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Self-Driving Car Faces Off Against Pro On Thunderhill Racetrack

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the see-you-on-the-top-gear-track dept.

AI 151

Hugh Pickens writes "Rachel Swaby reports that a self-driving car and a seasoned race-car driver recently faced off at Northern California's three-mile Thunderhill Raceway loop. The autonomous vehicle is a creation from the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS). 'We tried to model [the self-driving car] after what we've learned from the best race-car drivers,' says Chris Gerdes (who talks more about the development of autonomous cars in this TED talk). So who won? Humans, of course. But only by a few measly seconds. 'What the human drivers do is consistently feel out the limits of the car and push it just a little bit farther,' explained Gerdes. 'When you look at what the car is capable of and what humans achieve, that gap is really actually small.' Because the self-driving car reacts to the track as if it were controlled in real time by a human, a funny thing happens to passengers along for the ride. Initially, when the car accelerates to 115 miles per hour and then brakes just in time to make it around a curve, the person riding shotgun freaks out. But a second lap looks very different. Passengers tend to relax, putting their faith in the automatically spinning wheel. 'We might have a tendency to put too much confidence in it,' cautioned Gerdes. 'Watching people experience it, they'll say, oh, that was flawless.' Gerdes reaction: 'Wait wait! This was developed by a crazy professor and graduate students!'"

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Seconds? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836251)

Seconds aren't "measly" in motorsports. They can decide an entire season championship.

Re:Seconds? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836311)

Outside the race track, who cares? It is like saying my processor is 1 Mhz better than yours.

Re:Seconds? (5, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#41836461)

And that would be technically correct. The best kind of correct.

Re:Seconds? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836545)

Similar to ABS, this has potential for saving John Driver's butt when he gets in over his head.

Firstly, if all robot cars can successfully drive at the limit of performance, avoidable accidents will cease to occur. Race drivers might be able to dodge a spinning car or deer in the blink of an eye, but John Driver can't.

Secondly, taking a page right out of ABS's playbook, one of the places human drivers have the most difficulty is variable or unusual conditions, like rain or loose surface (gravel, dirt, etc). Robots, as ABS has proved, are quite valuable in this sort of situation. While they cannot perform at the absolute limit, they can consistently perform close to that limit, while even the most skilled humans can have difficulty performing at the peak in variable or unusual conditions. Rally drivers may do it for a career, but John Driver isn't a rally driver.

Re:Seconds? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837691)

But clearly autonomous cars are bad for everyone because of (insert fringe case) where the car can't perform above 98.5%. Also, humans are better at (thing that rarely happens,) so since I think I'm a better than average driver (just like 90% of people think they're above the median,) then this is clearly a failed technology that shouldn't be allowed to be used by anyone.

Also, I don't use a seatbelt, airbag, or ABS because I'm not fooled into thinking that researchers, engineers, empirical evidence, and years of track record prove that these things make driving more safe. Obviously me, an IT professional, knows better.

Re:Seconds? (4, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#41837767)

I've done rally racing and I'm pretty damn good at it, and I'd still welcome an AI assist for my daily driving. Would I want it in a race? Probably not just yet, but when I'm driving to a job site I am not racing and would love to have the extra protection.

Re:Seconds? (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#41837081)

Seconds depends on the length of the track. There are tracks that can be cleared in less than a minute, and a few seconds is a significant difference. It also depends on the type of car being used... track records at Thunderhill vary from 1:37 for a lap to 2:15 depending on the type of car, and TFA doesn't provide any information as to the type of vehicle being driven. ( http://www.sfrscca.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4448&Itemid=93&selTrack=Thunderhill+Raceway+Park&selLength=2.866&selSession=Race&cmdSubmit=Submit [sfrscca.org] ) Thunderhill also has a short track route that has been done in under a minute.

That being said, the better question is how does the computer compare against an average driver? I'd lay odds that it would thoroughly trounce most of us in such a race, which makes it very impressive.

Re:Seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837329)

Sorry, but even if it was 300 laps, seconds is still a huge gap. Two pro race drivers in equivalent cars will get within hundredths of a second of each other.

Here's the qualifying times for a recent race weekend in V8 Supercars:

01:32:1320
01:32:2519
01:32:3373
01:32:3838
01:32:4118
01:32:4155
01:32:4368
01:32:5215
01:32:5431
01:32:6438
01:32:6510
01:32:9099
01:33:0355
01:33:0428
01:33:0660
01:33:1772
01:33:2250
01:33:3130
01:33:3218
01:33:3471
01:33:3547
01:33:4526
01:33:4671
01:33:5750
01:33:6303
01:33:7258
01:33:7291
01:33:8324

Re:Seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837509)

The reason those times are so close is it's an endurance sport that's fuel and tire limited and there are a lot of cars on the road at the same time so you need to stay in sync. Racing up a mountain is much closer to a desert rally and looking at those times http://www.bitd.com/images/stories/pdfs/bluewater_desert_challenge/results/2012BWDCRace1OfficialRes.pdf first and second place in the same race is off by a 1%.

Re:Seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837985)

You're looking at qualification's best lap times, moron. Multiply them by 300 and see for yourself - first two become 7:40:39 and 7:41:15.

Here's race results [v8supercars.com.au] from 150 laps - see "Race time" column.

Total time difference in few seconds will throw you down by 2-3 places and ten seconds by 6-7.

Re:Seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837109)

I agree with the AC above.

"A few seconds" is an eternity. It's the difference between me, and my driving instructor, and i am an absolute unskilled nobody, and he's skilled at a national level.

Re:Seconds? (3, Informative)

Skal Tura (595728) | about 2 years ago | (#41838555)

AC is correct.

In motorsports few seconds is a very long time. The lap times are not mentioned.
The raceway in question is probably this: http://thunderhill.com/staticpages/index.php?page=TrackMap [thunderhill.com]
But which variation? Long version 2.866miles record times tend to be just over the 2minute mark for somewhat normal cars.
Short version is 1.769miles for which SCCA website is missing the record times, the medium version is 1.814miles and record times tend to be close to 1:30 mark with somewhat regular cars.
Also they don't say how good race car driver was the AI against, there is a huge variety of race car driver skill levels.

Few seconds? They are being vague, i bet it was more than just 2 seconds because they are being vague.
Some racing series have 3% rule to qualify, ie. within 3% of the best time, for 1:30 lap time that is 2.7seconds, in other words this AI wouldn't even qualify. :)

All that being said, great work! Got to start from somewhere.
In theory AI could become better than humans, but then again AI will most likely always lack intuition, so could well be that a human will always surpass AI.
Nevermind that a very highly skilled human with very high motivation can do some insane reaction and completely remove the guesswork some of the time when surpassing the limits, ie. see Ayrton Senna. For AI we'd need sensor capable of few ms polling rates with data returned, then compute all the data within few milliseconds and then some insane fast and accurate servos to achieve that level.

Few millisecond polling rate doesn't sound like much until you realize that for example USB has 90ms, PS/2 is in theory capable of 5ms, and serial port even faster, but that doesn't account for data transfer rates.
There's a reason why we cannot even build a simple ECU/EMS with standard off-the-shelf hardware: Polling rates are too slow.

cool (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836259)

but where's the video?

Re:cool (2)

Firehed (942385) | about 2 years ago | (#41836539)

The TED talk has a few clips.

info please? (1)

noh8rz9 (2716595) | about 2 years ago | (#41836271)

The linked article is breathtakingly short on information. It doesn't even say what the race results were!!!! Oh wait - it's from the *Atlantic*.

BRAKE (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836279)

brake brake brake brake brake brake

the word is brake

Re:BRAKE (-1, Redundant)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#41836517)

"breaks" works too in this context... as in "made a fast break for it". I suppose they just left that little double entendre in there to ruffle some feathers that need ruffling, though.

Re:BRAKE (3, Interesting)

bdwebb (985489) | about 2 years ago | (#41837193)

I'm confused...AFAIK it doesn't work because in the context of making a "fast break for it" the term implies a breaking of your current action or state (suddenly bolting/running/attempting escape/etc.) In TFS it is stated that it "accelerates to 115 miles per hour and then breaks just in time to make it around a curve" which literally implies that the brakes are being pressed to slow the vehicle's entry into the curve which is 'braking' rather than 'breaking' as either the current state of acceleration or any physical characteristic breaking would need to be specified to give it context and make the this spelling appropriate.

I see what you're saying in that it could be double entendre but for me to call it a clever poke rather than a grammatical error it would have to say "accelerates to 115 miles per hour and then breaks from acceleration just in time to make it around a curve". In a statement like 'take a break" or 'take a brake' I agree that either works as one implies departing from an particular action or state of being and the other implies slowing down or stopping.

I'm not trying to be a dick, btw...just exploring the possibilities. IANAEP (English Professor) so I don't know what I'm talking about probably...that's just how it happens in my head piece.

Re:BRAKE (4, Insightful)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 2 years ago | (#41838453)

In the context of the article, the word used to decelerate when coming into a corner should be "brake" not "break". The traditional use of the word "break" indicates that the car has become "broken" or is damaged in some way.

While it's true that the saying "make a break for it" indicates taking off in a different direction, there is no connotation of slowing down. In fact, it has the opposite connotation of picking up speed. In the case of cornering, you have to slow the vehicle down or centrifugal force will cause the vehicle to leave the road.

In this case you would BRAKE going into a corner and you then MAKE A BREAK out of the corner (i.e. quickly picking up speed to try to gain an advantage).

Re:BRAKE (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#41837311)

No.

If "the car accelerates to 115 miles per hour and then breaks" several fragments of it might make it around the corner as TFA suggest, but typically, the larger portions of the broken car will continue in a straight line until deflected or destroyed by a wall.

In that event, the idea that "Passengers tend to relax, putting their faith in the automatically spinning wheel" seems unlikely, unless we're talking about permanent relaxation and some kind of Tibetan prayer wheel.

Re:BRAKE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41838451)

Oh, how I wish I had some mod points right now. That was hilarious!

Re:BRAKE (2)

Legion303 (97901) | about 2 years ago | (#41838351)

Slow down, there, cowboy, before you brake Slashdot.

ONLY a few seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836305)

At what speed? Like my dad always says, "Things happen fast at 100mph."

Could be the difference of one or more car lengths which is HUGE in racing terms. Not that I will ever trust an autonomous vehicle with my life.

Re:ONLY a few seconds? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836335)

Not that I will ever trust an autonomous vehicle with my life.

Because you're irrational. I bet you'd trust a human, though!

Re:ONLY a few seconds? (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41836645)

I bet you'd trust a human, though!

Either way, you're trusting humans. The question is, which choice offers fewer points of failure? ;)

Re:ONLY a few seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836699)

Either way, you're trusting humans. The question is, which choice offers fewer points of failure? ;)

Software bugs get fixed. DUI's still here despite all the legislation and awareness campaigns and novice drivers still do stupid things.

Re:ONLY a few seconds? (3, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41837237)

Software also undergoes thousands of hours of testing before being set loose on the road. Human drivers, not so much.

Re:ONLY a few seconds? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41836431)

I'd like to see how this tests out with people other than me and my family as guinea pigs. Will a human driver be able to take back control of the vehicle, say, if the computer malfunctions causing the car to accelerate towards the edge of a cliff? Or will it just say to you, "I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that." as it goes over the edge?

Re:ONLY a few seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836563)

I'd be more worried if the computer is able to block human input that would lead to an accident. Because that is much more likely.

Re:ONLY a few seconds? (3, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 2 years ago | (#41837543)

For every one of them that drives off a cliff, it'll save 100 people who would have not noticed a stopped vehicle ahead while checking over their shoulder while merging or running a red light because were momentarily distracted, or looked down to check the stereo for a second and drifted into oncoming traffic.

sorry, pedantry (5, Funny)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#41836309)

Brakes, not breaks. Maybe it breaks, and that would certainly freak the passenger out, but I sense in this case it brakes. When you're driving at a wall braking lets you do it again, breaking doesn't. Subtle distinction I thought should be pointed out.

(This post brought to you by the collective might of the Oblivious Flaw In The Headline Committee, newly formed to point out the obvious flaw and thereby negating 50% of the discussion dealing with grammar and spelling.)

Re:sorry, pedantry (-1, Redundant)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#41836525)

"breaks" works too in this context... as in "made a fast break for it". I suppose they just left that little double entendre homophone in there to ruffle some feathers that need ruffling, though.

Re:sorry, pedantry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836555)

Or maybe they're using a different meaning of break: To change direction or move suddenly. Probably not the case, but it still gets the idea across as-is.

Re:sorry, pedantry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836721)

I'm with the OP. Proofread or STFU.

Re:sorry, pedantry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41838527)

Sorry, pedantry about the pedantry.

That's not a flaw in the headline, it's a flaw in the summary.

I can see it now (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836315)

Turn left
Turn left
Turn left
Kill all humans
Turn left

It will win soon (3, Interesting)

swamp_ig (466489) | about 2 years ago | (#41836361)

A self-driving car doesn't have to pay much attention to the fragility of the human form when it doesn't have any on board.

Accelerate at 50g? no problem just add extra bracing.

Re:It will win soon (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 2 years ago | (#41836409)

Kinda misses the point of a car. Perhaps not a tractor-trailer, but cars are definitely not all that useful without passengers.

Re:It will win soon (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#41836575)

Kinda misses the point of a car. Perhaps not a tractor-trailer, but cars are definitely not all that useful without passengers.

Yes they are.

  • Self driving car drops me off at the front door of where I want to be, and the drives itself off to an automated parking garage
  • Self driving car starts up and drives to the local mechanic for its regular service in the middle of the day when I am working
  • Tell self driving car to head to the local big box store and wait in the loading bay until it receives the latest toy that I ordered online

Re:It will win soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837313)

Can I send it to stand in line for the iPhone 6?

Re:It will win soon (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#41837349)

Tell self driving car to head to the local big box store and wait in the loading bay until it receives the latest toy that I ordered online

I know Americans are stupid about using their cars for every trip whether it makes sense to drive or not, but sending your car to pick up a box instead of letting the FedEx truck do it is absolutely retarded.

Re:It will win soon (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#41837501)

Tell self driving car to head to the local big box store and wait in the loading bay until it receives the latest toy that I ordered online

I know Americans are stupid about using their cars for every trip whether it makes sense to drive or not, but sending your car to pick up a box instead of letting the FedEx truck do it is absolutely retarded.

Only if you assume 1) that the FedEx truck is more efficient than your car, and 2) Waiting for the twice daily FedEx delivery cycle is a good use of your time.
 
But the point is that self driving cars open a whole range of possibilities that can't easily be done if you have to dedicate yourself to driving the car.

Re:It will win soon (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 2 years ago | (#41838311)

If the FedEx truck was also self driving than it would only make one trip empty. If it delivered 100 items than it would save those people 100 empty trips to the store. Assuming there is less distance between customers than there is between each customer and the store would ensure it efficiency. There could be revolving boxes inside the truck to ensure customer only gets what is theirs. Lets consider how much this would help the store. The parking lot of each box store is usually has more area than the store so they could fit in a lot less area. If the store could predict their needs they could have a lot less inventory. The needed inventory could be stored in shelves much higher than humans could reach and with much less space between the shelves. I have already seen videos of a robot climbing to get what is sent to get in modern warehouses so that has already been invented. There would be much less inventory loss because of shoplifting and from people who have a bad habit of picking up some meat and than going to hardware where they than discover they did not want the meat and just leave it there. There would be no need for check out clerks and people to stock inventory as that would be done by robots. I think our total commercial district could fit in a lot less area thus freeing up millions of square miles of area nationwide. With a lot of experience, I would think they could get delivery times down to a very short interval.

Re:It will win soon (1)

mdfst13 (664665) | about 2 years ago | (#41838629)

If the FedEx truck was also self driving than it would only make one trip empty.

Why make any empty trips? Do pickups as well as drop offs and the truck can avoid being empty altogether. Of course, that only applies to generic package shippers like FedEx and UPS. More specific delivery vehicles may not be able to do that.

Re:It will win soon (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#41838851)

Why make any empty trips? Do pickups as well as drop offs and the truck can avoid being empty altogether.

This doesn't work because the pickups and deliveries are mostly on different routes. Residential routes are mostly deliveries. Business routes are mostly pickups. Also, businesses want their deliveries in the morning as early as possible (repair parts, JIT inventory, etc), and the pickups late in the afternoon to ship out the days orders.

Re:It will win soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837369)

Until the invention of inertial dampeners...

Re:It will win soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836611)

not even the most extreme cars get anywhere near 50g, formula1 maybe 5G, top fuel drag racers maybe 8G
that's not the people limiting it, it's tires and power
A road car won't much more than 1G no matter what you do

Re:It will win soon (1)

Burning1 (204959) | about 2 years ago | (#41836673)

You miss an obvious problem... Modern race cars don't accelerate, corner, or brake anywhere near the limits of human endurance. Why? Those pesky physics get in the way. It's hard to make a car accelerate at 50G. Top fuel drag racers don't achieve anything near that kind of acceleration, and accelerating is pretty much all they can do.

If you want to talk about aircraft or rockets, that's a different matter.

(FWIW, you could probably make a self driving car much lighter than a human powered car by eliminating all those pesky creature comforts, such as seats and controls.)

Re:It will win soon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836903)

They are starting to.
F1 is having drivers 'red out' and there have been some detached retinas under braking.

Re:It will win soon (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41837261)

seats, controls, crumple zones, side impact beams, air bags, the entire cabin area....

Re:It will win soon (1)

kwerle (39371) | about 2 years ago | (#41836701)

The fragility of the human form is in no way a limiting factor. The factors are:
* The vehicles are designed to carry people
* They therefore have certain performance characteristics
* The computer was not as good as the person at pushing to the limits of those characteristics

Re:It will win soon (1)

redneckmother (1664119) | about 2 years ago | (#41837869)

A self-driving car doesn't have to pay much attention to the fragility of the human form when it doesn't have any on board.

Accelerate at 50g? no problem just add extra bracing.

Or add extra braking / breaking (see discussion above).

Re:It will win soon (1)

lbenes (2737085) | about 2 years ago | (#41838339)

A self-driving car doesn't have to pay much attention to the fragility of the human form when it doesn't have any on board.

Accelerate at 50g?

We're talking about cars here, not fighter jets. We'll probably have warp drive technology by the time cars are capable of pulling 50g's.

Betteridge's Law (5, Funny)

Andrio (2580551) | about 2 years ago | (#41836391)

"In a Race Between a Self-Driving Car and a Pro Race-Car Driver, Who Wins?"

No.

Re:Betteridge's Law (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | about 2 years ago | (#41836455)

I think you may have missed the point and landed in the lake of not-quite-sure.

Re:Betteridge's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836647)

"In a Race Between a Self-Driving Car and a Pro Race-Car Driver, Who Wins?"

No.

Only because he was too busy to take part. The TARDIS can clearly make it to the finish line before any car.

Re:Betteridge's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837225)

Not necessarily. The tardis takes some time to warm up before it goes. In a short track, a car could beat it. True, the doctor could travel backwards in time the amount of time it takes for the tardis to warm up, but i believe they already established rules against going into your past, and i think two tardises at the same place at the same time would make things wonky.

Re:Betteridge's Law (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41837043)

we lose

Re:Betteridge's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837419)

"In a Race Between a Self-Driving Car and a Pro Race-Car Driver, Who Wins?"
 
I'd suppose the pro race-car driver can't run near as fast as the car can drive itself.

Horrible article (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | about 2 years ago | (#41836437)

There wasn't anything remotely related to the title, no video, no telemetry not even laptimes. And "measly seconds"? Full seconds under racing conditions are not "measly".
I was really disappointed, the title sounded really promising...

Re:Horrible article (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about 2 years ago | (#41836695)

I believe most potential consumers of self driving cars don't plan to race them in the coming robot racing league

Re:Horrible article (2)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 years ago | (#41837117)

In the context of racing, you are correct : seconds are not measly

In the context of my daily commute, seconds are completely irrelevant. Even a few minutes are pretty measly.

Also consider the competition. The car is roughly on par with a professional race car driver... or rather a seasoned one, though the fail to mention what seasoning they used. Either way, that's already leaps and bounds ahead of 95% of drivers

Re:Horrible article (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41837281)

yes, even horse racing has been decided by milliseconds. I believe 0.002s is the record for closest horse racing finish.

Re:Horrible article (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about 2 years ago | (#41839045)

What I want to know is did the robocar have time to study the course beforehand?
Also, did it have a detailed 3D GPS map of the course to use as a reference to pre-compute the optimum strategy?
If not, it would have had to figure out the best braking, acceleration, and steering strategy in real time, which would be much more impressive.

Been there, done that..... (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | about 2 years ago | (#41836453)

BMW did that in 2007 and it was tested by jeremy Clarckson from Top Gear. Unfortunately, BBC owns the intellectual property of the video nad has been removed from youtube

Re:Been there, done that..... (2)

Zapotek (1032314) | about 2 years ago | (#41836481)

Not quite, if I recall correctly, it wasn't behaving as a racer, it just did a GPS-navigated lap of the track -- a human took it for a spin, it recorded the lines and then just replayed them. And it was a regular model (maybe even diesel), not a performance (M-something) one.

Re:Been there, done that..... (0)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#41836493)

I remember seeing that... BTW you can get your "nad" on Netflix... looks all of Top Gear is there

Re:Been there, done that..... (0)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#41836499)

I left out "like" because, like, it's supposedly one of those words that annoy people nowadays, my fellow grammar nazis.

Re:Been there, done that..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837613)

How to talk like an adult:

1. Don't say 'like' unless you mean 'fond of' or 'similar to'.

Re:Been there, done that..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836817)

And the bot still didn't use a turn signal.

Re:Been there, done that..... (3, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41837301)

It's a BMW, turn signals are optional extras.

Re:Been there, done that..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837629)

Hey man. That's like the joke where dude asked, what's the difference between a porkupine and a BMW?

He said, the BMW's pricks are on the inside.

BMW drivers are small dick faggots.

I have a small disk, but it is still bigger than BMW drivers.

Why'd the human driver really beat the robot? (2)

CruelKnave (1324841) | about 2 years ago | (#41836507)

Its strength and its speed are still based in a world that is built on rules. Because of that, it will never be as strong, or as fast, as we can be.

Re:Why'd the human driver really beat the robot? (1)

DadLeopard (1290796) | about 2 years ago | (#41836625)

I would be inclined to think it was more limited by how well it could sense the tires gripping the road than how strong or fast it was, since they can always make it stronger and faster than the previous model, it is a machine after all! Kind of why we don't compete in marathons with Automobiles! 8-) Also why some UAVs can pull more Gs than a piloted aircraft!

Re:Why'd the human driver really beat the robot? (1)

CruelKnave (1324841) | about 2 years ago | (#41836819)

Yeah, I know. It just made me think of that line from the Matrix. Like why Neo can beat Smith. Anyway, that was my lame attempt at humour.

21st Century Backcroynms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836561)

If they went with Stanford Center for Automotive Research I would remember them as something other than a Google Car competitor.

There's room for improvement (1)

DadLeopard (1290796) | about 2 years ago | (#41836571)

Now we just have to see how it handles dogs on the track and the odd drunk or two! A farm wagon pulling onto the road right in front of it would also be a learning experience, to say nothing of the odd whitetail deer!

Re:There's room for improvement (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#41837115)

Re:There's room for improvement (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 2 years ago | (#41837245)

Moose Gone Wild... Next on COPS!

The beginning of the end... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 2 years ago | (#41836619)

One more step towards ideocracy and less freedom.
Get used to the idea that in a decade or two's time it will probably be illegal to drive a car manually. New cars might not even have controls, just a microphone to speak the destination into. Mothers Against Drivers, the government and all car manufacturers will successfully collaborate in brainwashing the general population into believing that humans are mentally/physically incapable of actually driving a car at all, certainly never safely.

Re:The beginning of the end... (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41836725)

Just like it's illegal to fly a plane manually? oh wait. More alarmist bullshit form the 'League of Alarmist through FUD."
And if it goes where you want, why does it matter?

Re:The beginning of the end... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836865)

My favorite part was where he misspelled "idiocracy". If irony could be harnessed as a power source, that sentence would keep Los Angeles lit up for a week.

Re:The beginning of the end... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836935)

because I, for one, enjoy driving...

what about utility trucks that need to be place th (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41836827)

what about utility trucks that need to be place that just having a microphone / touch screen will be a very poor way to get them in to place to work on lines / even be used as a temp prop on a power pole to hold it in place.

Re:what about utility trucks that need to be place (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 2 years ago | (#41837241)

The problem with utility truck drivers, they won't like not being able to stop at the strip club and bars along the way... They really hate GPS tracking...

Re:The beginning of the end... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836849)

One more step towards less freedom. Why when I was a lad I took ol' Bessie across the mountain and she was bio fueled (that's HAY for you young uns). The only limits were your imagination. Then that guy Ford came up with some idea that required roads. Pretty soon you couldn't just prance about wherever you desired and had to travel to crossroads. Can you imagine the sheep who sit there listening to overlords colored red green and yellow? In my day, I'd just hoof it around that mess at 35 mph. Egads, these sheep are the future of our country. No doubt they'll never accomplish anything like landing on the moon or carrying all the information of the world in devices the size of their palms. They'll be forever in gridlock.

Re:The beginning of the end... (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about 2 years ago | (#41837355)

I doubt these cars will be required but I will definitely get one. I hate driving and consider it an option of last resort when buses, bikes and walking are not available.

I want to see (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41836705)

a dozen driverless cars designed to race go at this. Would emergent behavior appear? Can we make them so decisions are recorded and then applied to the next situation?

Re:I want to see (2)

MangoCats (2757129) | about 2 years ago | (#41837381)

See: RARS [wikipedia.org]

a race track is a poor test for a day to day use o (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41836835)

a race track is a poor test for a day to day use of a car.

Re:a race track is a poor test for a day to day us (2)

CaptainLard (1902452) | about 2 years ago | (#41837019)

It might not be a good test for how many groceries you can carry but its an excellent place to develop and test new technologies and find out what a car will do in emergency situation. If it's raining I'd feel much more comfortable if the car that's driving me has demonstrated an ability to recognize and correct over-steer or know the balance between braking/steering input when a deer jumps into the road.

Re:a race track is a poor test for a day to day us (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 2 years ago | (#41837233)

Rainy day one thing.

Rainy day with a bunch of kids, trees jumping out (honest ossifer), ostriches running around, moose attacks vehicle... Would depend on how reliable the system has proven to be.

Article is a lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41836897)

There was no face-off, it is merely a thought experiment.

Re:Article is a lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41837829)

Hint: thought experiments don't involve physical racing.

And the TED talk guy screamed while cornering... (1)

charlesbakerharris (623282) | about 2 years ago | (#41837145)

EHRMAGERDES!

Reasonably Priced Car (2)

skine (1524819) | about 2 years ago | (#41837351)

Personally, I would LOVE if Top Gear (UK) brought in this team to test how quickly they can make the Reasonably Priced Car go around the track.

Re:Reasonably Priced Car (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | about 2 years ago | (#41838889)

Yes, please!

subject (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about 2 years ago | (#41838257)

"But only by a few measly seconds."

In auto racing, a few seconds is generally considered an enormous lead.

The self-driving car, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41838439)

He merely drove the human and himself off a cliff, knowing that he was merely software and would be reinstalled for the next test.

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