Will cars be autonomous in three years?

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crazygrow
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Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by crazygrow » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:06 am

Hi all,

My wife and I have been thinking about getting a new car for me. I drive a 2006 Sienna with about 150,000 miles on it. It is still fairly dependable, but definitely starting to need more and more expensive repairs. It also has a lot of cosmetic issues (thanks to nannies!) and I just don't like to drive it. We do generally buy new and then then keep for 10-15 years.

Have been looking at F-150s and Teslas. I can pay cash or finance - both without creating any financial strain. Very different cars, and the only reason I would get a Tesla is for the autonomous driving factor (yes, I'm aware of current limitations and also what is coming).

So here is my anti-boglehead question which I want you to tell me I'm wrong.

Will most cars become autonomous drivers over the next three years? If so, should I LEASE my truck for three years and then buy an autonomous car then? I see that an explosion in car-related technology is in process and I expect major changes over the next three years.

bloom2708
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:11 am

There is a 0% chance that anything more than a sliver of cars will be autonomous in 3 years. In my opinion.

30 years? That might be a more interesting question.

One thing I don't understand is people like/love to drive. Might as well have hyperloop tubes crisscrossing the city/country/state/world. Skip the autonomous cars and keep your 1967 Corvette. :shock:
Last edited by bloom2708 on Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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anil686
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by anil686 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:14 am

Tesla already says theirs are at least semi- autonomous but limited by jurisdiction of what is allowed. Ford promises an autonomous car by 2021 - that should give you a good guidepost - it will be when at least 50% of the car manufacturers (IMO) get there to be enough industry push for it. That is probably not in the next three years based on Ford's announcement. I would say in 10 years - there is a pretty good chance many localities allow it due to the safety aspect as they can be safer than human drivers - or at least that is the expectation...

renue74
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by renue74 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:15 am

I live about 8 minutes from my office. Basically on the same street.

If I had the option to purchase an autonomous car that was "affordable," I would totally do it. I detest driving.

But that's not going to happen in 3 years.

keystone
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by keystone » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:15 am

crazygrow wrote:
Will most cars become autonomous drivers over the next three years?

I can say with 100% certainty that the correct answer is no.

mhalley
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by mhalley » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:19 am

Even if there was a great improvement in auto technology in three years that justified a new car (total autonomy in an electric car with 300 mile range for the price of a cheap car today), leasing would not be the right answer. Instead, buy a use 3-4 year old car.

cadreamer2015
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:19 am

The Society of Automotive Engineers has 6 classifications (stages or levels) of autonomous vehicles:

Level 0: Automated system issues warnings but has no vehicle control.
Level 1 (”hands on”): Driver and automated system shares control over the vehicle. An example would be be Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) where the driver controls steering and the automated system controls speed. Using Parking Assistance, steering is automated while speed is manual. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) Type II is a further example of level 1 self driving.
Level 2 (”hands off”): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to immediately intervene at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly.
Level 3 (”eyes off”): The driver can safely turn their attention away from the driving tasks, i.e. the driver can do texting or watch a movie. The vehicle will handle situations that call for an immediate response, like emergency braking. The driver must still be prepared to intervene within some limited time, specified by the manufacturer, when called upon by the vehicle to do so.
Level 4 (”mind off”): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, i.e. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Self driving is supported only in limited areas (geofenced) or under special circumstances, like traffic jams. Outside of these areas or circumstances, the vehicle must be able to safely abort the trip, i.e. park the car, if the driver does not retake control.
Level 5 (”wheel optional”): No human intervention is required. An example would be a robot taxi.

Many new cars today offer Level 1 automation. Tesla has Level 2. Many companies are working on Level 3. I don't think Level 3 automation will be common in 3 years, though Level 2 may well spread to become relatively available options from many manufacturers. From what I've read, automakers think Level 4 automation is a non-starter - too many liability concerns. The big jump will be from Level 3 to Level 5. I don't see that happening for 15 - 20 years, well beyond the expected useful lifetime of a new vehicle purchased in the next few years.

So if by an autonomous car you mean level 2 automation, yes, that might be much more available in 3 years, but I don't think any higher level of automation will be widely available in that time frame.
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flamesabers
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by flamesabers » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:20 am

I would suggest getting the F-150 now and wait for the autonomous technology to improve to the point its mainstream and affordable. In this type of situation I think it's better to wait and see what comes out rather then try to anticipate what sort of technology will come out and when.

Another consideration is what impact autonomous technology may have on your insurance rates. Until all of the bugs in autonomous technology in vehicles has been worked out, I wouldn't be surprised if you'll have to pay higher insurance rates to insure vehicles that utilize such technology.

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tc101
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by tc101 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:23 am

Will most cars become autonomous drivers over the next three years?
My guess:
Almost certainly not in 3 years.
Maybe they will be common in 5-7 years.
Possibly most cars (more than 50%) in 10-15 years.
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Jimmie
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Jimmie » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:25 am

Three years? No way. Most people's financing of their current vehicle won't be paid off by then.

Autonomous cars are significantly more expensive than conventional cars anyway. The general population won't be buyer's in that timeframe.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:25 am

With a 3 year horizon I would not make a decision that depends on the availability of autonomous cars. (Level 3 or level 4).

I do expect high-capability autonomous vehicles within a 10 year time horizon.

Just a guess by an engineer not working in this area.

bubbly
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by bubbly » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:25 am

I have worked on designing autonomous mining vehicles and semi-autonomous agricultural vehicles and have been tracking the autonomous automotive industry fairly closely, mainly as a potential career move in the future. That being said, 3 years is a pretty short time span for the sort of changes you might be expecting. In 3 years, I would expect more driver-assisted features, like lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control, autonomous steering on well-known highways and such to be more widespread across most vehicle models.

Currently, the next big step is using GPS, which I believe Tesla is currently working hard to integrate. I believe Uber is developing this in their automated ridesharing creation already. Even equipping non-autonomous cars with GPS is beneficial, as you can project a non-autonomous car's path of travel very accurately with GPS, wheel speed and wheel angle information, for accident avoidance. The downside to GPS is the degradation of signal when obstructed from the sky. In urban areas, this is a problem driving next to skyscrapers, under a tunnel, an underpass, etc. Luckily, there are ways around this, with inertial measurement units (fancy gyroscopes that measure acceleration in different axes) or with vision based systems that can measure the distance to a known marker, known as perception based localization.

The biggest roadblock to autonomous driving will be legislature in general. It will be a very long time before a law is passed that allows the driver to be completely unfocused on the road ahead. I'm not sure if this is what you are expecting but if it is, be prepared to wait quite a long time. The natural progression of autonomy seems to be in incremental stages, from driver assisted features (already implemented in most higher end models), to autonomous lane keeping, cruising and steering (implemented in Tesla), to GPS assisted path planning (implemented in Uber). The Google car is the closest thing to fully autonomous vehicles, given the longevity and demonstrated performance of the program. For your 3 year time span, car manufacturers will be trying to duplicate Uber, Tesla and Google's implementation into a marketable design. In my opinion, the timeline is too short to expect any dramatic changes in autonomous driving.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Kevin M » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:31 am

Have you driven a Tesla? If you have driven one, I would be kind of surprised that your only criterion for buying one over a truck would be self-driving capability (which isn't really there yet anyway).

I had no intention of buying a Tesla, but was curious, so took a test drive. I ordered one as soon as we got back to the showroom. The autopilot was definitely a factor in my decision, but far from the only factor.

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mptfan
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by mptfan » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:36 am

crazygrow wrote: Will most cars become autonomous drivers over the next three years?
No way. Not even close. 30 years? Maybe.

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munemaker
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by munemaker » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:41 am

crazygrow wrote:Hi all,

My wife and I have been thinking about getting a new car for me. I drive a 2006 Sienna with about 150,000 miles on it. It is still fairly dependable, but definitely starting to need more and more expensive repairs. It also has a lot of cosmetic issues (thanks to nannies!) and I just don't like to drive it. We do generally buy new and then then keep for 10-15 years.

Have been looking at F-150s and Teslas. I can pay cash or finance - both without creating any financial strain. Very different cars, and the only reason I would get a Tesla is for the autonomous driving factor (yes, I'm aware of current limitations and also what is coming).

So here is my anti-boglehead question which I want you to tell me I'm wrong.

Will most cars become autonomous drivers over the next three years? If so, should I LEASE my truck for three years and then buy an autonomous car then? I see that an explosion in car-related technology is in process and I expect major changes over the next three years.
Isn't a major factor in deciding between a Tesla and F-150 the need to haul cargo? Seems like that would be more important than semi-autonomous driving. Why would you consider a Tesla if you need to haul stuff? And why would you consider a F-150 if you do not?

bubbly
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by bubbly » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:52 am

To expound on my previous points: Any other car manufacturer that I'm aware of other than Tesla, only offers adaptive cruise. Tesla is the only manufacturer that offers steering at high speeds, dubbed lane centering technology. EDIT: it seems like beginning this year, some non-Tesla vehicles will have relatively primitive lane keeping technology that steers the vehicle in certain situations.

So to be more specific in 3 years, you will have the following options.

1) Buy a Tesla that will have more advanced automated driving, incorporating most likely GPS to navigate along with their current camera and radar technology. Most refined steering algorithms will probably be included as well.

2) Buy a car from a well-established manufacturer that will offer most likely what Tesla offers now, lane centering technology that steers the vehicle as long as it sees the lane demarcations.

3) Hope that Google, Uber and some other tech company creates the manufacturing capacity (or joint partnership with a big automotive manufacturer) to produce cars that have higher levels of automation. This is the least likely scenario given the 3 year timespan.
Last edited by bubbly on Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

crazygrow
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by crazygrow » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:54 am

Hey all,

Thanks for your answers. Hotter topic than I thought it would be. I run a tech company and am often surprised (even though I consider myself somewhat of a futurist) at how fast technology moves.

As for why a Tesla vs. a truck, my kids are getting to the age (and I'm getting to an age) where I just want a car that I like. I like riding high in a truck and I do a lot of gardening, etc. Nothing that my wife's suburban hasn't been able to handle in the back (despite the dirt), but I just like the look of a truck and the ability go get off road (we love camping, etc.).

The Tesla is for the cool factor. I have test driven one and there is way more they offer than the autonomous driving and I just liked it.

So again, getting to the stage where I am getting close to FI and want to enjoy some of the money that I work for through having a car that I love.

Adam

inbox788
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by inbox788 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:55 am

In 3 years, we'll all be flying in cars!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/tech ... ology.html

Seriously, just buy the truck.

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jharkin
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by jharkin » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:57 am

Another vote that there is absolutely ZERO chance the majority of cars will be autonomous in 3, 10 or even 20 years.

I work in high tech and I hear a lot of prognosticating about this but I dont buy it. For some reason Bogleheads seems to have a high concentration of anti-car people who see them as appliances and hate driving, but out in the real world Americans LOVE their cars, love driving, and wont give them up without a fight. Plus anyone who thinks its even logistacally possible must live in a Silicon Valley tech bubble and be blind to a lot of realities... The average car on American roads is 15 years old (i.e. turning over the entire fleet in less time than that is impossible)... Not to mention there is no way a farmer in Kansas is going to get an autonomous pickup truck to deliver feed...

I saw this article in my Facebook news feed recently and I think it makes some very good points. Many of these systems are making us LESS safe, not more because peoples driving skills are getting so bad:

http://newcartographer.com/combustion/augmented.html

RoadHouseFan
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by RoadHouseFan » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:02 pm

Not a chance of that happening. Tesla, unprofitable even with massive government funding and favoritism, will hopefully be out of business by then.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:06 pm

Note that the OP is not asking when the average car on the road will be autonomous, he is asking whether there will be new cars to purchase in 3 years that will be autonomous. It's clear that in 3 years or 10 years or probably 15 years the average car on the road will be nowhere near autonomous. But there is a significant chance that in 3 years autonomous capabilities will be more widely available in new cars available for purchase. Whether those autonomous capabilities are much more than Tesla has today is questionable in the 3 year time frame.

From what I've heard from experts in the field, even Google's self driving technology only works in a very few, specific, extremely well mapped (I'm talking about much more mapping than Google maps - they have to have a picture of the position of every stoplight and traffic signal in the map) locales. And the self driving technology today will not work at all in the rain or snow.
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Da5id » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:07 pm

Answer seems to be clearly no. More interesting question is when, say, 50% of new cars sold in US will be autonomous. I'd guess 10 years, but that is only a wild ignorant guess.

I'd guess some sort of limitation of liability legislation will be needed to really let it take off. If Google is providing the software, does it (or the car manufacturer depending on the deal) have unlimited liability? Deep pockets, nice targets for lawsuits...

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jharkin
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by jharkin » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:09 pm

crazygrow wrote: As for why a Tesla vs. a truck, my kids are getting to the age (and I'm getting to an age) where I just want a car that I like. I like riding high in a truck and I do a lot of gardening, etc. Nothing that my wife's suburban hasn't been able to handle in the back (despite the dirt), but I just like the look of a truck and the ability go get off road (we love camping, etc.).
Ive been camping since I was a kid in the scouts. Unless your idea of camping involves driving through a foot of deep mud and you put BFG mud-terrains on that F150 there are not that many places it can go "off road" that the suburban cant.

I drive a small pickup (Tacoma) and my wife drives a midsizeSUV (Pilot). Honestly except for the times Im hauling a yard of mulch or 600-800lb of firewood there are not many regular driving tasks the truck can do that the Pilot cant do better. Yes it can drive though said deep mud but 99% of drivers dont drive those places. The people that do buy a jacked up Wrangler or Toyota 4Runner ;)

If you just like the style of riding in an F150 and can afford it then by all means go for it. Just realize that most truck drivers (myself included) dont actually need them....

Jags4186
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:10 pm

IMO autonomous cars are more like 50-100 years off, if ever. I believe autonomous cars will only ever become a thing if and only if every single car, truck, and motorcycle on the road is autonomous.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Nate79 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:11 pm

50 state legal in 3 years? Not a chance.

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jharkin
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by jharkin » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:12 pm

cadreamer2015 wrote: From what I've heard from experts in the field, even Google's self driving technology only works in a very few, specific, extremely well mapped (I'm talking about much more mapping than Google maps - they have to have a picture of the position of every stoplight and traffic signal in the map) locales. And the self driving technology today will not work at all in the rain or snow.
Yep, thats why Tesla is working on synthetic vision and most major car OEMs are working on RADAR and LIDAR mapping systems. To work well and integrate with other traffic the autonomous car has to map out its surroundings, dynamically (including other vehicles, people etc) down to the inch. Pre-programmed maps and GPS alone are not nearly enough.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by harikaried » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:14 pm

RoadHouseFan wrote:Not a chance of that happening. Tesla, unprofitable even with massive government funding and favoritism, will hopefully be out of business by then.
Is this opinion targeted only towards Tesla? A good chunk of "massive government funding" was as loans that they've repaid with prepayment penalty, and I would hope most Bogleheads know that loans typically get repaid with interest, so the government made money on Tesla as opposed to the bailout of GM. Are you also negative on GM's self-driving efforts where they'll be putting thousands of self-driving Bolts in 2018, so you're hoping GM will also be going out of business by then as well? I suppose for more comparisons, GM spent $1 billion to acquire Cruise Automation, and Ford is spending $1 billion on Argo AI, so I guess we should add Ford to the list of companies that "will hopefully be out of business by then."

And on the note of favoritism, do you know how much influence dealerships have at the state level that have been trying to block Tesla sales or even service? How much do people enjoy traditional dealerships? At least with more autonomous vehicles, there's less need for people to buy vehicles, which typically involves a dealership.
Last edited by harikaried on Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by JonnyDVM » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:19 pm

keystone wrote:
crazygrow wrote:
Will most cars become autonomous drivers over the next three years?

I can say with 100% certainty that the correct answer is no.
3 no
10 maybe
15ish- I think yes
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

bubbly
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by bubbly » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:20 pm

jharkin wrote:Another vote that there is absolutely ZERO chance the majority of cars will be autonomous in 3, 10 or even 20 years.

I work in high tech and I hear a lot of prognosticating about this but I dont buy it. For some reason Bogleheads seems to have a high concentration of anti-car people who see them as appliances and hate driving, but out in the real world Americans LOVE their cars, love driving, and wont give them up without a fight. Plus anyone who thinks its even logistacally possible must live in a Silicon Valley tech bubble and be blind to a lot of realities... The average car on American roads is 15 years old (i.e. turning over the entire fleet in less time than that is impossible)... Not to mention there is no way a farmer in Kansas is going to get an autonomous pickup truck to deliver feed...

I saw this article in my Facebook news feed recently and I think it makes some very good points. Many of these systems are making us LESS safe, not more because peoples driving skills are getting so bad:

http://newcartographer.com/combustion/augmented.html
You make some good points. There's no market for this yet due to cost, but we could see aftermarket kits being sold that installs cameras, radars, gps antennas, gyroscopes on cars that actively work to produce a wheel angle and speed to current production cars. You would install a computer, presumably in the trunk, that takes the signals from all of the sensors mentioned above and calculate the wheel angle and speed needed. The computer would override the speed controller on the car and a motor attached to the steering wheel could move the wheel (You might even be able to override the steering signals electrically, eliminating the need for a steering wheel motor). That way, we wouldn't need the latest car model to achieve autonomy, just the necessary additional hardware. As previously said, the cost factor currently is prohibitive given the desired accuracy for the gyroscope, gps antenna, and perhaps a LIDAR vision system, but this could dramatically be reduced in the years ahead, somewhat akin to Moore's law of computing.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:30 pm

Will there be autonomous cars on the road in three years? Sure, I could see that. We're bumping up against that right now.

Will 50% of cars on the road be autonomous in three years? Not a chance. I'd say that three years from now more than 50% of cars on the road will be the exact same cars that are on the road today. The turnover rate of cars just isn't that fast. I mean, the average car age is 11.5 years: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/20 ... /30821191/

So, I suppose we'll have 50% automated in 11.5 years + however long it takes for automobile manufacturers to be producing at least 50% autonomous cars.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Atgard » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:31 pm

flamesabers wrote: Another consideration is what impact autonomous technology may have on your insurance rates. Until all of the bugs in autonomous technology in vehicles has been worked out, I wouldn't be surprised if you'll have to pay higher insurance rates to insure vehicles that utilize such technology.
I would expect the opposite. By the time the public & legislature agrees to allow truly self-driving cars, it will be after they are rigorously proven to be significantly safer than manual driving. Insurance companies look at actuarial tables of accident rates & costs per mile driven. So I expect by the time they are allowed, insurance will be substantially LESS expensive on self-driving cars compared to those driven by a human.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by harikaried » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:33 pm

crazygrow wrote:Will most cars become autonomous drivers over the next three years?
Why are you asking about most cars being autonomous? It would be similar to asking, should you hold off on index funds until most people are using it. If Vanguard is providing something that you want, you would likely just go ahead and buy those index funds without waiting. Similarly, if some vehicles can drive autonomously on public roads, and it meets your needs, then you might just make that purchase then.

On the note of Tesla and F-150 and 3 years, Elon Musk believes Tesla will unveil their pickup in 18-24 months, so you might be able to get an autonomous "Tesla F-150 in 3 years"… maybe. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/852581322451111936

btenny
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by btenny » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:34 pm

The major car technology I see coming in three years is a lot more electric cars and lots of battery technology. So if you buy that Tesla lease it. I think it is very likely that the cost of electric cars is going to start falling fast and the battery technology in those cars is going to change a lot in the near future.

Good Luck

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vitaflo
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by vitaflo » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:35 pm

People underestimate the speed of tech advancement. 10 years ago the iPhone didn't exist, and Facebook had just opened up the site to the public for the first time. 20 years ago less than 2% of people used the internet and only 4% had cell phones. I wouldn't underestimate the speed of tech change.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:36 pm

I am 60. I expect there will be significant help in driving safely in the next 20 years. I may be able the keep driving at 80.
Toyota will be equiping all 2018 Camry's with their safety features (lane assist etc) found only in their more expensive 2017 models.

It makes me want a new Camry.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by themesrob » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:41 pm

there was an article in Grant's a few days ago about some of the less-discussed obstacles to autonomous vehicles. I thought one of the most interesting points in it was that this project is not being driven by consumer demand (they cite a poll where 75% of people say that they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car, let alone buy one), but by the vision of Uber/Google et al. So even if these companies conquer the hardware/software obstacles (including failsafe risk analysis for interactions with other cars/pedestrians/potholes, which seems insurmountable to my unimaginative mind), get governments/taxpayers to fix all our roads so that lane markings are clear enough, etc etc...what happens when people don't even want these cars? (or demand a "human driver" checkbox in the Uber app?)

A related interesting point which I did not know was that many "semi-autonomous" features (e.g. forward-collision warning, lane-departure tech) have actually been around for 10-20 years, but their market penetration is surprisingly low, and the people who own cars with those features usually deactivate them (because they feel they don't need them, or because those lane-departure beeps are annoying, I guess).

My opinion is that we don't see autonomous vehicles on the open road at any point. (So yes, buy the truck! :wink: )

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:46 pm

NVIDA claims it will have a self-driving car computer in 2018:

"Xavier can process up to 30 trillion deep learning operations a second while drawing just 30 watts of power.

That power is needed to achieve what the automotive industry refers to as “Level 4 autonomy,” where a car can drive on its own, without human intervention. The number of cars with various levels of autonomy will grow to a total of 150 million vehicles by 2025, analysts project."

https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2017/03/16/bosch/

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:58 pm

themesrob wrote:A related interesting point which I did not know was that many "semi-autonomous" features (e.g. forward-collision warning, lane-departure tech) have actually been around for 10-20 years, but their market penetration is surprisingly low, and the people who own cars with those features usually deactivate them (because they feel they don't need them, or because those lane-departure beeps are annoying, I guess).

My opinion is that we don't see autonomous vehicles on the open road at any point. (So yes, buy the truck! :wink: )
Electronic stability control (ESC) has been around for more that 20 years. It's not annoying, most people probably don't even know they have it. Most people have probably never even heard of it. It has 100% market penetration because it was mandated by the NHTSA on all cars as of the 2012 model year. It was mandated because the vehicles that had it were evidencing 33% lower fatality rate, pretty good for something that cost around $250 in parts.

Foward collision avoidance (with autonomous braking) is reducing rear-end collisions according to the evidence.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:03 pm

I think you will see advanced, intelligent cruise control with semi-autonomous operation on highways, cars that can parallel park or squeeze into tight perpendicular parking by themselves, and more intelligent safety features to prevent accidents by backing up over someone as well as communicating with other vehicles to prevent collisions within three years, but I don't think you will be able to just hop in your vehicle, push a few buttons, and go back to sleep until your automobile wakes you up when you get to your destination in three years or even five or ten years.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by flamesabers » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:06 pm

vitaflo wrote:People underestimate the speed of tech advancement. 10 years ago the iPhone didn't exist, and Facebook had just opened up the site to the public for the first time. 20 years ago less than 2% of people used the internet and only 4% had cell phones. I wouldn't underestimate the speed of tech change.
I think a distinction should be made between the speed of technological advancement and its affordability for the average person. I don't doubt the speed of technological advancement so much as I'm skeptical that such technology will be readily affordable in a short period of time.
themesrob wrote:there was an article in Grant's a few days ago about some of the less-discussed obstacles to autonomous vehicles. I thought one of the most interesting points in it was that this project is not being driven by consumer demand (they cite a poll where 75% of people say that they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car, let alone buy one), but by the vision of Uber/Google et al. So even if these companies conquer the hardware/software obstacles (including failsafe risk analysis for interactions with other cars/pedestrians/potholes, which seems insurmountable to my unimaginative mind), get governments/taxpayers to fix all our roads so that lane markings are clear enough, etc etc...what happens when people don't even want these cars? (or demand a "human driver" checkbox in the Uber app?)
I think this is a very good point. I also am a person who would be afraid of riding in a self-driving car. There are already alternatives modes of transportation for people who are unable/unwilling to drive.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by bubbly » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:11 pm

flamesabers wrote:
vitaflo wrote:People underestimate the speed of tech advancement. 10 years ago the iPhone didn't exist, and Facebook had just opened up the site to the public for the first time. 20 years ago less than 2% of people used the internet and only 4% had cell phones. I wouldn't underestimate the speed of tech change.
I think a distinction should be made between the speed of technological advancement and its affordability for the average person. I don't doubt the speed of technological advancement so much as I'm skeptical that such technology will be readily affordable in a short period of time.
themesrob wrote:there was an article in Grant's a few days ago about some of the less-discussed obstacles to autonomous vehicles. I thought one of the most interesting points in it was that this project is not being driven by consumer demand (they cite a poll where 75% of people say that they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car, let alone buy one), but by the vision of Uber/Google et al. So even if these companies conquer the hardware/software obstacles (including failsafe risk analysis for interactions with other cars/pedestrians/potholes, which seems insurmountable to my unimaginative mind), get governments/taxpayers to fix all our roads so that lane markings are clear enough, etc etc...what happens when people don't even want these cars? (or demand a "human driver" checkbox in the Uber app?)
I think this is a very good point. I also am a person who would be afraid of riding in a self-driving car. There are already alternatives modes of transportation for people who are unable/unwilling to drive.
I'm curious, does this fear of automated navigation extend to air travel? It seems like humans have an elevated sense of their personal driving ability when it comes to automobiles. However, I don't see anyone saying they could fly an airplane better than the onboard autopilot software. I would also contend that air navigation is much more difficult and carries much more risk in the event of failure but most people have no problem flying under the navigation of an onboard computer. I'm just curious why this is.
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:12 pm

btenny wrote:The major car technology I see coming in three years is a lot more electric cars and lots of battery technology. So if you buy that Tesla lease it. I think it is very likely that the cost of electric cars is going to start falling fast and the battery technology in those cars is going to change a lot in the near future.

Good Luck
I bought my Tesla X almost exactly a year ago. I don't lease cars, but perhaps I should have leased this one. Even though my car keeps improving by OTA updates, the hardware (AP2) has been upgraded, and there is no retrofit, at any price, for the new hardware.

My next Tesla, I believe, will be leased.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:16 pm

bubbly wrote:I'm curious, does this fear of automated navigation extend to air travel? It seems like humans have an elevated sense of their personal driving ability when it comes to automobiles. However, I don't see anyone saying they could fly an airplane better than the onboard autopilot software. I would also contend that air navigation is much more difficult and carries much more risk in the event of failure but most people have no problem flying. I'm just curious why this is.
Frequent train mishaps (especially Amtrak and NJ Transit) are on tracks (ie, no steering involved) with specially trained specialists at the controls. I don't know, but think that the faster safer trains in other countries are probably controlled by software.

I look forward to the autonomous driving software improving quicker than my driving ability degrades. It already has made me safer on the road.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by nedsaid » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:18 pm

This will be a boon for the elderly. I am 57 years old now and wouldn't mind having a robot take me wherever I wanted to go when I get into my eighties. My father is 87 and still driving, too bad my parents don't have this option now. Not only that, the robot when cut off in traffic can make appropriate hand gestures and yell "same to you buddy." I won't have to do it. :wink: Not that I am not a courteous driver but we all have our moments.
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by bubbly » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:26 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
bubbly wrote:I'm curious, does this fear of automated navigation extend to air travel? It seems like humans have an elevated sense of their personal driving ability when it comes to automobiles. However, I don't see anyone saying they could fly an airplane better than the onboard autopilot software. I would also contend that air navigation is much more difficult and carries much more risk in the event of failure but most people have no problem flying. I'm just curious why this is.
Frequent train mishaps (especially Amtrak and NJ Transit) are on tracks (ie, no steering involved) with specially trained specialists at the controls. I don't know, but think that the faster safer trains in other countries are probably controlled by software.

I look forward to the autonomous driving software improving quicker than my driving ability degrades. It already has made me safer on the road.

I agree with your sentiments 100% but I can also see the hesitancy to adopt new technology. I believe the turning point was when Ernst and Young audited my former employer and found that autonomous mining technology had resulted in 8% more production over their human counterparts over a 3 month period. This was then further confirmed by our customer, who claimed 20% more production. These numbers are hard to argue against and really made me a firm believer in the technology. Obviously automotive applications have their own challenges, but it's a promising start.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by harikaried » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:28 pm

flamesabers wrote:I think a distinction should be made between the speed of technological advancement and its affordability for the average person. I don't doubt the speed of technological advancement so much as I'm skeptical that such technology will be readily affordable in a short period of time.
It is important to consider the affordability, and in this case, the technology advances could speed up the timeline to reducing costs. An autonomous vehicle allows for much higher utilization, so a single vehicle could theoretically be used by working parents and children assuming non-overlapping requirements of this timesharing. This means instead of having 2 or 3 vehicles for a household, just one autonomous vehicle is needed reducing overall vehicle costs (purchase, taxes, insurance, etc.).

Additionally, instead of being a depreciating asset, autonomous vehicle could make money in what would have been unused 90%+ time being parked. On the flip side, people who would normally buy a vehicle might choose to get around in someone else's autonomous vehicle effectively making the decision similar to "rent vs buy" where the rent costs could be driven down by the increasing of availability of autonomous vehicles.
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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by Jimmie » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:28 pm

Two things terrify me about autonomous vehicles and I am a control system engineer.

First, there is nothing that prevents a wild, out-of-control driver from hitting the autonomous vehicle. There are too many places when there is no "out" for it, regardless of how smart it is.

Second, what happens when the vehicle is in a GPS "dead zone"? This was mentioned above, but I believe it to be a huge issue.

Personally, I would like to see more and more conventional cars start using the higher tech features like pre-emptive braking. The downside to these features is getting complacent and trusting them completely under dangerous conditions.

There is also the cost. How many average Joe's can afford them? Do you think some manufacturers will offer manual transmission on the first autonomous cars to keep the cost down for some drivers? :D

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by flamesabers » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:33 pm

bubbly wrote:I'm curious, does this fear of automated navigation extend to air travel? It seems like humans have an elevated sense of their personal driving ability when it comes to automobiles. However, I don't see anyone saying they could fly an airplane better than the onboard autopilot software. I would also contend that air navigation is much more difficult and carries much more risk in the event of failure but most people have no problem flying. I'm just curious why this is.
Most people have never piloted a commercial jet so I don't think it's a fair comparison. I think a more accurate question is whether trained pilots think they can fly a plane better than onboard autopilot software.

I would much rather be on a plane that's controlled by a human pilot then one that is controlled by software. I don't mind the use of autopilot software so long as there is a human pilot ready to take control in case there is a glitch in the software.

When it comes to operating vehicles that can result in fatal if not deadly accidents, there's an important difference between humans and computers. Humans have an awareness and instinctive fear of death and injury, computers don't.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by bubbly » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:45 pm

Jimmie wrote:Two things terrify me about autonomous vehicles and I am a control system engineer.

First, there is nothing that prevents a wild, out-of-control driver from hitting the autonomous vehicle. There are too many places when there is no "out" for it, regardless of how smart it is.

Second, what happens when the vehicle is in a GPS "dead zone"? This was mentioned above, but I believe it to be a huge issue.

Personally, I would like to see more and more conventional cars start using the higher tech features like pre-emptive braking. The downside to these features is getting complacent and trusting them completely under dangerous conditions.

There is also the cost. How many average Joe's can afford them? Do you think some manufacturers will offer manual transmission on the first autonomous cars to keep the cost down for some drivers? :D
These are all very valid concerns and I sort of touched upon some of them above.

For any out of control driver, there are ways to mitigate this issue. One would be to transmit the GPS positions of that driver. So if it was driving erratically, the trail of GPS positions from that car would alert the system to take caution. You could also do this with a vision system by analyzing the vehicle versus their projected path of travel, which is what Tesla does currently. To get the GPS positions, you would need cars to be equipped with gps receivers and for that receiver to talk to some sort of cloud infrastructure (there are privacy issues with this approach). Going 1 step further, the non-autonomous vehicle could also transmit wheel angle and speed to provide a complete projected path of travel.

As for GPS dead zones. GPS currently is not required for lane centering, as Tesla as currently demonstrated. They are not using GPS at all. But to your point, what if you wanted to go from point A to B, then yes, you will need GPS. However for dead zones, you have inertial measurement units that can very accurately navigate the vehicle. Think of GPS as a grid. Let's say you are at (0,0) meters and you want to get to (10,10) but you lost GPS at (0,0). If you didn't have absolute gps, you can still guide by me telling you to go straight 10 meters, turn left and go straight 10 more meters (depending on how you were originally oriented). The inertial measurement unit is just a more precise way of calculating these positions from accelerometers and/or gyroscopes.

You can also locate your position with vision systems, known as perception based localization. Let's say you don't know where you are because of a GPS dead spot, but you see a stop sign that is known to be at (5,5). You also know that you are 3 meters east and 2 meters south of the stop sign from LIDAR scans, so you can deduce your position that way.

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Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Post by jeep5ter » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:48 pm

Maybe in 50 years there will be some impact in urban areas, but not in the majority of the country.

Also: how many 15 year olds do you think are counting the hours until the day comes that they can sit in a car and not drive it?

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