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I’ve been considering posting something like this for a while, but things have “come along” considerably in a short space of time, so perhaps it’s time ….

Let’s start with Elon Musk (the only man whose twitter account can cause more chaos than the incumbent Presidency). OK, so the guys full of himself, but when this transfers over to his car industries, I start to worry. Having recently looked over “upgrade number nine”, it typifies the problem with “intelligent cars”. Upgrade 9, allows for ten mins of frontal video to be stored. This is fine as long as you know about a crash 8 mins before hand, or wish to pull some kind of “stunt”, but ultimately, it means that Tesla are stretching the boundaries of what the car can do, one little piece at a time – no “finished product”, just another “gimmick” to keep everyone interested

The problem is “human error” – the one thing the car seeks to eliminate - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43934504 - being a case in point. The more capable the car becomes, the more we take those capabilities for granted, resulting in someone doing the crossword instead of keeping their hands on the controls “just in case”. In almost every case of an “autonomous” or “semi-autonomous” car crashes recently, the human factor was the “safety” switch, but the human failed to pay attention to what was going on, trusting instead to let the car “take care of everything”. Yet the manufacturers of those cars sell them on this very principal, and it’s only in the small print that you find the suggestion that a “human influence” is required at all times

There will come a point, probably in the next 20 years, when truly autonomous cars will make their presence known, but how will that play out with half us still driving our own “human controlled” vehicles, many of which will be “semi-autonomous” to begin with. The moment you trust a car to behave impeccably (either as they are now, or in “semi-autonomous” mode), is when you start to trust the human element, which has never proved overly reliable. Mobile phone use, the “I got my kid a truck to keep him safe” (allowing him to wipe out everyone else instead) - the excuses for the human condition are as varied as they are endless

I accept that in maybe 50 years, things may settle down, but it’s the transition that worries me. With cars trusting humans, while in the same breath, humans start to trust cars - but the truth is, neither is infallible. Where motorcycles will end up in all of this, I have no idea. But during this transition period, I can envisage that the old “sorry mate I didn’t see you” being replaced by “sorry mate, I wasn’t driving, I was just sitting behind the wheel”.

My respects to those who own these vehicles and take the limitations seriously, it’s the 10% that take it for granted that worry me. Mind you, it’s been that way since the Model T Ford - the “human” element.

But what happens when you introduce AI into the “mix” ? ………
 

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I believe the law of unanticipated consequences will bite us on the fanny when it comes to autonomous vehicles.
Already Mchelien is marketing special tires for self-driving cars since those cars do not recognize, nor avoid potholes. Thus built-in polymer based rim protectors become necessary to lessen incidence of pothole induced tire/wheel failures.
Our wide 12 to 15 foot wide traffic lanes can cause complacency and inattentiveness for many drivers. Conversely my experience is that the narrower and more challenging the lanes in less developed countries/regions then the more the driver is required to pay attention and always make correct inputs.
Make things too easy and we become very bad drivers.
Future for motorcycles in an growing autonomous world is scary
 

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Make things too easy and we become very bad drivers.
This seems to be the major fault at the moment .......
 

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As Fred knows I'm sure, Reno deployed an autonomous bus in the city's public route and it struck a pedestrian in it's inaugural run.
Johnny Cab trying to kill Arnold for not paying the fare.
 

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I have my doubts it will ever happen. The manufactures cannot make a car that doesn't break down or have issues and failures. Until they figure that out how can anyone trust a self driving car??
 

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It’s an interesting future we are facing. How about landing(catching) rocket boosters autominously on floating ship platforms not something I anticipated. Tesla is logging millions of real world miles of data from all the Teslas. I would say his cars are more than a “gimmick”.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/10/08/tesla-model-3-one-of-the-worlds-safest-cars.aspx

That rating doesn’t include the actions of stupid drivers although soon it may. It seems the Tesla cars can auto stop if hands aren’t on the wheel for a certain amount of time. Never the less I appreciate all the new features on my current truck especially the rear back up camera. I would love to have side view and front view camers and sensors to warn when I try to lane change etc when I don’t see an obstacle I missed. I would’t have a dent in the right rear quarter panel if a side sensor or camera had warned me of a small parked car on my right side when I was parked facing out. It was too low and I didn’t see it and while leaving the space turned too sharply and hit the front of the parked car. Still the responsibility rested on me despite any lack of cool new technology.

Musk has been warning about the future of AI. A scary one at that given the proclivities of world governments for war. I think I would worry about robotic solders and weapons more than autonomous cars. The realities of autonomous cars and trucking will be here sooner than you think. If you expand your vision such vechicles could be restricted to certain road ways in the near future while bugs are worked out.

Now Zylons are another matter.
 

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Since my last post was pretty much a downer. I thought I would share this and add to the gloom. No I haven’t watched it yet.

https://bigthink.com/news/heres-the-ai-documentary-elon-musk-thinks-is-essential-viewing.

I need to finish my bath up stairs remodel. So I can un bury the two bikes trapped behind all the fixtures and flooring etc and go for a ride to forget.

Back to autonomous vechicles. I can see unmanned trucks traveling in special lanes barricaded from regular traffic hauling all the goods we need. Also Our interstate freeway system would be ideal for cars running on auto pilot and interconnected like a hive. Have you seen the you tube videos of a swarm of drones flying in formation like birds and schools of fish do? Synchronized not touching instantly changing direction and maybe subject to hacking the network for total chaos.
 

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The autonomous dream entails assumptions of mass acceptance so there are few weak links in the chain like old poor running, poor performing, independently operated vehicles who aren't tied into the net and thus not announcing their intentions and capabilities digitally. Simply declare them mobile chicanes and avoid? Still system must detect and be prepared to accommodate unpredictable human actions like failure to use turn signals, breakdowns, etc. Will the net lock-out non-autonomous vehicles, or slow down the entire autonomous train in preparation for unpredictable human driver inputs?
Don't think nation's grandchildren can afford any more additional debt ceiling raises in order to give the masses free or subsidised new vehicles or retrofitting existing vehicles now, much less the infrastructure investments to make the dream a reality.
Rural citizens may also resist tax increases to pay for a system that they may not see as directly benefiting them.
 

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The “assumption” for the future (always a dangerous thing), is that autonomous vehicles will be exclusively electric, and have on-board diagnostics to take them off line in the event a failure is presumed to be “imminent”. With electric vehicles, this “fault prediction” is perfectly possible, though the proof of the pudding is in the eating (as they say)

Once this is implemented across “all” platforms, happy days, and we can all rejoice in the knowledge that the future no longer involves “choice”, and we’ll all be bored to death getting from A to B – bit like taking the bus really. And for rural areas (such as in the States), the “bus” option is the only way I can see of making it work. But what happens if your missus is having a baby, or you’ve just run a chain saw over your leg ? – schedules do not take into account individual circumstances, and while (to a degree) that’s fine in the cities, in the sticks you’re on your own

It’s this “resistance” of the individual to being “told what to do” that is most likely to hold back the transition, and nowhere is that resistance stronger than in America

As to tax dollars being behind the support for new technologies – how much do you think you currently give to NASA, or to the development of new war planes ? – either the research costs, or the build costs, inevitably comes out of “our” pockets – ‘twas ever thus. As soon as this get “rolled out”, we’ll end up paying for it (as usual)

I have nothing against progress, I really don’t – but my 2009 Mercs is about as far as these old bones of mine are prepared to take it. No “lane assist” (I have eyes), no collision avoidance, autonomous braking, “follow the car in front”, or any of that guff – either I’m in full control, or I’m not – and the day I can’t do that anymore, I’ll hang up my licence. Some of the tricks cars can do these days simply encourage complacency, and in my book, “lazy driving” is simply not acceptable. If you’re sat there expecting the car to tell you that you are doing something wrong, you’ve seriously lost the plot

Yet, in this age of increasingly “capable” cars, manufacturers are touting these developments as “improvements”, when (perhaps), they’re not – when the user manual runs to over 400 pages, it’s time to take stock. I took me a year to work out all the tricks my Mercs was capable of, and it’s already a ten year old car (and I’m not daft either). Think of the Windows operating system, which is capable of most things, as long as you know how - but at least you’re not trying to sort the thing out whilst driving down the road

This is the thing that worries me - the transition between a truly autonomous car, and one that isn’t, but encourages you to think that in some way it is …….
 

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Dependance on electric propulsion entails its own problems, including new expanded energy sources due to the cumulative inherent inefficiencies in the chain of electric energy generation, distribution, storage and finally turning it into useful rotational mechanical energy. Every energy transformation is less than 100% efficient. These losses add up whether one is talking fuel, solar,wind, tide, etc
And who are we going to shift the environmental and economic impacts associated with an electric propulsion to? Battery production and life cycle is not as clean as we like to think.
Going to welcome a wind farm in your neighborhood? A new copper mine? Aluminum smelter? Welcome more costs to shelter the vital distribution grid from terrorism, hacking, accidents and natural and man made disasters?
China has comparatively vast rare earth resources compared to the west thus expanding a growing list of strategic minerals our foreign policies need to address.
Sure, Elon Musk provides a few hundred,or thousands, or whatever number of free charging stations but we will need millions. Expect Charging Station Rage to join Road Rage as new societal problems brought about by technology that evolves faster than our cultures can accommodate.
Future can be fun but has its complications.
 

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So California has an excess of solar power. The existing power company status is stuggling to envision a future not under their present model. My son is now in management at our local power company. I have had some discussions with him about their future direction. As far as I can tell there is no vision at this time strictly status quo and only a reactionary response to pressures. On that think big page was an article about war and its inevitably due to changing economic forces. China will be the next world power. Let’s hope for no war due to our “threatened” status as a world economic power.

I suppose if you go back in time for the petrol autos they faced a similar shortage of fueling options. Supply will meet the demand.
 

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The older I get the closer I get to Dinosaur status (Admiralosaurus Rex).


 

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Wonder how much of the 100 billion dollars mentioned is earmarked for legal and lobbying expenditures.
 

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i listened to the joe rogan podcast with elon musk...highly suggest checking this podcast out as well as the ones with neil degrasse tyson...musk is definitely an interesting and intellegent guy...his warnings when speaking of AI seem legit...when we create something that is capable of thinking on its own that also can process and learn things at an incredible rate at that point we will have opened pandora's box and it will not be able to be closed...what if these artificial lifeforms consider us a threat or think that we are polluting the earth too much and decide they don't need us anymore...basically skynet from the terminator movies is created and we better have some type of EMP technology to knock these things out...but if they have access to all this information and they learn that we have this technology and know how it's built and can figure out a way to defeat it well then we are pretty much extinct...i find the development of autonomous and electric cars interesting and i think it's tech that needs to be developed...i feel real AI on the other hand needs to be left alone or limited to a certain milestone

it will take a long time for all cars to be autonomous and it will cost a lot of money to get there...recharging stations that would have to be built everywhere, battery tech would have to allow for longer ranges and faster recharge times, the highways may need to be changed, etc...i think while it needs to be developed i feel that his new idea is much better...after listening to musk we are driving in 2D right now i think his idea of underground tunnels (3D driving) or that hyperloop in tunnels is a great idea for which wouldn't require a phased approach to transitioning from regular cars to autonomous cars on the existing highways...there would be no mixing of the technologies...the tunnels would house only autonomous transportation...the issues i see with tunnels are cost will be crazy, the real estate needed to get in/out of them will be tough as populations increase, any type of watertight failure with the tunnel piping, fast access for emergency vehicles, not sure if venting would be required, not sure if airtight vehicles would be required...i know musk is working on a tunnel in LA right now (see link below)...if a high speed network of underground subways could be built i would most definitely be interested in using it especially if it made my commute faster and cheaper...if that takes people off the roads it helps congestion, makes driving in inclement weather a nonissue and lessens accidents...i'm excited for this tech to be developed

this feature has since been fixed but

i hope it doesn't turn into this?
wall-e.jpg

https://money.cnn.com/2018/05/11/technology/elon-musk-boring-company-tunnel/index.html
 
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