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View Poll Results: do you think self driven cars are a good idea?
It's a great idea! 4 36.36%
It's a terrible idea! 2 18.18%
It could work, some day. 5 45.45%
Thats impossible! 0 0%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-05-2004, 09:14 AM   #1
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the cars of the future

Here's an idea just off the top of my head. maybe someone can tell me why it wouldn’t work, and if no one can, then lets do it, and even if you have a reason it wont work, it might still work if some one smarter than me puts their mind to it.

In that movie demolition man, Sandra bullock is in her car, and at one point the car drives itself, then she decides she wants to drive, she tell the car this, and a steering wheel pops out and she’s in control. That’s pretty cool, how would this work in the real world?
First we need cars that can drive themselves, this is easy enough, make the proper connections on the gas, brake and steering mechanism. Include a computer capable of managing the system. Put perimeter sensors at key points around the car and a GPS chip that doesn’t give out any information, except a serial number and the basic info of the car, make, model, size, weight, ect. The serial number would not be connected to a name, for privacy reasons neither the police nor any other persons, for any reason would be able to find you using this system.
There would be a control center. It would have a computer system with detailed maps of all the roads, with up to date info on the status of the roads, i.e., pot holes, debris ect. There would be sensors at key points along the road. This series of sensors on the cars and on the road, in connection with the GPS system in each car would tell the main computer the location and status of every car on the road, because every car at the very least, in order to be street legal would have to have a GPS system in their car just to let the system computer know its there, for instance, classic car enthusiasts would only have to put a little box under the back seat or something like that. Not a huge overhaul.
So the computer system knows where every car is. Now in each car, the passengers give the car their desired destination. at the traffic HQ the destination is accepted along with every other destination. The comp chooses the fastest rout and controls the car all the way there. So the computer is constantly calculating peoples journeys. It controls the car, and when one system is controlling every car on the road, no one will crash. It would be like if your left hand crashed into your right hand, it wont happen cause you know where they both are and you’re in control of both.
So now that each car is stably controlled, they can go twice as fast, imagine rush hour traffic, packed just as tight as always, with every car moving at speeds in excess of 100mph.
Some people would prefer to drive their own car. As long as they have a chip so the computer knows where they are, this is not a problem, the computer just watches them, and adjusts traffic around them accordingly. So someone with a lead foot could drive as fast as they want, and all the other cars on the road will get out of their way. To go a step further, Mr. Leadfoot could give the comp a destination, and the system would clear a path all the way there. And in the event of driver error, the computer system could seize control over the car in an emergency.
Maybe the people who drive themselves could have the right lane all to themselves, when the car takes control it merges to the left.
Once this system is perfected, there could be one or more businesses set up to provide public cars. You just pay a monthly rate and get some kind of user id card. You find one of the cars just parked in the street, swipe your card, the door opens and you can drive yourself or just tell the car where to go. If your going shopping, you can reserve the car for up to an hour. If u need it more than an hour, just request one at a certain time and it will show up. Since the cars can drive themselves, the system just makes sure theres an empty car waiting for you when you need it. Maybe it would work more like a taxi, but cheaper or with a monthly bill that would cost about the same as car ownership.
There could be different price ranges, the cheap would be little auto cabs that you couldn’t drive and they would be all public access, with a bill and coin slot to put your money in, it would be like a taxi. Then there would be the next service up which gives you access to regular cars you can drive yourself. And the highest service, for rich people would be limos and expensive cars that drive themselves and just show up with in 10 minutes after you make a simple call on your cell phone. And the cell phone thing would probably work with all services, but the rich people would pay extra for prompt service.

so anyway, this all was just a spontanious explosion of thought that i wanted to share with some one who might have more of an educated opinion than I do. in my un-educated opinion this is pretty close to what traffic will be like in another century.
any thoughts? opinions? disagreements?
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Old 03-06-2004, 04:57 AM   #2
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Ok first of all I dont think vehicles will be fully automatic since computers can mess up when you least expect it.

Second the GPS and sensors plus all of those electronic high tech gismos would cost thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to engineer and actually put into a manufacturing state.

I think we would need to wait at least 2 centuries before we even think about this stuff since gas will probably begin to run out in about 50 years with the rate that the population is growing and little hydrogen power stations that would cost billions to set up all over countries, I dont think we can get tomorrow's cars to run on gas.

Also the rules sound a little to communist. I will stick to my car keys and possibly a push button on some vipers and mercedes. User ID cards to drive sound strange but it could be a good security feature in a car to keep track of any person that used your car. Also I decide where I want to park and for how long I want to park so let's toss the 1 hour rule out the window.

In my opinion, 2 centuries from now we may go through a 3rd world war and there wont be any gas left and we will have to resort to either Hydrogen or Nuclear Energy. Cars may become obsolete and we may use advanced aircraft to get around.
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Old 03-11-2004, 03:23 AM   #3
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In my opinion for those who love their automobiles such as myself, a car is one's reflection of their personality. Modifying my car is one of my favorite past times, but to be able to modify my car only to have it drive itself around is not worth the work in the first place. I want to be able to control the car to see just how much of a different I made. Having self driven cars for the elderly, and for those with driving records so bad they aren't allowed behind the wheel it would be great for the car to do it for them. I myself take serious care of my record and to be put in something that I can't drive is undeserved punishment.
1987 Mazda B2200
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:30 PM   #4
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Re: the cars of the future

As much as I enjoy piloting my car around the way I want to, I think automated highways are possible and likely. Maybe someday there will be something like the HOV lanes for computer-driven cars.

As for thinking it's centuries away, a lot can be learned from the airline industry. Much of the technology that would be needed for such a system has already been in use, in some form, for years in the airline industry.

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