring a large number of experienced engineers from peer automakers, chipmakers, research institutes, universities, auto part companies, and internal transfers to work on its autonomous car project. That’s why Elon Musk so confidently stated in June that Tesla will make significant progress in autonomous driving within a year.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is working on an autonomous car, that’s no secret. The company reportedly tested it in Israel earlier this year. Elon Musk’s autonomous car strategy differs from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s self-driving car. Tesla’s vehicle will still have a driver behind the wheel, but it can be put on “Autopilot” for a big part of the drive. In contrast, Google’s car won’t need a driver at all. Tesla’s approach seems more feasible from regulatory as well as technical perspective.

According to uAutoInsurance, Tesla’s autonomous car initiative is currently in full-blown execution mode. Tesla hired Andrew Grey in October 2013 as Senior Engineering Manager from Hyundai Motor Co (KRX:005380). Ross Maguire, who previously worked as Assistant Manager-dynamics and performance test was transferred to Autopilot & Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in December 2013. Ashok Elluswamy, who previously worked at Volkswagen AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) (ETR:VOW), joined Tesla’s Autopilot team in January this year.
The article then goes on to list all the notable people Elon Musk has snagged from other companies to work for Tesla instead in the hopes of getting the 'autopilot' feature out within a year.
Moral of the story: When Mr. Musk is serious, he is serious.

And now, for something completely different:

Baidu is secretly developing unmanned self-driving bicycles for China: report

I'm not making this up! Read about it for yourself:
http://www.techinasia.com/baidu-driv...icycles-china/
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #60  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 9:08 AM
Owlhorn Owlhorn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikemike View Post
That's assuming that those autonomous cars have somewhere to park or that their reverse trips don't take up road space(thy do, doubling the total vehicle mileage), that autonomous vehicles can efficiently and safely operate in areas with high pedestrian density (probably never will - pedestrians are as unpredictable as those human -driven cars), that everyone currently taking public transit can afford a auto-automobile (they can't), and as the article above points out, that even if everything else is worked out and things work smoothly, fast,east autonomous cars will encourage longer an longer commutes, more and more driving until we're back in the same congested situation.
Video Link
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Transportation
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 2:30 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.