Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 167550 times)

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #800 on: October 02, 2016, 01:48:31 PM »
Imagine a world in which nobody owns a personal vehicle, but your smartphone can summon one to your current location in 30 seconds.
This isn't an AI problem, but rather an infrastructer one.  Once the AI is solved, this will be true almost immediately. Lyft has self-driving cars on the streets today.  Uber is developing its own too.


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That vehicle travels at 150 mph without your supervision,
Also not really an AI issue but an infrastructure (and physics) problem.  There are limits to right-of-way systems, esp. as long as ANY humans still use roadways (old-school drivers, bikes, pedestrians), not to mention animals, and limits to traction force of tires on pavement.
There's also a huge efficiency drop after about 50-60mph which is due to aerodynamic realities.  Design could help mitagate that (teardrop shaped cars), but AI can't.


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and can deliver you to exactly where you need to go, not to a parking lot.
again, lyft / uber model already covers that


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Oh, and it generates no carbon pollution, is totally silent,
technology, but not AI


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comes to your door pre airconditioned or heated and configured to your preferences for movies or music or workspace,
I give it one year


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and it can be a convertible or a moving truck depending on what you need today
:) like inspector gadgets car!


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, and oh yes it's free to use.
part economic, part social - a study done in SF found that the local bus and light rail system (muni) was spending more on plainclothes transit police, repair and maintenance of cash and ticket machines, paper passes, and other costs of collecting and enforcing tolls than they were bringing in in fares.  In other words, they would actually save money by making it free.
They never made it free though.  Because !!!!!!! socialism!!!!!!!!

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Imagine a world without parking lots and roads taking up 85% of the surface area of every downtown district.  There are no more traffic lights, because those are archaic devices designed to let clumsy and slow humans negotiate intersections and computers can instead negotiate intersections at full speed while communicating with each other at the speed of light.
To me this is one of the most exciting parts, and I hope it happens in my lifetime, though I doubt it (because there will still be people with old fashioned cars for a long time), and it might not ever happen (how do bicycles navigate intersections?  Or does literally every crosswalk in the nation get replaced with an overpass?


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There are no more traffic jams or rush hours.
There would be dramatically less, and they wouldn't be as bad, but there are theoretical limits to how many cars can fit in one space at one time regardless of spacing and efficiency.  In some places that limit is far past.  We would have to also change the 9-5 standard work hours to be spread out evenly through the day (and maybe night) and also limit density of housing in urban areas and increase density of jobs in suburban areas.

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Imagine a world in which every item is delivered to your door.  Groceries, furniture, the daily mail, everything you buy from places like amazon.  You don't ever need to go to the store again, unless you want to, because it's literally cheaper and faster to have everything delivered
Already mostly true!  Even with delivery person salaries in the mix. 
Though who knows if drones, or even 3D printing, will mature fast enough that robot cars never get those jobs?


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Urban sprawl stops as less land is devoted to vehicles.  Maintenance and mechanical issues are automatically diagnosed and repaired.  There is no more road rage.  Air quality improves.  Drunk driving is non existent.
All you need is functional AI cars to become the standard, and it happens immideatly.


 
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Innocent bystanders never die in a high speed police chase.
Even if human drivers are banned on public roads, hobbyists and racers would still own and maintain driveable cars, just like people still operate ham radio in the days of pocket computers. Occasionally a criminal would use one (because of course if they are in a networked car not only are they tracked every second, but police could remotely shut the car down and probably lock the doors and windows too).  In order to catch / stop them, either special police "chase" AI would have to break some rules, or specially trained humans would take over. 


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Houses are redesigned with useful space or storage, instead of 3 car garages.
are there people who don't use the majority of garage space as storage!?


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No one is exposed to gasoline fumes and nobody dumps motor oil down storm drains.
If a viable alternative energy source can be found, it could run cars driven by humans or AI.  Gasoline can power cars run by humans or AI.  Two separate issues.

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The world is a better place with AI-controlled cars.
 
Agreed


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Having them learn to drive is just the first baby step in that process.
Just defending AlanStache here - the only idea here which would require further refinement than simply learning to drive, avoiding accidents, and maximizing fuel mileage and travel time, is this: "There are no more traffic lights, because those are archaic devices designed to let clumsy and slow humans negotiate intersections and computers can instead negotiate intersections at full speed while communicating with each other at the speed of light."
but the transition to 100% driverless cars won't be a software issue, and once that transition has been made this is a fairly easy software problem to solve.  I'm willing to bet we could do it in simulation form today.  The actual driving is the most more technical challenge
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 01:50:04 PM by Bakari »
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ender

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #801 on: October 02, 2016, 01:58:53 PM »
Weather is an interesting factor, too.

Living in the midwest, while I don't trust that people are smart on icy road conditions I suspect most of the AI (being developed/tested in nearly perfect weather conditions) handles that well yet.

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #802 on: October 02, 2016, 03:16:50 PM »
Weather is an interesting factor, too.

Living in the midwest, while I don't trust that people are smart on icy road conditions I suspect most of the AI (being developed/tested in nearly perfect weather conditions) handles that well yet.


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ender

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #803 on: October 02, 2016, 04:22:11 PM »
Weather is an interesting factor, too.

Living in the midwest, while I don't trust that people are smart on icy road conditions I suspect most of the AI (being developed/tested in nearly perfect weather conditions) handles that well yet.


https://youtu.be/pS6CdzjhQMw


https://youtu.be/L13Nj3kEbHM

Sweet!

There are a lot of benefits too that an AI driver in those conditions might have, too. Particularly if you have an AWD vehicle, it can adjust and do a lot better analysis more quickly than people can.

sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #804 on: October 02, 2016, 05:32:09 PM »
Particularly if you have an AWD vehicle, it can adjust and do a lot better analysis more quickly than people can.

Yes, the "but can they drive in snow" criticism of AI seemed strange to me, too.  Slippery road conditions were literally the very first use case that we delegated to computer control.  These days, every new car has some form of Electronic Stability Control that is merely a computer fixing your human mistakes every few hundredths of a second.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #805 on: October 03, 2016, 06:02:21 AM »
Never say never and all that but I really have trouble seeing how there is continual orders of magnitude room for improvement in driving AI.  Maybe my vision of the end state is hopelessly constrained (hope so!) I dont see how driving AI can double in 'goodness' every year for decades on end

Henry Ford supposedly said "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse."  Why is your vision of future AI driving constrained to approaching or incrementally improving the safety rates of human drivers?  There are so many other things wrong with cars that AI can potentially fix.

Imagine a world in which nobody owns a personal vehicle, but your smartphone can summon one to your current location in 30 seconds.  That vehicle travels at 150 mph without your supervision, and can deliver you to exactly where you need to go, not to a parking lot.  Oh, and it generates no carbon pollution, is totally silent, comes to your door pre airconditioned or heated and configured to your preferences for movies or music or workspace, and it can be a convertible or a moving truck depending on what you need today, and oh yes it's free to use.

Imagine a world without parking lots and roads taking up 85% of the surface area of every downtown district.  There are no more traffic lights, because those are archaic devices designed to let clumsy and slow humans negotiate intersections and computers can instead negotiate intersections at full speed while communicating with each other at the speed of light.  There are no more traffic jams or rush hours.

Imagine a world in which every item is delivered to your door.  Groceries, furniture, the daily mail, everything you buy from places like amazon.  You don't ever need to go to the store again, unless you want to, because it's literally cheaper and faster to have everything delivered by robots.  Stores are just showrooms, places to go look and feel products, places to "shop" but not necessarily to buy.

Urban sprawl stops as less land is devoted to vehicles.  Maintenance and mechanical issues are automatically diagnosed and repaired.  There is no more road rage.  Air quality improves.  Drunk driving is non existent.  Innocent bystanders never die in a high speed police chase.  Houses are redesigned with useful space or storage, instead of 3 car garages.  No one is exposed to gasoline fumes and nobody dumps motor oil down storm drains.

The world is a better place with AI-controlled cars.  Having them learn to drive is just the first baby step in that process.
Sol, I really like your vision.  Do you mind if I use this as an example in the Robotics and Autonomous Industry study I lead?  Trying to fire up the imagination with regard to driverless cars.  Thanks for the consideration!
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2lazy2retire

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #806 on: October 03, 2016, 08:25:14 AM »
You think there is any scope to make some cash investing long term in property close to highways?, I suspect current location is cheap and undesirable due to both noise levels and pollution - with silent emmission free cars would this land not become sought after.

ender

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #807 on: October 03, 2016, 08:43:32 AM »
You think there is any scope to make some cash investing long term in property close to highways?, I suspect current location is cheap and undesirable due to both noise levels and pollution - with silent emmission free cars would this land not become sought after.

Maybe if you are thinking of your children or grandchildren.

It'd require an astronomical infrastructure cost to change this over in the short term.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #808 on: October 03, 2016, 08:49:28 AM »
You think there is any scope to make some cash investing long term in property close to highways?, I suspect current location is cheap and undesirable due to both noise levels and pollution - with silent emmission free cars would this land not become sought after.

Maybe if you are thinking of your children or grandchildren.

It'd require an astronomical infrastructure cost to change this over in the short term.

Hold onto that condo overlooking the highway - It'll be a sought after "urban view" without the smoke and noise ;)

sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #809 on: October 03, 2016, 11:04:59 AM »
150 mph:  Maybe.  Drag force = 0.5*(mass density of air)*(vehicle speed)^2 * (drag coef)*(projected area).  No amount of computer smarts gets around this equation we have been trying for +100 years. 

You're still thinking like a human who wants a faster horse.  AI cars don't need to maintain the same following distance that human drivers do.  Hell, they don't even need to be separate vehicles when they're travelling at speed.  Trains have much lower drag coefficients than do cars per unit mass, because the first car pushes air for everyone else.  AI cars, at least on interstates, could form tightly packed peletons that dramatically reduce drag forces for the group, or even link up into temporary trains full of cars that are all going to the same place.  Think of it more like a distributed public transit system than like individual cars.  Your car joins the train in progress, and leaves the train whenever it needs to.

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No traffic lights: Maybe.  They could definitely be reduced but pedestrians and bicycles? 

I'm sure there would still be traffic lights somewhere, just like there are pedestrian only zones in some places.  Ditto for the concerns about overpasses, it's not EVERY intersection that needs to be modified, just the high speed ones.  We've already accomplished this with the invention of the interstate highway system, I'm just proposing extending the model to make better use of driverless cars.  Some destinations should get dedicated routes for AIs.

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Also I am not sure life and death driving decisions should be based on broadcast-shared information. 

One of the most shocking things I've learned in my job is just how fragile our infrastructure already is.  Everything is already hackable, and I don't just mean in the computer code kind of way.  Traffic lights.  Power grids.  Water mains.  Bridges and dams.  The food supply.  All of this stuff is already protected by just the thinnest veneer of make-believe security that any determined actor can easily circumvent it.  At least AI cars can be given serious encryption technology.  Any random dude with a moving van full of fertilizer can take out virtually any office building in the country, no airplane hijacking required.  On my list of potentially catastrophic ways to F up our society, I'm not worried about someone hacking my car's communication system.

Do you mind if I use this as an example in the Robotics and Autonomous Industry study I lead? 

Anything (original) that anyone posts to the forum is instantly public domain, so use it as you see fit.  I suspect that a classroom full of bright young minds will find a bunch of ways that my own thinking is woefully constrained and uninspired, and then the real future will make fools of us all.  We had home computers for a decade before people figured out the huge potential of the internet, and then we had the internet for a decade before anyone figured out the huge potential of smartphones. 

I think today's driverless cars are like the Commodore 64, a cool toy for rich kid to play with, but we haven't yet really understood the coming societal changes that are inherent in that technology once it matures.  Tinder and Pokemon Go were not on my radar as I played Bubble Bobble in the late 80s, but the signposts were already there pointing the way.

ender

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #810 on: October 03, 2016, 05:41:27 PM »
One of the most shocking things I've learned in my job is just how fragile our infrastructure already is.  Everything is already hackable, and I don't just mean in the computer code kind of way.  Traffic lights.  Power grids.  Water mains.  Bridges and dams.  The food supply.  All of this stuff is already protected by just the thinnest veneer of make-believe security that any determined actor can easily circumvent it.  At least AI cars can be given serious encryption technology.  Any random dude with a moving van full of fertilizer can take out virtually any office building in the country, no airplane hijacking required.  On my list of potentially catastrophic ways to F up our society, I'm not worried about someone hacking my car's communication system.

It's not any better or less shocking if you are a software engineer, either.

I often wonder how our entire economy doesn't fall completely to pieces.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #811 on: October 03, 2016, 11:52:28 PM »
Weather is an interesting factor, too.

Living in the midwest, while I don't trust that people are smart on icy road conditions I suspect most of the AI (being developed/tested in nearly perfect weather conditions) handles that well yet.

It can't be worse than Midwest drivers. Every. Single. Winter. these people drive like they've never seen snow before.  It's one of the amazing parts of travelling during the winter sports season; watching people who have driven in these conditions every single year since they were 15 slide through intersections or plow into a ditch.  At least a smart car would already have a tow vehicle on its way by the time it had stopped moving in the ditch.
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theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #812 on: October 04, 2016, 07:54:26 AM »
You think there is any scope to make some cash investing long term in property close to highways?, I suspect current location is cheap and undesirable due to both noise levels and pollution - with silent emmission free cars would this land not become sought after.

Remember though, a lot of the noise of highways comes not from the engines, but from the tyres on the road. Even with silent engines, cars driving at high speed still make a lot of noise.

theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #813 on: October 04, 2016, 07:59:12 AM »

Imagine a world without parking lots and roads taking up 85% of the surface area of every downtown district.  There are no more traffic lights, because those are archaic devices designed to let clumsy and slow humans negotiate intersections and computers can instead negotiate intersections at full speed while communicating with each other at the speed of light.  There are no more traffic jams or rush hours.


I love the overall vision and personally can't wait for the day when computers drive us instead of foolish accident prone, texting, angry people.

But I don't understand the argument about there being no parking lots. As long as humans spend most of daylight hours going places and doing things, and a huge chunk of darkness hours asleep, we will always need to 'park' most of those vehicles somewhere overnight.

During the day I can see that flexible hours will hopefully mean less of a 'rush hour', plus driverless cars maintaining closer stopping distances etc. And we will need fewer cars overall because they will be used by multiple people. But the demand will have a peak, even if it's just when humans are awake vs. asleep, and we need enough cars to cope with that peak.

I guess you could do as sometimes happens with electricity and incentivise people to travel at night by making it cheaper / free? But that hasn't completely solved the electricity issue, because at the end of the day, even with storage heaters etc, we cannot fully even out the demand.

So there will still be parking lots, won't there? Even if they move them out of 'town' and the cars just 'rest' there at night.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #814 on: October 04, 2016, 08:59:54 AM »

Imagine a world without parking lots and roads taking up 85% of the surface area of every downtown district.  There are no more traffic lights, because those are archaic devices designed to let clumsy and slow humans negotiate intersections and computers can instead negotiate intersections at full speed while communicating with each other at the speed of light.  There are no more traffic jams or rush hours.


I love the overall vision and personally can't wait for the day when computers drive us instead of foolish accident prone, texting, angry people.

But I don't understand the argument about there being no parking lots. As long as humans spend most of daylight hours going places and doing things, and a huge chunk of darkness hours asleep, we will always need to 'park' most of those vehicles somewhere overnight.

During the day I can see that flexible hours will hopefully mean less of a 'rush hour', plus driverless cars maintaining closer stopping distances etc. And we will need fewer cars overall because they will be used by multiple people. But the demand will have a peak, even if it's just when humans are awake vs. asleep, and we need enough cars to cope with that peak.

I guess you could do as sometimes happens with electricity and incentivise people to travel at night by making it cheaper / free? But that hasn't completely solved the electricity issue, because at the end of the day, even with storage heaters etc, we cannot fully even out the demand.

So there will still be parking lots, won't there? Even if they move them out of 'town' and the cars just 'rest' there at night.

Maybe there will be. I'm still thinking that the most cost effective method will be not having personally owned cars. Just summon one when it's needed. And as far as parking lots go, I hope that we go the route that Japan took and have underground garages that are more automated. It seems like a more efficient use of space.
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theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #815 on: October 04, 2016, 09:09:39 AM »

Maybe there will be. I'm still thinking that the most cost effective method will be not having personally owned cars. Just summon one when it's needed. And as far as parking lots go, I hope that we go the route that Japan took and have underground garages that are more automated. It seems like a more efficient use of space.

Yeah, I see that, but you can't just 'summon one' from thin air... it had to be on this earth taking up space (and nearby) to be able to come to you. If it's just dropped someone off nearby, ok, but it's unrealistic to expect 100% utilisation and no down time between 'calls', yet one always being available when you need it.

Japan cracked me up with automation on a recent visit. So much stuff is automated, but then people are employed to do pointless jobs. Seriously, at a multi storey car park there was an attendant just to push the button and then hand you the ticket through your car window. To... save you having to push the button yourself? We saw this at more than one car park. At first we thought there was something wrong, and he was there to tell us they were full, or there was a problem with the machine. No, this was a real job.

But then your food is delivered on a conveyor belt. Amazing country and a great trip. Their use of automation vs. human labour seemed a strange juxtaposition to me though. 

sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #816 on: October 04, 2016, 11:17:36 AM »
But I don't understand the argument about there being no parking lots. As long as humans spend most of daylight hours going places and doing things, and a huge chunk of darkness hours asleep, we will always need to 'park' most of those vehicles somewhere overnight.

Most vehicles spend 95% or more of their lives parked.  Not being used.  AI drivers means that we only need as many cars as will fit on the roads at any one time.  A parked car is an unused car.  An unused car should be finding a user.

During times of low demand, it probably doesn't make sense for those empty cars to stay in motion.  But they could, in much the same way your partner drives around the block while you run into the store, instead of finding a parking spot downtown. 

There will still be some of parking, of course, plus some new infra required to move large crowds like from stadiums. But most stationary parking is likely to be repair and recharging stations for that portion of the fleet that is currently out of service and needs to be parked for some other reason besides "nobody is using it right now".

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #817 on: October 04, 2016, 11:22:32 AM »
When we perfect low energy cost teleportation, you guys are going to feel very silly about all the concern over cars in this thread.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #818 on: October 04, 2016, 11:42:54 AM »
When we perfect low energy cost teleportation, you guys are going to feel very silly about all the concern over cars in this thread.

Right, faster horses again. 

We spend all this time making better buggy whips and typewriter ribbons, and we fail to see the disruptive technology that makes the whole thing pointless.  I think AI may turn out to be that kind of disruption to a wide variety of industries.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #819 on: October 04, 2016, 12:09:53 PM »
When we perfect low energy cost teleportation, you guys are going to feel very silly about all the concern over cars in this thread.

Right, faster horses again. 

We spend all this time making better buggy whips and typewriter ribbons, and we fail to see the disruptive technology that makes the whole thing pointless.  I think AI may turn out to be that kind of disruption to a wide variety of industries.

+1

There are so many efficiency gains even if our current concept of a car stays the same with AI driving. Even in that situation I would still expect it to be disruptive, ignoring all the other options to make it more "obviously" disruptive.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #820 on: October 04, 2016, 02:15:09 PM »
But I don't understand the argument about there being no parking lots. As long as humans spend most of daylight hours going places and doing things, and a huge chunk of darkness hours asleep, we will always need to 'park' most of those vehicles somewhere overnight.

Most vehicles spend 95% or more of their lives parked.  Not being used.  AI drivers means that we only need as many cars as will fit on the roads at any one time.  A parked car is an unused car.  An unused car should be finding a user.

During times of low demand, it probably doesn't make sense for those empty cars to stay in motion...


I think the majority (at least more than half) of parking spaces aren't being used at any given time.  All during the day, the parking space in front of your house is empty.  In fact, chances are you have an empty garage, an empty driveway, and an empty space by the curb.
At night, all the many huge parking lots of stores and offices, not to mention parking garages, are all empty.
Even if the AI cab fleet just parked every night when no one needed them, that would still mean a few big parking garages per city, as opposed to a separate lot for every single business.
Sort of like how buses all have one or two central garages, but during the day they are all out, always moving.  There aren't bus parking lots all over the place.
Combine that idea with your point about only needing as many total as are used at any one time, and I think its fair to say it will end parking lots (as we know them at least)



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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #821 on: October 04, 2016, 02:25:14 PM »
When we perfect low energy cost teleportation, you guys are going to feel very silly about all the concern over cars in this thread.

Right, faster horses again. 

We spend all this time making better buggy whips and typewriter ribbons, and we fail to see the disruptive technology that makes the whole thing pointless.  I think AI may turn out to be that kind of disruption to a wide variety of industries.


I agree 100%, but it also easy for people to get carried away with the imaginary future.


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We were supposed to all be traveling in flying cars by now, and have colonies on the ocean floor.  We are supposed to all drive cars optimized for aerodynamics, and have robots shave for us in the morning.  We were supposed to have personal jetpacks!


Thing is, these things (or the technology to create them) all actually exist right now.  There is just no market for them.  Just because we can do something doesn't mean more than a few people actually want to

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #822 on: October 04, 2016, 03:06:46 PM »
When we perfect low energy cost teleportation, you guys are going to feel very silly about all the concern over cars in this thread.

Right, faster horses again. 

We spend all this time making better buggy whips and typewriter ribbons, and we fail to see the disruptive technology that makes the whole thing pointless.  I think AI may turn out to be that kind of disruption to a wide variety of industries.


I agree 100%, but it also easy for people to get carried away with the imaginary future.


https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/france-in-the-year-2000-1899-1910/


We were supposed to all be traveling in flying cars by now, and have colonies on the ocean floor.  We are supposed to all drive cars optimized for aerodynamics, and have robots shave for us in the morning.  We were supposed to have personal jetpacks!


Thing is, these things (or the technology to create them) all actually exist right now.  There is just no market for them.  Just because we can do something doesn't mean more than a few people actually want to

The reason we don't have flying cars and jetpacks is those ideas were f@cking stupid to begin with, but a driverless car ( on the road)  I'm all for that.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #823 on: October 05, 2016, 12:52:13 AM »
Quote
The reason we don't have flying cars and jetpacks is those ideas were f@cking stupid to begin with, but a driverless car ( on the road)  I'm all for that.

You're clearly not 8 years old anymore.... the 8 yo inside me LOVES jetpacks and flying cars... :)

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #824 on: October 05, 2016, 12:55:27 AM »
Quote
The reason we don't have flying cars and jetpacks is those ideas were f@cking stupid to begin with, but a driverless car ( on the road)  I'm all for that.

You're clearly not 8 years old anymore.... the 8 yo inside me LOVES jetpacks and flying cars... :)

What about automated jetpacks? Much less infrastructure required than driverless cars (no roads or parking lots), much less mass to move around, easier to store when not in use, much less friction and therefor more-efficient at moving people than cars and faster as one can take a more direct route to their destination.

Probably will happen within a decade of a driverless car fleet that never parks, at the rate society is progressing.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #825 on: October 05, 2016, 08:50:59 AM »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #826 on: October 05, 2016, 11:34:56 AM »
Quote
The reason we don't have flying cars and jetpacks is those ideas were f@cking stupid to begin with, but a driverless car ( on the road)  I'm all for that.

You're clearly not 8 years old anymore.... the 8 yo inside me LOVES jetpacks and flying cars... :)

What about automated jetpacks? Much less infrastructure required than driverless cars (no roads or parking lots), much less mass to move around, easier to store when not in use, much less friction and therefor more-efficient at moving people than cars and faster as one can take a more direct route to their destination.

Probably will happen within a decade of a driverless car fleet that never parks, at the rate society is progressing.

Too time consuming, can you imagine getting the family ready to go out for dinner in jet packs, or getting the grandparents over for thanksgiving:)

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #827 on: October 05, 2016, 07:23:40 PM »
man I get busy for a few days and this place blows up!

re AI roads/hyper speed freeways:  I love the vision and it would be really cool, I just have trouble seeing it being worth the effort (cost; not just software costs but also freeway construction, even if you say we would have automated building that is still devoting resources to that project rather than something else.)  Combine with (an assumed) reduced need to relocate your meat space location because of some VR-Skype meshed with holographic avatar thingy we will have less need for this.  Yes hyper freeways are only one example-fine, and I get that good driverless cars will cause HUGE changes in our world. 

Below will not happen in any real way.  Vertical take off is expensive and for the forcible future the basic laws of economics will still apply, redundancies to make if safe will make the up front costs stupid, it will be to heavy to have any real range.  High density low altitude traffic is dangerous.  The low altitude environment has lots of turbulence and is often unpleasant to be in, think: the worst airliner turbulence you have ever felt while being able to read license plates (the bump you get from a jerk of wind is a function of vehicle mass - lighter = bigger bumps).
http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/06/technology/ces-2016-ehang-drone/

As someone up thread said right now we could have undersea city's but there is no need and it would be expensive and dangerous where most people are perfectly happy in a two story ranch style house.  The physical macro world and printed circuit boards are two very different environments and I think if we expect similar geometric compounding of awesomeness out of the physical world as we have seen in the computer/web world we will be disappointed.

fuck sorry, did not intend that to be such a downer, will try more beer.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #828 on: October 06, 2016, 09:10:44 AM »

Sort of like how buses all have one or two central garages, but during the day they are all out, always moving.  There aren't bus parking lots all over the place.
Combine that idea with your point about only needing as many total as are used at any one time, and I think its fair to say it will end parking lots (as we know them at least)


Good points on the parking lots, Sol and Bakari. Also, since vehicles will only need to leave them when 'requested', and will do so in order, there is no need to leave lots of space -between- parked cars so everyone can get out.

Looking out my window at a full car park right now, most of the space doesn't have cars in it. It's manoeuvering space so that any specific car, at any time, can get out, without anyone having to move another car. We won't need that space anymore, since no-one will need a 'designated' car, just the nearest car that meets their criteria (size, distance etc).

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #829 on: October 07, 2016, 08:06:38 AM »
A good article on AI from our children's perspective.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/03/growing-up-in-generation-ai/
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #830 on: October 07, 2016, 08:08:40 PM »
man I get busy for a few days and this place blows up!

re AI roads/hyper speed freeways:  I love the vision and it would be really cool, I just have trouble seeing it being worth the effort (cost; not just software costs but also freeway construction, even if you say we would have automated building that is still devoting resources to that project rather than something else.)  Combine with (an assumed) reduced need to relocate your meat space location because of some VR-Skype meshed with holographic avatar thingy we will have less need for this.  Yes hyper freeways are only one example-fine, and I get that good driverless cars will cause HUGE changes in our world. 

Below will not happen in any real way.  Vertical take off is expensive and for the forcible future the basic laws of economics will still apply, redundancies to make if safe will make the up front costs stupid, it will be to heavy to have any real range.  High density low altitude traffic is dangerous.  The low altitude environment has lots of turbulence and is often unpleasant to be in, think: the worst airliner turbulence you have ever felt while being able to read license plates (the bump you get from a jerk of wind is a function of vehicle mass - lighter = bigger bumps).
http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/06/technology/ces-2016-ehang-drone/

As someone up thread said right now we could have undersea city's but there is no need and it would be expensive and dangerous where most people are perfectly happy in a two story ranch style house.  The physical macro world and printed circuit boards are two very different environments and I think if we expect similar geometric compounding of awesomeness out of the physical world as we have seen in the computer/web world we will be disappointed.

fuck sorry, did not intend that to be such a downer, will try more beer.

Probably good points, on all of the above.

Only comment I have is I don't see automated cars causing HUGE changes though: you'd still be moving mass along pre-defined routes along the ground, over dedicated infrastructure, at relatively low speeds. Sure your 1hr commute would be cut to 30 minutes, and you could read or eat or shave (or at least do these things easier) during that time, but that's hardly a HUGE change from now.  Those transportation devices would still need to be stored somewhere when not in use (which would still be the majority of the time), and the infrastructure and the devices would still be major budget items. Sure there'd be less parking lots; I guess that'd be different.

Maybe we're both downers... More beer is a mood alterting experiment I shall attempt, now that you mention it.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #831 on: October 08, 2016, 09:52:28 AM »
Only comment I have is I don't see automated cars causing HUGE changes though: you'd still be moving mass along pre-defined routes along the ground, over dedicated infrastructure, at relatively low speeds. Sure your 1hr commute would be cut to 30 minutes, and you could read or eat or shave (or at least do these things easier) during that time, but that's hardly a HUGE change from now.  Those transportation devices would still need to be stored somewhere when not in use (which would still be the majority of the time), and the infrastructure and the devices would still be major budget items. Sure there'd be less parking lots; I guess that'd be different.

Maybe we're both downers... More beer is a mood alterting experiment I shall attempt, now that you mention it.

A few possibilities.

Traffic deaths would go down dramatically.

Overall fuel efficiency would go up for many reasons, first cars which are interlinked could drive closer together and "train up" in a way. Second, cars are far more likely to not waste energy than humans, particularly if they connect to an overall grid in a city and can know when stoplights will turn, etc.

The total number of cars needed could drop dramatically if cars are all used similar to uber and "on demand."

Also, if cars are more like taxis, particularly for commuting, carpooling types of activities become much easier because you can easily pick someone else up with minimal impact on the overall commute time and have less vehicles on the road.

Commuting time would drop significantly, because overall traffic efficiency would skyrocket. Lack of need for human reaction time safety factors as well as increased efficiency on actual traffic routes themselves.

You could even potentially reduce the safety features of vehicles to make them lighter and more energy efficient. Right now cars are designed to keep their passengers safe from other drivers, which adds a lot of weight. If all human drivers are obsolete a lot of this weight could be reclaimed. Particularly since the need of trucks is nearly non-existent for most of their owners, which meant if all vehicles were autonomous the number of trucks in circulation would drop dramatically.

Overall commuting speed would almost assuredly be higher. Perhaps for intercountry trips the effect would be lower, but you could still increase speeds and decrease mileage dramatically. Being close behind another vehicle (particularly only a few feet) reduces drag significantly, which scales in a power relationship with speed, to the point you could easily increase your average speed while still decreasing overall fuel economy.

This sum total of the obvious implications to me would be pretty huge. And these are just the simplistic, immediate effects of having all automated cars.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #832 on: October 08, 2016, 06:45:03 PM »
Only comment I have is I don't see automated cars causing HUGE changes though: you'd still be moving mass along pre-defined routes along the ground, over dedicated infrastructure, at relatively low speeds. Sure your 1hr commute would be cut to 30 minutes, and you could read or eat or shave (or at least do these things easier) during that time, but that's hardly a HUGE change from now.  Those transportation devices would still need to be stored somewhere when not in use (which would still be the majority of the time), and the infrastructure and the devices would still be major budget items. Sure there'd be less parking lots; I guess that'd be different.

Maybe we're both downers... More beer is a mood alterting experiment I shall attempt, now that you mention it.

A few possibilities.

Traffic deaths would go down dramatically.

Overall fuel efficiency would go up for many reasons, first cars which are interlinked could drive closer together and "train up" in a way. Second, cars are far more likely to not waste energy than humans, particularly if they connect to an overall grid in a city and can know when stoplights will turn, etc.

The total number of cars needed could drop dramatically if cars are all used similar to uber and "on demand."

Also, if cars are more like taxis, particularly for commuting, carpooling types of activities become much easier because you can easily pick someone else up with minimal impact on the overall commute time and have less vehicles on the road.

Commuting time would drop significantly, because overall traffic efficiency would skyrocket. Lack of need for human reaction time safety factors as well as increased efficiency on actual traffic routes themselves.

You could even potentially reduce the safety features of vehicles to make them lighter and more energy efficient. Right now cars are designed to keep their passengers safe from other drivers, which adds a lot of weight. If all human drivers are obsolete a lot of this weight could be reclaimed. Particularly since the need of trucks is nearly non-existent for most of their owners, which meant if all vehicles were autonomous the number of trucks in circulation would drop dramatically.

Overall commuting speed would almost assuredly be higher. Perhaps for intercountry trips the effect would be lower, but you could still increase speeds and decrease mileage dramatically. Being close behind another vehicle (particularly only a few feet) reduces drag significantly, which scales in a power relationship with speed, to the point you could easily increase your average speed while still decreasing overall fuel economy.

This sum total of the obvious implications to me would be pretty huge. And these are just the simplistic, immediate effects of having all automated cars.

I guess we have different views on what a 'huge' change is. It'd be different, sure. Better in the ways you mentioned - ok.  But when I want to go somewhere, I still slide into a dedicated transport vehicle that has no other purpose, that will take me rapidly along a dedicated road with a bunch of other people doing the same thing, likely in a comfortable, seated position. The thought of doing this doesn't exactly impress me as a significant variation on what I would do now. I guess no stoplights would be cool. I don't stay up at night thinking about how there are too many trucks on the road though.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #833 on: October 10, 2016, 05:22:35 AM »

Probably good points, on all of the above.

Only comment I have is I don't see automated cars causing HUGE changes though: you'd still be moving mass along pre-defined routes along the ground, over dedicated infrastructure, at relatively low speeds. Sure your 1hr commute would be cut to 30 minutes, and you could read or eat or shave (or at least do these things easier) during that time, but that's hardly a HUGE change from now.  Those transportation devices would still need to be stored somewhere when not in use (which would still be the majority of the time), and the infrastructure and the devices would still be major budget items. Sure there'd be less parking lots; I guess that'd be different.

Maybe we're both downers... More beer is a mood alterting experiment I shall attempt, now that you mention it.

See, to me, that is a HUGE change. I know people who commute an hour each way. They are awake for say 16 hours a day. 10 of those are spent at work. Of the other 6 they have as 'free' time, 2 are spent commuting. That's 1/3 of their available leisure hours.

If they could pursue hobbies for those two hours (or have them cut down to 1 total, and have one more hour at home in the evenings) that would really affect their quality of life dramatically.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #834 on: October 10, 2016, 08:38:15 AM »
Also, even using present day technology internal combustion cars, but driven at a consistent speed, never over the legal limit, no unnecessary braking or acceleration, would save enough gas to completely eliminate all imported oil to the US, which in turn would have some major military and diplomatic consequences.  Human drivers will never voluntarily drive efficiently in large enough numbers to have that kind of impact, but a mostly robot fleet would by default
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #835 on: October 10, 2016, 11:08:49 AM »
All this sounds exciting and valuable for commuters and others going to predefined destinations.

But, I hope driverless vehicles do not become mandatory until after I have finished exploring the Americas in my RV.  When we travel we do just go from Point A to Point B.  We head in a general direction and then adjust our plans as we go.  We don't know where we are going until we get there.

I am sure this can be addressed eventually but for now the focus seems to be entirely on "A to B" driving.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #836 on: October 10, 2016, 11:33:55 AM »
All this sounds exciting and valuable for commuters and others going to predefined destinations.

But, I hope driverless vehicles do not become mandatory until after I have finished exploring the Americas in my RV.  When we travel we do just go from Point A to Point B.  We head in a general direction and then adjust our plans as we go.  We don't know where we are going until we get there.

I am sure this can be addressed eventually but for now the focus seems to be entirely on "A to B" driving.

Well yeah because it constitutes a very large percentage of driving. Plus mandates haven't been discussed, just potential. Driverless vehicles and driven vehicles can coexist still. Just don't expect a whole lot of infrastructure improvement when it becomes something for less than a certain percentage of the people.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #837 on: October 10, 2016, 11:45:57 AM »
Also, even using present day technology internal combustion cars, but driven at a consistent speed, never over the legal limit, no unnecessary braking or acceleration, would save enough gas to completely eliminate all imported oil to the US, which in turn would have some major military and diplomatic consequences.  Human drivers will never voluntarily drive efficiently in large enough numbers to have that kind of impact, but a mostly robot fleet would by default

The U.S. military spending isn't to ensure oil for America.  It's to ensure oil access for the rest of the free world.  Access to energy markets for everyone has made a much more peaceful and stable world, benefiting all humans.  Military spending and action in the ME is not strictly, or even primarily, for America.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #838 on: October 10, 2016, 03:51:34 PM »
Quote
, and oh yes it's free to use.
part economic, part social - a study done in SF found that the local bus and light rail system (muni) was spending more on plainclothes transit police, repair and maintenance of cash and ticket machines, paper passes, and other costs of collecting and enforcing tolls than they were bringing in in fares.  In other words, they would actually save money by making it free.
They never made it free though.  Because !!!!!!! socialism!!!!!!!!

Quote
The world is a better place with AI-controlled cars.
 
Agreed


Quote
Having them learn to drive is just the first baby step in that process.
Just defending AlanStache here - the only idea here which would require further refinement than simply learning to drive, avoiding accidents, and maximizing fuel mileage and travel time, is this: "There are no more traffic lights, because those are archaic devices designed to let clumsy and slow humans negotiate intersections and computers can instead negotiate intersections at full speed while communicating with each other at the speed of light."
but the transition to 100% driverless cars won't be a software issue, and once that transition has been made this is a fairly easy software problem to solve.  I'm willing to bet we could do it in simulation form today.  The actual driving is the most more technical challenge

Regarding the Muni study...

While it is true it is cheaper to deliver the service free, fare collection has not been a source of revenue to fund the service for a long time (at least during the last several decades).  The purpose of fares is primarily for the public to 1) respect the service, and 2)  a way to manage demand and safety.

Agencies would love to make the service free for all, but then they have to increase capacity.  For a service that is costly to provide at a loss, fares somewhat rationalize demand.  For example, charging a nominal fare and enforcing it can marginally reduce the number of homeless people sleeping on trains or buses in SF.  For those willing to sign up and prove residency, seniors and youth already get unlimited free passes.

Fares on public transit do fund operations for some agencies (e.g. BART pays for a significant percentage of operating costs with fares, commuter rail has better economics), but fares almost never cover infrastructure investment cost.  They basically are a subsidy to keep our lower income workers arriving at jobs while keeping them living somewhere else.

Not a great solution, but my interpretation of the modern city public transit status.  That said, self driving cars at an economic cost could completely disintermediate existing public transit agencies, or at least transform them in a way that they run very differently.  Opposing this are institutionalized labor factions and other political interests.  It may play out a lot like the Uber vs Cabs phenomenon.

P.S.  I bought lunch today at a 'new concept' lunch bowl place that has automated ordering with iPad like square enabled tablets (just outside Salesforce.com HQ).  As discussed in the minimum wage thread discussions, they are piloting a retail location without human contact (you pick up your food at a vendo-mat like box by tapping the door when your name appears above it).

While very visually cool, it is prescient in the sense that we assume humans are behind the wall somewhere, but these consumers are perfectly happy buying lunch at a place where no humans appear, ever.....there is no information about how the meal bowl/boxes are assembled.  Story link below.

"Hate People? Love Quinoa? Your Dream Restaurant Just Opened"


http://time.com/4022130/eatsa-san-francisco/
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 09:10:38 PM by PizzaSteve »
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #839 on: October 10, 2016, 04:32:02 PM »
All this sounds exciting and valuable for commuters and others going to predefined destinations.

But, I hope driverless vehicles do not become mandatory until after I have finished exploring the Americas in my RV.  When we travel we do just go from Point A to Point B.  We head in a general direction and then adjust our plans as we go.  We don't know where we are going until we get there.

I am sure this can be addressed eventually but for now the focus seems to be entirely on "A to B" driving.
It'll still exist, but expect to pay a lot more in insurance and risk a lot of liability, because you are way more dangerous a driver than a computer (or will be, by the time it's at the mandatory point you're talking about).
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #840 on: October 10, 2016, 10:38:54 PM »
But, I hope driverless vehicles do not become mandatory


I doubt they ever would, or at least not in our lifetime.  We didn't outlaw bicycles and horses when cars became ubiquitous.  Not everyone can afford the newest self-driving car.


The U.S. military spending isn't to ensure oil for America.  It's to ensure oil access for the rest of the free world.  Access to energy markets for everyone has made a much more peaceful and stable world, benefiting all humans.  Military spending and action in the ME is not strictly, or even primarily, for America.


Doesn't change my overall point.  If the US has self-driving cars, so does Europe and Japan.  Every advanced nation - the same ones who use the most per capita - need less oil.  So the entire free world needs to import less.  Which has an even bigger effect, since it also takes a lot of oil to transport all that oil, not to mention the absolutely ridiculous amounts used by the military itself (for example, one of the US Coast Guard SMALL boats uses about the same amount of fuel at idle that our small car uses at 65mph)


Quote
, and oh yes it's free to use.
part economic, part social - a study done in SF found that the local bus and light rail system (muni) was spending more on plainclothes transit police, repair and maintenance of cash and ticket machines, paper passes, and other costs of collecting and enforcing tolls than they were bringing in in fares.  In other words, they would actually save money by making it free.
They never made it free though.  Because !!!!!!! socialism!!!!!!!!

Regarding the Muni study...

While it is true it is cheaper to deliver the service free, fare collection has not been a source of revenue to fund the service for a long time (at least during the last several decades).  The purpose of fares is primarily for the public to 1) respect the service, and 2)  a way to manage demand and safety.

Agencies would love to make the service free for all, but then they have to increase capacity.  For a service that is costly to provide at a loss, fares somewhat rationalize demand.  For example, charging a nominal fare and enforcing it can marginally reduce the number of homeless people sleeping on trains or buses in SF.  For those willing to sign up and prove residency, seniors and youth already get unlimited free passes.


Fair enough, but all those same points would apply to driverless public fleets too.  Given the points you raise, it seems even less likely that AI will make transportation free, which is all I was saying


you are way more dangerous a driver than a computer (or will be, by the time it's at the mandatory point you're talking about).


This is already true, with our current fledgling technology.  Just looking at Telsa and Google's cars alone, automated systems have driven about 256 million miles.  Of course, these's also BMW, Lyft, and dozens of small independant projects that have a few miles as well.
There have been zero fatalities attributed to the actual AI systems (there was one highly publicized fatalitie, but as a more indpeth analysis found: "two human drivers created a situation that an automated system failed to save them from, rather than one in which an automated system made a fatal mistake on its own."
On average human drivers would have had over 3 fatalities in that amount of driving, so even if you blame the Telsa AI and not the driver who was speeding (apparently more than 30mph over the maximum limit in the state on a road with intersections with no stop lights - i.e. 95+ in a 65 zone - while watching a movie), it still makes the AI at least 3 times safer than humans.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #841 on: October 12, 2016, 12:12:41 PM »
But, I hope driverless vehicles do not become mandatory

I doubt they ever would, or at least not in our lifetime.  We didn't outlaw bicycles and horses when cars became ubiquitous.  Not everyone can afford the newest self-driving car.


I would  be surprised if they are not outlawed on most roads.  Currently it is illegal to drive a horse and buggy or bicycle down the interstate.  For safety reasons, I would think that non self driving cars would be illegal on most public roads.  I would also think that this will happen in the next 30 years.  I also think lifespans will increase, so I think it will definitely happen within our lifespan.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #842 on: October 12, 2016, 05:59:31 PM »
But, I hope driverless vehicles do not become mandatory

I doubt they ever would, or at least not in our lifetime.  We didn't outlaw bicycles and horses when cars became ubiquitous.  Not everyone can afford the newest self-driving car.


I would  be surprised if they are not outlawed on most roads.  Currently it is illegal to drive a horse and buggy or bicycle down the interstate.  For safety reasons, I would think that non self driving cars would be illegal on most public roads.  I would also think that this will happen in the next 30 years.  I also think lifespans will increase, so I think it will definitely happen within our lifespan.


Maybe, maybe not.  Big difference between "interstate" and "most public roads" though.


The goal of safety is always strongly tempered by the often conflicting goal of freedom.  If transportation safety really were a primary goal of law makers, it would be extremely easy to make laws that had an enormous impact on auto fatalities:


First and foremost, they could require all vehicles to be governed to around 55MPH.  Once enough cars had them that people going faster (in pre-governed cars) would stick out enough to be guaranteed to be caught (perhaps with the help of automated speed cameras), the auto accident fatality rate would drop by around 75%
[note, governing top speed directly would have an overwhelmingly larger effect than simply setting a "speed limit", because almost everyone ignores the speed limit, and when it was 55 very few police departments even tried to enforce it]


They could also limit horsepower, limit passenger vehicle weight, and ban all use of communication devices in automobiles (including not letting manufactures actually build in ways to facilitate it) with penalties equal to those for drunk driving (which would make sense, since the accident rate of, for example, texting, is pretty similar to DUI).


None of those things has happened, because citizens and government value consumer and manufacturer choice much more than safety.


If we don't even mandate cars be governed to the maximum speed limit of the state a car is sold in (which would be much less expensive than all the crash protections that are currently mandated), I really don't see mandating an AI system.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #843 on: October 12, 2016, 07:16:27 PM »

If we don't even mandate cars be governed to the maximum speed limit of the state a car is sold in (which would be much less expensive than all the crash protections that are currently mandated), I really don't see mandating an AI system.

Great points throughout this entire post.

If cars were governed at their maximum speed of roads in the state they were sold, wouldn't everyone just travel to Montana to buy cars?  Certainly no one would buy one in Wisconsin...
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #844 on: October 12, 2016, 08:16:35 PM »

If we don't even mandate cars be governed to the maximum speed limit of the state a car is sold in (which would be much less expensive than all the crash protections that are currently mandated), I really don't see mandating an AI system.

Great points throughout this entire post.

If cars were governed at their maximum speed of roads in the state they were sold, wouldn't everyone just travel to Montana to buy cars?  Certainly no one would buy one in Wisconsin...


lol.
If you buy a non-CA-emissions compliant car (from another state or country) you can't register it here unless you get it modified.
One could potentially just keep out of state plates indefinitely, but most people don't bother.

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Guses

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #845 on: October 13, 2016, 08:21:37 AM »
You think there is any scope to make some cash investing long term in property close to highways?, I suspect current location is cheap and undesirable due to both noise levels and pollution - with silent emmission free cars would this land not become sought after.

Remember though, a lot of the noise of highways comes not from the engines, but from the tyres on the road. Even with silent engines, cars driving at high speed still make a lot of noise.

Yeah, but that's just white noise and, IMO, not what is disturbing about living close to an highway.

It's those damn fart cans, Harleys, broken muffler, revving engine, sirens, honking that break up the white noise and spike the decibel chart and that wake you up in the middle of the night.

The noise wind makes on a car is actually soothing if you are not right beside it.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #846 on: October 13, 2016, 12:22:37 PM »
You think there is any scope to make some cash investing long term in property close to highways?, I suspect current location is cheap and undesirable due to both noise levels and pollution - with silent emmission free cars would this land not become sought after.

Remember though, a lot of the noise of highways comes not from the engines, but from the tyres on the road. Even with silent engines, cars driving at high speed still make a lot of noise.

Yeah, but that's just white noise and, IMO, not what is disturbing about living close to an highway.

It's those damn fart cans, Harleys, broken muffler, revving engine, sirens, honking that break up the white noise and spike the decibel chart and that wake you up in the middle of the night.

The noise wind makes on a car is actually soothing if you are not right beside it.

That's true.  I've been to qualifying for NASCAR races, and as soon as the cars cross the start/finish line they shut off their engines and all you can hear is the wind and tire noise.  Even at 200mph, it's not that loud.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #847 on: October 14, 2016, 12:43:55 AM »
You think there is any scope to make some cash investing long term in property close to highways?, I suspect current location is cheap and undesirable due to both noise levels and pollution - with silent emmission free cars would this land not become sought after.

Remember though, a lot of the noise of highways comes not from the engines, but from the tyres on the road. Even with silent engines, cars driving at high speed still make a lot of noise.

Yeah, but that's just white noise and, IMO, not what is disturbing about living close to an highway.

It's those damn fart cans, Harleys, broken muffler, revving engine, sirens, honking that break up the white noise and spike the decibel chart and that wake you up in the middle of the night.

The noise wind makes on a car is actually soothing if you are not right beside it.

That's true.  I've been to qualifying for NASCAR races, and as soon as the cars cross the start/finish line they shut off their engines and all you can hear is the wind and tire noise.  Even at 200mph, it's not that loud.

How far do they go after shutting off their engines on the start line?
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #848 on: October 14, 2016, 05:14:03 AM »
Lack of sirens would be a huge advantage to a wholly autonomous fleet which recognised that certain vehicles needed priority and ceded without the need for audible cues. Also, lack of honking from impatient idiots.

Also, using a handheld device (phone etc) is illegal in the UK. The penalties are not as strong as for drink driving but I think they should be and will only increase.

As a kid, I remember asking my mum if 70 MPH was the fastest a car was allowed to go on British roads, why they didn't just limit every car to 70 MPH. Here large vehicles are limited (I want to say to 56 MPH? Anyone know if that's correct) and I am always by how fast trucks go on US roads. I also had no idea what all those weird ramps were, until DH explained the concept of runaway trucks to me, yikes.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #849 on: October 14, 2016, 06:40:28 AM »
I read that lawn care and snow shoving might be a thing of the past...

http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/13/technology/robot-yardwork-kobi/index.html

According to the article "Once this setup is complete, and the $3,999 robot has been trained on where to cut grass, rake leaves and shovel snow, it operates without any supervision. "

Now all I need is a $4k robot that can clean my apt/house, do the dishes, make dinner, and all the other household choirs that use up my productive time.  So a quick question...  Would a robot that could do all that be worth $4k?  Do you think my robot will make me fatter??  Anyway food for thought
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