Driverless Cars by General Motors

@theprogamer (10539)
United States
January 6, 2008 6:01pm CST
Another technology discussion, another transportation discussion. Might be a theme for today, or just the news I've found on the wire. Anyways, GM is researching driverless cars with estimates for public release in about a decade. http://www.wxyz.com/business/story.aspx?content_id=8da5b774-8203-4489-be98-505f218af3bf Now then, this doesn't come as much of a surprise to me (there are already partial automated technologies, even in transportation). The components are there too, like stated in the article (radars, sensors, computer chip interfaces, wireless transmission, voice commands). The first application for these driverless vehicles is to have them with an automated option for highway travel, and returnable control in local or other situations where more human attention is needed. As with the jetpacks, the first generation vehicles might not be as popular and will most likely be expensive. With common technology and market rules, the costs will come down and the products themselves will be better. I do have some doubts about the technology itself. Its bound to have some flaws in the short run (the recent vehicle testing competition highlighted this), and hopefully these flaws are caught on the drawing board and testing phases so people do not have to experience them first hand. Still, the R&D stage isn't a 100% guarantee these cars will be flawless. Something could come up (control malfunction, radar malfunction, object detection errors, etc) What do you think of all this? Think it'd be a real change having driverless vehicles like some of the sources claim? Would you personally use or feel alright using a driverless car? And what about your children? They'll likely be of driving age when these machines are out. Would you feel comfortable with your children or loved ones using this technology? Personally, I'm intrigued by the technology and I may indeed give it a try when its available. Hopefully most of the bugs will be out of the programming by then...
3 people like this
3 responses
@anniepa (27279)
• United States
14 Jan 08
Maybe I'm getting old (imagine that!) but I don't think I would feel comfortable with that at all! No matter how sophisticated the technology gets there will always be a chance of a malfunction only in a driverless car there won't be way for a human being to correct the problem before it crashes and who knows what the results could be! Annie
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Don't worry Annie, this is a valid concern, and you aren't getting old (I am). One of the cars did try to go through a building, and yes if a driver isn't paying attention (Game Over). Naturally the technology should be improved by the time its practical, but again, errors can still happen.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27279)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Bless you for saying I'm not getting old!! Although, I know I am but it's better than the alternative. Annie
@AD11RGUY (1266)
• United States
13 Jan 08
I'm all for it with of course, certain limitations and restrictions. For those who take driving for granted, it should be mandatory for them to utilize this system. For those who are otherwise not serious about the "art" of driving, it should be strongly recommended. This will all but eliminate those who sit at green lights for 20 seconds before realizing what to do, the hazard of those who need to read the paper on the way to work, the unpredictable course of those who need to talk or put on face #2 only AFTER they are in the car, and so on. And to complete the safety of this unique system, it should be operated on a completely separate highway system. This will eliminate the road rage and traffic jams that create such rage. It will also allow those of us who take driving seriously AND are adept at it, to travel the regular roads with an ease that hasn't been seen since the 70s. Now will it be implemented this way? Of course not! The idea here of course, is more control over what we citizens do. And on that note, I stand against it. Believe it or not, I really do make those last minute sharp turns intentionally. Something about G-Force und Fahrvergnugen.
@sdiaz411 (111)
• United States
9 Jan 08
Cars that can think for themselves sounds great. I have been watching on the discovery channel, its called future cars, they talk about how cars will have a mind of it's own. your car will be able to wake you up in the morning, turn the shower on for you, and theres so much more they talk about. the fact that me and my car can communicate is cool. my car driving me where I have to go is even better, cars driving for us means less deaths, and less bull crap laws.