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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, I'll go on record saying I don't want them. As much as I hate driving in annoying rush-hour traffic, or those horrible backups created by crashes and construction, I also tremendously enjoy driving. I love feeling the car do what I tell it, and even sometimes like having to react when it doesn't do exactly what I expect. Maybe a system that can take over driving in those annoying stop/go traffic situations might be nice, but even on the open, boring freeway, I think I'd rather be in control of the car rather than just being a passenger.

I don't see it being possible to phase-in self-driving cars along with human-driven cars. Part of this is because self-driving cars follow all rules "perfectly". While that sounds like the safest, best thing to do, it's not. You know, sometimes you have to swerve off the road, or across a lane to avoid a hazard. A self-driving car is not going to do that. What about speeding up (yes, above the posted limit!) to avoid an accident? Yes, another thing a self-driving car would never do. Of course one could argue that they might be programmed to do these things, but the I don't believe it will be possible to give them "human intuition".

So what is this "human intuition"? It's not really anything magical. I think it's just our ability to subconsciously recognize and react to very subtle inputs that our conscious brain does not process. Here's an example. I was driving down a two-lane road and a car was stopped on a side street to my right, about to turn in front of me, making a left onto the road where I was traveling. I saw the car stopped there, the left turn signal on and the driver looking left and right preparing to make her turn. But in a millisecond, before it happened, I realized that the driver was going to pull out and hit me. How did I know this? I can't say. Her car did not move. Maybe my subconscious saw the driver's eyes scanning the road and realized that she did not actually look at me. I tried to speed up and get past her before she pulled out, but I wasn't fast enough because she ended up hitting my rear quarter panel. Sure enough, after the accident, she said she didn't even see me!

So, how do you teach a computer do do that? I don't think you can. Of course the argument is that I didn't (couldn't) avoid the accident, but there have been many other incidents like this where I have had some sort of "gut feeling" or "intuition" and avoided an accident. I am not clairvoyant (I know I'm not or else I'd use that skill to be amazingly rich and bring about world peace), so it has to be something my brain processes that I am unaware of. And that can't be programmed.

So, if self-driving cars can't follow these subtle and unrecognized clues that humans give off, then that is an argument to not let self-driving cars share the roads with human drivers. Another argument would be that because self-driving cars are always going to be in "defensive mode", some human drivers may "play" with them. Imagine, you are in traffic and need to change lanes and you see a self-driving car next to you. instead of waiting your turn for an open slot, you just make an aggressive maneuver like you are going to side-swipe the self-driving car. It will likely move over and stop to avoid an accident, and thus you have your opening. Same goes for if you are at a 4-way-stop. Just go out of turn and the self-driving car will sit and wait until it's all clear. Of course you can do this to human drivers, too, but not all of them. Some of them will call your bluff, but a self-driving car's programming will never engage in any aggression.

Because self-driving cars can't effectively coexist with human drivers, my guess is that there will traffic laws implemented to separate them. For example, a city might decide that it is so congested during certain hours that only self-driving cars are allowed on certain streets at those times. Or, there might be certain routes only available to self-driving cars. These rules at first may seem acceptable, but all that has to be done is to keep expanding these limited-access areas until human drivers are pretty much shut out and there's the incentive. The federal government might then sponsor another "cash for clunkers" type program to entice internal-combustion, human-driver cars to be traded in for cash and "ride share" vouchers.

Ride share? Oh, you think you'll actually own a self-driving car? No, the only way this will work is if they are all owned by operators or manufactures (who may be one and the same). There will be too much liability and expense in owning a self-driving car. Having the liability for any errors covered by the same entity responsible for maintenance and programming makes the most sense. Besides, they will be very expensive and most people would not be able to afford them. And why would you need to when you can just hail one with an app.

Of course self-driving (and most likely) electric cars won't work in all situations. People living in rural areas where roads are poorly marked, and very narrow may still need human driven cars with long ranges that can be quickly refueled. But for people in cities or even congested suburbs, self-driving on-demand ride share cars are the wave of the future and I don;t think we can stop it. Personally, it makes me sad, but it also makes me glad to be older so I probably won;t have to deal with this, at least not in its fully implemented state.
 

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18 XT5 / 18 CTS 3.6 AWD
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In my Northern Ontario city, especially this time of year, self driving cars will not work on our roads. There are NO paint lines left on the road and the ice pack is pretty good on the sides and the potholes will swallow a small hatchback.
You can spot the drunk drivers cause they are the only ones NOT swerving all over the road dodging potholes.
 

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That's where HD maps are supposed to help: By providing location information so precise that striping and other camera-based guides are unnecessary. But I wouldn't bet my life on it.
 

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Would love to have a complete self driving car. I don't care to feel the road or connect with it. Had my Corvette days since college, so over and done with it.
Would to like take an App, say grocery or wal mart, press select and just ride over there get it done and come back. Even drives to my friends out of town.
Could really enjoy the ride, not the dang car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's where HD maps are supposed to help: By providing location information so precise that striping and other camera-based guides are unnecessary. But I wouldn't bet my life on it.
Until weather, trees, or buildings block GPS signals, then the best maps in the world are no good. But, remove human drivers from the roads so self-driving cars only have to deal with each other, let them communicate with each other, and even that problem is solved.
 

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Until weather, trees, or buildings block GPS signals, then the best maps in the world are no good.
Depends on the system. For some, such as https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/self-driving-cars/hd-mapping, use GPS in combination with cameras and sensors. It's possible to download an HP map, although just a single neighborhood can be 1 TB. If you want a deeper dive, see section 4.6 on p. 27 at http://www.5gamericas.org/files/961...ations_Towards_5G__Final_for_Distribution.pdf.
 

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Self driving cars simply put is a fad. I have never seen a valued discussion on a self driving bus, plane, train, trucks etc. Would you get on a self driving bus? Would you board a plane with no pilot?
Self anything should be sentient when mixed with other sentient beings. Have dedicated lanes for self driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Self driving cars simply put is a fad. I have never seen a valued discussion on a self driving bus, plane, train, trucks etc. Would you get on a self driving bus? Would you board a plane with no pilot?
Self anything should be sentient when mixed with other sentient beings. Have dedicated lanes for self driving.
For many years, I have also been saying this. I have argued that I will never see the proliferation of self-driving cars on the roads in my lifetime. Technology is just advancing faster than ever and demand is very high. I am afraid I will have to eat my words. I am not happy about it, but I think it is inevitable.

There are many reasons why demand is so high. Safety is a major factor. Take humans out of the equation and you don't have to worry about road rage, distracted, drunk or just plain bad driving. Another is giving people who couldn't otherwise drive access to mobility. Disabled persons or even children can be transported without the need for a family member to be available. Cargo can be trucked without paying human drivers, which means no delays for mandatory rest times. Local mail and package deliveries could occur overnight when there is little traffic.

Most people really don't like to drive. They would prefer to just be carted around and not worry about dealing with traffic. Millennials especially, who have the lowest rate in history of obtaining driver licenses and would prefer to pay attention to their iPhones rather than the roads are ripe for self-driving cars. When they summon a "ride share" they could not care less if it's driven by a person or a computer. In fact, a computer might be preferable because it won't try to have a conversation with them.

Since these self-driving cars will be corporate owned, governments will be in luck. They can simply pass all the taxes they want without the need for a public votes. Insurance companies will be happy as they will be able to sell policies that will likely have very few claims. Energy companies will be happy as they will no longer need to spend money on marketing as they will just need to negotiate contracts with the various companies running the vehicles.

If you're a conspiracy theorist, then you'll enjoy the idea that without privately-owned transportation, it will be easier to keep the proletariat in line. And they will probably work with the manufacturers and owners of these self-driving cars to monitor who uses them, with facial recognition and such so that when a wanted bad guy hails a car, it just locks the doors and takes him to the police station. Oh, and this would also eliminate bank robbery getaways, car bombings and drive-by shooting.

So, technology, combined with tremendous demand = it will happen. I'll go out on a limb here and make a prediction. Within 5 years, it will be common to see self-driving cars on the road in most all cities and suburbs. Within 10 years, there will be new traffic laws that will favor them. Within 15 years, there will be new laws that discourage (not prohibit, just higher taxes or restrictions) human driven cars and private vehicle ownership. Within 20 years, human-driven, privately-owned vehicles will be in the minority, probably owned by collectors or those living in very remote, rural areas.
 

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If I don’t own a vehicle that I can easily fuel up and come and go as I please, sounds like I’m giving up quite a bit of freedom. Sounds awful.
How’s my boat going to get the lake? How’s my camper going to get the campground 3 hours away? A corporate owned, self-driving pickup truck that I have schedule to come pick me up at my house? I can’t just spur of the moment head out?
 

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I have a 2015 Tesla Model S with first generation AutoPilot (AP1). It works excellent for highway driving. Follows curves (slows down for the curve if needed) and speeds up and slows down as needed. Changes lanes as needed. They require you to still pay attention (touch the steering wheel every 30 seconds or so), and this first generation still has a few bugs, so you need to pay attention. That said, I absolutely love AP1. On long drives, it does all the work for you, making for a relaxing trip. As an enthusiast, I love driving, but when it's a long commute or bumper to bumper, self-driving is great. To the point where I drive my wife's car or my Caddy and it feels like so much work. Similar to the difference between a manual and automatic. Manual is engaging and fun, but auto is easier in stop and go. Agreed with what was said above, the shift to self-driving is inevitable. I like having it when needed, but I'm not looking forward to future generations that can't drive themselves or don't enjoy it like we do.

Cutlass - have you not used Uber/Lyft? When you want one, you open the app and they are there in 2-3 minutes usually. I heard a talk by the founder of Lyft and they are preparing for self-driving. They said it will speed things up and keep the cost down.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The latest issue of Car & Drive has an article about how self-driving cars might be programmed to act more human drivers and be more aggressive and "force" their way into merging traffic, or "dare" another vehicle or pedestrian who doesn't have the right-of-way.
That's and interesting feature, but I doubt seriously it would ever be implemented. Imagine if a self-driving car that does not have the right of way ends of hitting a car in another lane because it's trying to merge in. You know every personal injury attorney in town will be fighting for those cases. Same goes for a self-driving car that mows down a pedestrian who is jay walking. Yeah, I know, human drivers who accidentally hit a jay walkers are held harmless, but were talking deep-pocketed corporations who own these self-driving cars. There's no way the attorneys are going to let them get away so easily.
 

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Well, I certainly use cruise control, would probably try adaptive cruise control if I had it and on those long trips via interstate would also give supercruise a try. I also love to drive (at least I used to; traffic getting a bit testy lately), and if I had those driving aids would know where the "off" button is too, but autonomy is coming in a variety of flavors, so at least ye naysayers, be forewarned it's coming (but probably won't effect many for quite a few more years) and beyond that there will be driving as a hobby for the foreseeable future as well. Oh, and I'm almost 70 years old, so I won't be seeing too much of it (autonomy) anyway.
 

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Cutlass - have you not used Uber/Lyft? When you want one, you open the app and they are there in 2-3 minutes usually. I heard a talk by the founder of Lyft and they are preparing for self-driving. They said it will speed things up and keep the cost down.
Yes I have and it works great in those particular situations. In its current form, it would not work well for the scenarios I’ve described (corporate owned, self driving trucks doing fun truck things.)
 
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