RE: Google's car is go...

RE: Google's car is go...

Wednesday 28th May 2014

Google's car is go...

Autonomous city vehicle prototype revealed. Not coming to the PH Fleet soon



So on the same day PH features one of the most exciting driver's cars ever produced, Google reveals its first driverless car. Oh Lordy.

Having adapted conventional cars for its previous driverless projects, Google has now designed a car from the ground up. As you can see, it has been styled to appear as inoffensive and 'nice' as possible, with a face that looks like something from a Nintendo game made from squishy foam. Aww.

Of course the reason for the soft front is the same reason for the 25mph limited speed; perceived safety. Google wants its autonomous tech to be as unintimidating as possible, which will take some considerable work given this is a car without pedals or a steering wheel. There are just stop and go buttons. Well, that's the eventual plan but the initial 100 prototypes will be fitted with additional controls so one of Google's test drivers can take over if necessary. No further details on how that works just yet...

Google's head of the self driving project is Chris Urmson who said the car is "something that will allow us to really push the capabilities of self driving technology, and understand the limitations". He expects the 100 test cars to be on the roads around Google's Silicon Valley base within a year.

Vid here crammed with Google sickly sweetness and old people.

 

[Sources: Telegraph, FT]

Author
Discussion

cvega

Original Poster:

335 posts

100 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
god i hope this never becomes a reality

Shaw Tarse

28,926 posts

144 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
So who is responsible if the car drives me drunk

cvega

Original Poster:

335 posts

100 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Shaw Tarse said:
So who is responsible if the car drives me drunk
here's to hoping retarded insurance laws and greed will make this an impossibility wink

bencollins

3,151 posts

146 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Dudes, make the wheels fit the arches, is it so difficult?
Also luggage, passengers, children?
Wonder when city traffic last ran at 25mph.
Wont this just gridlock at high traffic flows, i.e. set distance?
Anyhoo, quite interesting.

TurboHatchback

3,381 posts

94 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Good luck to them, I think autonomous cars have a lot of uses. I live in pensioner central and some of the driving round here is pretty special, if they could instead have one of these it would make everything work better. There are times (usually at 4am or in traffic) when I wish my car could drive itself and I could sit back and have a bit of a snooze, read the paper or watch some tv. Also taxis that weren't driven by maniacs would be a great improvement.
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Jimmm

2,274 posts

124 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
I like the idea TBH my own private bus.

LewisBH

55 posts

60 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Interesting...

swatches

80 posts

96 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
No more parking, no more parking tickets.

Drive to an event, tell your car to drive round on its own in super economy mode and pick you up later.

vtecyo

1,833 posts

70 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Jimmm said:
I like the idea TBH my own private bus.
Me too. Using one to commute across London or something would be great. Far better than a two wheeled unmotorised peasant carrier.

getmecoat

Lowtimer

4,021 posts

109 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Shaw Tarse said:
So who is responsible if the car drives me drunk
In the US regulatory model, the intention is that the manufacturer will retain liability. Google's intention is explicitly intended to enable people to use these vehicles for personal transport while drunk, ill, blind, incapacitated, asleep, unlicensed, under-age, or any other condition. Or even absent altogether. In this world the cars will definitely be able to drive around unmanned: e.g. you send it to school empty to pick up the kids, or you send it off by itself for its annual service.

Of course most won't be owned, because you don't need to own one if it turns up to collect you at the press of a button on your smartphone: they will be shared on some sort of rental / lease basis, or be used as robot taxis.

The DfT has not really started thinking about this yet which is a mistake: they need to get their skates on.

SarGara

309 posts

117 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Unlike everyone else who has commented so far I am far more skeptical of this.

Who's to say in X years time when these are common place and human error is removed from road traffic accidents that the attention of the likes of BRAKE and other organisations doesnt shift to remove all remaining elements of human error from transportation. The end of motor bikes, classic cars etc?

IN51GHT

8,202 posts

151 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Quite apt that an advert for funeral cost insurance popped up when I watched the video......

The Vambo

3,184 posts

82 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
SarGara said:
Unlike everyone else who has commented so far I am far more skeptical of this.

Who's to say in X years time when these are common place and human error is removed from road traffic accidents that the attention of the likes of BRAKE and other organisations doesnt shift to remove all remaining elements of human error from transportation. The end of motor bikes, classic cars etc?
That is a hell of an extrapolation, don't go forward because something bad might happen.

Doubt you would have ever left the cave.

Soupie69uk

611 posts

158 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
The end of taxi drivers?

For most people this would be amazing. As someone said you could just get dropped off and the car can go park miles away then pick you up later.

Sometimes when in stop start traffic it would be better to just flick into auto pilot and you can check emails or read the paper.

Ex Boy Racer

1,056 posts

133 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Well, if they are being designed as something that fits in with and works on our current road systems, what's not to like? I can use one of these for the boring journeys and enjoy my more interesting vehicle on special occasions. Sounds great.
If we're honest, most driving in cities is pretty awful; letting a computer get on with it would be great.
WRT safety - I'm sure these will be massively safety tested and better than the tired/old/unskilled/drunk/aggressive majority that we have to put up with at the moment.

theJT

274 posts

126 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
25mph, made of squishy plastic and 2 seats... less car, more "Golf cart" really.

Not that I don't see driverless cars as a theoretically good idea mind you, I love the idea of being able to drive to a nice country pub somewhere, have lunch and a few beers, and have the car drive me home afterwards... but it does have to be something I'd want to drive in the first place.

Harry H

1,574 posts

97 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
I have a vision of all these drone like cars being sent to collect the kids from school. Kid's being kids won't know which one is theirs. Get in the wrong one and be delivered to someone else's house.

Dad will then be dispatched pronto in his old school V8 to pick em up.

In reality no one will own them though, they'll just be taxi's hailed from a smart phone ap. The nearfield do da in your phone will unlock the car when it arrives. They'll smell like a public toilet mind.

Catatafish

940 posts

86 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Nearly there, just need the freaky plastic google man...



paranoid airbag

2,679 posts

100 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Other reports I've read on Google's previous effort (retrofitting regular cars) state they were designed to keep up with flow of traffic where appropriate as well, including breaking the limit.

...which is something a 25mph car can't do?

Still, let's hope this gets the shot it deserves (and let's hope google employ a better stylist). The reality is still more likely to be a steady procession of mainstream cars with ever more technology designed to stop drivers having an accident (...and only on PH do I feel the need to state, this is a good thing). It'll be a while before regulators and insurers are happy with completely letting go of the human 'backup' being at the wheel at all times, even if the computer takes over the grunt work quite quickly. And we won't see a lot of the benefits until we do let go.

W124

1,335 posts

79 months

Wednesday 28th May 2014
quotequote all
Cars that drive, phones that listen, google drones... How did it come to this?

I suppose it will be like Minority Report/AI - once you get out of the conurbation - you drive yourself. Not such a bad idea really.