Future Cars: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
nickmgray
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby nickmgray » September 4th, 2014, 10:41 am

As much as I enjoy driving, I'm looking forward to a day when my car with drive itself. yes, there are a lot of issues that still need to be solved, but just imagine what it'll do for accidents and traffic once there are enough of these cars on the road. The technology to implement self driving cars is here now. I took a "test drive" in a few self-driving vehicles at CES in Las Vegas back in January. Traditional auto makers are being very cautions about their approach, but Google and a few others will be stepping in and pushing the industry forward within the next decade.

from what I've seen, the first commercial driverless cars will available to consumers before 2020, but it'll be at least 2040 before they become more prominent than traditional cars.

David Greene
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » September 4th, 2014, 11:38 am

I don't understand why people think driverless cars will solve our transportation problems. They don't address our real transportation problems at all: land use, ever-expanding freeways and the unsustainable costs of both. The only things that will start really addressing our transportation problem are shortening our transportation corridors and packing more people into them. Driverless cars may use a roadways slightly more efficiently but it's a rounding error in the grand scheme of things. Driverless cars are no better than PRT at solving the real problem.

grant1simons2
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby grant1simons2 » September 4th, 2014, 11:42 am

It will reduce deaths that's for sure. And it won't allow gawkers to slow down and see why there's a cop there. A lot of congestion can be caused by human error to a point.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby FISHMANPET » September 4th, 2014, 11:54 am

I think there's some thought they'll all operate like taxis and just go somewhere else during the day. But that requires electric cars or some other power source that minimizes emissions (also assuming that electiricty is produced greenly) otherwise you're just doubling or more emissions (instead of drive to work and drive home, car drives to work and back home, then back to work and home again). But that doesn't solve the storage problem. I could shuffle all the cars off some parking lot 50 miles away, but then the lead time to get your car becomes incredibly high.

I guess your 90 minute commute could become bearable because you don't have to focus on driving, but that's an awful commute for all sorts of other sociological reasons.

fehler
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby fehler » September 4th, 2014, 12:04 pm

Imagine driving down a road with no billboards, no huge signs for gas stations or drive-through eating, lanes and shoulders narrow enough to be safe for the computer, not the human. Low-clearance tunnels with open spaces above will abound! Birds will chirp and song will fill the air!

blobs
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby blobs » September 4th, 2014, 12:05 pm

Light Rail Train = land line: fixed location
Autonomous cars = cell phone: goes anywhere

Ironically by the time SW LRT is built, autonomous cars will be becoming mainstream, and LRT will become obsolete.

grant1simons2
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby grant1simons2 » September 4th, 2014, 12:12 pm

They can co-exsist and we don't know that for sure. I'm 100% for the driverless car but I won't trust it in the next 4 years

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby FISHMANPET » September 4th, 2014, 12:20 pm

blobs wrote:Light Rail Train = land line: fixed location
Autonomous cars = cell phone: goes anywhere

Ironically by the time SW LRT is built, autonomous cars will be becoming mainstream, and LRT will become obsolete.
If your car could fold up into your pocket Jetsons style, sure.

Driverless cars don't do anything to address the needs of car storage.

Tom H.
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Tom H. » September 4th, 2014, 12:23 pm

There's no more fitting word for the fantasy of driverless cars than JHK's "techno-narcissism".

MNdible
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby MNdible » September 4th, 2014, 12:26 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Driverless cars don't do anything to address the needs of car storage.
Well, that's not entirely true -- they'd do something. Driverless cars would still need to be stored, but they could be stored in very high density garages that could be more remote than would be feasible/acceptable for current parking spaces.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » September 4th, 2014, 1:08 pm

fehler wrote:Imagine driving down a road with no billboards, no huge signs for gas stations or drive-through eating
I don't have to imagine it. I go to Canada. :)

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » September 4th, 2014, 1:11 pm

blobs wrote:Light Rail Train = land line: fixed location
Autonomous cars = cell phone: goes anywhere

Ironically by the time SW LRT is built, autonomous cars will be becoming mainstream, and LRT will become obsolete.
Not an appropriate analogy at all. LRT carries a large number of people in a very small space. The capacity is much higher than any guideway with single-occupant vehicles. Buses carry a lot of people but we still find LRT useful. They serve different purposes.

What I'm concerned about is people talking like we can just stop building transit once driverless cars arrive.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » September 4th, 2014, 1:12 pm

grant1simons2 wrote:It will reduce deaths that's for sure. And it won't allow gawkers to slow down and see why there's a cop there. A lot of congestion can be caused by human error to a point.
It may help congestion but it won't change the terrible economics of freeways and sprawl one bit.

xandrex
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby xandrex » September 4th, 2014, 1:55 pm

blobs wrote:Light Rail Train = land line: fixed location
Autonomous cars = cell phone: goes anywhere

Ironically by the time SW LRT is built, autonomous cars will be becoming mainstream, and LRT will become obsolete.
Unless you can get an unlimited use pass for an autonomous car at $85 a month, I don't see light rail dying the death you predict.

mulad
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby mulad » September 4th, 2014, 2:05 pm

I think we're going to have to implement congestion charging to deal with driverless cars. It seems far more likely to me that driverless cars owned for individual use will end up driving off to park for free somewhere. The math is pretty simple -- divide the daily parking cost by the cost to drive a mile, and you've got the distance that a car might travel to find a free parking space for the day.

There will be some practical issues getting in the way of that, though -- imagine the line of cars outside an office building of 1,000 people as they retrieve their owners and the end of a day. Managing pick-ups and drop-offs will require some new thinking about the design of streets and parking lots/structures. (High-density parking has been done before, so presumably some thought has gone into getting that to work alright.)

Hopefully it would be a bit less messy if we go the taxi route for driverless cars -- you can just take the first vehicle that shows up rather than waiting for your own. This makes driverless cars a replacement for PRT, but not LRT.

I tend to think of driverless cars working better toward the suburban ends of transit lines -- you can more acceptably operate along the park-and-ride model, but without requiring a single big lot.

Well, another thought that popped into my head today is the ability of driverless cars to deal with snow -- what would happen if your car randomly parked itself somewhere and it got stuck after a snowfall? Oh well, on days like that, there would probably be more nearby, covered parking spaces available as others telecommute. Worries like that would get some people to pay for nearby parking all of the time, but lots of people would cheap out and have their cars park far away, since it's not going to be a problem for 95% of the year.

acs
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby acs » September 4th, 2014, 2:52 pm

I think we're all overlooking the fact that its far easier to automate a Light-rail train running on its own ROW than a car in traffic. Thus, we should be seeing this long before driver-less cars are the norm. Considering that the operator's salary is the largest single cost of running a transit line, I think cost savings will play a significant part in people's future transportation choices especially if we change to a VMT tax.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby mulad » October 27th, 2014, 10:17 am

OK Go demonstrates the Honda Uni-Cub in their latest vide:


Snelbian
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Re: Public Transit News and Happenings

Postby Snelbian » April 4th, 2015, 9:46 pm

Driverless this, automated that. I'll believe it when I see it. For now it's the flying car. Nothing we should be making any sort of planning decisions based on.

acs
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Re: Public Transit News and Happenings

Postby acs » April 4th, 2015, 10:04 pm

Says the people who are also pushing for reform in practically ever other facet of land use, transportation and public policy. Adapt or die people. The only constant is change.

grant1simons2
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Re: Public Transit News and Happenings

Postby grant1simons2 » April 4th, 2015, 10:08 pm

Well you obviously didn't see Mercedes testing theirs in San Francisco a couple weeks ago. Or Tesla making an automated driving mode when in cruise control?


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