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Humans might be the one problem Google can’t solve

For the past four years, Google has been working on self-driving cars

Compiled by Mistress Chris
5/30/2014


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What Is An Electric Car?
 
An electric car is powered by an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. The electric motor gets energy from a controller, which regulates the amount of power—based on the driver’s use of an accelerator pedal. The electric car (sometimes called an electric vehicle) uses energy stored in its rechargeable batteries, which are recharged by common household electricity.
 
 
 
Unlike a hybrid car—which runs on a combination of gasoline and electricity—an electric car (also known as a battery-electric vehicle or BEV, often shortened to simply EV) is powered exclusively by electricity. Historically, EVs have not been widely adopted because of limited driving range before needing to be recharged, long recharging times, and a lack of commitment by automakers to produce and market electric cars that have all the creature comforts of gas-powered cars. That’s changing.
 
As battery technology improves—simultaneously increasing energy storage and reducing the cost of batteries—major automakers are expected to begin introducing a new generation of electric cars.  Read rest of article here.
(Article by Kris, www.hybridcars.com)
 
 
 
For the past four years, Google has been working on self-driving cars with a mechanism to return control of the steering wheel to the driver in case of emergency. But Google’s brightest minds now say they can’t make that handoff work anytime soon.
 
Their answer? Take the driver completely out of the driving.
 
 
 
The company has begun building a fleet of 100 experimental electric-powered vehicles that will dispense with all the standard controls found in modern automobiles. The two-seat vehicle looks a bit like the ultracompact Fiat 500 or the Mercedes-Benz Smart car if you take out the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake and gear shift. The only things the driver controls is a red “e-stop” button for panic stops and a separate start button.
(Article by John Markoff, www.nytimes.com)
 
 
What the Future Holds: What happens when driverless cars break the Law??
 
Is This A Good use for Smart phone App?
The car would be summoned with a smartphone application. It would pick up a passenger and automatically drive to a destination selected on the smartphone app, and  without any human intervention.
 
 
 
Google today announced its own design for self-driving cars, which will drive people around without a steering wheel or pedals. It's the latest project from Google X, the company's skunkworks group headed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
 
 
 
TWO PEOPLE, NO DRIVERS
 
The company has already shown off its own self-driving technology, which retrofits existing vehicles made by Toyota and Lexus. However this new version, which was announced by Brin at the Recode conference, is a new design that fits two people, and is driven entirely by computer using a variety of on-board computers and sensors.
 
Google says the program is currently in a prototype phase, but that it plans to build around 100 early versions of the vehicles for testing this summer. Those cars, which are reminiscent of a Fiat 500 mixed with Playmobil toys, will initially include manual controls in case something goes wrong, just like the company's current self-driving car program. After a pilot program in California, Google says it will develop a broader program with the help of partners, presumably for commercial use.  Read More.
(Article by Josh Lowensohn, www.theverge.com) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is the first built-from-scratch-in-Detroit self-driving car. The battery-powered electric vehicle has as a stop-go button, but no steering wheel or pedals. The plan is to build around 200 of the mostly-plastic cars over the next year, with road testing probably restricted to California for the next year or two. Compared to the fairly aggressive stance of other notable EVs, like the Tesla Model S or Toyota Prius, Google’s new self-driving car is incredibly cutesy, closely resembling a Little Tikes plastic car — there’s even the same damn smiley face on the front. The cutesy appearance is undoubtedly a clever move to reduce apprehension towards the safety or long-term effects of autonomous vehicles — “Aw, how can something so cute be dangerous?”
(Article by Sebastian Anthony, www.extremetech.com) 
 
 
 
 
Removing everything except for a stop-go button might sound like a good idea, but it’s naive.
How do you move the car a few feet, so someone can get out, or for backing up to a trailer?
Will Google’s software allow for temporary double parking, or off-road for a concert or party?
Can you choose which parking spot the car will use, to leave the better/closer parking spots for your doddery grandfather?
How will these cars handle the very “human” problems of giving way for other cars and pedestrians?
Can you program the car to give way to a hot girl, but not an angry-looking trucker?
(By Sebastian Anthony, www.extremetech.com)
 
 
Electric Car Charging Stations:  The electric car needs a new system for recharging and therefore a whole new grid of stations.  The following map gives some idea of the current stations available. Will the Gas Station soon be obsolete?
 
 
 
 
 

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Reader Comments


We already have self driving vehicles....take a bus or the subway if too detatched to enjoy a nice ride on/in a bitchin' machine!

Speeddaddy
saskatoon, SK, Canada
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Editor Response You hit the nail on the head!
--Bandit

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