Self Driving Prius...My Next Car

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by ArkiePrius, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. ArkiePrius

    ArkiePrius Junior Member

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    I wasn't quite sure which forum to post this to, decided this one was as good as any. My daughter works at Google and happened to catch this Prius parked in the lot near where she works.
    I had seen a video of it being "driven" by a guy who was almost blind the other day. The guy had even gone through the drive up window at a local taco place , and it showed him going down the road , eating with both hands, while the car just drove itself.
    Anyway , I had told her the story just the week before, and she said lo and behold , there the car was right in front of me. I am not sure how many Google currently is working with , but it is just too cool .
    On a side note, I spotted about 10 or 12 Google earth mapping cars at our local Holiday Inn here in Fort Smith, Arkansas about a month or so back. Maybe they will get a more current picture of my house , the one currently on Google Earth must be 10 years old or so at least.
     

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  2. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    I've seen them on the freeway. One time one was driving right in front of me. It was kinda scary.
     
  3. mad-dog-one

    mad-dog-one Prius Enthusiast

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    Does th Google Prius use GPS or follow a wire buried in the road?
     
  4. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Wonder what operating system is uses...?
     
  5. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    They use GPS. I've seen quite a bit of info on what Google is trying to do with self-driving cars. Very cool stuff! Decades down the line (or less) this could really make things safer and save many lives, not to mention just incredible technology. This is why I own stock in Google. They continue to try to stay on the bleeding edge of tech and innovation.
     
  6. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    Those would spook me out. Glad we don't have them around Chicago - or do we?

    If I had one, and it was needing its batteries charged, would it just decide to drive out of my driveway on its own, at a time of its own choosing? What if I had it in the garage, would it honk its squeaky horn to wake me up to open the garage door for it?

    EDIT: Doh! that's what the HomeLink mirror is for - it would open and close the garage door by itself.
     
  7. GasperG

    GasperG Senior Member

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    Here is the link from YouTube:
     
  8. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    Let's be realistic here. Are you seriously worried that your car's gonna grow a brain and drive itself off without you knowing it. We'll be lucky to see this kind of technology in our life time.
    For now, let's take one step at a time. Current consumer product can only barely self drive for 15 seconds or less and only on a straight line. Even then, it's no where near perfect. It sways out of center of the lane if not monitored.
    They need to seriously refine the lane keep technology to a point where it's nearly 100% foolproof.
    I wouldn't be surprised if the first production self driving car will only be semi self driving and only offers what the Prius Five/ATP has but more refined. It only function on certain road conditions. I can guarantee you that it wont work on 100% of the road. It won't have enough intelligence to determine every types of lane dividers like a human can. It will most likely only work on high speed roads without stop and go traffic like a freeway with clearly marked lane divider. Since the government is too poor to create a new infrastructure for self driving cars, it will have to adapt to current infrastructure.
    Ultimately, the person on the driver's seat is responsible for the actions of self driving car. If my Prius has self driving feature, I wouldn't use it so I can goto sleep or read a book. I'll use it to see how it handles the road and traffic conditions to find its strength and weekness. Once I know what it's capable, then I'll use it when necessary.
     
  9. Big Steve

    Big Steve ramblin wreck

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    There was an article in a recent issue of Wired. They are more advanced than cproaudio thinks, but still not ready for prime time.
     
  10. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    "Open the rear hatch HAL....."
    &$#@!!...open the hatch HAL!!!
     
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  11. mellowgeorge

    mellowgeorge New Member

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    It actually uses LIDAR (amongst other sensors, including GPS, but that's mostly for navigation) which is kept on that little top hat that the Google Car is wearing. It builds a 3D representation of everything around it many times a second.
     
  12. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    I definitely think we will see quite a few of these sort of things out on the road in the next couple of decades. There was an article outlining what Google's plans were. It talked about how the cars are obviously connected (online) so they could both log their surroundings for future cars that take the same path as well as pull data from vehicles that have gone before. Such as, it will know where a tree always is or the exact width of roads and lanes. Therefore, the system will only get better and better over time while more and more data is compiled. Very exciting stuff!
     
  13. RaZa

    RaZa Member

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    All the current tech package needs now is better logic with the lane keep assist and kablam you have a self driving car that could easily drive on a freeway.

    Currently the lane keep just "bounces" off the lane markers instead of keeping them centered. It's probably very intentionally "dumbed down" to keep people from turning on the drcc and lane keep then just sitting back and reading a paper or something. Too bad
     
  14. ArkiePrius

    ArkiePrius Junior Member

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    I think it would be scary until the technology gets perfected quite a bit more.
    I think the worst would be an 80,000 pound big rig cruising along the interstate without any sign of a driver, I think that is one really big use for this technology.
    I am getting too old for all of this I sometimes think, I can remember when nobody I knew even had power windows in their cars.
     
  15. mad-dog-one

    mad-dog-one Prius Enthusiast

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    What you have in Chicago and throughout the world may be worse. I'm refering to over powered two ton vehicles driven by egotistical humanoids that are distracted, impatient, texting and frequently lost.
     
  16. katiesdad7

    katiesdad7 Member

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    Amen. Maybe we are better off with the computer driving the car. :)
     
  17. swg

    swg 12 Prius / 13 Volt

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    If it is Vista it would be stopping for no reason..... :)
     
  18. RaZa

    RaZa Member

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    That's not even a question. Autonomous, or at least semi autonomous, vehicles would be statistically thousands of times safer than their human counterpart drivers. We routinely kill thousands of ourselves every day in traffic accidents. Unfortunately that one in a million mechanical or electrical problem that kills someone means we probably will not be seeing a company that's willing to take the risk on an actual commercial product anytime soon.
     
  19. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    Markabele alluded to this, but in addition to the onboard sensors (LIDAR for seeing shapes, cameras for seeing colors), the cars carry data about their route obtained by driving over it several times under human control. Eventually, this could use data "from the cloud" from all the other self-driving cars out there, but for now, it requires extra mapping beforehand.

    They gather data such as where the lane markings are; what they are (pedestrian crossing, lane dividers, turn lanes, on- and off-ramps, etc.); what objects are permanent (trees, bridges) and which are moving (other cars, pedestrians); and tons of other things. GPS isn't good enough to keep the car in the lane, so it's relying on this data to make decisions about where the lane is, which lane to use, etc.

    It's very impressive; they've shown examples of it spotting pedestrians darting across the street, or becoming more assertive when needed to ensure it can (for example) get its turn at a 4-way stop sign.

    Here's a good video about the technical stuff, if you have some time to burn:

    (That's part 2 of 3; part 1 is more about the history of their team, originating with the DARPA Grand Challenge, and part 3 is about how they think it can change the world.)
     
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  20. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    Such cool stuff. I could watch videos of that all day long.
     
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