Apple now has more than 50 autonomous cars on the road


#1

If you don’t turn on your autonomous car within a week will you get locked out?

Marilyn


(Richard Rettke) #2

So, do we forsee the day when we can order our groceries from the local store, online, to be picked up (we can do that now), but instead of we going to get them, we just SEND our autonomous vehicle to go get the groceries and bring them home. That will be be time saving technology.


(Seth Anderson) #3

No wonder the telecoms are pushing for 5G

Malmad said that 5G will also make it easier for marketers to target ads to connected cars, particularly once autonomous driving becomes more mainstream. For example, self-driving cars are expected to free up people’s time and attention so that they can watch TV or stream programs, meaning that automakers may build screens into seats.

“With 5G, you’ll start to see the fluid transformation of data back and forth,” he said. “People will be streaming more video and within that world, the ability for us to effectively communicate some kind of brand message while you’re on your way to the store becomes more prevalent—you’ll start to see more offer-based messages from a video standpoint evolve.”


(Adam Engst) #4

I’m going to be very interested to see what Apple does here. Last I heard, they were planning on making software, not complete cars, but that would entail partnering with a car maker, which isn’t Apple’s style.

Personally, I’m hugely in favor of autonomous cars. They’ll radically improve safety and will increase mobility for the young and old, and will allow us to reclaim vast amounts of time spent driving. Brad Templeton writes must-read posts on the topic regularly.

https://ideas.4brad.com/topic/robocars


(David Tuma) #5

Perhaps a long line of autonomous cars on a highway all hooked together - where the passengers can get off when they need to. I think it could be called a “train.” :blush:
David


(Randy B. Singer) #6

Blockquote I’m going to be very interested to see what Apple does here. Last I
heard, they were planning on making software, not complete cars, but
that would entail partnering with a car maker, which isn’t Apple’s
style.

I suspect that what will happen is that Apple will license their technology to any and all car manufacturers who want to use it, the way that they do with CarPlay. The current fleet of test vehicles are just proof-of-concept vehicles.

I also think that that is the long term plan that Tesla has. I don’t think that they want to be a high-volume car manufacturer in the future. Instead, I think that they want to be the component supplier to as many other car companies as possible. Since Tesla has already invested in the infrastructure to make EV parts, purchasing from them will be very attractive to other car manufacturers.


Randy B. Singer
Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
Mac OS X Routine Maintenance • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html



#7

I suspect that what will happen is that Apple will license their technology to any and all car manufacturers who want to use it, the way that they do with CarPlay. The current fleet of test vehicles are just proof-of-concept vehicles.

I agree. Apple did hire a number of rather substantially credentialed automotive designers a few years ago, but the team didn’t last long. My guess is that it would cost too much money to put cars into production and build out showrooms. It’s also a lot harder and more expensive to manufacture a car than a desktop, laptop, watch or phone, especially an autonomous one.

I also think that that is the long term plan that Tesla has. I don’t think that they want to be a high-volume car manufacturer in the future. Instead, I think that they want to be the component supplier to as many other car companies as possible. Since Tesla has already invested in the infrastructure to make EV parts, purchasing from them will be very attractive to other car manufacturers.

It would be smart for Tesla to abandon plans to manufacture cars, but I think they are trapped into that model because they are a publicly traded company and that’s what their investors paid for. Apple has a hoard of hundreds of billions and they walked away from manufacturing any cars because they probably realized quickly they ultimately can’t compete with existing manufacturers and suppliers. They have more than enough to buy a majority share in Tesla if they wanted it, but it doesn’t look like they do.

Marilyn


(Tommy Weir) #8

Fan of autonomous cars too. And can see them becoming the norm if not mandatory inside large urban centers, where the driver will have to surrender a certain amount of autonomy to the route to their desired destination, letting the city decide what’s needed for optimum flow. Interesting times ahead I think.

My two sons are keen on them for very different reasons. My eldest, who is severely visually impaired, sees it as the only way he will ever have a car. My middle child can’t be bothered to learn to drive (not the rite of passage in Europe it is in the US) and the vision of a screen filled future in a moving vehicle appeals to him.

Me, I look forward to being able to make photographs. Standing up with the sunroof open. That is, of course, if the car lets me…


(Diane D) #9

Does no one else fear this due to car sickness?

Simple fact is, while I do love to drive and have no intent on stopping, I couldn’t imagine the hell that being driven everywhere would be to my stomach and head. Even non-drowsy stuff makes me sleepy by mid-day. Doesn’t sound like a fulfilling life to me.

Though taking photos through the sunroof is appealing……

Diane


#10

Fan of autonomous cars too. And can see them becoming the norm if not mandatory inside large urban centers, where the driver will have to surrender a certain amount of autonomy to the route to their desired destination, letting the city decide what’s needed for optimum flow. Interesting times ahead I think.

I live in a large city, and before Maps and Google Maps drivers spent an inordinate amount of time glued to their radios to hear traffic and transit reports. I also live near the convergence of 3 highways and some major streets and during rush hours the helicopter noise sounded like Apocalypse Now. iPhone changed all that.

I think that there will be route options available in autonomous cars like there are in map apps now.

My two sons are keen on them for very different reasons. My eldest, who is severely visually impaired, sees it as the only way he will ever have a car. My middle child can’t be bothered to learn to drive (not the rite of passage in Europe it is in the US) and the vision of a screen filled future in a moving vehicle appeals to him.

What particularly interests almost everyone I know in my very congested city is the potential to not have to own a car at all if you can call a driverless Uber or Lyft. Garage space costs a fortune, and the waiting lists in buildings in many areas can run 15-20 years. Street parking is a total horror made worse by alternate side and meters. We would be totally thrilled to never need to own a car again.

Me, I look forward to being able to make photographs. Standing up with the sunroof open. That is, of course, if the car lets me…

It sounds like great fun, but the car might automatically shut down if you take off your seat belt.

Marilyn


(Simon) #11

Haha! :smiley:

I think about this a lot when people schmooze about autonomous driving. Usually the argument goes that driving will become so much safer, we’ll be free to do other stuff, and we’ll be saving so much time, yada yada. If that indeed happens it will make driving by car just that much more attractive. The very least it should be when instead we should make traffic safer by commuting less and by relying on public transport instead of private vehicular traffic.

I’m always surprised how many people who consider themselves green do-gooders have zero concerns when it comes to autonomous driving or better yet are outright mesmerized by the potential “disruption” it offers, while completely missing that making it more attractive to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic jams is the very last thing our environment needs.


(Adam Engst) #12

This is increasingly common in the U.S. too—we had to force Tristan to get his license, and lots of his peers don’t have theirs. He’s appreciative of the freedom it provides now, but it wasn’t an allure in a world where he can contact any friend instantly on his phone or computer.

He tried to pull the “I don’t need to learn how to drive because we’ll have robot cars in 5 years” argument on me, but unlike in many families, Tonya and I still know way more about technology than he does. :slight_smile:

But he’s not wrong in general, just in timing. Robot cars won’t be the norm in 5 years, if only because the average car in the U.S. stays on the road for 11–12 years. But I certainly hope to be using one by the time I’m uncomfortable with driving due to age in 10–20 years.


(Adam Engst) #13

Well, you have to follow the arguments to their logical conclusions. For instance, individual car ownership will drop off significantly when you can use your phone to summon a robotaxi in a few minutes. Robotaxis will all be electric, not gas, since they won’t be purchased for the possibility of long trips, and they can drive themselves to a charging station when they need to recharge. Traffic jams will also eventually be reduced once the random element of human drivers causing accidents goes down, and even then, the robocars will be able to do a better job than most people of routing around accidents for the fastest driving time.

Seriously, go read Brad Templeton’s stuff. He covers all of this well, and very realistically.


(Simon) #14

You know, even if all those glorious promises actually turn into reality and even if it happens before we get flying cars (that one’s being expected since the 1930s) I doubt we have that long. I’d prefer we’d focus on making changes where it actually counts. Right now.

But we’re not. While Europeans or the Japanese have invested a lot of money in solid public transportation and made actual progress on reducing private vehicular traffic (especially in urban areas and during commuting), we in the US still are slaves to our cars. And nothing right now indicates that’s changing at the pace required to make a serious dent. So I guess we’re headed towards much more serious environmental issues. Good thing for me, I’ll be dead in 20 years and I don’t have kids so what do I care. :smiley:


(Curtis Wilcox) #15

I definitely expect autonomous cars will greatly reduce individual ownership in favor of robotaxis but they’ll still be way less efficient than mass transit. For space and road use alone, check out this gif comparing 200 people in cars, mass transit, and bikes.

More rural areas will still have plenty of car ownership as they lack the population density to maintain a fleet of robotaxis large enough for one to be nearby. This is already true for human-operated transportation. Schemes like Turo, where you can rent out your car when you’re not using it, may be a viable middle ground.


(Simon) #16

BTW, car ownership was already supposed to drop off significantly because of ride sharing. Well in San Francisco traffic has never been worse. Instead of traffic jams caused by private car use, it’s now traffic jams caused by Ubers. We have the worst commutes in the country and none of the promised fixes have delivered. Of course we haven’t really invested in new public transport infrastructure in any significant way either. BART was developed in the 1960s and built in the 1970s. We’re still using the same cars and leaching off that investment. It’s pathetic really. And that’s in a part of the country known for it’s progressive and green movements.

Last comment, the majority of jams is not because of accidents caused by poor driving. It’s wishful thinking to believe congestion would go away if we simply took the human out of the equation. At the end of the day, there are simply too many cars. And if we cannot get people to go from car to public transit, the only thing that could save us in that respect is a major economic downturn (as we saw in this area in 2001 and 2009). Now that’s a remedy really nobody wants.


(Adam Engst) #17

I’m not saying that robocars are better than public transit, or even aimed at solving the same problem. But I do believe that they will do a significantly better job at individual transportation than current cars, from environmental, societal, and human perspectives. Cars aren’t going way anytime soon in the U.S. for lots of reasons, particularly outside dense urban environments, and considering that the automobile has been one of the main drivers (hah!) of so many aspects of society in this country, I’m hopeful that autonomous cars will improve the situation significantly.


(Tommy Weir) #18

My mechanic, presumably tired of the alerts as he hops in and out of cars all day clips all the seatbelts in full time. I guess a weight sensor might analyse my not being seated. Or the car could monitor my Instagram feed…

Perhaps car design might radically shift once this takes off. With an increase in safety will we need seatbelts? How about Sleeping cars, cafe cars, poker car… hmmm


(blm) #19

While taking the doughheads driving cars out of the equation will definitely make the roads safer, cars will still be made of mechanical parts that can break, there will still be potholes in the road, kids and dogs will still run out in front of cars, etc, so I don’t think “much safer” should be mistaken for “infinitely safe”. Think of airplanes. Commercial airliners are pretty safe, but if you fly a lot, you’ve probably been in a situation where you were glad you were seatbelted in. Brian


#21

david_tuma:
Perhaps a long line of autonomous cars on a highway all hooked together - where the passengers can get off when they need to. I think it could be called a “train.” :blush:

I think about this a lot when people schmooze about autonomous driving. Usually the argument goes that driving will become so much safer, we’ll be free to do other stuff, and we’ll be saving so much time, yada yada. If that indeed happens it will make driving by car just that much more attractive. The very least it should be when instead we should make traffic safer by commuting less and by relying on public transport instead of private vehicular traffic.

I’ve never thought that autonomous vehicles would exclusively be cars. Public and commercial transportation are already in the game plan, and the big auto manufacturers have been working on this as diligently as they have been on cars, maybe even more so.

I’m always surprised how many people who consider themselves green do-gooders have zero concerns when it comes to autonomous driving or better yet are outright mesmerized by the potential “disruption” it offers, while completely missing that making it more attractive to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic jams is the very last thing our environment needs.

One of the potential benefits for public and commermmercial transportation would be the ability to adjust routes and schedules in real time according to traffic patterns, weather conditions and user demand. Busses and trains would maybe run on time. Trucking schedules and routes could be planned and implemented more effectively and efficiently. And routes that are currently unprofitable could become so and coverage could become more widespread and convenient for rural areas or those that are not heavily trafficked. Walking and cycling routes could be factored into plans as well.

The potential to manage and track transportation patterns, both public, private and commercial, I think can have a positive effect on the environment as well as for all travelers. Maybe because I live in New York City I’m especially conscious of rising real estate prices, but I keep reading about how costs are going up everywhere and patterns of residential and shopping areas are rapidly changing. I’ll bet that NYC is not the only city that is constantly rearranging itself and residents are having to deal with subway, bus, pedestrian and biking patterns that haven’t been changed in many decades or even centuries that absolutely everyone thinks is horrible.

In NYC, CityBike bike sharing is a very successful free public transportation service that is expanding. Uber is very aggressively promoting ride sharing, and autonomous vehicles could facilitate this too.

IMHO, autonomous vehicles have the possibility to make public and private transportation better. It all depends upon how it’s utilized.

Marilyn