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Old 08-28-2013, 11:13 AM   #1
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Autonomous RV / cars by 2020?

Nissan has announced totally autonomous models by 2020 and it would be a $1,000 option. Google, Ford, Toyota all having working models.

I have been thinking how awesome it would be for a RV to have autonomous driving for the long drives.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
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I'm skeptical. Not because I don't think the technology exists, but because autonomy shifts liability from the vehicle operator to the manufacturer. I think, while they may HAVE autonomous vehicles by then, it will be a long time before they are ready for consumers.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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I will bring a whole new meaning to a 'computer crashing.'
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:03 PM   #4
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If you remember in the late 50s and early 60s everyone was going to be flying there own aero cars by now. It's not happening. While I think autonomous cars will eventually happen its not going to be in the next seven years. Heck we can't even maintain our current infrastructure let alone institute something new. We have bridges falling down, interstates that look like dirt roads, and an outdated electrical grid, fifty year old water systems and sewers that still dump directly into lakes and streams. Yes, the technology is here, the will is not.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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I agree with Selah. The technology might be here but so are the computer glitches. Would you really trust a computer to drive your vehicle at highway speeds when no one is in control but it? I would not!
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:47 AM   #6
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I have been driving for over sixty years, and still enjoy doing it. An automated computer driven automobile, while probably possible, just doesn't do it for me. I still love driving just for the enjoyment of it.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:00 AM   #7
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Several states now have laws regulating (but not prohibiting) autonomous vehicles. Autonomous car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Old 08-29-2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selah View Post
If you remember in the late 50s and early 60s everyone was going to be flying there own aero cars by now. It's not happening.
I agree. Automomous no. Nomous yes.

Well, maybe when pigs fly. :-)
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:36 AM   #9
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The article Joel mentioned is quite interesting. Some of today's cars have autonomous systems that will override the human driver in near crash conditions. Compared to some drivers on the road today, I think a driverless car would do a better job.

At least it wouldn't be texting it's BFF with the vehicle in motion.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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Just as in autopilots in boats or planes, it doesn't mean the 'driver' can take a nap or a stroll around the deck. Vigilance will still be needed. Anyone who gets into a vehicle with autonomous controls and thinks they don't need to pay attention will just get to the scene of the accident with less driver input. Where's my jetpack?
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:13 AM   #11
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When I was working as a police dispatcher, the last 11 years we shared office space with 3 other "Services". one was a traffic reporting service (makes sense) one was crime stoppers (Likewise) and the last (Well techinically the first, I mean it was THEIR office) Michigan Intellegent Traffic Systems... One of the groups working to develop just what we are talking about.

Been folks working on that for a long, long, time.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:28 AM   #12
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Anybody , remember reading anything lately , on problems with GPS's getting people lost.
Hate to think that you could hop in a vehicle, spend 6 hours on the road , and end up in the wrong place , due to a typo , in programing.
Or, as Bob , says the scene of YOUR, accident.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:43 AM   #13
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Semi-autonomous.

I presently have a 2013 Lincoln MKX. It has Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Headlights, Crash Avoidance, and Automatic Windshield Wipers. The all still need driver intervention or serious consequences can happen. Also the voice controls are for Entertainment, Climate, Navigation, and phone. Just tell it what you want it to do and it does it - within limitations of the programming.

For the less informed:

Adaptive Cruise Control - set the cruise speed and set the gap distance you want to maintain (pre-programed distances). As you approach a vehicle going slower than your cruise setting the vehicle will automatically slow down. As the area clears the vehicle will automatically return to cruise speed. Also traveling down a steep grade at a set speed the vehicle will maintain that speed. For the last 15 days I have been traveling down a 7 percent grade of about 1/2 mile with cruise set at 45 mph and never once will it exceed that speed, and I never have to touch the brakes.

Adaptive Headlights: As you turn into a curve or corner, the headlights turn when the wheel is turned. This is not such a turn as to interrupt the lighting to the front, but you do notice them turning slightly to assist in the turn.

Crash Avoidance: If you are about to crash, and trust me you still have to react fast, a warning bell chimes, a red warning light is displayed on the windshield, and the brakes are pre-charged and the lightest touch on the brakes is like full application.

Automatic Windshield Wipers: Turn them on to the first click and they become automatic. If rain touches the windshield the go into motion. The heavier the rain the faster the windshield wipers move. When it stops raining they shut off automatically. There is a courtesy wipe. When you get in the vehicle and moisture is on the windshield they will automatically wipe when you start the vehicle until the moisture is gone. Sometimes 1 swipe, sometimes a few more and it all depends on how wet the windshield is and how much runs off the roof onto the windshield.

All of this is controllable by the driver in that any one of them can be turned off through a few push of the buttons on the steering wheel.

So maybe vehicles will not be fully autonomous in seven years, but the technology is slowly catching up. I anticipate there will be more automatic functions.


Edited: Reminds me of a story. A guy comes out of a bar and says to his car, "Go home," and the car drives off leaving him standing there.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:02 PM   #14
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Wayne, some of those improvements are nice, but some seem a little 'over the top.' I think the 1949 Tucker automobile had the turning headlight in the form of third light mounted in the center of the grill. The cruise control function doesn't kick the speed up after you swing out around a slow vehicle does it? So you still have to apply gas to pass vehicle. Mine resumes set speed when I let off the pedal, as most do. As to the wipers, I don't find it a chore to turn wipers on or off when needed. Most all the automatic features require a learning curve and add complications that can go wrong. I remember my father-in-law's Chrysler New Yorker from the 70's. First time I drove it, I pressed a button hidden under the rug that sent the radio scanning and changing stations, I thought it was haunted! I've found many of those features are fun to impress your riders but in day-to-day driving, the expense and remembering sequence and function to make them work complicates things. Repair issues far outweigh the real convenience. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I really found I could do everything in an auto with about 4 switches on the dashboard as one of our modern day miracles where I have to read the manual each time I want to operate my Sony CD, radio, MP3 entertainment system in my RV.
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