Google's self-driving cars take TED attendees for a wild ride

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by LulzChicken, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. LulzChicken

    LulzChicken Prius Enthusiast

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    You may have seen footage of Google's self-driving Prius before, but never like this. At this week's TED conference in Long Beach, Google showed off a couple of the Prii that have been modified to drive entirely on their own and this time Google programmed them to be aggressive while running the route. This leads to some hard cornering, squeals, and fun video footage from both outside and inside the car. From SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan:
    The robo-car knows the route it’s supposed to follow, in this case. It needs a special route programmed, because there are no roads to follow. If it were on a regular street, typically a destination would be programmed in as with a GPS, a general route computed, and then the car would navigate. It has even driven routes from San Francisco to Los Angeles, all through automation, Google says.​
    Check out the incredible video below and notice that Google's Prius has a PriusHood installed, care of the PriusChat Shop. Thanks to PriusChat member LulzChicken for posting the article and to SearchEngineLand for posting the video
     
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  2. LulzChicken

    LulzChicken Prius Enthusiast

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    This thing hauls nice person!
     
  3. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    Valet parking attendants are history. My car can drop me off at the door and then wait in the aisle for a parking spot. :)
     
  4. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Wouldn't trust a self driving car from Google. It would probably keep wanting to take you to the sponsored Restaurant or Supermarket instead of where you actually wanted to go!
     
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  5. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    HAHAHA!!!! Nice! :D
     
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  6. That_Prius_Car

    That_Prius_Car Austin Kinser

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  7. UsedToLoveCars

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    Peter Norvig, head of research at google and a stanford prof, presented some video highlights at Stanford of the car driving around San Francisco. There was even one scene where it was driving down Lombard st.

    I don't think this video is online anywhere, unfortunately.

    As impressive as it is, I think Andrew Ng's self-flying stunt helicopter is more impressive, from a machine learning stand point.
     
  8. SoopahMan

    SoopahMan Member

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    The best benefit of this car is here, 2 minutes in:



    The car stops for pedestrians and animals!
     
  9. Green Tea

    Green Tea Junior Member

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    Hauling big Prius nice person! Thanks for the vids. I'd probably have been jittery as heck riding it for the first time.
     
  10. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    It probably got better MPG than Top Gear's comparison test with M3.
     
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Too bad we couldn't look at the steering wheel to judge how jerky or smooth the driving was.

    I got very lucky and got to ride in the actual vehicle that won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge (Carnegie Mellon Robotized SUV Wins DARPA Urban Challenge) at CES in January 08. I didn't even expect the vehicle to be there, let alone get to ride in it with computer driving it. They had a makeshift course setup in the parking lot complete w/4 way stops. The other other vehicles setup as "traffic" which the car had to stop for. I was able to see the laptop which basically showed what the computer thought was around it and (IIRC) what it felt was dangerous vs. safe.

    Anyhow, the driving was very jerky (both left and right as well as pretty harsh inputs to the brake and gas) but it was incredible to see the potential.

    Sebastian Thrun of the Google effort is from Stanford. His team was behind the winning vehicle of the DARPA Grand Challenge in 05. If anyone's curious, NOVA | The Great Robot Race | PBS was VERY good.
     
  12. UsedToLoveCars

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    Dr Thrun is my professor for a class I'm taking this quarter :) His car Junior won 2nd place in the Urban Challenge. Stanley was the one from the 2005 challenge.

    As far as the steering, there is a smoothing algorithm applied to make it less jerky. There was a lecture on this just a couple weeks ago. if you want more info, I can dig it up.
     
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Wow! Very cool. I recall seeing Stanley at a Smithsonian museum a few years ago.

    No, don't worry about it.

    Thanks to Testing Google's Self-Driving Car, Ken Jennings Stops by Reddit, I found
    where you can see the steering wheel for most of the run. The steering inputs look pretty smooth compared to what I experienced in CMU's 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge winner.
     
  14. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Self-driving cars are the future. I have discussed it with people before and most absolutely have no damn clue how much better driving/commutes would be if cars operated autonomous of human input and in a collective manner. It would be revolutionary in every sense of the word. Even if it was only on highways in designated lanes with some kind of an add-on for your vehicle the benefits would be:

    1) vastly better mileage (i mean huge--every car could draft behind another only a couple feet away)
    2) vastly safer (people suck and are slower than sensor + computer)
    3) vastly quicker (think of the accordian effect you see on highways, this would be removed completely). Also capacity of a given lane would go up probably by magnitudes
    4) vastly more productive. You have a hard time texting safely now, well if your car is driving you can chill and really surf the net/nap, whatever

    This is the future, it is sacrosanct. I'm glad to hear it from the top dogs a little, Ford's Bill Ford spoke to it briefly recently and popular science or mechanics even had a bit about it a few months back.

    if you bring it off highways onto regular roads and integrate with traffic lights holy hot damn get ready baby. Because now when the light goes green all the cars accelerate at the same time in concert. No delay. And you don't even need lights, no stopping for a red when cars aren't there. And if it's smart enough you could have cars digitally play frogger with one another and shoot in between the gaps.

    As traffic congestion worsens more money will be put into researching these kinds of ideas and I am truly positive that it will take only one decent proof of concept, in actual production affecting real people, for the rest of the world to look at how much it improved the tester's safety, efficiency and we'll all clamber for it.

    Highways in the US are packed especially around cities. There is limited room. The only solution most have is more roads or public transport. People hate public transport and roads cost money and take room that doesn't exist. You can stack highways or do similar things but the true silver bullet is automation. I cannot farking wait for it. People will increasingly see their cars as a utility (Prius drivers obviously already do).

    There is a growing disconnect between people's views of their car and reality. Performance cars are now cheap, a $31k Mustang GT can do sub-5 second 0-60. Yet in direct conflict with this we have more traffic than ever before and easier enforcement of traffic laws (speed devices + cops). That car is basically totally ridiculous (yes I would love one, BTW, the sound of a V8 at full throttle is sublime). You simply cannot legally use its performance on public roads. Even flooring it in first up to the speed limit is a "display of speed" and thus illegal. People keep chasing performance they cannot use. There's more of it and their options to use it are limited more. The mindset has to change, the paradigm of driving needs a complete 180 in people's heads.

    I've spoken to people who hate the idea of automation because they enjoy driving, its experience, and their cars. These people spend up to two hours each day in gridlock traffic commuting to work and back spending an hour driving only 20 miles. Cannot see the forest for the trees.
     
  15. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    One more you can add to this: When you need to take your exit, the car will signal to those around it and THEY WILL MAKE ROOM for your car to move to the exit ramp.
     
  16. Duffer

    Duffer Member

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    A self driving car by Google... there would be time for an endless stream of video and audio advertisements. Perhaps you could get your car for FREE! Paid for by the advertisers! I agree not to close my eyes and never sleep or talk on the phone except to talk about Google ads....
     
  17. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Very interesting. I'd never thought that the steering could be jerky but I suppose now that they're getting the vehicles to actually drive on their own they now have to look at fine tuning things.

    Could be an interesting future but would we want it? Would there be any need to actually have a car or do you just call a Johnny Cab?

    I'd also be curious as how automated and human operated cars could run side by side? Would you curse being cut up by an automated car or would they be too hesitant at times?
     
  18. Gary in NY

    Gary in NY Member

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  19. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Suddenly, the blind don't have to worry about those pesky quiet cars any longer.
     
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  20. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I hope they can do it. Once this technology is proven in the real world it will absolutely humiliate the rank stupidity of how we currently move around, a single person operating each vehicle independently of the collective of transport. We are all insulated from each other vehicle on the road and react, one by one, to what they do. In a better world if you're 25 cars back from a green light and it goes green you accelerate immediately, not in 20 seconds when everybody is out of your way. In an even better world there is no need for a traffic light except to allow pedestrians to cross. Automation will be a boon for safety and efficiency. We'll look back on the savages of the 20th and early 21st century who used to drive their cars themselves at all times, crashing, waiting at lights, in heavy traffic, etc. in amazement, as we look at the first computers running slower than a current game boy or early mobile phones the size of a jug of milk.
     
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