Author Topic: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars  (Read 15161 times)

evensjw

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #50 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.

Christof

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #51 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.

Grog

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #52 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



« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 01:15:51 AM by Grog »

Dragonswan

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #53 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.
 

Prairie Stash

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #54 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.

AlanStache

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #55 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.

FINate

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #56 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.

koshtra

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #57 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.

Prairie Stash

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #58 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.

Just Joe

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #59 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
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 08:42:26 PM by Just Joe »

FINate

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #60 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.

dougules

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #61 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. 
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 11:19:50 AM by dougules »

PoutineLover

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #62 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.

Apple_Tango

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #63 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!)

maizeman

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #64 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..."

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #65 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #66 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #67 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #68 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #69 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.

FINate

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #70 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #71 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #72 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

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #73 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #74 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/

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #75 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #76 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).

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #77 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
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 03:15:52 PM by Optimiser »

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #78 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. ;-)

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #79 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. 

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #81 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.





« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 02:38:00 AM by gooki »

Christof

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #82 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #83 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.

Christof

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #84 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #85 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #86 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #87 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.

Christof

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #88 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #89 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #90 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.

Christof

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #91 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #92 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.

PoutineLover

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #93 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.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #94 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?

Yankuba

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #95 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.

Optimiser

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #96 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.

Just Joe

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #97 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).
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 11:15:08 AM by Just Joe »

Christof

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #98 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.

ozbeach

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #99 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.