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Self-Drive Cars Test Travelled Over 125-Miles

 11:45 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

The cars in the picture seem so close. How are you supposed to pull out when you meet such a convoy!

Self-Drive Cars Test Travelled Over 125-Miles [bbc.co.uk]
A convoy of self-driven cars has completed a 200km (125-mile) journey on a Spanish motorway, in the first public test of such vehicles.

The cars were wirelessly linked to each other and "mimicked" a lead vehicle, driven by a professional driver.

The so-called road train has been developed by Volvo. The firm is confident that they will be widely available in future.

Earlier story
Google's Self-Drive Cars [webmasterworld.com]



 1:49 pm on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wish they'd get them on the market already.

The obvious upside is many with sight impairment, particularly the elderly, that shouldn't be driving already could be shuttled around by a computer and keep the rest of us safe from their blurry vision.


 5:37 pm on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

"the Sartre Project" - I wonder how they came up with that name.

I am looking forward to self-driving cars. One downside that people are not talking about - they say there's an energy savings to driving in convoy because of the aerodynamics, but if you have the best of the train (relax, someone else drives) and the car (go where you want in a vehicle set up with all your personal stuff), I bet driving miles go way up!


 5:53 pm on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

It might be a bit unfortunate of you have a boy-racer at the front of the train. ;)


 10:08 pm on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

"the Sartre Project" - I wonder how they came up with that name.

Because "Hell is other people" ? ( paraphrasing during translation from the French )..or their driving ..( possibly a "hat tip" to Chris Rea :-)

One must remember Sartre spent much of his life in Paris..and Parisiens have "right of way" ( including the right to park on pedestrian crossings , pull out in front of anyone, jump red lights, jaywalk etc ) when driving ..anywhere, anytime..or so they appear to believe..especially when driving in Paris, and even more so when driving* "en province"..

* I use the word loosely, when referring to what Parisiens do when in command of a vehicle..


 4:36 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

The cars are not really self drive: they are an electronically linked road train.

True self-drive would be much better: no need to stay in convoy, no-one has to drive, computers never get drunk, tired or distracted.


 6:18 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

"the Sartre Project"

Maybe because there is no sentient intelligence controlling the machine?


 8:11 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

True self-drive would be much better:

Which is what the Google cars are.

From what I've seen, Google is so far ahead of the pack in the self-driving car technology they're going to take over the roads first. They already have permission to be driven in CA and NV.

I'd be curious to see them do some serious rural driving on dirt roads and such, that's where it gets fun. I suspect Google cars probably can't go anywhere Google maps can't go which is most likely the limiting factor but we'll never know until someone lets us get behind the wheel and not drive one of those cars.

The train thing is a pretty simple thing to do comparatively speaking with the technology they already have that makes the cars sense the distance of advance vehicles to auto-break and so forth. From there making them follow at an even pace isn't so hard really. All the smarts has to be in the lead car at that point, whether human or computer, the followers just need to be able to match the direction and speed of the next car and pray the lead car stops in time!

All it would take is one crazy driver to jump in front of the lead car, leaving it insufficient braking distance, and put a hard slam on the brakes to start a nice chain reaction that would be quite ugly.

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