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Other => Off Topic => Topic started by: Apple_Tango on December 08, 2017, 09:42:29 AM

Title: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Apple_Tango on December 08, 2017, 09:42:29 AM
A post in another forum got me thinking about self driving cars. And all of you engineers are smarter than me..heck maybe some of you actually work in this field! So let's talk about the future. What will a future with self-driving cars look like? Here are my thoughts and questions.

1) Some people's commutes are currently pure hell due to gridlock and road rage. Theoretically this will cut down on the number of cars on the road and make commutes more smooth, and people can play sudoku or do their reports during their commute, thus increasing free time at home and lowering stress.
     1a)But will the drop in frustration in a morning commute encourage more people to live farther away from city centers, thus increasing the number of commuters instead of forcing people to live close and walk/bike/train?

2) I'm assuming they will all eventually be electric vehicles. But something still has to make the electricity, and as of today it is usually natural gas and coal. Will we be seeing massive solar grids in the future to power the electric vehicle fleet?

3) The volume of cars. The main 3 times for high volume traffic is 7:30 am, 5:00 pm, and holiday commutes. But that got me thinking of the logistics. Where will all of those cars be during the other times? The volume of cars that are not always needed, but need to exist for the high traffic times will be substantial...but I guess it would be way less than it is at current time since most households currently own 2-3 cars that are almost never used.

4) My other thought is this: There are two systems. A city owned system which is similar to the current bus/taxi system. And a private system where one person owns the vehicle. When they are not using it they can send it off for other people to use. The owner is the one who maintains the car and collects the fare, due to wear and tear on the car. And similar to uber, the owner can jack up prices during high traffic times. If the owner choses to carpool on the way to work, they get to use fast lanes just like now. So it really would be a similar carpool/slug system to now, the only difference is that no one drives it, and the owner can make money as a side hustle by sending it away when it's not being used.

5) The cost. I'm assuming it will be like a taxi- the more you use the service, the more you pay. And if you realize it will benefit you more to be a private owner, you will do that.

6) But then that still leaves me wondering if the physical amount of cars will decrease. I can see people wanting to buy a car just for the side hustle income, and the knowledge that in an emergency you will have a guaranteed car for yourself. Maybe if you send it away, you can specifiy a maximum travel distance, or a travel time period when it needs to return to you.

7) Cities vs. Rural areas. This whole program will likely be slower to roll out in rural areas just because there is not a huge volume of customers. Less owners are likely to buy vehicles, because less customers will likely demand taxi rides and the current demands of gridlock aren't an issue so there is less pressure to change.

8) Parking lots. Will they still be needed or will they be converted into other things? What is your vision for parking lots and garages?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on December 08, 2017, 01:09:44 PM
1) I don't think it will cut down much on the cars on the road.  Lone car commuters are lone car commuters whether they drive or the car does.  The one thing that might cut down on number of cars is a smart network of automated shared taxis that can plan out optimal routes and take carpooling to the next level. 

1a)  I never thought about it but it's a pretty good point.  Increases in capability and efficiency just lead to an increase in consumption a lot of times.  It may end up that that makes automated cars a negative.  You can let the car "drive 'til you qualify" for you. 

2) Going automated and going electric are two independent subjects.  One doesn't really have all that much effect on the other.  And whether gas or electric, automated or manual, cars are using enormous amounts of energy just to transport one human body. 

3) Rush hour will still take essentially the same number of cars if people still want a car to themselves.  The cars will just end up in parking lots the same as they do right now.  On the plus side a lot of redundant parking spaces could be eliminated since you could just have general lots for a given area that the cars could take themselves to.

4) Some people will have their own cars as a symbol of independence, but I think anybody that's willing to share would just take automated taxis.  Big companies would have economies of scale that would way underprice the little guy.  Right now Lyft and Uber drivers are more about hiring out their time/labor as drivers than renting out their cars.  Those companies will toss the little guys aside as soon as automated vehicles really become common. 

5) I can't imagine it would be cheaper unless you drive all the time.  It is true that a lot of people don't know how to do the math behind the true total cost of driving, though.  They may end up offering a monthly/yearly subscription sort of like a transit pass. 

6) Probably, but total miles/kms traveled will probably increase.

7) People in really remote areas probably would keep their own cars, but a lot of places that we think of as very rural still have a population density that would probably support it. 

8) We probably wouldn't need as much, but unfortunately I think a lot of existing parking lots would just sit empty and useless like they already do at so many dead malls. 

The big thing that completely gets lost is that automated cars don't do anything to solve the basic problems of car-focused transportation.  We still have sprawl, sedentary lifestyles, environmental degredation, way too much asphalt, increased energy consumption, overspending on transportation, and greater segregation. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on December 08, 2017, 01:14:41 PM
I want to know what people are supposed to do with their purchases if they want to go to multiple stores in an afternoon. Most people put their stuff in their trunk and drive from store to store. But if you're taking a different automated vehicle from store to store then you have to take all your stuff with you as you shop which would be a pain. Especially if you're buying heavy goods like dog food.

In other words, let's say I want to go to Home Depot for some items and then the supermarket. What happens to my Home Depot purchases while I go to the supermarket?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on December 08, 2017, 01:19:22 PM
I want to know what people are supposed to do with their purchases if they want to go to multiple stores in an afternoon. Most people put their stuff in their trunk and drive from store to store. But if you're taking a different automated vehicle from store to store then you have to take all your stuff with you as you shop which would be a pain. Especially if you're buying heavy goods like dog food.

In other words, let's say I want to go to Home Depot for some items and then the supermarket. What happens to my Home Depot purchases while I go to the supermarket?

I don't think that would be a major issue.  You would probably just be able to pay to keep the same car for the whole trip. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: koshtra on December 08, 2017, 01:21:15 PM
Self-driving buses and trains, on the other hand, will cut mass transit costs in half (about half the present cost goes to labor, currently.) Which drastically changes the balance of the mass transit equations everywhere.

Sheer geometry limits how many single-person vehicles you can cram into any travel space: I think the idea that self-driving cars are going to change traffic much for the better are off-target. But when you can run at twice the frequency for the current cost, you'll get at least twice the ridership (since what people hate most is waiting) and you'll be able to increase frequency even more -- it's in mass transit that we'll actually see the most benefit. (And those benefits will be huge, if we're ready to take advantage of them.)
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: koshtra on December 08, 2017, 01:29:59 PM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on December 08, 2017, 01:32:36 PM
I want to know what people are supposed to do with their purchases if they want to go to multiple stores in an afternoon. Most people put their stuff in their trunk and drive from store to store. But if you're taking a different automated vehicle from store to store then you have to take all your stuff with you as you shop which would be a pain. Especially if you're buying heavy goods like dog food.

In other words, let's say I want to go to Home Depot for some items and then the supermarket. What happens to my Home Depot purchases while I go to the supermarket?

I don't think that would be a major issue.  You would probably just be able to pay to keep the same car for the whole trip.

One of the big advantages to everyone using autonomous cars via an Uber interface is that we will need fewer cars because they will be in service ~70% of the time versus the ~5% of the time they are in use now. If you can book the same car for an afternoon of shopping then we will have a lot of down time and we will need a lot of cars on the road. Plus, we will need the big parking lots that autonomous vehicles via an Uber platform are supposed to replace.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: surfhb on December 08, 2017, 01:58:45 PM
Yeah....eventually we will stop doing our shopping.   Groceries, dog food and home depot will come to you.   

DUIs will be a thing of the past as well as most traffic accidents.    Good times ahead!   I love it
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on December 08, 2017, 02:34:05 PM
I worked at Google before FIRE, but not on autonomous vehicles (AV), I have no inside info. This is my own opinion.

Like other transformative technology revolutions, autonomous vehicles will change our world in unexpected ways that will seem obvious in hindsight. Few people expected the internet would clobber cable, yet it seems obvious now.

The change will happen much faster than most people expect. The companies working on this are ironing out various issues, but much of the problem is already solved. Once the entire package is working it will deploy rather quickly - just a matter of copying software (zero cost) and installing the hardware (can be done production line). We are hearing about it now but it seems far off, then suddenly there will be driverless car options on the road.

Most people will not own an AV. Large ridesharing companies will maintain fleets of electric AVs, which will be much lower cost to operate than manned ICE vehicles. Competition will ensure these cost savings are passed on to the consumer. The AV manufacturer will assume liability and insurance...I don't see how they can avoid this because their software is effectively the "driver." This will decimate auto insurance companies.

The most dramatic change will be large numbers of families going from 2 cars to 1. The one car will be used for errands, road trips, etc. but will incrementally spend more and more time parked in the driveway. More and more commuters will pool AVs to work - algorithms already exist for batching rides based on time, starting location and ending location. This will greatly reduce costs and allow the AV to use HOV lanes. This will decimate automakers, effectively cutting their market in half or worse -- the single vehicle people own will get less use, hence last much longer.

Congestion will be reduced. Partially because more people will carpool in AVs. Moreso because AVs will be able to communicate with each other in real-time, which means they can broadcast their intentions/actions to surrounding AVs. This will enable AVs to safely link up in virtual "trains" of tightly packed cars - reducing drag and increasing the effective capacity of highways. This will also reduce or eliminate pulsing of congested traffic we see with human drives. This, along with greatly reduced costs (from above) are going to decimate some mass transit systems, especially light rail. Rail in very dense metros will be fine (e.g. NYC) but those in lower density areas (suburbs, sprawling cities) will have a hard time surviving. Bus routes will survive with automated EV busses.

Auto related deaths/injuries will drop rapidly as highway miles driven migrate to AVs. This will decimate personal injury lawyers, but be great for the ~30k people who would otherwise have died in any given year in the US. Life will be much much safer for pedestrians and bikers. Computers don't get fatigued, distracted, enraged, impatient, and 360 degree field of vision (LIDAR and other sensors) means AVs will have no blind spots and be much safer for everyone.

Some security researchers will make a name for themselves finding vulnerabilities in AV software, showing how a hacker could take over or cause a crash. The media will have a field day with the hysteria. These holes will be patched and little will come of it. But expect people to be fixated on the dangers of AVs (because they are new) while ignoring the tens of thousands of people that die because of human driver error. Eventually stats will emerge that driverless cars are much much safer than traditional cars. Anyone remember when people used to be afraid to use their CC online because hackers might steal it? Yeah, no one really worries about this stuff anymore. Same will happen with AVs.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: MayDay on December 09, 2017, 11:21:38 AM
I the two main points bthat I think people frequently miss (and which FINate mentioned) are:

2 car families will probably own one car and ride share the rest.

And you will see more carpooling in autonomous vehicles. In fact I wonder if buses will die completely because of that- if you can group 4 people in a sedan that picks you right up,it might be considerably more efficient for a similar price compared to a bus. Maybe buseswill still be useful for peak commuting routes at rush hour but often they are 1/3 full.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: BlueMR2 on December 09, 2017, 11:25:34 AM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?

With stores already picking things and having them setup for you when you show up at the store, that's just a short step to make to have them load a self-driving delivery vehicle too.  Beats the classic online ordering experience of having to wait anywhere from a day to a week.  Allows for easy delivery of fresh items.

As far as the work travel congestion, I expect companies to embrace work from home more.  It's a competitive disadvantage to have to own and maintain office space for people that simply do not need to be in an office.  As competition continues to get more fierce and the need to drive costs down increases I think there will just be a lot less people that need to travel daily.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: koshtra on December 09, 2017, 11:28:44 AM
I think driverless, shared rides will break down a lot of Americans' silly resistance to public transit, and the cheapness of self-driving vehicles will cause the reasonableness of buses and trains to become more apparent. You'll just walk down to the corner and catch the bus, for most purposes; if you're in a weird out-of-the-way place you'll call up a more expensive ride to get to the mass transit network. Connections will happen in a couple minutes, no one will expect to own their ride (or want to) and the high-speed parts of the trips will happen at 200 mph or so (in dedicated lanes or on tracks.)

That, of course, is if we build the infrastructure and do it right.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: BlueMR2 on December 09, 2017, 11:36:28 AM
That, of course, is if we build the infrastructure and do it right.

Yeah, that's key.  Currently public transportation is useless to me.  Buses only run from where I'm not to where I don't want to go.  Would love to use the train for some of our trips, but it only runs at ungodly inconvenient hours and goes to a station nowhere near me in a dangerous part of town.  Got a trip we take regularly that I'd love to take the train, but driving downtown at 2 am and walking a couple blocks to the train station from the parking garage, no thank you.  I chose life!
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Johnez on December 09, 2017, 12:05:36 PM
Regarding fleets of autonomous cars replacing individually owned cars, I'm not sure this will happen any time soon. The tech can make it happen, but our lives will have to bend a great bit.

Consider Uber-getting a ride is easy enough after a night out, going to the airport, or anything casual. Now try every day use-Do you have a baby (and required car seat?), do you have kids with equipment  for practice, do you have any reason to leave stuff in  your car for convenience, do you get groceries after work, do you run multiple errands in a day, do you leave your house at precisely the right time to hop in your car and make it to work with everything you need, do you *like* having your own car with your music, comforts, etc?

Now, this is a mustachian board with a can do attitude that can make this all happen with a cheap enough ride share scheme. However-what about your neighbor? Or anyone else already driving a 4 wheel 4 seat 2000 lb piece of steel 40 miles one way to work? They prefer the convenience over the logic of mustachianism already, so how's that going to change?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on December 09, 2017, 01:37:30 PM
Now, this is a mustachian board with a can do attitude that can make this all happen with a cheap enough ride share scheme. However-what about your neighbor? Or anyone else already driving a 4 wheel 4 seat 2000 lb piece of steel 40 miles one way to work? They prefer the convenience over the logic of mustachianism already, so how's that going to change?

Cost savings + time savings + convenience.

Let's say you live in a suburb and work downtown. There's no practical mass transit for your commute (perhaps a bus, but it takes forever). Now imaging you can sign up for an AV commute with frequent service (say every 30 min). The vehicles seat 6 people, with tables, power, wifi. The AV algorithm picks up a people in/near your neighborhood, then drops off downtown, door to door more or less. You can get work done while underway, and because there are multiple people in the vehicle you can make use of the HOV lanes so it's faster than driving solo. All this for less (half perhaps?) of what it costs to own and operate a personal vehicle. I think these are pretty strong incentives.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Noodle on December 09, 2017, 02:26:42 PM
I love thinking about this.

I think the only definite prediction we can make is that driverless cars are going to change the world in ways we can't even predict, because it is such a huge paradigm shift--the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Witness: The "stuff question" is one I hadn't even thought of. I bring everything inside other than a couple coolers I keep in my trunk, because I live in a city where it's not a good idea to leave anything in your car. But of course lots of people don't operate that way. Maybe there will be some kind of special lockers developed to easily transfer your stuff from car to car.

I think there will be great use of "fleet cars." Aside from the cost, one of the reasons I am not crazy about Uber etc is that I don't like getting in a vehicle with someone I don't know, which will be eliminated with the driver. I also think there will be ripple effects from the pricing. For instance, if the general practice turns out to be per ride pricing, maybe transit will be more popular (especially if the cost savings of automation mean more transit available.) Driverless cars could also integrate in transit in neat ways--for instance, take you to whichever transit stop means the shortest wait. In my city, a big part of the problem with getting people to adopt transit is that the weather is very difficult much of the year and people don't want to be hanging around transit stops for 20 minutes. If my auto-car could drop me off at a transit stop knowing the bus is two minutes away, I'd be more likely to take it!

On the other hand, I don't think "fleet cars" will ever be the solution for everyone. There is just too much prestige associated with having a nice car.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: maizeman on December 09, 2017, 03:41:00 PM
Sheer geometry limits how many single-person vehicles you can cram into any travel space: I think the idea that self-driving cars are going to change traffic much for the better are off-target. But when you can run at twice the frequency for the current cost, you'll get at least twice the ridership (since what people hate most is waiting) and you'll be able to increase frequency even more -- it's in mass transit that we'll actually see the most benefit. (And those benefits will be huge, if we're ready to take advantage of them.)

You post made my think about this great illustration of the geometry problem with trying to replace mass transit with cars, whether they are driven by the passengers, by a taxi/uber driver, or through artificial intelligence.

Behind a spoiler tag because animated gifs are annoying in the thread of discussions.

Spoiler: show

(http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/2nd-Ave-Gif-2.gif)
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on December 10, 2017, 02:39:17 PM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?

Isn't that called delivered groceries? Or Amazon?

I see the just-in-time driveless vehicles to lead to higher costs rather than lower costs. Everything leading to convenience leads to extra costs in the USA.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: seattlecyclone on December 10, 2017, 07:03:01 PM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?

Isn't that called delivered groceries? Or Amazon?

I see the just-in-time driveless vehicles to lead to higher costs rather than lower costs. Everything leading to convenience leads to extra costs in the USA.

You have a point there. Under the new on-demand driverless car scheme, the company will be responsible for paying people to do certain basic maintenance tasks that many car owners do themselves "for free": putting air in tires, replacing windshield wipers, cleaning the interior, that sort of thing.

However, I think these things could easily be outweighed by the savings inherent in not needing to pay all the fixed costs of owning a whole car: registration, insurance, and the capital sunk into the car itself. These costs will instead be split across all the different people using that car throughout the day.

As a father of a toddler, I recognize how much of a hassle it is to install and remove car seats. Making people remove car seats at their destination and carry them around seems to be a complete non-starter. I'd imagine one of two things happens here to make on-demand vehicles appealing to parents: either some fraction of cars has child safety seats permanently installed, or we get to a point where crashes in these vehicles are so rare that we stop using special seats entirely.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on December 10, 2017, 08:14:14 PM
Cars could evolve so that the backseat is convertible from adult seating to built in baby seats.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Barbaebigode on December 11, 2017, 03:53:17 AM
Perhaps one consequence of self driving cars will be the emergence of smaller cars. If a fleet owner notices that a large part of the rides are made with one person in the car with no luggage, than why own an entire fleet of cars that can carry 5 people + luggage? Seems like a waste of resources, energy and road space. There's probably a "sweet spot" percentage of one or two-seat cars in a fleet that won't compromise availability to users while saving money to the fleet's owner.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: lemonlyman on December 11, 2017, 06:36:25 AM
I think most people will stop owning cars. The costs will just be too high in comparison to using these fleet services. With no driver, the cost to ride in these will be negligible. <10c per mile for energy, only tires and cleaning for maintenance, the ability to do hundreds of miles per day so production is insanely high per car. Compared to the cost of owning a car, even after it's paid off, it'll just make no sense to own.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: radram on December 11, 2017, 08:05:46 AM
I've been thinking about this as well.

OP, was this what got you thinking about it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0

This is a 1 hour video that focuses on technologies that disrupt how people live. Please chime in if you were the first to post this.

I thought it was life changing to even think about what he was talking about.

I started another thread to discuss buying stocks to benefit from his research:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/investments-in-energy-and-transportation/

Have a great day all!
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on December 11, 2017, 10:44:39 AM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?

If you're just autonomously transporting small packages there's no need for a full-size car.  I wonder if we'll eventually get fleets of tiny little cars just to transport smaller goods. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: the_grillman on December 11, 2017, 07:12:12 PM
...you engineers are smarter than me..heck maybe some of you actually work in this field!

With this coming close (not sure about the smarter part), I'll briefly try and make something clear that no one has really touched on yet.  It's not really the engineers that are going to shape this but rather society.  What I mean is that as engineers we can design it to be whatever people (ourselves included) dream up.  The issue is that this doesn't shape what self-driving cars will become.  That is up to society and more specifically two key components: law/regulations & economics. 

Let me make up an example which illustrates both in one go.  Let's say that the law/regulation at a Federal/National level says that each time you enter a self-driving car it has to announce the probability of a crash, while a regular car doesn't.  Figure anyone is going to buy/get into one?  If no one if buying them or willing to use one then self-driving cars won't be brought to market. 
Now say a municipality decides to ban regular cars on their roads and force the use of self-driving cars.  Now there is a market, but maybe only for vehicles that travel locally (no long trips so they'd be designed with this in mind).  This municipality decides that this will reduce the number of cars so parking lot size requirements are dramatically reduced and developers stop building them (saves $) and garages.  Now the self-driving cars have nowhere to park, do they just drive around or are parking/maintenance lots created on the outskirts of the city?  Will people accept this?

Now imagine all of the variations on this.  I think it comes down to what will the laws be, will people accept self-driving cars (or what features will they accept), and are they profitable?  Thus while very interesting, I think it is much more a question that should be directed towards the fields of Sociology & Law rather than Engineering.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: seattlecyclone on December 11, 2017, 08:05:40 PM
This municipality decides that this will reduce the number of cars so parking lot size requirements are dramatically reduced and developers stop building them (saves $) and garages.  Now the self-driving cars have nowhere to park, do they just drive around or are parking/maintenance lots created on the outskirts of the city?  Will people accept this?

I see a potential elimination of required parking as an unmitigated good that could be enabled by this technology. We use a rather appalling fraction of our land for parking lots. If we replaced them with buildings this would be a major boon for walkability and affordability in our cities.

When you spend a bit of time thinking of the implications of a fleet of on-demand self-driving cars, I think you can realize that dedicated parking lots become mostly unnecessary in this scenario. See, the total number of cars in circulation would be roughly equivalent to what the road network can hold at rush hour. During the peak hours every road lane would be occupied with moving cars. During off-peak times, many of the cars would be sitting idle, and you don't need as many road lanes to accommodate the traffic demand at that time. Certain road lanes could dynamically convert from travel lanes to parking lanes and back as needed. When you only have enough cars to fit them all on the road at once, you don't need to devote much off-road space for car storage. You just vary the percentage of the road that you use for moving cars vs. stationary cars.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Noodle on December 12, 2017, 06:34:51 AM
Returning to the delivery question--I think delivery will still involve humans for a long time, because someone has to wrangle the package off the vehicle and into the house. That's one reason I buy a lot online--I live in a second-floor walkup and I want UPS to wrestle that giant box up the stairs for me. But I bet it would be cheaper to operate UPS if you didn't have to find people capable of driving the trucks.

Another way it might change daily life--transporting kids. Some people already use Uber to get their kids to activities, apparently. If you could load your kids into an auto-car and send them off to baseball or Scouts, or school, that would significantly simplify the lives of a lot of people I know. But then how does that intersect with the current protectiveness about children? I bet there would have to be laws passed about what age a child could be alone in a car, etc.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: radram on December 12, 2017, 06:43:15 AM
...you engineers are smarter than me..heck maybe some of you actually work in this field!

With this coming close (not sure about the smarter part), I'll briefly try and make something clear that no one has really touched on yet.  It's not really the engineers that are going to shape this but rather society.  What I mean is that as engineers we can design it to be whatever people (ourselves included) dream up.  The issue is that this doesn't shape what self-driving cars will become.  That is up to society and more specifically two key components: law/regulations & economics. 

Let me make up an example which illustrates both in one go.  Let's say that the law/regulation at a Federal/National level says that each time you enter a self-driving car it has to announce the probability of a crash, while a regular car doesn't.  Figure anyone is going to buy/get into one?  If no one if buying them or willing to use one then self-driving cars won't be brought to market. 
Now say a municipality decides to ban regular cars on their roads and force the use of self-driving cars.  Now there is a market, but maybe only for vehicles that travel locally (no long trips so they'd be designed with this in mind).  This municipality decides that this will reduce the number of cars so parking lot size requirements are dramatically reduced and developers stop building them (saves $) and garages.  Now the self-driving cars have nowhere to park, do they just drive around or are parking/maintenance lots created on the outskirts of the city?  Will people accept this?

Now imagine all of the variations on this.  I think it comes down to what will the laws be, will people accept self-driving cars (or what features will they accept), and are they profitable?  Thus while very interesting, I think it is much more a question that should be directed towards the fields of Sociology & Law rather than Engineering.
I definitely think economics alone will solve the parking issue. Parking your car for the day in Chicago is what, $50? It could just drive home and recharge for 50x less money. Heck, it could drive around the city doing NOTHING for about a buck. Who in the world would pay that kind of money just to let it sit. Of course, I think that now but people still do :)
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on December 12, 2017, 07:41:55 AM
Returning to the delivery question--I think delivery will still involve humans for a long time, because someone has to wrangle the package off the vehicle and into the house. That's one reason I buy a lot online--I live in a second-floor walkup and I want UPS to wrestle that giant box up the stairs for me. But I bet it would be cheaper to operate UPS if you didn't have to find people capable of driving the trucks.

Another way it might change daily life--transporting kids. Some people already use Uber to get their kids to activities, apparently. If you could load your kids into an auto-car and send them off to baseball or Scouts, or school, that would significantly simplify the lives of a lot of people I know. But then how does that intersect with the current protectiveness about children? I bet there would have to be laws passed about what age a child could be alone in a car, etc.

In most cities, a rider must be at least 18 years of age to have an Uber account and request rides. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older on any ride.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: kendallf on December 12, 2017, 07:53:00 AM
I think this is like predicting the direction of the internet in 1965.  No clue, but fun to speculate.  :-)

Several people brought up the "sequential stops while lugging packages" problem.  My bet is a bunch of people are thinking about that now.  Simplest fix has already been mentioned: keep the same car until your multiple stops are done.  If you're stopping for a long time (going to work with something you want to use after work, for example), you could have locked compartments in the car and have it eventually come back to you at a specified time/location, so you can retrieve your goods.  Maybe that's unwieldy and we just have lots more storage at businesses and offices as "car storage" becomes less prevalent and people lug stuff in with them.

On the car pooling/mass transit problem, I think AVs could significantly increase ridership.  Most people's objections these options boil down to convenience: they don't want to wait for other people, they don't want to walk and wait between multiple modes of transit.  With an Uber style carpool, the car comes and picks you up, you don't have to plan to meet other people or wait on them, the car just stops.  You don't have to park and walk long distances when switching to bus or train, you're dropped off at the terminal entrance.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: GuitarStv on December 12, 2017, 09:16:56 AM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?

With stores already picking things and having them setup for you when you show up at the store, that's just a short step to make to have them load a self-driving delivery vehicle too.  Beats the classic online ordering experience of having to wait anywhere from a day to a week.  Allows for easy delivery of fresh items.

I think that this self-driving delivery vehicle phenomenon will massively increase congestion on our roads at all times of day.

Let's say you want to get some clothes from the mall, get some medicine from the vet's office, get a pizza for dinner.  Rather than one person making three stops as we do now, in the future you can have three separate vehicles bring all your stuff to your home!

Now scale this up to uses over a large city.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: A Definite Beta Guy on December 12, 2017, 09:27:20 AM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?

With stores already picking things and having them setup for you when you show up at the store, that's just a short step to make to have them load a self-driving delivery vehicle too.  Beats the classic online ordering experience of having to wait anywhere from a day to a week.  Allows for easy delivery of fresh items.

I think that this self-driving delivery vehicle phenomenon will massively increase congestion on our roads at all times of day.

Let's say you want to get some clothes from the mall, get some medicine from the vet's office, get a pizza for dinner.  Rather than one person making three stops as we do now, in the future you can have three separate vehicles bring all your stuff to your home!

Now scale this up to uses over a large city.

Reducing the cost of driving definitely suggests a lot more driving, not less.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: surfhb on December 12, 2017, 09:28:36 AM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?

With stores already picking things and having them setup for you when you show up at the store, that's just a short step to make to have them load a self-driving delivery vehicle too.  Beats the classic online ordering experience of having to wait anywhere from a day to a week.  Allows for easy delivery of fresh items.

I think that this self-driving delivery vehicle phenomenon will massively increase congestion on our roads at all times of day.

Let's say you want to get some clothes from the mall, get some medicine from the vet's office, get a pizza for dinner.  Rather than one person making three stops as we do now, in the future you can have three separate vehicles bring all your stuff to your home!

Now scale this up to uses over a large city.

Dont forget drone technology.     Already happening is many places in the world....just a matter of time
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: PoutineLover on December 12, 2017, 09:46:15 AM
Air taxis might be a thing soon too, check out airbus a3. The future is coming!
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: CowboyAndIndian on December 12, 2017, 11:05:16 AM
PTF
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: AlanStache on December 12, 2017, 11:09:19 AM
GuitarStv: You are assuming all errands would be run at the same time rather than when the person got around making the order.  Also the number of total miles driven would not necessarily go up or down, (now it is Point A-> B-> C-> D-> A, but with AV it might be, B->A; C->A and D->A or some combination). 

Air drone delivery: In generic suburbia-dont hold your breath.  There are a lot of problems with this - some physics based, some regulation based, some weather based, some engineering based, some economics based.  It might work well for rural delivery or in some specific locations (Bay Area).  But basically drone delivery has a lot of medium to hardish problems where building a locker into a self driving SmartCar is easy.

Flying taxis: No.  Again maybe in some specific places and times but not for mass use.  Vertical take off is loud.  Turbulence in small aircraft is vomit inducing and you get way larger effects of turbulence in smaller vehicles; think of the bumpiest ride you have ever had on an airliner but you are also fairly low to the ground. 

For AV delivery, if traffic is a problem the local city can always tax it per mile during rush hours to shift it to less busy times of day. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on December 12, 2017, 11:12:17 AM
Air taxis might be a thing soon too, check out airbus a3. The future is coming!

Air taxis have been a thing in São Paulo for years now. 

Cars are wasteful enough.  The last thing we need is everybody flying everywhere when what we really need is better efficiency. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: PoutineLover on December 12, 2017, 11:24:53 AM
Air taxis might be a thing soon too, check out airbus a3. The future is coming!

Air taxis have been a thing in São Paulo for years now. 

Cars are wasteful enough.  The last thing we need is everybody flying everywhere when what we really need is better efficiency. 
The air taxis I'm talking about would be electric, and autonomous.
https://www.airbus-sv.com/projects/1
Definitely potential to reduce commute times and traffic, if implemented properly.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: koshtra on December 12, 2017, 11:52:21 AM
Drone technology seems like absurd overkill for commuting and package delivery, to me. My speculation tends more to an "internet of freight," where boxes of stuff know their destination and are just smart enough to hop off one train or conveyor belt and drive or waddle over to another.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: seattlecyclone on December 12, 2017, 11:55:03 AM
Another fun thing to think about is errands that run themselves. Why transport the person all the hell over the place when what you want to transport is the goods?

With stores already picking things and having them setup for you when you show up at the store, that's just a short step to make to have them load a self-driving delivery vehicle too.  Beats the classic online ordering experience of having to wait anywhere from a day to a week.  Allows for easy delivery of fresh items.

I think that this self-driving delivery vehicle phenomenon will massively increase congestion on our roads at all times of day.

Let's say you want to get some clothes from the mall, get some medicine from the vet's office, get a pizza for dinner.  Rather than one person making three stops as we do now, in the future you can have three separate vehicles bring all your stuff to your home!

Now scale this up to uses over a large city.

If those three vehicles each are delivering things to you and at least two other people in your neighborhood, it comes out to a wash traffic-wise compared to each individual getting three things in their own cars.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Grog on December 12, 2017, 12:14:03 PM
I don't think anything will change dramatically.  So let's say you work in a workplace with 2000 other  people. Like an hospital or some development campus or production factory. What does it happen when 5pm comes, where do 2000 people go and wait for a car to drive them? Instead of parking you need some kind of huge waiting lane, instead of the parking lot. And how efficiently  can you load  up cars ? How many will be effectively shared ? And how do you know which car is for you, like if 100 Tesla are coming  to pick up 400 people (optimistically 4 per car)..do you need to read registration plate? Screen on the outside? Loudspeaker? And what about the other 1600, still waiting?

I'm betting people won't accept to wait and won't accept complication in going home. They will leave their auto parked ready to go wherever they want. And this means that having a car will still stay ingrained as status quo symbol generally in the culture. There will be benefit in the cities maybe, although for capacity nothing beats a good train,metro, bus combination.

We will see.

Sent from my YD201 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: surfhb on December 12, 2017, 02:59:14 PM
Drone technology seems like absurd overkill for commuting and package delivery, to me. My speculation tends more to an "internet of freight," where boxes of stuff know their destination and are just smart enough to hop off one train or conveyor belt and drive or waddle over to another.

That's actually brilliant thinking!    Disposable drones that will fly and walk to your doorstep.   Flying & walking parcel and post could be the future?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtU9p1VYtcQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ_-yb-TN9M
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: maizeman on December 12, 2017, 03:12:50 PM
I don't think anything will change dramatically.  So let's say you work in a workplace with 2000 other  people. Like an hospital or some development campus or production factory. What does it happen when 5pm comes, where do 2000 people go and wait for a car to drive them? Instead of parking you need some kind of huge waiting lane, instead of the parking lot. And how efficiently  can you load  up cars ? How many will be effectively shared ? And how do you know which car is for you, like if 100 Tesla are coming  to pick up 400 people (optimistically 4 per car)..do you need to read registration plate? Screen on the outside? Loudspeaker? And what about the other 1600, still waiting?

Why do you need to match particular people with particular cars? Couldn't people just get in whichever car was at the front of the line and tell it where to go once they hopped in? The cars could even know that when you're at a large scale pickup it makes sense to just start driving right away, and then figure out once you're going once you've made room for the next car in line, just like taxi drivers do at some airports today.

Similarly, I would expect that if we're talking a big swam of self driving cars that you'd have some sort of machine learning so the cars would know where dense concentrations of commuters were likely to pop up right around 5 pm, and could start driving there beforehand, so that cars would already be waiting as people walked out the doors.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: AlanStache on December 12, 2017, 03:31:22 PM
I don't think anything will change dramatically.  So let's say you work in a workplace with 2000 other  people. Like an hospital or some development campus or production factory. What does it happen when 5pm comes, where do 2000 people go and wait for a car to drive them? Instead of parking you need some kind of huge waiting lane, instead of the parking lot. And how efficiently  can you load  up cars ? How many will be effectively shared ? And how do you know which car is for you, like if 100 Tesla are coming  to pick up 400 people (optimistically 4 per car)..do you need to read registration plate? Screen on the outside? Loudspeaker? And what about the other 1600, still waiting?

Why do you need to match particular people with particular cars? Couldn't people just get in whichever car was at the front of the line and tell it where to go once they hopped in? The cars could even know that when you're at a large scale pickup it makes sense to just start driving right away, and then figure out once you're going once you've made room for the next car in line, just like taxi drivers do at some airports today.

Similarly, I would expect that if we're talking a big swam of self driving cars that you'd have some sort of machine learning so the cars would know where dense concentrations of commuters were likely to pop up right around 5 pm, and could start driving there beforehand, so that cars would already be waiting as people walked out the doors.

I think Grog was talking more about how you could ride share from a mass let out, so randomly grouping people together would not be optimal as there destinations would not likely be near each other.  I guess you would need the people sort/locate themselves in predefined areas, ie have pick up spots #1-#50, then from there they would just look for a numbered car - taxis have numbers on the roof.  As the person is getting off work they would have to confirm they are leaving now and will need a ride in 5 minutes then they would get a reply text saying "please wait in queue #34 for car 49382". 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: maizeman on December 12, 2017, 03:33:23 PM
Ah, gotcha. Yes if you're trying to have strangers ride share together with optimal assortment the logistics of getting the right people into the right cars quickly do start to become a fair bit more complicated. (As does the math of figuring out which people to put together in which cars.)
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: AlanStache on December 12, 2017, 03:44:50 PM
Ah, gotcha. Yes if you're trying to have strangers ride share together with optimal assortment the logistics of getting the right people into the right cars quickly do start to become a fair bit more complicated. (As does the math of figuring out which people to put together in which cars.)

It is a modest Knapsack/Traveling Sales Person problem, but you can filter down easily as you wont have more than so many (tens?) going north to Burbank and so many (tens?) going east to Riverside.  Even if you have 500 who need to go to Burbank they wont all be ready for pick up at the same time.  This could be a fun little optimization/controls project!
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on December 12, 2017, 03:45:25 PM
When talking about car fleets there will be a peak for commuting, so companies that offers these services need to cater to commuting peak times and will have idle cars for the rest of the day or risk being unreliable. One obvious solution is to find a business that has few overlaps one of which is pizza (or any food) delivery. People order when they are at work or home and their car is parked.

So likely food delivery services get special rates for using cars that would otherwise be idle. Pizza will not be brought up to your apartment anymore. However, an app will notify you when the car is ready, only open to you and you save the tip. So most people will gladly let a self driving car deliver food, even if they have to go outside to pick up food.

The other thing about self driving cars is that cars are not simply vehicles moving from A to B. They are mobile sensors. The larger you fleet is in an urban area the more useful they become. You can offer surveillance services by letting every car passing a location taking a picture. You can over precise weather forecast, because you know the amount of rain, sunshine, wind and the current cloud situation for every street in the city and how they change by the minute. This data will be more valuable to some companies than just driving services.

When (or if) self driving vehicles are common there will be a time where manual driven cars are banned as a security risk. This opens the street up to vehicles that only need to be seen by bikers and pedestrians, as other vehicles communicate with each other non-visually. Instead of lanes with cars lined up you will see all kind of large and small devices all over the street. All you need is to tap into the communication network, a battery, a motor and sensors. Vehicles will be specialized to their purpose and be as small as possible to serve their purpose not needing to have a certain hight to be seen by other drivers or be able to accelerate quickly.

Another company might offer a FireCar for their Prime customers and dispatch them from urban logistic centers with the trunk already filled with their customer's orders. That would happen to work for perishable goods, as well, and get rid of any delivery windows, stop the race towards lower delivery times (one hour now in some cities for some products) and happens to prevent theft by lowly paid drivers. Order during lunch and it's in your car when you are driven home.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: beltim on December 12, 2017, 03:49:22 PM
That sounds like a disaster.  Like the worst combination of long lines of cars at schools picking up parents, but without actually knowing ahead of time who is in your car pool.

For the majority of car trips (i.e. commuting), it's hard to see how this significantly saves time.  If it's just one person, you've doubled the number of trips, if not the distance, for a given trip (because car has to go from depot to your house, to work, to depot, to your work, to house, instead of home -> work and reverse).  If carpooling, it's a bit better, but then you're losing time to pick people up and drop them off.  Could work for long commutes, but it would be terrible for short to average commutes.

And then you can't really cut down on the number of cars too much, because you still need one passenger spot per worker, and more likely it's closer to one car per worker.  Workforce participation is 60-something percent, so you probably still need about 0.7 cars per person.  It's a difference from now, but not a big one.

The logistics don't get much better until you start getting to densities like current mass transit, as maizeman showed so nicely earlier.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on December 12, 2017, 03:56:11 PM
I don't think anything will change dramatically.  So let's say you work in a workplace with 2000 other  people. Like an hospital or some development campus or production factory. What does it happen when 5pm comes, where do 2000 people go and wait for a car to drive them? Instead of parking you need some kind of huge waiting lane, instead of the parking lot. And how efficiently  can you load  up cars ? How many will be effectively shared ? And how do you know which car is for you, like if 100 Tesla are coming  to pick up 400 people (optimistically 4 per car)..do you need to read registration plate? Screen on the outside? Loudspeaker? And what about the other 1600, still waiting?

Like in the average US school? Tell me, if I'm wrong (I'm from Germany, so I don't have practical experience), but isn't this done by finishing school at different times per grade, have everyone queue on the street instead of a parking lot and discourage other means by letting those wait till the end that want to walk home on their own.

In a company if you happen to work together with someone from your area and go home at the same time, you'll know each other after a short time, especially if you are motivated by a rebate that you are offered if you share your car instead of insisting on your own. You'll gather somewhere, then walk down to the entrance and enter the next available car which already knows who you are and where you go, as your phone told it.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on December 12, 2017, 04:11:50 PM
For the majority of car trips (i.e. commuting), it's hard to see how this significantly saves time.  If it's just one person, you've doubled the number of trips, if not the distance, for a given trip (because car has to go from depot to your house, to work, to depot, to your work, to house, instead of home -> work and reverse).  If carpooling, it's a bit better, but then you're losing time to pick people up and drop them off.  Could work for long commutes, but it would be terrible for short to average commutes.

No... Commutes are predictable, orders are predictable, even rides are somewhat predictable if you have to specify the destination in advance. It's a complex system, but you can optimize this using cars that are mostly running around and drop by the depot on the way to picking you up only if you actually have orders. It's a system that works the more efficient that more of a market share you have and therefore leads to the same "winner takes it all" that we currently see with companies like Amazon, Google, Uber...

Self driving cars won't lead itself to car pooling... People will do it if there is a financial benefit that outweighs their perceived risk and companies will offer the service if pooling actually reduces the operating cost. In public transport people feel more secure if there are many people around them. Even with camera surveillance, people feel a lot less secure at 11 PM in a train when there is just a few other passengers compared to rush hour with hundreds of fellow travellers, even though crime rates are higher during rush hour.

Self driving electric cars will drive more miles per person than manual driven gas operated cars, as they can be used by more people (children, elderly, blind, drunk people) and they potentially have a lower barrier of using especially once you pay a fixed price per month rather per minute or mile.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: evensjw on December 12, 2017, 04:16:23 PM
I worked at Google before FIRE, but not on autonomous vehicles (AV), I have no inside info. This is my own opinion.

Like other transformative technology revolutions, autonomous vehicles will change our world in unexpected ways that will seem obvious in hindsight. Few people expected the internet would clobber cable, yet it seems obvious now.

The change will happen much faster than most people expect. The companies working on this are ironing out various issues, but much of the problem is already solved. Once the entire package is working it will deploy rather quickly - just a matter of copying software (zero cost) and installing the hardware (can be done production line). We are hearing about it now but it seems far off, then suddenly there will be driverless car options on the road.

Most people will not own an AV. Large ridesharing companies will maintain fleets of electric AVs, which will be much lower cost to operate than manned ICE vehicles. Competition will ensure these cost savings are passed on to the consumer. The AV manufacturer will assume liability and insurance...I don't see how they can avoid this because their software is effectively the "driver." This will decimate auto insurance companies.

The most dramatic change will be large numbers of families going from 2 cars to 1. The one car will be used for errands, road trips, etc. but will incrementally spend more and more time parked in the driveway. More and more commuters will pool AVs to work - algorithms already exist for batching rides based on time, starting location and ending location. This will greatly reduce costs and allow the AV to use HOV lanes. This will decimate automakers, effectively cutting their market in half or worse -- the single vehicle people own will get less use, hence last much longer.

Congestion will be reduced. Partially because more people will carpool in AVs. Moreso because AVs will be able to communicate with each other in real-time, which means they can broadcast their intentions/actions to surrounding AVs. This will enable AVs to safely link up in virtual "trains" of tightly packed cars - reducing drag and increasing the effective capacity of highways. This will also reduce or eliminate pulsing of congested traffic we see with human drives. This, along with greatly reduced costs (from above) are going to decimate some mass transit systems, especially light rail. Rail in very dense metros will be fine (e.g. NYC) but those in lower density areas (suburbs, sprawling cities) will have a hard time surviving. Bus routes will survive with automated EV busses.

Auto related deaths/injuries will drop rapidly as highway miles driven migrate to AVs. This will decimate personal injury lawyers, but be great for the ~30k people who would otherwise have died in any given year in the US. Life will be much much safer for pedestrians and bikers. Computers don't get fatigued, distracted, enraged, impatient, and 360 degree field of vision (LIDAR and other sensors) means AVs will have no blind spots and be much safer for everyone.

Some security researchers will make a name for themselves finding vulnerabilities in AV software, showing how a hacker could take over or cause a crash. The media will have a field day with the hysteria. These holes will be patched and little will come of it. But expect people to be fixated on the dangers of AVs (because they are new) while ignoring the tens of thousands of people that die because of human driver error. Eventually stats will emerge that driverless cars are much much safer than traditional cars. Anyone remember when people used to be afraid to use their CC online because hackers might steal it? Yeah, no one really worries about this stuff anymore. Same will happen with AVs.

I've read a few opinions along the lines of "self driving cars will decimate X industry", but it seems to me people don't take the next step to consider how industries will adapt or what new industries will arise.

The types of insurance arrangements that we have now will surely become obsolete, but what other types of insurance will be needed?  Insurance for riders in case they damage or soil a car they don't own.  Insurance for AV fleet companies in case of software outage, or a person gets delivered to the wrong address, or are late.

Automakers will find new business models when they aren't selling direct to consumer and don't have to maintain stock of different models with different options.  Vehicles might last a long time but a new industry of retrofitting will spring up because everyone will expect an AV provided by a company to have the latest technology and features.

I've never seen a well-run suburban rail system.  That seems like a system that is already overdue to go extinct.

One industry that does appear to need a lot more investment is the security aspect.  I like your analogy of using CCs online, although I'm not sure the security go better, we just invested in more mitigation (identity theft protection and other fraud/liability protections that are priced in to CC interest rates, annual fees or other fees).   I read recently that not enough thought has gone into security for the systems that secure systems get their information from.  There have definitely been cases of bogus GPS signals.  Other examples might be weather data.  Cars might use current weather data to predict road conditions and change speed appropriately.  Rather than directly hacking the car, you could feed the cars bogus weather data and cause changes in AV behavior.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on December 12, 2017, 04:23:28 PM
I think Grog was talking more about how you could ride share from a mass let out, so randomly grouping people together would not be optimal as there destinations would not likely be near each other.  I guess you would need the people sort/locate themselves in predefined areas, ie have pick up spots #1-#50, then from there they would just look for a numbered car - taxis have numbers on the roof.  As the person is getting off work they would have to confirm they are leaving now and will need a ride in 5 minutes then they would get a reply text saying "please wait in queue #34 for car 49382".

Instead of trying to organize many queues in one location it would be easier in most cases to pick people up one by one as people can simply enter the next available vehicle. There's no reason they have to stay in the same vehicle until they reach their final destination. Instead a computer can organize car share rides based on current destinations of cars in use. In smaller parking lots a car could be waiting for your final destination. Your initial car will drop you off next to this car, open the door on the side where the other car is parked and tell you to please move to the car on your right. These cars can be organized dynamically during the one mile ride (or so) from your original destination to the car change location.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Grog on December 13, 2017, 01:14:03 AM
I've read in these threads that people believe that autonomous vehicle will have two conseguences:
- diminish car ownership for households
- reduce parking lot spaces
TLDR; I don't think either will happen. I don’t own a car and use ride sharing services + public transportation. My belief is that you can optimally solve anything technologically, but human nature won’t accept ride-sharing for the reasons listed later in my post based on my experience.
(1)   a lot of household may go from 2/3 cars to only 1/2, but there will be household without car that will purchase one. It will end up as a wash or a car ownership increase
(2)   a consequence of (1) is that car will stay as a status symbol/play an important role in one household sense of freedom. If a lot of people still will have cars, other will want to follow (keeping up with the Joneses)
(3)   Therefore, parking lots at your company site will still be needed, as this extension of status symbol and wealth will require your car to be ready to go at any moment when you finish work.
(4)   Cities will be the places where ride sharing will take off, but we will see a replacement of the traditional bus and taxi service with car sharing. So a wash.

Let's look at Autonomous Vehicle Technology:
- they will only be slightly more expensive than traditional cars. Sensors are not so expensive and software can be replicated for free. No price barrier, with all the credit/leasing stuff going around
- they improve road capacity by optimally communicating V2V (vehicle to vehicle) and V2I (vehicle to infrastructure). Green light means all car in the queue will start together, no delay or buffer there. Highway will dramatically increase capacity with car driving very close to one another at a much higher speed (130 mph limit?). In short, they will decrease commuting and driving time, at least in the beginning.
- they are safer, making driving more appealing
- you can do whatever you want inside it, making your commute more relaxed and feeling shorter. You can smoke joints when weed will be legal while watching kitten video on youtube. You could eat your takeaway dinner that the car went to pick up for you before coming back for you.
- it makes driving possible for a larger part of the population that is not driving today. Kids under 14. People with different degree of handicap (blind, degenerative diseases, paralyzed, down syndrome etc). And elderly that at the moment have the money but not the health to drive. And you know what? There will be a lot of them in the future – all of us wil get to be 100 year old, with less reflexes but still want to drive around. And this with some special customization that makes sharing impossible (accommodating wheelchairs, special car commands for blindness etc).
- In cities you have the parking problem – but guess what autonomous car solve that. They bring you into your apartment at night, go park themselves outside the cities and come back to pick you up in the morning. Some cities families that don’t have a car may buy one just for the convenience/status symbol.
In conclusion, all of this will make own your own Autonomous Vehicle more attractive than ride sharing with someone. You can solve all the optimization problem that you want to couple people together for efficient ride, but in the end you will be asking them to sacrifice all of the above. And knowing human nature, no way that happens.

Disadvantages of car sharing:
I don’t have a car and already only use car sharing services. There are aspects that people are not going to appreciate:
-   You have to be careful transporting pets; people after you may be allergic. My wife once, very allergic to cats, jumped in and had sneezes for all the trip. All kind of regulation regarding pets. You are very allergic and you don’t want to jump in a car where pets have been transported? You buy and own your own car.
-   If it rains/snow good luck keeping the car clean for the next people coming after you. And if you are an assholes, you can leave all your McDrive garbage behind you, with half a burger dripping on the seat.
-   Hygienic and health reason. Really not nice to jump in a car and behold a couple of wet tissue full of germs left near the central console. I’m not bothered but I know a lot of people that will be- they will want to have their own car.
-   Odours/parfumes/etc. I don’t need to say no more.
-   Sex on driving cars will be as common as it can gets, why stop in some shady parking lot and risk to be caught in the act? A wet dream for teenagers.
-   People will want to do something if they are not driving. Eating, smoking, playing videogames, watching porn and masturbates and soon enough there will be camera surveilling the people inside. Maybe with loudspeaker telling people “please zip your pant again. What you are doing is an infraction of the code of conduct”. People will start feeling controlled and would want to have their own car.
-   People forgetting stuff inside the car. You won’t believe how common it is. This alone will make for a logistic nightmare. People will rarely be able to retrieve their stuff. Cars will need to be cleaned up multiple time a week and you need a way for “lost&found”. All of this will make sharing less attractive for a lot of people. This is technically solvable; it just makes cars less attractive because if you forget something you don’t go in your driveway but you need to go on some pick-up center or wait until an available car brings it to you. If it happens at all since for companies will not be profitable.
-   Something can happen that one car is not available as planned. Maybe it happens once a year, but is a nuisance. A tree falling down on a road. An hurricane coming and you need to leave asap. People will be annoyed by this.


So a lot of people will still commute with their own car:
Companies are not going to transform parking lots in efficient “launch ramp” capable of accommodating 100s of people coming and going. Because a lof of their people will still have personal cars and the most efficient&cheap thing to allow come and go as you please is an existing parking lot.
In some place you could finish work at different times, when they work in shift, and that could help. But what about engineering and research jobs; they love to come and go as they please. They will not be happy if you start giving them 15-30 minutes windows to leave the building. So why invest millions to transform a parking lot in an efficient ramp when you can keep your existing parking lot for that? Parking lot in bug industrial region are not going to disappear. They will be more efficiently used though, thus making for more cars on the roads.


Just my 2 millions cents



Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Dragonswan on December 13, 2017, 06:44:56 AM
I completely agree with the above. 

We also have the problem or logistic of how an autonomous vehicle makes life and death decisions and whether there will be a passenger override.  For example,  a child runs into the street to retrieve a ball, the car begins to compensate for this for when an older child sees the little child in danger and begins running from the other side of the street to get the child and there is another autonomous vehicle behind them.  The car cannot now avoid hitting at least one of the humans. How does the car decide what to do?  How as a society do we decide the order of survival?  What if the car can stop in time but the one behind would need a second more (communication and response lag time) meaning the car behind will crash into the first car.  Can the car calculate who would sustain the least injury and make a decision based on that?  There are tons of scenarios that would need to be worked out and logic and statistics are only part of the equation. This to me is the trickiest part of humans giving up control.  The order of survival dilemma was well illustrated in the movie iRobot.
 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Prairie Stash on December 13, 2017, 08:41:22 AM
I don't think anything will change dramatically.  So let's say you work in a workplace with 2000 other  people. Like an hospital or some development campus or production factory. What does it happen when 5pm comes, where do 2000 people go and wait for a car to drive them? Instead of parking you need some kind of huge waiting lane, instead of the parking lot. And how efficiently  can you load  up cars ? How many will be effectively shared ? And how do you know which car is for you, like if 100 Tesla are coming  to pick up 400 people (optimistically 4 per car)..do you need to read registration plate? Screen on the outside? Loudspeaker? And what about the other 1600, still waiting?

Why do you need to match particular people with particular cars? Couldn't people just get in whichever car was at the front of the line and tell it where to go once they hopped in? The cars could even know that when you're at a large scale pickup it makes sense to just start driving right away, and then figure out once you're going once you've made room for the next car in line, just like taxi drivers do at some airports today.

Similarly, I would expect that if we're talking a big swam of self driving cars that you'd have some sort of machine learning so the cars would know where dense concentrations of commuters were likely to pop up right around 5 pm, and could start driving there beforehand, so that cars would already be waiting as people walked out the doors.

I think Grog was talking more about how you could ride share from a mass let out, so randomly grouping people together would not be optimal as there destinations would not likely be near each other.  I guess you would need the people sort/locate themselves in predefined areas, ie have pick up spots #1-#50, then from there they would just look for a numbered car - taxis have numbers on the roof.  As the person is getting off work they would have to confirm they are leaving now and will need a ride in 5 minutes then they would get a reply text saying "please wait in queue #34 for car 49382".
I think this is assuming that self driving cars resemble modern cars. Why not have driver less enclosed motorcycles. or some variation of a motorcycle? Or perhaps a combination of several vehicle types, like we have now?

Big benefits are Motorcycles can fit 2/lane and have reduced vehicle weights so require significantly less energy to move. The biggest drawback with the current motorcycle is it requires a special skill set to operate, so if its a fleet vehicle that removes the issue entirely. Ultimately I think some sort of driver less tricycle may be optimal, it would have a nice pod for comfort but still save space on the roads and allow a massive increase in the number of vehicles on the roads as compared to even driver less cars.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: AlanStache on December 13, 2017, 09:05:30 AM
@ Grog.  I am not sure ride sharing or lack of personal owner ship of cars will be a big thing or not but it seem many of your points could be solved by a camera in the car and having the next rider push a butting indicating the car arrived dirty then the management can review the previous renters and video to charge a cleaning fee.  If some spilled McNugget sauce could cost me 20$ I would be careful. 

lost and found: why cant the car just come back to where it dropped you off when you realize you forgot something and push a button on the app?  Combine with cameras to know if someone after you took what you left; it all would not seem that hard.

I am to lazy to google now but I thought that the younger generations were not buying cars at the same rate as the older ones have.  Car makers are not really sure what to do about it but are trying to make cars more like smart phones to get millennials to buy. \shrug

Ultimately ride sharing vs solo-riding will come down to the price differential and time differential; both of these can be highly localized.  Similarly for owning vs using auto-uber; if the price and convenience are attractive many people will choose not to own a car.  If auto-uber would cost you 200$/month and you never have to clean/maintain/fuel/insure/drive a car ever again that might be very attractive to some.  Would everyone do that-no but right now it does not look crazy. 

@ Prarie: Definitely but local weather conditions may make trikes less safe; ie icy northern mountain roads vs San Diego.

@ Dragonswan: Dont let the lack of a perfect solution stop the implementation of a much better solution.  20k-30k people PER year die from manually driven cars in the US; I suspect the vast majority of these dont involve the Trolley Problem.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on December 13, 2017, 09:39:49 AM
I've read a few opinions along the lines of "self driving cars will decimate X industry", but it seems to me people don't take the next step to consider how industries will adapt or what new industries will arise.

The types of insurance arrangements that we have now will surely become obsolete, but what other types of insurance will be needed?  Insurance for riders in case they damage or soil a car they don't own.  Insurance for AV fleet companies in case of software outage, or a person gets delivered to the wrong address, or are late.

Insurance requires actuarial data on the part of the issuer of a policy. They need to know, statistically, the rate at which accidents happen. They have this dialed in now to specific demographics, makes/models of cars, location, and so on. Software outages/errors are a complete black box and auto insurance companies don't have the expertise or access to data to make rational decisions to ensure they can cover claims, admin, and still make a profit. There's a huge information asymmetry here with the AV makers holding all the cards. The whole point of insurance is to spread individual risk across a large pool. But the AV makers are their own huge risk pool. Why would they pay another for-profit company for insurance when they have the means the effectively self insure (they can easily absorb liability events as a cost of doing business).

People damaging or soiling cars is also not a great use case. Generally this is not something that is an "accident" as much as it's normal wear and tear and/or people being careless or outright destructive. It's plausible something like this will be offered (just like warranties are offered on $3 USB cables), but it's a niche market.

Either way, auto insurance as a market will be decimated...sure specific companies may find a way to survive by diversifying into different industries, but "auto insurance" as an industry will be hit hard.

Automakers will find new business models when they aren't selling direct to consumer and don't have to maintain stock of different models with different options.  Vehicles might last a long time but a new industry of retrofitting will spring up because everyone will expect an AV provided by a company to have the latest technology and features.

The biggest threat to automakers is losing their ability to build brand value and identity in the mind of the consumer. The auto market is highly segmented, much of this is in the mind of consumers. Volvo == affluent, educated, liberal. Subaru == liberal, green, outdoorsy, educated. Toyota == middle class, practical. And so on. This is all the product of intensive and carefully curated marketing, and it means they build brand loyalty, get people to "upgrade" every few years, and make a lot more profit than they would otherwise. However, when you really get down to the nuts and bolts, there's very little difference between most vehicles. B2B marketing is a lot tougher than marketing to consumers, because businesses tend to make decisions more rational whereas consumers are more emotional.

A trend towards fleet services of electric AVs destroys much of this. People start seeing vehicles as more utilitarian, primarily as transportation rather than a lifestyle brand. It's not something you identify with, it doesn't describe "you".

A similar thing happened with the music industry and digital downloads. What hurt the industry most is that they lost their foothold in the mind of the consumer. Before MP3s, music on physical media was treasured. People spent hours perusing record stores. You bought special binders/holders for your albums. You traded music with friends. It was part of your identity. MP3s (and subsequent formats) made music so ubiquitous that people had more than they could ever listen to. It went from something treasured to something competing for attention. The value in the mind of the consumer was lost. Automakers are at a similar threshold.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: koshtra on December 13, 2017, 10:18:35 AM
It's been kind of amusing to watch Uber painstakingly reinvent the bus.

"Hey, if you go in a straight line and have everyone walk to that line to get on, your rideshare is actually efficient!"

How bout that! Amazing.

By the way, I LOVE buses. Terrific transportation technology. Totally configurable and reroutable. Small enough that you can take them offline one by one for maintenance, but big enough to be nearly as efficient as trains. Screw streetcars and light rail. Self-driving buses are the urban future.

(Okay, end the bus ad. I get tired of people dissing buses in favor of cool technologies that do everything but actually get people where they need to go when they need to be there.)

To me, the real "stickiness" of personal cars is that they're a little bit of personal territory in a working world that doesn't afford much. If your "office" is an open plan or a low-wall cubicle, you're aching for a little privacy -- a little bit of the world that actually belongs to you -- by the end of the day. I used to go out and eat lunch in my car in an ugly parking lot, when I lived in corporate-land, just so I could be in my own space. I didn't want to be in someone else's space any more. Maybe my car was cramped and had an ugly view, but it was MINE.

But I grew up with cars. If you never get used to that, you'll never miss it. I think the next couple generations will gradually let go of personal cars, and that will be a good thing... but we'll see. A LOT depends on the infrastructure we build, or fail to build.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Prairie Stash on December 13, 2017, 12:05:26 PM

@ Prarie: Definitely but local weather conditions may make trikes less safe; ie icy northern mountain roads vs San Diego.

I agree about climate, I was actually looking at the icy roads this morning. A trike, in Canada, is perfectly feasible. We currently have people on bicycles out there pedaling away on ice, its not great but even on two wheels its possible to overcome the weather. Don't forget that with autonomous vehicles you can design them to see more, in the infrared spectrum, its pretty easy to see black ice in the IR spectrum that a regular human eye can't detect. Or perhaps you just have better algorithms that know to slow down appropriately, or otherwise adjust for the weather.

However the greater point is there won't be a single universal vehicle, there will be multiple models for each specific situation. Just like we have multiple vehicles now, the future will have multiple configurations to address each concern raised so far. People keep thinking of the Tesla, that'll just be one of a hundred models of vehicles in the near future. No one would expect the same car to be in San Diego USA and Ottawa Canada, at the very least you'd have different tires on each as is the current custom.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on December 13, 2017, 08:40:45 PM
In case the tech isn't on anyone's radar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjZPvXKewFk

Yes, robots can ride motorcycles... ;)

Pair it with a machine like this and you have a platform for autonomous deliveries, taxi service, etc. Assuming the narrow profile and lightweight pays off in efficiency over a traditional four wheel vehicle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUEvCakq8mU
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on December 14, 2017, 09:18:07 AM
I agree about climate, I was actually looking at the icy roads this morning. A trike, in Canada, is perfectly feasible. We currently have people on bicycles out there pedaling away on ice, its not great but even on two wheels its possible to overcome the weather. Don't forget that with autonomous vehicles you can design them to see more, in the infrared spectrum, its pretty easy to see black ice in the IR spectrum that a regular human eye can't detect. Or perhaps you just have better algorithms that know to slow down appropriately, or otherwise adjust for the weather.

That's a good point. Not only will AVs see ice better, they will also react correctly. The software will know the coefficient of friction for tires in use (I could see fleet services could change these per season) in specific conditions: ice, snow, wet asphalt, etc. They will consistently anticipate and adapt to driving conditions. This is easy for a computer, just becomes another input to the driving algorithm. Humans, on the other hand, are terrible at making such estimates on the fly. Our brains just aren't wired to think "ice ahead, winter tires, 31F, coefficient of friction changing to 0.1, slow to 12 MPH before the ice".  In extreme weather AVs will drive much slower and more cautiously...the way human drivers should but don't because we are impatient and consistently overestimate our abilities.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on December 14, 2017, 11:16:29 AM
Air taxis might be a thing soon too, check out airbus a3. The future is coming!

Air taxis have been a thing in São Paulo for years now. 

Cars are wasteful enough.  The last thing we need is everybody flying everywhere when what we really need is better efficiency. 
The air taxis I'm talking about would be electric, and autonomous.
https://www.airbus-sv.com/projects/1
Definitely potential to reduce commute times and traffic, if implemented properly.

Electric and autonomous don't change anything except the price to the rider.  You still have large energy consumption and noise pollution.  You also just move the traffic into the air so you will then have traffic jams blocking out the sun.  You'll also get the utter irony of people taking an air taxi to the gym.

Getting people to live closer to where they need to go is the solution, not putting everybody in the air. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: PoutineLover on December 14, 2017, 11:44:14 AM
Air taxis might be a thing soon too, check out airbus a3. The future is coming!

Air taxis have been a thing in São Paulo for years now. 

Cars are wasteful enough.  The last thing we need is everybody flying everywhere when what we really need is better efficiency. 
The air taxis I'm talking about would be electric, and autonomous.
https://www.airbus-sv.com/projects/1
Definitely potential to reduce commute times and traffic, if implemented properly.

Electric and autonomous don't change anything except the price to the rider.  You still have large energy consumption and noise pollution.  You also just move the traffic into the air so you will then have traffic jams blocking out the sun.  You'll also get the utter irony of people taking an air taxi to the gym.

Getting people to live closer to where they need to go is the solution, not putting everybody in the air. 
Oh for sure, I definitely agree that people should live close to where they need to be often, and the air taxis could end up being a giant mess as well. I don't own a car myself and I bike, walk or transit everywhere, and I chose my apartment with that in mind. But I also know that we don't live in an ideal world, most people still own cars, and most don't want to give up their own personal transportation. It's hard to change that mindset and redesign the whole city+suburb model that got so bad due to cars becoming widespread. I would love to see cities designed to prioritize active and communal transport, and at the same time, build more sustainable personal transportation options. Self driving cars, drones, enclosed motorcycles, driving robots and air taxis are all super cool technologies that may or may not be adopted en masse, but anything that can help reduce the use of gas guzzling, wasteful and inefficient vehicles is worth exploring.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Apple_Tango on December 14, 2017, 03:53:52 PM

Electric and autonomous don't change anything except the price to the rider.  You still have large energy consumption and noise pollution.  You also just move the traffic into the air so you will then have traffic jams blocking out the sun.  You'll also get the utter irony of people taking an air taxi to the gym.

Getting people to live closer to where they need to go is the solution, not putting everybody in the air.

Yes!!!  We should be moving to places where we actually want to spend most of our time. I would hate it if all this tech advancement makes us move further away from the places where we actually want to be. I guess the main problems to people actually doing this are 1)cost of housing 2)real/perceived crime in cities 3)"quality" school districts. 4) people love big yards

Although a high-speed, across the country self driving network would be pretty cool. (oh wait...airplanes? they are not self driving, but are very high speed!)
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: maizeman on December 15, 2017, 06:36:01 AM
I think Grog was talking more about how you could ride share from a mass let out, so randomly grouping people together would not be optimal as there destinations would not likely be near each other.  I guess you would need the people sort/locate themselves in predefined areas, ie have pick up spots #1-#50, then from there they would just look for a numbered car - taxis have numbers on the roof.  As the person is getting off work they would have to confirm they are leaving now and will need a ride in 5 minutes then they would get a reply text saying "please wait in queue #34 for car 49382".

Instead of trying to organize many queues in one location it would be easier in most cases to pick people up one by one as people can simply enter the next available vehicle. There's no reason they have to stay in the same vehicle until they reach their final destination. Instead a computer can organize car share rides based on current destinations of cars in use. In smaller parking lots a car could be waiting for your final destination. Your initial car will drop you off next to this car, open the door on the side where the other car is parked and tell you to please move to the car on your right. These cars can be organized dynamically during the one mile ride (or so) from your original destination to the car change location.

Hi @Christof I've been travelling and am just catching up on this thread, but I just wanted to say that this is brilliant solution. I don't know if it'll ever catch on or not (as others have discussed this depends on the economics of ride sharing. But is certainly addressed the logistics of picking up large numbers of unsorted individuals from a confined space. And it'd be really cool to get the chance to participate in such a system at some point: "Passenger #3, please prepare to exit this vehicle and board the green car immediately to the left to continue your journey in 4... 3... 2..."
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: MayDay on December 15, 2017, 07:04:21 PM

Electric and autonomous don't change anything except the price to the rider.  You still have large energy consumption and noise pollution.  You also just move the traffic into the air so you will then have traffic jams blocking out the sun.  You'll also get the utter irony of people taking an air taxi to the gym.

Getting people to live closer to where they need to go is the solution, not putting everybody in the air.

Yes!!!  We should be moving to places where we actually want to spend most of our time. I would hate it if all this tech advancement makes us move further away from the places where we actually want to be. I guess the main problems to people actually doing this are 1)cost of housing 2)real/perceived crime in cities 3)"quality" school districts. 4) people love big yards

Although a high-speed, across the country self driving network would be pretty cool. (oh wait...airplanes? they are not self driving, but are very high speed!)

I agree that autonomous case may actually make commutes longer.

I think a lot of the problem is that the location of your job doesn't line up with your preferred yard size/school district/whatever. And since people now change jobs fairly frequently (and two career families are more common) it doesn't always make sense to live near your job.

This I would like to see autonomous vehicles make the commutes people choose more efficient through ride sharing or better mass transit or whatever.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: seattlecyclone on December 16, 2017, 03:20:59 PM
I think Grog was talking more about how you could ride share from a mass let out, so randomly grouping people together would not be optimal as there destinations would not likely be near each other.  I guess you would need the people sort/locate themselves in predefined areas, ie have pick up spots #1-#50, then from there they would just look for a numbered car - taxis have numbers on the roof.  As the person is getting off work they would have to confirm they are leaving now and will need a ride in 5 minutes then they would get a reply text saying "please wait in queue #34 for car 49382".

Instead of trying to organize many queues in one location it would be easier in most cases to pick people up one by one as people can simply enter the next available vehicle. There's no reason they have to stay in the same vehicle until they reach their final destination. Instead a computer can organize car share rides based on current destinations of cars in use. In smaller parking lots a car could be waiting for your final destination. Your initial car will drop you off next to this car, open the door on the side where the other car is parked and tell you to please move to the car on your right. These cars can be organized dynamically during the one mile ride (or so) from your original destination to the car change location.

Hi @Christof I've been travelling and am just catching up on this thread, but I just wanted to say that this is brilliant solution. I don't know if it'll ever catch on or not (as others have discussed this depends on the economics of ride sharing. But is certainly addressed the logistics of picking up large numbers of unsorted individuals from a confined space. And it'd be really cool to get the chance to participate in such a system at some point: "Passenger #3, please prepare to exit this vehicle and board the green car immediately to the left to continue your journey in 4... 3... 2..."

You could even imagine a system where two autonomous vehicles could be designed to "dock" side by side so that they don't even need to pull over to enable the transfer. Your current car would just connect to the new one while in motion, give you an opportunity to slide over, and the cars would split apart again to go their separate ways.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Debonair on December 26, 2017, 08:21:33 AM
I don't know, a self-driving motorcycle sounds really boring to me so I think I, and a lot of other people, would stick to those.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: evensjw on January 04, 2018, 06:31:39 PM

The biggest threat to automakers is losing their ability to build brand value and identity in the mind of the consumer. The auto market is highly segmented, much of this is in the mind of consumers. Volvo == affluent, educated, liberal. Subaru == liberal, green, outdoorsy, educated. Toyota == middle class, practical. And so on. This is all the product of intensive and carefully curated marketing, and it means they build brand loyalty, get people to "upgrade" every few years, and make a lot more profit than they would otherwise. However, when you really get down to the nuts and bolts, there's very little difference between most vehicles. B2B marketing is a lot tougher than marketing to consumers, because businesses tend to make decisions more rational whereas consumers are more emotional.


I feel like this is my exact point.  When the auto industry started, I'm sure everyone said, "Car makers aren't going to be able to do business like horse traders do.  A car is a car is a car.  With horses you got different breeds, personalities, pedigree...".

Yet somehow, car makers managed to convince us that a Subaru is fundamentally different from a Volvo, or Toyota...

It just seems naive to think that millions of motivated salespeople aren't going to be able to find a way to differentiate their products in the autonomous vehicle world.  Likewise that millions of motivated insurance actuaries aren't going to very quickly find ways to get the data they need in a new business environment.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 05, 2018, 02:28:14 AM
In the transportation as a service model, the millions of insurance and vehicle sales folk will be cut out.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on January 05, 2018, 11:20:19 AM

The biggest threat to automakers is losing their ability to build brand value and identity in the mind of the consumer. The auto market is highly segmented, much of this is in the mind of consumers. Volvo == affluent, educated, liberal. Subaru == liberal, green, outdoorsy, educated. Toyota == middle class, practical. And so on. This is all the product of intensive and carefully curated marketing, and it means they build brand loyalty, get people to "upgrade" every few years, and make a lot more profit than they would otherwise. However, when you really get down to the nuts and bolts, there's very little difference between most vehicles. B2B marketing is a lot tougher than marketing to consumers, because businesses tend to make decisions more rational whereas consumers are more emotional.


I feel like this is my exact point.  When the auto industry started, I'm sure everyone said, "Car makers aren't going to be able to do business like horse traders do.  A car is a car is a car.  With horses you got different breeds, personalities, pedigree...".

Yet somehow, car makers managed to convince us that a Subaru is fundamentally different from a Volvo, or Toyota...

It just seems naive to think that millions of motivated salespeople aren't going to be able to find a way to differentiate their products in the autonomous vehicle world.  Likewise that millions of motivated insurance actuaries aren't going to very quickly find ways to get the data they need in a new business environment.

I'm not claiming that millions of motivated sales/insurance people will remain unemployed indefinitely. That would be...silly. But it's naive to think that general size and shape of the industry will remain largely unchanged. Some will transition to a different, and likely much smaller market (much less demand with AV ridesharing services). Most will transition into other industries and/or professions. Auto sales and insurance of the present age are the blacksmiths of the horse and buggy era...it's not just that the product is changing, but that the entire transportation landscape is shifting away from the need for their core skill set.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 05, 2018, 11:39:16 AM
In the transportation as a service model, the millions of insurance and vehicle sales folk will be cut out.
With an autonomous vehicle its expected there will be a sharp reduction in crashes, you can add auto-body repair to the list of affected professions.

Currently I price driving around $0.30-0.35/km for my household. How much cheaper will that become when we cut out all those millions of people? Over half of that for me is vehicle depreciation, insurance and annual maintenance costs not linked to the amount I drive. The financial incentive is going to be huge for me.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 05, 2018, 01:37:54 PM
I saw an article a few weeks ago that full autonomous vehicles are still very far away and many of the big players recently pushed back their goals by two full years. The last 1% of issues they need to solve are proving to be far more challenging than the first 99%.

We shall see
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: lemonlyman on January 05, 2018, 01:47:59 PM
I'd like to see that article. Waymo is already running level 4 autonomous vehicles (no driver, pedal, or steering wheel) in Phoenix, AZ. So I wouldn't say it's very far away at all.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 05, 2018, 02:07:23 PM
I'd like to see that article. Waymo is already running level 4 autonomous vehicles (no driver, pedal, or steering wheel) in Phoenix, AZ. So I wouldn't say it's very far away at all.

Found it!

https://www.wired.com/story/self-driving-cars-challenges/
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Michael in ABQ on January 05, 2018, 02:50:09 PM
I think long-haul trucking will probably be one area of great cost savings. Especially for trips that are from one warehouse near a freeway to another near a freeway. It's the last mile where a human driver will still be needed, at least for a while. Think about a UPS or FedEx trucking going from one warehouse to another. They'll be able to make each end of the trip very easy. Another solution I've heard is that as the truck gets to the freeway off-ramp it switches over to a remote human drive who guides it from there to the warehouse/destination. A few drivers could handle hundreds of vehicles around the country if they were staggered efficiently.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: ketchup on January 05, 2018, 03:10:41 PM
I think long-haul trucking will probably be one area of great cost savings. Especially for trips that are from one warehouse near a freeway to another near a freeway. It's the last mile where a human driver will still be needed, at least for a while. Think about a UPS or FedEx trucking going from one warehouse to another. They'll be able to make each end of the trip very easy. Another solution I've heard is that as the truck gets to the freeway off-ramp it switches over to a remote human drive who guides it from there to the warehouse/destination. A few drivers could handle hundreds of vehicles around the country if they were staggered efficiently.
This is similar to what Tesla wants to do with their semi-truck.  They'll have the capability to drive multiple in a row in a convoy, with only the first vehicle manned (somewhat like a train, I suppose).
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Optimiser on January 05, 2018, 03:10:54 PM
I've really enjoyed the discussion here. None of us really know how AVs will change the world, but it is fascinating to think about.

I ran across this report in another thread on here. It is long (I haven't actually read the whole thing, but I found it really interesting.) https://www.rethinkx.com/transportation
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: maizeman on January 05, 2018, 03:19:13 PM
The last 1% of issues they need to solve are proving to be far more challenging than the first 99%.

This sentence applies to every science, engineering, or programming problem I've ever worked on or seen other people work on. ;-)
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on January 05, 2018, 03:46:47 PM
I think long-haul trucking will probably be one area of great cost savings. Especially for trips that are from one warehouse near a freeway to another near a freeway. It's the last mile where a human driver will still be needed, at least for a while. Think about a UPS or FedEx trucking going from one warehouse to another. They'll be able to make each end of the trip very easy. Another solution I've heard is that as the truck gets to the freeway off-ramp it switches over to a remote human drive who guides it from there to the warehouse/destination. A few drivers could handle hundreds of vehicles around the country if they were staggered efficiently.

I wonder how long it will take for people to automate intermodal shipping so that a container can be put on the back of a truck, transfer itself from truck to ship, ship to train, then back to truck.  That might make shipping a lot more fuel efficient since it would make it very easy for the long-haul portion of the trip to be by train or boat.  As is, moving items by truck on the highway consumes way more fuel than by train or especially water. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 05, 2018, 04:34:08 PM
Just saw this on Bloomberg:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-01-04/a-user-s-guide-to-the-dawn-of-robot-driving
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 06, 2018, 12:37:19 AM
Not a bad article if it’d been written 3 years ago. My 2 cents.

I think they underestimate the level of autonomy the first “consumer” level vehicles will have.

Quote
By 2021 there will be 51,000 autonomous vehicles on roads worldwide, according to a new forecast from IHS Markit, with sales projected to rise to nearly 1 million by 2025 and an estimated 33 million by 2040.

They’re off by a factor of ten.

Quote
As it pulls up, the small SUV greets you with a computer voice: "Hello, Mr. Jones." You punch in a code on the door; it unlocks and slides open.

No punching in a code, phone will talk to car and unlock.

Quote
Halfway there you realize you have no cash and remember that the restaurant you’re heading to doesn’t accept credit cards. You press a button overhead that connects you to a human attendant, who says, "How can I help you, Mr. Jones?"

You won’t be talking to a human, unless the digital assistant can’t understand you.

Quote
If a robotic delivery van takes to the highway—unlikely in the early stages of deployment—it would probably travel in a dedicated lane to avoid snarling traffic with its slow-moving ways.

Na, they’ll be able to travel at all speed limits. No ones going to build the extra city wide infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles that dont meet public expectations.

Quote
You’ve just picked up your bags from baggage claim, and now you’re making your way to the rental car counter. Even though the vehicle you borrow won’t yet be automated

There will be no rental car counter. An autonomous car will be there for you at the airport pickup zone.





Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on January 06, 2018, 03:17:59 PM
Isn't it weird how this article reads like an old utopia?

Another thing: Cash... Governments everywhere try to eliminate cash, because it's equated with tax evasion. So many places accept credit cards. Sweden is almost cashless. In London I only needed cash for a public restroom, and that was already weird. I've not been to New York, but out of many cities I'd expect credit card acceptance virtually everywhere there.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Michael in ABQ on January 06, 2018, 06:27:31 PM
I think long-haul trucking will probably be one area of great cost savings. Especially for trips that are from one warehouse near a freeway to another near a freeway. It's the last mile where a human driver will still be needed, at least for a while. Think about a UPS or FedEx trucking going from one warehouse to another. They'll be able to make each end of the trip very easy. Another solution I've heard is that as the truck gets to the freeway off-ramp it switches over to a remote human drive who guides it from there to the warehouse/destination. A few drivers could handle hundreds of vehicles around the country if they were staggered efficiently.

I wonder how long it will take for people to automate intermodal shipping so that a container can be put on the back of a truck, transfer itself from truck to ship, ship to train, then back to truck.  That might make shipping a lot more fuel efficient since it would make it very easy for the long-haul portion of the trip to be by train or boat.  As is, moving items by truck on the highway consumes way more fuel than by train or especially water.

This is similar to the problem with mass transit. Subways, buses, and light rail travel along fixed routes - which is great if your point of departure and point of arrival are along that line. If they are not then it's of little or no use to you. The myriad places goods originate from and need to travel to make fixed infrastructure limited. Trains are great for getting a container cheaply across the country but there's always going to be a last mile (or last few hundred miles) to get it directly to the customer.

The UPS and FedEx driver will probably not be replaced until we have human-link robots that can carry a package into a large building or up the stairs in an apartment complex. Maybe buildings in large cities will be designed to have lockers that can be quickly loaded from the outside by an automated vehicle but for quite some time most items will still need a human at the end to make the final delivery.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on January 06, 2018, 06:47:19 PM
I don't think so... If people can save a buck or two, they are willing to go downstairs to pick up a package once notified on their phone. Once the technology is available, Delivery companies will first give a rebate for using automated delivery, and later charge a premium for their human based premium delivery service.

Many packages here are already delivered to central locations, either small neighborhood shops or kind of a locker (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packstation). Personal delivery isn't the default anzmore.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Michael in ABQ on January 06, 2018, 09:20:09 PM
I don't think so... If people can save a buck or two, they are willing to go downstairs to pick up a package once notified on their phone. Once the technology is available, Delivery companies will first give a rebate for using automated delivery, and later charge a premium for their human based premium delivery service.

Many packages here are already delivered to central locations, either small neighborhood shops or kind of a locker (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packstation). Personal delivery isn't the default anzmore.

True, but getting those individual packages into a locker inside a building will take more than a self-driving truck. There would need to be a way for the truck to back up to some exterior port to load packages into a building. That's not really feasible in many places where everything is designed for trucks to pull up on the street.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Grog on January 07, 2018, 01:49:37 AM
I just wonder about motorcycles. My estimate is that they are slightly more difficult to fully automate and electrify (and pilots won't give up control, is what makes riding fun in the first place) and the will still represent somewhat of a dangerous unknown in a fully automated traffic system.
You can have all the AI you desire but if a human driven cycle crash unto you, nothing anyone can do.
Will motorcycles be banned from certain roads to fully profit of autonomous driving?    Probably.

Sent from my YD201 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 07, 2018, 04:46:10 AM
Eventual I expect to see the banning of all non autonomous motor vehicles from public roads. However I wouldn’t be surprised to see autonomous two wheelers in some form.

Off topic, nice to see another Yotaphone owner on the forum.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on January 07, 2018, 06:42:51 AM
True, but getting those individual packages into a locker inside a building will take more than a self-driving truck. There would need to be a way for the truck to back up to some exterior port to load packages into a building. That's not really feasible in many places where everything is designed for trucks to pull up on the street.

I don't think we will see lockers inside a building that are automatically filled. Instead the delivery van becomes the locker. When a package arrives, you are notified and go downstairs to pick it up. After a tour some of these vans might park in known locations where you can pick up your package later that day. Maybe some of them will  modular, so they just put down one module filled with packages and pick up an empty one much like a container.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 07, 2018, 08:58:13 AM
True, but getting those individual packages into a locker inside a building will take more than a self-driving truck. There would need to be a way for the truck to back up to some exterior port to load packages into a building. That's not really feasible in many places where everything is designed for trucks to pull up on the street.

I don't think we will see lockers inside a building that are automatically filled. Instead the delivery van becomes the locker. When a package arrives, you are notified and go downstairs to pick it up. After a tour some of these vans might park in known locations where you can pick up your package later that day. Maybe some of them will  modular, so they just put down one module filled with packages and pick up an empty one much like a container.

What about the elderly and disabled? My apartment building has a handful of older and disabled people who are homebound. What about people who aren’t home when the truck arrives? What about heavy packages that the recipient can’t get from the truck to their home? How will you prevent people from looting the truck after they get access to it?

I don’t think the delivery man is going to disappear. They may not drive the truck and their wages will be lower because of that but I think people prefer having a human carry the package to the door or lobby of the building. And it is much faster for the human to bring ten packages into the lobby of a building than have the truck sit there and wait for ten people to come downstairs and fetch the packages themselves.

Making people be available for a delivery and go outside is a step backward from what we have now. My two cents.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: koshtra on January 07, 2018, 09:28:43 AM
If I were a sector investor, I'd go for locker producers in a big way :-)

One way or another, the automation of delivery is likely to involve leaving stuff unguarded.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on January 07, 2018, 02:09:33 PM
An automated package delivery car doesn't look like a truck with all parcels on one heap. It looks like lockers with small and large doors, with deliveries to one person behind each door. Only one door opens when you approach the truck.

I'm also not saying the delivery guys go away. I'm saying that you will be able to pick standard automatic delivery and premium delivery to your door. At least in Germany the majority would rather save money than pay for premium delivery. So yes, elderly and disabled will have to pay more.

The car wouldn't wait a long time. It's working with your phone. You get advance notice to be ready just in time when your parcels are delivered. If you don't move, the truck doesn't even stop for you.

It also really depends on what kind of surrounding you have. Houses here have no lobby that you could safely deliver packages to and most houses have less than 20 parties. If you are talking about skyscrapers with a hundred, or more apartments, the economy changes completely.

Leaving stuff unguarded is reality here... your package get delivered to your backyard or some safe deposit place. Delivery services ask for permission, either permanently or for just one delivery. The most expensive part of deliver (aside from gas, tear and wear) is spending time and not delivering.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 08, 2018, 08:33:03 AM
True, but getting those individual packages into a locker inside a building will take more than a self-driving truck. There would need to be a way for the truck to back up to some exterior port to load packages into a building. That's not really feasible in many places where everything is designed for trucks to pull up on the street.

I don't think we will see lockers inside a building that are automatically filled. Instead the delivery van becomes the locker. When a package arrives, you are notified and go downstairs to pick it up. After a tour some of these vans might park in known locations where you can pick up your package later that day. Maybe some of them will  modular, so they just put down one module filled with packages and pick up an empty one much like a container.

What about the elderly and disabled? My apartment building has a handful of older and disabled people who are homebound. What about people who aren’t home when the truck arrives? What about heavy packages that the recipient can’t get from the truck to their home? How will you prevent people from looting the truck after they get access to it?

I don’t think the delivery man is going to disappear. They may not drive the truck and their wages will be lower because of that but I think people prefer having a human carry the package to the door or lobby of the building. And it is much faster for the human to bring ten packages into the lobby of a building than have the truck sit there and wait for ten people to come downstairs and fetch the packages themselves.

Making people be available for a delivery and go outside is a step backward from what we have now. My two cents.
The service already exists ,you can pay people to pick up parcels for you.

If I lived in the building I might be the recipient for Amazon, Drycleaning, UPS, FedEx, Pharmacy Prescriptions and all the  rest. Then I would charge a small fee to drop them off later. I wouldn't work for any of the companies, I'd be a third party working for some sort of delivery recipient service like TaskRabbit or one of the others.

The major difference is instead of companies having delivery people, there may be a professional delivery recipient for a neighbourhood. I could provide freezer service for ice cream, fridge service for pharmaceuticals and camera tracking of valuables from amazon to ensure security. All of that for about $30-50 month and I would text you to obtain a delivery time that works including 9 PM after you get home from the gym. I think it might be a temporary job while we transition to a better system, just thinking it's one of the steps to bridge the gap.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: PoutineLover on January 08, 2018, 08:57:19 AM
Traditional delivery services have been pretty inefficient since they usually deliver to homes when people are at work. I like amazon's option of delivering directly to the post office instead, it saves me a day since I usually miss the delivery and get the notice to go there the next day after 1pm. An even better option is UPS dropping stuff off immediately at the convenience store next door, which is open later than the post office and I don't have to wait until the next day. These are also easy "last mile" saving fixes because instead of the consumer needing to go meet a truck or a human to do the last few steps, it's employees of post offices or convenience stores that unload the (potentially self driving) truck, and they are already on the payroll, in location.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: AlanStache on January 08, 2018, 10:17:19 AM
Am I the only one who works for a company that lets everyone get stuff delivered to work?  we get 1 personal package per 5 to 10  employees most days.  is really not disruptive.  Only problem we might have in future is if we start getting one off deliveries all day long from the amazon direct delivery contractors.  I know this is not a universal solution but cant it be the norm?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 08, 2018, 10:44:56 AM
Am I the only one who works for a company that lets everyone get stuff delivered to work?  we get 1 personal package per 5 to 10  employees most days.  is really not disruptive.  Only problem we might have in future is if we start getting one off deliveries all day long from the amazon direct delivery contractors.  I know this is not a universal solution but cant it be the norm?

My office strictly prohibits it. And in a place like NYC, Chicago, Boston, San Fran, etc. where everyone takes public transportation to work it's a pain to haul big boxy heavy stuff from the office to the home.

A friend told me that someone in his office received a giant rug at work and management flipped out. It was a mistake of course - the rug was supposed to be sent to the home - but the rug recipient had to figure out how to get it home.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Optimiser on January 08, 2018, 10:51:47 AM
Am I the only one who works for a company that lets everyone get stuff delivered to work?  we get 1 personal package per 5 to 10  employees most days.  is really not disruptive.  Only problem we might have in future is if we start getting one off deliveries all day long from the amazon direct delivery contractors.  I know this is not a universal solution but cant it be the norm?

My office has no problem with this, but I always just get stuff delivered to my house. I guess if I had a problem with stuff getting stolen off my front porch I'd opt to get things delivered to the office, otherwise its just easier to get it sent to my house.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on January 08, 2018, 11:10:35 AM
An automated package delivery car doesn't look like a truck with all parcels on one heap. It looks like lockers with small and large doors, with deliveries to one person behind each door. Only one door opens when you approach the truck.

I'm also not saying the delivery guys go away. I'm saying that you will be able to pick standard automatic delivery and premium delivery to your door. At least in Germany the majority would rather save money than pay for premium delivery. So yes, elderly and disabled will have to pay more.

The car wouldn't wait a long time. It's working with your phone. You get advance notice to be ready just in time when your parcels are delivered. If you don't move, the truck doesn't even stop for you.

It also really depends on what kind of surrounding you have. Houses here have no lobby that you could safely deliver packages to and most houses have less than 20 parties. If you are talking about skyscrapers with a hundred, or more apartments, the economy changes completely.

Leaving stuff unguarded is reality here... your package get delivered to your backyard or some safe deposit place. Delivery services ask for permission, either permanently or for just one delivery. The most expensive part of deliver (aside from gas, tear and wear) is spending time and not delivering.

I wonder how long until new houses are built with a little closet on the front porch with a locking door to accept packages? Maybe the UPS/FedEX/USPS computer the delivery folks carry would unlock it wirelessly.

I am allowed to have things delivered to work but always worry about the appearance factor: I accept packages for my employer's projects all the time. If I accept personal packages and then move them to my personal vehicle then it sort of looks bad.

I just have them sent directly home and run home at lunch to move them inside if they are especially valuable (a rare thing). In the past if the package was valuable the delivery person will leave a ticket and I have to drive to the depot to pick it up in person and I'm fine with that (like when I ordered a computer).
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on January 08, 2018, 02:11:18 PM
DHL has this option already in Germany. Only you and the DHL delivery person can open this private box on your property. It's also used to pick up packages you want to send.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: ozbeach on January 08, 2018, 02:51:50 PM
I wonder how long until new houses are built with a little closet on the front porch with a locking door to accept packages?

Everything old is new again!  Some houses built here in Australia in the 50s used to have a little door like this for the delivery man to put the milk and bread in.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: seattlecyclone on January 08, 2018, 03:41:08 PM
Such lockers are a product that exists today. Some people on my neighborhood Nextdoor site have purchased them in order to protect themselves from package thieves. They seemed pretty expensive to me (at least $500), but I guess if you regularly get expensive things delivered in a high-theft area it could eventually pay for itself.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: The Fake Cheap on January 09, 2018, 07:18:41 PM
Getting back on topic:

My thoughts when it comes to self driving cars;

How are they going to handle snow?  Sure most will have winter tires, at least in this neck of the wood, but I find you need the right touch now and then in bad conditions.  I'm sure the self driving car will recognize it's snowing and/or the roads are slippery, but does that mean it's going to slow down to half the speed limit?  Will the self driving car be too "confident" and zip along at normal speed, and hit that patch of black ice and end up in the ditch?  Either way, overall better than human drivers I guess.

Very random and low frequency situation:  What if you're in an active shooter situation as your car is slowly navigating a parking lot, and you just happen to be heading at the shooter at low speed?  I guess you just duck and hope for the best?  I highly doubt there is going to be a "Warp factor 10 Mr Sulu!" button to get out of nasty situations.  Similar scenario, what if you are approaching a 4 way stop and it appears the guy behind you isn't going to stop, and is going to rear end you?  If you had control, you could slow down to 20 KM/h and proceed if no other cars are present, would the self driving car do the same?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: maizeman on January 09, 2018, 08:03:58 PM
Similar scenario, what if you are approaching a 4 way stop and it appears the guy behind you isn't going to stop, and is going to rear end you?  If you had control, you could slow down to 20 KM/h and proceed if no other cars are present, would the self driving car do the same?

From a preserving your own life perspective, getting rear ended is generally going to be a lot more survivable than getting a broad side/t-bone collision while running a 4-way stop because you didn't see the other car, and they saw you but expected you to obey the traffic signal.

I would imagine self driving cars are indeed going to be trained to prefer accepting low risk of fatality crashes to running modest risks of fatal car crashes.

That's also the argument that drives replacing stop lighted intersections with traffic circles (roundabouts). Total accidents go up significantly, but fatalities go down.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on January 10, 2018, 12:37:38 PM
An automated package delivery car doesn't look like a truck with all parcels on one heap. It looks like lockers with small and large doors, with deliveries to one person behind each door. Only one door opens when you approach the truck.

I'm also not saying the delivery guys go away. I'm saying that you will be able to pick standard automatic delivery and premium delivery to your door. At least in Germany the majority would rather save money than pay for premium delivery. So yes, elderly and disabled will have to pay more.

The car wouldn't wait a long time. It's working with your phone. You get advance notice to be ready just in time when your parcels are delivered. If you don't move, the truck doesn't even stop for you.

It also really depends on what kind of surrounding you have. Houses here have no lobby that you could safely deliver packages to and most houses have less than 20 parties. If you are talking about skyscrapers with a hundred, or more apartments, the economy changes completely.

Leaving stuff unguarded is reality here... your package get delivered to your backyard or some safe deposit place. Delivery services ask for permission, either permanently or for just one delivery. The most expensive part of deliver (aside from gas, tear and wear) is spending time and not delivering.

I wonder how long until new houses are built with a little closet on the front porch with a locking door to accept packages? Maybe the UPS/FedEX/USPS computer the delivery folks carry would unlock it wirelessly.

I am allowed to have things delivered to work but always worry about the appearance factor: I accept packages for my employer's projects all the time. If I accept personal packages and then move them to my personal vehicle then it sort of looks bad.

I just have them sent directly home and run home at lunch to move them inside if they are especially valuable (a rare thing). In the past if the package was valuable the delivery person will leave a ticket and I have to drive to the depot to pick it up in person and I'm fine with that (like when I ordered a computer).

Most people go to their mailbox every day.  Having a box for an automated vehicle to put packages into wouldn't really be much different. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on January 11, 2018, 09:12:24 AM
Getting back on topic:

My thoughts when it comes to self driving cars;

How are they going to handle snow?  Sure most will have winter tires, at least in this neck of the wood, but I find you need the right touch now and then in bad conditions.  I'm sure the self driving car will recognize it's snowing and/or the roads are slippery, but does that mean it's going to slow down to half the speed limit?  Will the self driving car be too "confident" and zip along at normal speed, and hit that patch of black ice and end up in the ditch?  Either way, overall better than human drivers I guess.

Very random and low frequency situation:  What if you're in an active shooter situation as your car is slowly navigating a parking lot, and you just happen to be heading at the shooter at low speed?  I guess you just duck and hope for the best?  I highly doubt there is going to be a "Warp factor 10 Mr Sulu!" button to get out of nasty situations.  Similar scenario, what if you are approaching a 4 way stop and it appears the guy behind you isn't going to stop, and is going to rear end you?  If you had control, you could slow down to 20 KM/h and proceed if no other cars are present, would the self driving car do the same?

Perhaps they will detect slippery conditions and simply say "You drive". All good reasons for the owner to maintain the skills to drive, keep the driver's controls and instruments for the foreseeable future. None of these Google cars where there is only a red emergency button for me.

I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 11, 2018, 01:23:08 PM
None of these scenarios are insurmountable.

How are they going to handle snow?  Sure most will have winter tires, at least in this neck of the wood, but I find you need the right touch now and then in bad conditions.  I'm sure the self driving car will recognize it's snowing and/or the roads are slippery, but does that mean it's going to slow down to half the speed limit?  Will the self driving car be too "confident" and zip along at normal speed, and hit that patch of black ice and end up in the ditch?  Either way, overall better than human drivers I guess.

Electronic stability control on high end cars is currently better in maintaining traction on snow/icy roads than the majority of drivers. Combine this with a sensible AI and I'm sure it'd be better than 95% of drivers in snowy conditions.

Very random and low frequency situation:  What if you're in an active shooter situation as your car is slowly navigating a parking lot, and you just happen to be heading at the shooter at low speed?  I guess you just duck and hope for the best?  I highly doubt there is going to be a "Warp factor 10 Mr Sulu!" button to get out of nasty situations. 

The autonomous cars are always connected. As soon as the shooting has been reported, they'll know about it. If your destination is within say 3 miles of the reported incident, the car will inform you and ask for an alternative destination.

If the incident has not yet been reported, the on-board cameras and microphones can likely detect an armed civilian, and will automatically move out of the area to a safe distance, and will call in the incident at the same time.

If the incident has not yet been reported and the car doesn't detect it but you do, you can either hit a panic button or tell the car with your voice it's an emergency, it will then move out of the area to a safe distance, and will connect you to 911.

Similar scenario, what if you are approaching a 4 way stop and it appears the guy behind you isn't going to stop, and is going to rear end you?  If you had control, you could slow down to 20 KM/h and proceed if no other cars are present, would the self driving car do the same?

The autonomous car will be aware of surrounding vehicles. It'll take controlled measures to minimize impact. This could be applying the breaks to ensure you don't get shunted into intersection traffic, change lane, or pull over. Pre arm air bags ready for instant deployment. etc.

Eventually the non autonomous vehicles will be banned, and this issue won't arise.

There will be some teething issues, but they'll get sorted pretty quickly thanks in-house simulators (that enable manufacturers to recreate incidents and run to millions of variables for the AI to find the best outcomes, this already exists today). Once resolved satisfactory the updates will roll out to all the autonomous vehicles thanks to being always connected cars.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: zoltani on January 11, 2018, 02:30:51 PM
Did anyone see the mind field (Vsauce) episode where they tested the trolley experiment in real life? The question was what to program a self driving car to do if it had to chose between hitting one pedestrian vs 5. Almost all people said they would consciously chose to hit the 1 ped rather than 5, but reality was much different. It was an interesting episode, recommended, and it is free without subscribing.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on January 11, 2018, 05:59:44 PM
I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack.

How many battery packs have burned with humans at the controls vs. computers? My bet is that computer operators have a much better record because humans get fatigued, bored, distracted, etc. Actually, I doubt there are any instances of human operators to compare against...humans would do a terrible job controlling charging. Similarly, computers will be much better drivers than humans, especially humans who think they can do better (mostly likely due to their opinion that the computer is driving too slowly when in fact it's driving the correct speed for the conditions).
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: AlanStache on January 11, 2018, 06:15:52 PM
I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack.

How many battery packs have burned with humans at the controls vs. computers? My bet is that computer operators have a much better record because humans get fatigued, bored, distracted, etc. Actually, I doubt there are any instances of human operators to compare against...humans would do a terrible job controlling charging. Similarly, computers will be much better drivers than humans, especially humans who think they can do better (mostly likely due to their opinion that the computer is driving too slowly when in fact it's driving the correct speed for the conditions).

There is also the difference between released systems utilized by the public, debuging engineering systems.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 11, 2018, 07:59:28 PM
I am skeptical of the whole concept because the only way for self-driving to work is for there to be absolutely no way for a passenger to physically control the car.  Otherwise they will repeatedly click in and click out of driverless mode the moment they get impatient with the automated characteristics of the car.  So waiting at every stop sign and red light.  Behaving politely in traffic.  Not cutting across a parking lot. 

But the dilemma is that riding at 65mph in a vehicle with no physical controls will be terrifying.  We have yet to see ordinary people accept riding in a vehicle with no physical controls because one has yet to be built yet.  Every "driverless" car to date has a steering wheel, pedals, and a driver ready to take over the second that traffic gets annoying. 

Someone mentioned driverless city buses/rail -- there are already various driverless rail systems around the world like the Vancouver Sky Train.  But the prospect of driverless city buses would create competition which driverless taxis could not compete with.  A bus with just a handful of passengers could be profitable, meaning bus companies could run a bus every 2 minutes even on obscure routes. 

The way to save the most energy possible would be a new network of driverless trams/streetcars in cities.  They could come along every two minutes but would use a lot less energy than buses and the vehicles would last must longer, 30 years or more.  I think people would be more willing to ride a driverless streetcar than a bus and more would be willing to ride a bus on a city street at 35mph as opposed to a an uncontrollable car at 65mph. 

It doesn't matter if driverless taxis are electric -- they will still consume an outrageous amount of energy just by being manufactured.  This is the critical flaw of electric cars -- the thought that they are "green".  They aren't.  Traditional prewar building patterns were much greener than postwar low-density suburbs.  Making automobile travel cheaper doesn't encourage denser development. 

That said, if driverless cabs take the place of traditional cars, urban parking lots will be worthless, and inevitably will be filled with new homes, apartments, and offices.  So population and activity in walkable areas will increase. 
 

Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: BookLoverL on January 12, 2018, 12:36:54 AM
The idea of self-driving cars worries me.

I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

And what jobs will all the people whose previous job was trucker/delivery driver/bus driver/taxi driver/etc get now?

Maybe I'm a Luddite, but the original Luddites had a point.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on January 12, 2018, 12:44:49 AM
I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

Not sure many humans can tell the difference. I know I usually can't.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: BookLoverL on January 12, 2018, 01:08:21 AM
I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

Not sure many humans can tell the difference. I know I usually can't.

Fair enough. To be clear, I think the most likely programming won't be that they crash into pedestrians, but rather that they err on the side of caution and stop for ridiculous things, and people will end up yelling at their car, like, "That's not a pedestrian! That's a statue/tree/parking meter, you stupid vehicle!" Or that the car will slow down because a pedestrian was just walking along the pavement, in a clearly walking/jogging along the pavement trajectory.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 12, 2018, 03:26:23 AM
But the dilemma is that riding at 65mph in a vehicle with no physical controls will be terrifying.  We have yet to see ordinary people accept riding in a vehicle with no physical controls because one has yet to be built yet.  Every "driverless" car to date has a steering wheel, pedals, and a driver ready to take over the second that traffic gets annoying. 

Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 12, 2018, 03:36:05 AM
I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

The more advanced self driving systems are already very good at this. And continue to get better and better the more real world and simulated miles they drive.

And what jobs will all the people whose previous job was trucker/delivery driver/bus driver/taxi driver/etc get now?

No fucking idea, but they won't be driving for a living. Many more related industries will see massive reductions in employment figures: auto mechanics, panel beaters, fork lift drivers etc.

This loss of jobs is the primary reason the transport minister in India is banning autonomous cars.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 12, 2018, 08:20:50 AM


Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.


Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Next time you're driving alone at high speed on an expressway, imagine you're in that car with no way to control it.  Put on cruise control and take your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.  Suddenly you're hyper-worried about every single movement by other cars and any irregularity in the road.  It's going to be scary as hell, and possibly the critical human flaw in the entire driverless scheme. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 12, 2018, 08:30:53 AM


Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.


Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Next time you're driving alone at high speed on an expressway, imagine you're in that car with no way to control it.  Put on cruise control and take your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.  Suddenly you're hyper-worried about every single movement by other cars and any irregularity in the road.  It's going to be scary as hell, and possibly the critical human flaw in the entire driverless scheme.

I also think it will be scary. No software is perfect and we will be combining millions of lines of code with vehicles that have thousands of parts. So much could go wrong.

Planes don't have to worry about hitting other planes - it is just empty sky - even if an engine dies the plane can still fly

Trains are on rails - the only train accidents we have are due to humans going too fast

Buses are huge and slow - if you are a passenger and your bus hits another vehicle you are going to be fine - they don't even have seatbelts
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: lemonlyman on January 12, 2018, 08:55:02 AM
https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/12/gm-fully-autonomous-car-no-wheel-2018/ (https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/12/gm-fully-autonomous-car-no-wheel-2018/)

GM is releasing a fully automated car in 2019.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 12, 2018, 09:31:17 AM
https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/12/gm-fully-autonomous-car-no-wheel-2018/ (https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/12/gm-fully-autonomous-car-no-wheel-2018/)

GM is releasing a fully automated car in 2019.

Still level 4 and not level 5
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Optimiser on January 12, 2018, 09:42:02 AM


Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.


Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Next time you're driving alone at high speed on an expressway, imagine you're in that car with no way to control it.  Put on cruise control and take your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.  Suddenly you're hyper-worried about every single movement by other cars and any irregularity in the road.  It's going to be scary as hell, and possibly the critical human flaw in the entire driverless scheme.

I feel very different from you. I think it will be relaxing. Especially knowing that many of the other cars on the highway are also driven by computers, not human drivers checking their phones, rushing to get somewhere, yelling at their kid in the backseat, etc. There are so many accidents every year caused by human error. I'm not delusional enough to think I can outperform a computer.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache on January 12, 2018, 09:49:17 AM


Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.


Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Next time you're driving alone at high speed on an expressway, imagine you're in that car with no way to control it.  Put on cruise control and take your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.  Suddenly you're hyper-worried about every single movement by other cars and any irregularity in the road.  It's going to be scary as hell, and possibly the critical human flaw in the entire driverless scheme.

I feel very different from you. I think it will be relaxing. Especially knowing that many of the other cars on the highway are also driven by computers, not human drivers checking their phones, rushing to get somewhere, yelling at their kid in the backseat, etc. There are so many accidents every year caused by human error. I'm not delusional enough to think I can outperform a computer.

^This. The cruise control thought experiment is a poor analogy, to say the least.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on January 12, 2018, 09:55:25 AM
I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

Not sure many humans can tell the difference. I know I usually can't.

Fair enough. To be clear, I think the most likely programming won't be that they crash into pedestrians, but rather that they err on the side of caution and stop for ridiculous things, and people will end up yelling at their car, like, "That's not a pedestrian! That's a statue/tree/parking meter, you stupid vehicle!" Or that the car will slow down because a pedestrian was just walking along the pavement, in a clearly walking/jogging along the pavement trajectory.

As someone else already mentioned, the AI/ML learning for this is already very good, and constantly improving. Pedestrians (and other drivers) frequently make ambiguous gestures and human drivers often misunderstand these. More often, however, drivers don't see or pay attention to what others are doing. [Nearly taken out by the dreaded "right hook" biking my kids to school today]. AVs are programmed with a bias to avoid false negatives, so they will be more cautious in cases where gestures are ambiguous - IMO this is very desirable, though I think we will see a period in the early adoption phase of people fucking around with AVs to see if they can get them to react...this will taper off as the novelty wanes.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 12, 2018, 12:19:01 PM
Don’t Worry, Petrolheads. Driverless Cars Are Still Years Away

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-09/toyota-to-hyundai-say-pump-brakes-on-hopes-of-robo-car-s-arrival

Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Optimiser on January 12, 2018, 12:52:09 PM
Don’t Worry, Petrolheads. Driverless Cars Are Still Years Away

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-09/toyota-to-hyundai-say-pump-brakes-on-hopes-of-robo-car-s-arrival

https://electrek.co/2018/01/12/gm-unveils-autonomous-bolt-ev-without-steering-wheel-pedal/

Quote
Today, GM unveiled the first image of its upcoming autonomous fourth-generation Bolt EV-based vehicle – the “first without a steering wheel or pedal.”

The automaker also says that it filed a petition asking the DOT permission to deploy the vehicle as soon as next year.

The move represents an accelerated self-driving timeline for the company, which could potentially leapfrog most other companies working on the technology since the most common timeline is a commercial launch in 2020-2022.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 13, 2018, 01:47:33 AM
Don’t Worry, Petrolheads. Driverless Cars Are Still Years Away

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-09/toyota-to-hyundai-say-pump-brakes-on-hopes-of-robo-car-s-arrival

1-2 years for widespread public trials, and 4-5 years away from mass deployment.

You’ll be amazed at the different speeds different tech companies can move at. That article exclusively quotes the the second teir autonomous vehicle developers. Nothing from Waymo, or Tesla, or even GM who are the aggressive players in this space.

I feel some of them are happy to be conservative because their fall back is to licence Waymo’s tech if they can’t do it themselves.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 13, 2018, 01:58:54 AM
Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Your autonomous car also has a driver, it’s just not human.

When you’re on a bus, you are not looking at the road ahead judging every decision the driver makes. The hurdle for some will be trusting the computer the same way you trust a human.

In the cruise control example you made. When you use it properly you trust the car to maintain its speed, you trust it to not randomly accelerate beyond the set limit. Because that is what it’s designed to do, and it does it well, probably better at maintaining the speed limit that you the human driver can.

We’re at the stage now that many drivers of new vehicles trust their cars to; maintain traction in adverse conditions, stay in the lane, decelerate when trailing traffic, parallel park, etc.

Autonomous vehicles is an extension of this trusting relationship.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on January 13, 2018, 11:48:39 AM
Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers.

Many trains are driverless and sometimes have been for decades already. Take a look at London which started in 1987 or Nuremberg in 2008.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: scottish on January 13, 2018, 05:49:36 PM
Just wait until a software upgrade bricks your car...


Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 14, 2018, 02:54:41 AM
It's not your car.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: scottish on January 14, 2018, 08:29:04 AM
It'll still be a pretty big brick.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on January 14, 2018, 09:05:18 AM
Technician will show up with a new control module. Out with old, in with new, good to go.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 15, 2018, 10:31:54 AM
For all those people who think they'll be able to take over, here's a question; what makes you think cars will have steering wheels? For one, you can save manufacturing costs. Next, its safer to not have them impaling drivers in crashes, so even if there's an accident, you'll be far more likely to survive.

Here's another strange part, why are car seats forward facing if you aren't needed for driving? My infant is put into vehicles in rear facing seats because its safer. In the event of a crash, rear facing seats are more likely to reduce injury than forward facing. If we assume cars still have accidents, perhaps a tree falls on them, wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the interior configuration?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: PoutineLover on January 15, 2018, 11:47:36 AM
For all those people who think they'll be able to take over, here's a question; what makes you think cars will have steering wheels? For one, you can save manufacturing costs. Next, its safer to not have them impaling drivers in crashes, so even if there's an accident, you'll be far more likely to survive.

Here's another strange part, why are car seats forward facing if you aren't needed for driving? My infant is put into vehicles in rear facing seats because its safer. In the event of a crash, rear facing seats are more likely to reduce injury than forward facing. If we assume cars still have accidents, perhaps a tree falls on them, wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the interior configuration?
It would be cool to have the seats facing each other so you could interact more easily with the others in the car instead of everyone facing the front. Also having reclining chairs so you can nap. Or swivel chairs, so you can see in any direction, although that might be risky in case of a crash. Without a human driver, there are so many possibilities!
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Michael in ABQ on January 16, 2018, 07:06:54 AM
For all those people who think they'll be able to take over, here's a question; what makes you think cars will have steering wheels? For one, you can save manufacturing costs. Next, its safer to not have them impaling drivers in crashes, so even if there's an accident, you'll be far more likely to survive.

Here's another strange part, why are car seats forward facing if you aren't needed for driving? My infant is put into vehicles in rear facing seats because its safer. In the event of a crash, rear facing seats are more likely to reduce injury than forward facing. If we assume cars still have accidents, perhaps a tree falls on them, wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the interior configuration?

What if you're trying to move your car to point the headlights at something you're working on. Or driving it along a dirt road, or no road at all? 99% of the time we get in our car and go from point A to point B but there will be some situations when you'll still need manual control. I suspect it will be many years before regular consumer vehicles completely eliminate all manual control. I can certainly see vehicles that are used as taxis being completely automated and designed in a totally different way that isn't constrained by the need to face forward and have a steering wheel and clear lines of sight for seeing to the sides.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache on January 16, 2018, 07:47:04 AM
What if you're trying to move your car to point the headlights at something you're working on. Or driving it along a dirt road, or no road at all? 99% of the time we get in our car and go from point A to point B but there will be some situations when you'll still need manual control. I suspect it will be many years before regular consumer vehicles completely eliminate all manual control. I can certainly see vehicles that are used as taxis being completely automated and designed in a totally different way that isn't constrained by the need to face forward and have a steering wheel and clear lines of sight for seeing to the sides.


Exactly. Fully automated cars, at least in the foreseeable future, will be taxis, not personal vehicles. Don't get hung up on every little thing that you do with your own car, because you won't be owning an autonomous car any time soon. In my view, the transformative aspect of autonomous cars will be their ability to severely deflate the cost of taxi service by eliminating the driver, thus hastening the elimination of car ownership for many people in urban areas. I don't expect autonomous cars to have a meaningful impact on rural dwellers like myself at any point in the next decade.

GM agrees with me: (https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/12/16880978/gm-autonomous-car-2019-detroit-auto-show-2018)
Quote
General Motors plans to mass-produce self-driving cars that lack traditional controls like steering wheels and pedals by 2019...They’ll be deployed as ride-hailing vehicles in a number of cities...
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: GuitarStv on January 16, 2018, 12:11:42 PM
Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers.

Many trains are driverless and sometimes have been for decades already. Take a look at London which started in 1987 or Nuremberg in 2008.

+1

My last job was developing rail control systems.  Most of the drivers in a modern subway or public transit type train are purely there for show.  In our trains the driver (if the option is requested by a client - increasingly less common) pushes a single button at stops.  He can do that, and execute an emergency brake on the train.  That's it.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: A Definite Beta Guy on January 16, 2018, 12:43:17 PM
Uhhhh, has any of that migrated to the States? It seems all of our trains are still "driven." We had a train decide to climb an escalator at O'Hare airport because the train operator fell asleep.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on January 16, 2018, 02:03:15 PM
Many trains at the airport are driverless. I know they are in SEA, ATL and SFO. The monorail in Las Vegas is automated. Vancouver has one, well, technically not the states, but just a short hop from Seattle. Honolulu was supposed to get one, not sure what the state of that is.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Michael in ABQ on January 17, 2018, 06:16:24 PM
Uhhhh, has any of that migrated to the States? It seems all of our trains are still "driven." We had a train decide to climb an escalator at O'Hare airport because the train operator fell asleep.

It's no wonder they fall asleep if literally their entire job is to press one button, and in an emergency press one other button.

Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on January 18, 2018, 08:43:59 AM
I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack.

How many battery packs have burned with humans at the controls vs. computers? My bet is that computer operators have a much better record because humans get fatigued, bored, distracted, etc. Actually, I doubt there are any instances of human operators to compare against...humans would do a terrible job controlling charging. Similarly, computers will be much better drivers than humans, especially humans who think they can do better (mostly likely due to their opinion that the computer is driving too slowly when in fact it's driving the correct speed for the conditions).

There is also the difference between released systems utilized by the public, debuging engineering systems.

While I generally agree - I won't just happily become a passenger in my car when the self-drive option is available in regular cars.

Just yesterday the auto trans in our car had issues that I assume were caused by the extreme cold. Car begins shifting hard from 1st to 2nd, no other gears available even if I use the paddle shifters. Required me restarting (rebooting) the car. The interesting thing was there were no warning lights indicating a problem, the transmission just quit shifting.

I'd like to think any driving computers would be paired with other computers which would watch to make sure the driving computer wasn't stuck and thus unable to make decisions. The driving computer might not be able to throw a warning light on the dash but the nanny computers would.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 18, 2018, 08:57:38 AM
For all those people who think they'll be able to take over, here's a question; what makes you think cars will have steering wheels? For one, you can save manufacturing costs. Next, its safer to not have them impaling drivers in crashes, so even if there's an accident, you'll be far more likely to survive.

Here's another strange part, why are car seats forward facing if you aren't needed for driving? My infant is put into vehicles in rear facing seats because its safer. In the event of a crash, rear facing seats are more likely to reduce injury than forward facing. If we assume cars still have accidents, perhaps a tree falls on them, wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the interior configuration?

What if you're trying to move your car to point the headlights at something you're working on. Or driving it along a dirt road, or no road at all? 99% of the time we get in our car and go from point A to point B but there will be some situations when you'll still need manual control. I suspect it will be many years before regular consumer vehicles completely eliminate all manual control. I can certainly see vehicles that are used as taxis being completely automated and designed in a totally different way that isn't constrained by the need to face forward and have a steering wheel and clear lines of sight for seeing to the sides.
Headlights - maybe a phone app? lights can swivel already and most cars will be linked to your phone already for locking, tracking etc. If you need it moved, just tell the car to go to a spot that you pick on your google map on your phone. There's no need for cars to have people in them to swivel headlights around or move to let a car out that's blocked in.

No road at all, why would you need a wheel? The X-box 360 already has tracking and could easily track your hand movements, use a fake wheel if you want (I do when I play games). Or trace the route (on your app) and allow the car to navigate the really bad route. I'm thinking of camping, I often go off road and a driverless car would be able to get there too.

Clear line of sight?  I have a backup camera on my car currently, its far superior to any rear view mirror I've ever used; it never gets blocked by cargo (hatchback problem) peoples heads (sedan) solid panels (vans). Don't forget, a car can have telescopic range and infrared, it sees more than any puny human eye ever can. Its only the interpretation of the data that is in question, can a computer interpret the multiple feeds of data faster than you can? You can have all the IR data available on a screen while driving today, is it distracting to have multiple displays? Probably 99% of wildlife collisions can be avoided, the primary problem with wildlife is people didn't see them early enough to react to (like the deer that jumps out at night).
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on January 18, 2018, 09:10:54 AM
Just yesterday the auto trans in our car had issues that I assume were caused by the extreme cold. Car begins shifting hard from 1st to 2nd, no other gears available even if I use the paddle shifters. Required me restarting (rebooting) the car. The interesting thing was there were no warning lights indicating a problem, the transmission just quit shifting.

I'd like to think any driving computers would be paired with other computers which would watch to make sure the driving computer wasn't stuck and thus unable to make decisions. The driving computer might not be able to throw a warning light on the dash but the nanny computers would.

Autonomous vehicles will be electric. Electric motors have a wide power band, very high torque even at low RPM. This means that AVs won't necessarily have a multi speed transmission (already true of Tesla). Electric motors are also somewhere around 98% thermally efficient which means very little waste heat and can usually be air cooled. Whereas a traditional ICE is only about 20% efficient, so much waste heat that a complex cooling system is required just to dissipate the heat to prevent it from destroying itself. A EV doesn't even need a differential - the drivetrain could literally be electric motors direct driving the wheels and no other moving components, except perhaps a few linkages/joints for suspension.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on January 18, 2018, 03:56:20 PM
Oh yeah - you are correct. I am very familiar with the mechanical differences. Still - computers. Computers fail. Computers get hung up. No big deal with netflix crashes. It is a big deal when the family hauler crashes because a computer gets stuck and the car fails to make a curve.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on January 18, 2018, 04:08:00 PM
Oh yeah - you are correct. I am very familiar with the mechanical differences. Still - computers. Computers fail. Computers get hung up. No big deal with netflix crashes. It is a big deal when the family hauler crashes because a computer gets stuck and the car fails to make a curve.

Control software for vehicles is engineered to much more exacting standards compared to something like the Netflix client. Commercial airplanes have been fly-by-wire, i.e. completely dependant on computers, for many years now. Many cars already make use of certain drive-by-wire functions, such as brake-by-wire...your life already depends on the reliability of computers more than you realize :)
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on January 18, 2018, 04:25:11 PM
For everybody that has issues around not having control of the car, do you ever ride in the passenger seat?  How is that any different?  If you're in the passenger seat or even more the back seat you have no control over the car.  There are no pedals or steering wheel in the passenger seat of cars now (my husband might disagree on this point), so how is it much different to just have two passenger seats?  Is trusting the automated system really any different than trusting another driver?


I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack.

How many battery packs have burned with humans at the controls vs. computers? My bet is that computer operators have a much better record because humans get fatigued, bored, distracted, etc. Actually, I doubt there are any instances of human operators to compare against...humans would do a terrible job controlling charging. Similarly, computers will be much better drivers than humans, especially humans who think they can do better (mostly likely due to their opinion that the computer is driving too slowly when in fact it's driving the correct speed for the conditions).

There is also the difference between released systems utilized by the public, debuging engineering systems.

While I generally agree - I won't just happily become a passenger in my car when the self-drive option is available in regular cars.

Just yesterday the auto trans in our car had issues that I assume were caused by the extreme cold. Car begins shifting hard from 1st to 2nd, no other gears available even if I use the paddle shifters. Required me restarting (rebooting) the car. The interesting thing was there were no warning lights indicating a problem, the transmission just quit shifting.

I'd like to think any driving computers would be paired with other computers which would watch to make sure the driving computer wasn't stuck and thus unable to make decisions. The driving computer might not be able to throw a warning light on the dash but the nanny computers would.

The car only has to be less prone to error than you.  I know you feel like you're a great driver and in control, but stats say otherwise.   It's not you specifically.  It's only personal in the sense that you're a person.   

Oh yeah - you are correct. I am very familiar with the mechanical differences. Still - computers. Computers fail. Computers get hung up. No big deal with netflix crashes. It is a big deal when the family hauler crashes because a computer gets stuck and the car fails to make a curve.

You're definitely right, but once again it only has to be better than a human being.  People fall asleep, have heart attacks, have strokes, get things in their eyes.  It's not really different if something happens with the computer.  Actually it is different in that if something goes wrong with an automated car, it will probably be thoroughly investigated and propagated into updates.  If a person falls asleep at the wheel, not much actually happens to change the problem. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on January 18, 2018, 04:32:14 PM
Good comparison to airplanes and fly-by wire.

FWIW nothing is going to make me very happy. I'm very seldom a passenger in a car and actively avoid flying except when work requires it. Been a decade since and 15 years before that. ;)
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: koshtra on January 18, 2018, 07:34:53 PM
Heh. My wife *hates* being a passenger in a car. (Not because of my driving, I'm a very good driver, clean record, honest!) I always let her drive, when we're together, because making her ride, without the steering wheel in her hands and the pedals at her feet, is just too obviously cruel. I'm all enthusiastic about autonomous vehicles, but I don't know if you'll ever get her into one. You'll probably have to get our generation into the grave before you can complete the transition.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 19, 2018, 01:00:47 AM
I fully expect a backup system in autonomous vehicles, that will safely pull the vehicle to the side of the road and to a stop when the primary computer fails to function.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 19, 2018, 10:32:14 AM
Heh. My wife *hates* being a passenger in a car. (Not because of my driving, I'm a very good driver, clean record, honest!) I always let her drive, when we're together, because making her ride, without the steering wheel in her hands and the pedals at her feet, is just too obviously cruel. I'm all enthusiastic about autonomous vehicles, but I don't know if you'll ever get her into one. You'll probably have to get our generation into the grave before you can complete the transition.
I fully expect my local province will charge driverless cars cheaper insurance rates, in the range of $500/year lets pretend. The actual number is debatable, but its likely to hold true that its lower since they will have fewer crashes (statistically overall, not just you personally).

Would a car for the same price, but $500 less/year to insure matter to you? Genuinely curious, just another aspect to consider overall. Will driver less cars have cheaper insurance and cheaper ownership costs?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on January 19, 2018, 10:40:45 AM
Heh. My wife *hates* being a passenger in a car. (Not because of my driving, I'm a very good driver, clean record, honest!) I always let her drive, when we're together, because making her ride, without the steering wheel in her hands and the pedals at her feet, is just too obviously cruel. I'm all enthusiastic about autonomous vehicles, but I don't know if you'll ever get her into one. You'll probably have to get our generation into the grave before you can complete the transition.

Honestly I don't expect fully autonomous vehicles to come on the scene quite as fast as everybody thinks they will, and even then it will be a slow progression as the technology progresses from being in just new luxury cars to being in the older cheaper cars on the road.  I'm sure she has plenty of time to drive herself. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Christof on January 19, 2018, 06:02:09 PM
It really depends on who is introducing autonomous cars.. You need a critical mass. You are right if people are either choosing to own a car or if car sharing is split across many different companies. If, however, there are a few global or important companies for ride sharing at a price that is competitive, it mght be sufficient that those in their 20ties and 30ties are interested, to get a critical mass.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on January 20, 2018, 11:21:26 AM
I'll be happy to have a self-driving car when I'm really old and unable to drive.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 20, 2018, 03:52:45 PM
Heh. My wife *hates* being a passenger in a car. (Not because of my driving, I'm a very good driver, clean record, honest!) I always let her drive, when we're together, because making her ride, without the steering wheel in her hands and the pedals at her feet, is just too obviously cruel. I'm all enthusiastic about autonomous vehicles, but I don't know if you'll ever get her into one. You'll probably have to get our generation into the grave before you can complete the transition.

I could have written this word for word. I only get to drive if it has been a long day and we’re far from home and my wife is more tired than me. Otherwise, my wife does all the driving and my friends mock me for it. Since I take public transportation to and from work and we are a one car family there are months where I only drive the car once.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Yankuba on January 23, 2018, 08:53:10 AM
Tesla crash, hot off the presses:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/23/tesla-on-autopilot-crashes-into-fire-truck-on-california-freeway.html
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: GuitarStv on January 23, 2018, 10:50:24 AM
Oh yeah - you are correct. I am very familiar with the mechanical differences. Still - computers. Computers fail. Computers get hung up. No big deal with netflix crashes. It is a big deal when the family hauler crashes because a computer gets stuck and the car fails to make a curve.

Control software for vehicles is engineered to much more exacting standards compared to something like the Netflix client. Commercial airplanes have been fly-by-wire, i.e. completely dependant on computers, for many years now. Many cars already make use of certain drive-by-wire functions, such as brake-by-wire...your life already depends on the reliability of computers more than you realize :)

Computer failures always happen.  We design expecting them.  That's why the concept of 'failing-safe' is so vital.  A train's default state in a fail-safe system is to emergency brake.  It has to constantly get a signal from the computer to release the brake.  If the control computer (typically this is actually a group of three control computers where decisions are made by majority vote to minimize errors) goes down, the train will immediately EB for example.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: scottish on January 23, 2018, 05:30:38 PM
There's a government agency responsible for vehicular safety requirements (ABS, for example).   Have they said anything yet?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Just Joe on January 24, 2018, 09:01:15 AM
NHTSA?
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 30, 2018, 01:17:40 PM
And it begins.
https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/30/waymo-thousands-chrysler-pacifica-minivans/

1,000 cars this year. And i'd predict self driving cars to increase by a factor of 10 each year until we reach global market saturation:
10,000 cars in 2019
100,000 cars in 2020
1,000,000 cars in 2021
10,000,000 cars in 2022
100,000,000 cars in 2023
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 30, 2018, 03:34:16 PM
^As usual, a short article.  No footage.  No proof of a contract.  Looks like fake news that aims to boost stock prices. 

Level 4 cars will be shut down during very minor rainfall and snow.  Bugs on the sensors?  Shut 'er down. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 30, 2018, 05:28:05 PM
LIDAR (what Waymo use) can already function in rain and snow.

Did you check the source linked in that article? Direct from Fiat Chrysler
http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=18804&mid=1 (http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=18804&mid=1)

There's even a video for you at the source ;)

This is in addition to the existing fleet that you can see running today.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 30, 2018, 09:09:53 PM
No, they can't operate in the rain in snow:
https://medium.com/@parismarx/despite-the-hype-ces-showed-driverless-cars-still-need-work-58103ec0f122

Level 4 also can't merge onto expressways, so there aren't many places to go other than to putter around a downtown or university area. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on January 31, 2018, 01:33:03 AM
And no reference to which manufactures can't operate in rain or snow from that article.

I know the leaf was one of them that was sidelined, but it's running simple lane assist/follow.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: FINate on February 21, 2018, 11:07:49 AM
RE concerns I often hear/read about people trying to mess with/confuse AVs: https://xkcd.com/1958/
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: megaschnauzer on February 21, 2018, 11:49:13 AM
i saw this today:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/abu-dhabi-tour-organisers-blame-automatic-brake-sensor-for-cavendish-crash/
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: AlanStache on February 21, 2018, 01:09:17 PM
Did the bikes to in front of the car to trigger the autobrake system or was it triggered by bikes behind the car?  I am having trouble seeing the benefit of an automated system proactively braking before being rear-ended.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: megaschnauzer on February 21, 2018, 02:35:05 PM
Did the bikes to in front of the car to trigger the autobrake system or was it triggered by bikes behind the car?  I am having trouble seeing the benefit of an automated system proactively braking before being rear-ended.

the bikes in front of the car triggered the car's brakes and cavendish was on a bike behind the car. this happened during a race so maybe not a real life issue. but still...
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: GuitarStv on February 23, 2018, 07:33:42 AM
i saw this today:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/abu-dhabi-tour-organisers-blame-automatic-brake-sensor-for-cavendish-crash/

This is not a problem with self-driving cars really.  If the driver had dabbed the brakes a tad too hard the same result would have happened.
 In the real world if you're tailing a car on your bike and you're so close that the vehicle braking at all will cause you to crash . . . you're cycling unsafely.  Back the fuck off.  Drivers are unpredictable.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: gooki on June 15, 2018, 04:45:01 AM
And it begins.
https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/30/waymo-thousands-chrysler-pacifica-minivans/

1,000 cars this year. And i'd predict self driving cars to increase by a factor of 10 each year until we reach global market saturation:
10,000 cars in 2019
100,000 cars in 2020
1,000,000 cars in 2021
10,000,000 cars in 2022
100,000,000 cars in 2023

The 10 X factor ramp up is well under way at Wamo.
2016: 100 cars
2017: 500 cars
2018: 6,000 cars
2019/2020: 80,000 cars (60,000 Chrysler, 20,000 Jaguar)


Sources

http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=18804&mid=1

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fiat-chrysler-waymo/waymo-to-get-more-than-60000-cars-from-fiat-chrysler-for-robotaxis-idUSKCN1IW2BC

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-27/waymo-and-jaguar-team-up-with-20-000-car-self-driving-fleet

This is going to be a fun race to watch.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Chris22 on June 15, 2018, 07:25:04 AM
I see a possible future state where all cars are autonomous. I see no way to get through the intermediate state where there is a mix, some autonomous some not. Human drivers are yet too unpredictable to build a model to react to. I do look forward to bullying autonomous cars; “oh look there’s a Nissan Leaf, I know I can just pull out in front of it and it will stop and I can cut in line” that sort of thing.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Nicholas Carter on June 15, 2018, 09:38:00 AM
Like in the average US school? Tell me, if I'm wrong (I'm from Germany, so I don't have practical experience), but isn't this done by finishing school at different times per grade, have everyone queue on the street instead of a parking lot and discourage other means by letting those wait till the end that want to walk home on their own.
In my experience as a school worker: you have the children queue for an hour and a half, because no one cares about wasting children's time and I'm paid by the hour.

Am I the only one who works for a company that lets everyone get stuff delivered to work?  we get 1 personal package per 5 to 10  employees most days.  is really not disruptive.  Only problem we might have in future is if we start getting one off deliveries all day long from the amazon direct delivery contractors.  I know this is not a universal solution but cant it be the norm?
I, for one, work in a prison. Before that I worked in a university (no office) and a middle school. At none of these places would it have been feasible (theft risk, number of employees, lack of a 'front office') to store deliveries at my work space.  Furthermore, I wouldn't have had anywhere to keep the package if it was brought to me.

How are they going to handle snow?  Sure most will have winter tires, at least in this neck of the wood, but I find you need the right touch now and then in bad conditions. 
Related: I order my AV to keep the meter running, I'll only be about 15 minutes. In that time, a couple of inches of snow fall. Now the car is stuck in the snow! It's tires spin uselessly w/o traction How will the car be freed? It is not my car, not my responsibility to dig it out, and besides, if the car does not come with it's own sand and shovel, what could I do about it?

I feel very different from you. I think it will be relaxing. Especially knowing that many of the other cars on the highway are also driven by computers, not human drivers checking their phones, rushing to get somewhere, yelling at their kid in the backseat, etc. There are so many accidents every year caused by human error. I'm not delusional enough to think I can outperform a computer.
I think we're referring here to the transitional phase where your choice is to drive yourself or be driven knowing that every other car on the road is being driven by humans. Call it fall of next year: if AV's aren't able to interpret human being's terrible driving in practice as well as other, terrible, human drivers, then no one will want to ride one. Meaning that the terrible drivers will keep right on driving, meaning no one will want to ride one. Meaning...

When you’re on a bus, you are not looking at the road ahead judging every decision the driver makes. The hurdle for some will be trusting the computer the same way you trust a human.
The primary objection of many of the drivers I know to public transportation now (i.e. the reason they won't ride buses) is that they aren't driving the bus, and do spend the whole ride "judging every decision the driver makes". These are the people who will insist on driving their own cars right up until the bitter end.

Technician will show up with a new control module. Out with old, in with new, good to go.
Error code 503: Vehicle bricked while taking curve, now in thousands of pieces.
Error code 504: Family of five inside vehicle also in thousands of pieces.

It would be cool to have the seats facing each other so you could interact more easily with the others in the car instead of everyone facing the front. Also having reclining chairs so you can nap. Or swivel chairs, so you can see in any direction, although that might be risky in case of a crash. Without a human driver, there are so many possibilities!
This was tried in the 50's. I'm told the problem is that sitting at any kind of an angle except facing straight forwards gives motion sickness to people who don't normally get car sick.

Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on June 15, 2018, 11:04:09 AM
I see a possible future state where all cars are autonomous. I see no way to get through the intermediate state where there is a mix, some autonomous some not. Human drivers are yet too unpredictable to build a model to react to. I do look forward to bullying autonomous cars; “oh look there’s a Nissan Leaf, I know I can just pull out in front of it and it will stop and I can cut in line” that sort of thing.

Autonomous vehicles will have the advantage of being able to react quicker which means they can safely follow closer and keep from letting you in. 

But playing chicken with human drivers is probably the biggest challenge for autonomous vehicles. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: acroy on June 15, 2018, 11:09:41 AM
Russians are at it again
https://www.caranddriver.com/news/these-russian-self-driving-cars-are-assertive-on-chaotic-streets
Building 'aggressive' self driving cars.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Chris22 on June 15, 2018, 12:15:29 PM
I see a possible future state where all cars are autonomous. I see no way to get through the intermediate state where there is a mix, some autonomous some not. Human drivers are yet too unpredictable to build a model to react to. I do look forward to bullying autonomous cars; “oh look there’s a Nissan Leaf, I know I can just pull out in front of it and it will stop and I can cut in line” that sort of thing.

Autonomous vehicles will have the advantage of being able to react quicker which means they can safely follow closer and keep from letting you in. 

But playing chicken with human drivers is probably the biggest challenge for autonomous vehicles.

I'm talking things like 4 way stops. 
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: dougules on June 15, 2018, 03:34:14 PM
I see a possible future state where all cars are autonomous. I see no way to get through the intermediate state where there is a mix, some autonomous some not. Human drivers are yet too unpredictable to build a model to react to. I do look forward to bullying autonomous cars; “oh look there’s a Nissan Leaf, I know I can just pull out in front of it and it will stop and I can cut in line” that sort of thing.

Autonomous vehicles will have the advantage of being able to react quicker which means they can safely follow closer and keep from letting you in. 

But playing chicken with human drivers is probably the biggest challenge for autonomous vehicles.

I'm talking things like 4 way stops.

There are human drivers you can do that with too.
Title: Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
Post by: Mon€yp€nny on June 28, 2018, 11:00:52 AM
I have often thought about this. I think some people willl want to own their vehicle (no need to take everything out, design choosen for own needs and wants and status), others might use shared vehicles.
I know there are ideas to connect vehicles as trains to save energy and time. Vehicles can connect and disconnect from the train automatically. The vehicles need to be able to drive on any road on the map.
I see vehicals with front seats able to make a 180 turn, with a table in between, you can have a meeting, work, play, eat, study, etc. Some cars will change into a bed, or bed on one side, table and seat on the other.  The sleeping modus will only be available when the car is in an automated route system, connecting and disconnecting to the 'trains'. When the car needs a driver, the seats should be up and the seat belts on.
I can see different companies having different vehicles on the road. Just like we choose our mobile phone now, we will choose a transportation supplier and some will have budget, basic, extra and deluxe vehicles to choose from. I also think there will be different rates for the speed. Don't mind being in a car a bit longer? Take the easy rate. Time is money? Take the express rate. The idea of a smart grid with different rates.