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86 comments

Johnny Cab ? (3, Funny)

MLBs (2637825) | about a year ago | (#43259453)

I wonder if there's a stick there to evade the bad guys.

The way it looks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259689)

It looks kinda like Bumblebee made love with a Dalek...

Re:Johnny Cab ? (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#43260351)

I wonder how many more you can fit under semi-trucks than Smart Cars.
There are certain realities of driving than need to be addressed before you put anything smaller than a motorcycle on the road.
" Speeds of up to 6 mph", I might as well walk if it's that close, because if it's far it will take all night.
I could ride on the head of an old woman faster. Why not crawl in a little electric kiddie car from Wal-Mart? Some of them have some cargo space.

Re:Johnny Cab ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260497)

It's for old people. Think of it more as an electric scooter for hire.

Re:Johnny Cab ? (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#43263365)

I get pictures of the Wal-Mart Razor electric scooters instead of the Sun City chapter of Hells Angels terrorizing malls with a fleet of Hoverounds , like I know you mean. I really had hoped to see some single wheel, gyroscopic space saver for crashing down sidewalks in Tokyo sprawl, like a big psycho-Seussmobile, but it would really have to be a flying car/boat to take advantage of the canals. Can you see the picture I'm painting?

Re:Johnny Cab ? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43263605)

Old people aren't getting into anything that small unless it has 6 carrying handles. If you need a helmet to drive it, you are already on the wrong track.

Re:Johnny Cab ? (1)

RussR42 (779993) | about a year ago | (#43260781)

Ah, you are incorrect! From TFA:

An electric engine of ROPITS is capable of speeding up to 6 miles /hr.

So if the speed limit is 70mph, that means it'll run at 76mph! Unless you find a really fast old woman...

Thank you for using Johnny Cab (2)

hedley (8715) | about a year ago | (#43259463)

Without the Chucky-esque Johnny.

H.

Re:Thank you for using Johnny Cab (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year ago | (#43261231)

Without the Chucky-esque Johnny.

Does it still try to run you over and then explode if you don't pay your fare? Because that was really the killer feature in Johnny Cab.

The beginning of the end of an era. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259475)

I'm looking forward it!

Passengers need a helmet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259561)

The fact that they made the passenger wear a helmet even in the marketing video does not speak well of their confidence in it's safety.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43259613)

The fact that they made the passenger wear a helmet even in the marketing video does not speak well of their confidence in it's safety.

In Japan it is illegal to own scissors with blades more than six inches long without a license. It is the most safety conscious place on Earth. The helmet seems like overkill considering this taxi doesn't even move. The video consists of nothing but zooming in on still photos of the taxi sitting in one spot.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#43259673)

Though strangely Japanese people I know think it is strange to wear a helmet to ride a bicycle.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259769)

Everyone (except people who don't ride bicycles themselves) thinks it is strange to wear a helmet to ride a bicycle other than for racing.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43261377)

Nonsense. They're also essential for mountain biking. And BMX.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#43261447)

Speaking as a dedicated bike commuter, I wouldn't hit the road without one. No matter how hard I try, I am going to come off the bike every 20 or 30 thousand kilometres, and head wounds are nasty.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#43262585)

Statistically, you are marginally more likely to die in an accident if you don't wear a helmet. If you do, however, then you are more likely to be involved in an accident overall and significantly more likely to suffer permanent paralysis from an injury. The former is believed to be a combination of a perception of increased safety and reduced spacial awareness from the different airflow around your ears. The latter is because the large helmet significantly increases the torque on your neck in an accident, so impacts that would have been a mild concussion become a broken neck.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43263293)

What century are you living in? Even cheap modern helmets don't really weigh anything and look really cool. Most will come with a retractable section for blocking out the glare from the sun too, makig them practical as well.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#43263917)

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we were talking about safety. I didn't realise this was a fashion discussion. The statistics I'm quoting were published about two years ago, so the century in question would be the 21st.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,30 days | (#43267803)

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we were talking about safety. I didn't realise this was a fashion discussion. The statistics I'm quoting were published about two years ago, so the century in question would be the 21st.

Care to share a link to those statistics? I call BS, since the average BICYCLE helmet weighs around 250 to 300g
(compare that with a motor bike helmet!) and here YOU are confusing your rhetoric with fashion? You're the one who
included the concept of (and here I'll use latitude) size into the arguement.

Any one who thinks that their immortal and invincible, go ahead, break your head, but the smart people wear helmets
when they ride.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | 1 year,30 days | (#43268495)

Why do you keep bringing up weight, when I'm talking about diameter? A typical bike helmet is not very dense at all, it is usually a plastic cover over foam. If you want to dig out the statistics, they were a Slashdot story a couple of years ago, condensed from data from the USA, but I don't remember which government department issued them.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | 1 year,30 days | (#43268275)

What does helmet weight have to do with anything? I can't say anything about the validity of the claimed statistics, but increased torques would come from the fact that the helmet tends to increase the moment arm about the neck of any impact other than a blow directly to the top of the head. I don't know how big a difference that would really make though, seems like even the worst-case scenario is probably only a 10% increase or so, but then I suppose a non-negligible number of impacts involve torques right near the critical limits.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | 1 year,29 days | (#43271707)

Or what would have been deadly (or extremely disfiguring) injuries become mitigated down to neck injuries. My doctor pointed out that without a helmet I'd have no skull/face left, instead of a bunch of soft tissue damage from the twisting action as it hit the road. One of my teachers at high school wasn't wearing a helmet the day he kissed the road and what's left of his face is a sobering reminder of why they're a good idea. One can use the same argument to claim that car safety equpiment increases injury rates and decreases death rates.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | 1 year,29 days | (#43271931)

I don't think I've ever seen a bicycle helmet that will protect your face. What sort do you wear?

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43259727)

It is the most safety conscious place on Earth.

Except when it comes to nuclear power plants.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43259857)

Do you know of a better way to get tentacle monsters?

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260219)

Bah! Demonic pacts, of course!

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about a year ago | (#43261049)

It is the most safety conscious place on Earth.

Except when it comes to nuclear power plants.

No, that's definitely including nuclear power plants. When you look at the number of deaths vs. energy provided, turns out nuclear is the safest technology there is, beating wind, solar, and hydro [forbes.com] .

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43261259)

Sure. But using MOX fuel is not the safest way to run a nuclear power plant. I won't say they should have been using Thorium, as Thorium plants are still essentially under development, but for the love of god, using a combination of plutonium and uranium AND storing them the way they did in those plants was simply not the safest way to run them. The point wasn't that nuclear is unsafe, but that Tesco could have done a LOT more to make the plants they had safer, rather than cutting corners that resulted in a lot more damage being done than was necessary when the earthquake/tsunami hit.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

mug funky (910186) | about a year ago | (#43262405)

i guess in future we wont let British supermarket chains run nuclear power plants...

FWIW MOX is made from decommissioned weapons. it may well have saved lives on balance.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43262537)

And in Fukushima nothing would have happened to the plants if Tepco would have made their plants safe, instead of ignoring the safety warnings, including the warnings that their Tsunami protection was inadequate.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43265133)

It took an unprecedented level of natural disaster to publically expose some flaws in the plant. The resulting problem was handled quickly without any severe consequences from the physical fallout. Even though there was a clusterfuck in administration, the ancient design proved that even with its flaws, any problem could be contained.

Re:Passengers need a helmet? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about a year ago | (#43260667)

In Japan it is illegal to own scissors with blades more than six inches long without a license. It is the most safety conscious place on Earth.

Nah. Compared to the U.S., where we make laws that say people have to wear bike helmets? (No one does in Japan.) If long scissors are illegal it's under their knife-control laws, which are about the usual ridiculous hoplophobia and not safety.

Shady site (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259579)

Hmm.. this site has a linkfarm on top of the page to a set of loan sites and uses Javascript to move it out of view.

Re:Shady site (2)

NF6X (725054) | about a year ago | (#43260177)

When I viewed the site on my iPad, there was a floating panel of Facebook/twitter/etc. share buttons on the left side that it repositioned to obscure content as I scrolled. The floating buttons duplicated fixed ones above the content. Nuke it from orbit, please.

Re:Shady site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260297)

The internet is useless without adblock and noscript. Install those and you'll be fine.

Re:Shady site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260645)

er, considering most sites use javascript (and often use it WELL), i'd say if you're using noscript you're actually crippling yourself.

i'll never understand why so many slashdotters are fucking terrified of javascript. you're not going to get a zomg virus from using it. no one's "tracking" you. no one's out to get you.

Re:Shady site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43264137)

javascript lets an unknown 3th party execute unknown code on your machine.
except according to httparchive.org there's currently 15 (on average) bits of code being executed
several of those commonly used 3th parties (like oh say the adnetworks) have been hacked more then once in the past to server malware.

Consequently disabling js is sensible

Besides most websites (as opposed to webapps) are perfectly usuable without Javascript, for those that aren't noscript will let met selectively unblock them as needed. This greatly decreases the attack vectors available.

6 km/h on sidewalks! (1)

openfrog (897716) | about a year ago | (#43259591)

The company conducted a test in Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture) within a roughly 18 km wide sidewalk. It can get to a speed of 6 km/h.

However, not only the video does not show it in operation in situ, but does not even show it running at all. The presentation instead consists of stills showing someone sitting in it and entering or exiting.

The story is interesting in that it shows a companies rushing to demonstrate the technology and how it can be used.

Before anyone asks... (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43259621)

...I'm sure it *is* running Linux, seeing as there is no driver for it.

Re:Before anyone asks... (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43259653)

No, it can be clearly seen in the video that the car has windows.

Re:Before anyone asks... (2, Funny)

grantek (979387) | about a year ago | (#43259675)

You don't have to use the windows though, if you want you can just sit in the back with your wine.

Re:Before anyone asks... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259933)

Seeing as you don't drive the damn thing and have to just follow along for the ride, I thought it ran OS X.

Re:Before anyone asks... (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43260029)

Seeing as you don't drive the damn thing and have to just follow along for the ride, I thought it ran OS X.

Since it's mobile, wouldn't it rather be iOS, then?

Re:Before anyone asks... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260779)

Do any of you wits know or care what operating system it really runs?

Personally I'd be more interested in the software running on top of the OS; that's where the real work was done.

Re:Before anyone asks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43261529)

If it were iOS, then you couldn't tell it where to go. And in the rare event it did feel like taking user input seriously, it'd still not get you where you wanted to go, because it'd be using Apple Maps, and would likely drop off a cliff.

Re:Before anyone asks... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259695)

Oh great, now we are really going to have BSOD crashes.

Re:Before anyone asks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43261149)

It's obvious! It's running apple software!
Looks alot like windows but you're not in control at all....

And if you have a problem... well, sucks to be you!

Re:Before anyone asks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43261307)

I only see one Window.... so it's running Windows 8?

Their blog is probably hacked. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259637)

View page without javascript and see the wonder that is link spam.

Re:Thats the domains purpose (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260027)

the whole thing is a spammers site, look at the url and content, slashdot editors fooled again, there has never been a decent human soul involved with that site, its all probably automated scraped content as well, sad really for everyone involved, misdirected talent.

No video, just 6 stills + transitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43259741)

Calling that a "video" is stretching the meaning of the term into the realm of the retarded. Sure, it's done on Youtube all the time, but that just proves the point and doesn't make it any better.

not a car (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about a year ago | (#43259953)

It drives on sidewalks and is intended for the elderly. It's more wheelchair than car. I don't understand the purpose of a closed cabin if it doesn't go very fast.

Re:not a car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260071)

One way to keep the elderly out of rain, wind, cold and snow for the northern part of Japan.

Spam Website (2)

wadeal (884828) | about a year ago | (#43260069)

"shiotsu-used-car.com"... This article should be pulled and whoever edited this fired. This is getting beyond a joke and the editors have completely failed to see a 100% obvious spam website. The video is nothing but 6 images with fade outs and ins. Fucking retards.

Re:Spam Website (1)

Legion303 (97901) | 1 year,30 days | (#43267109)

"This article should be pulled and whoever edited this fired."

As soon as I read that I thought "probably Timothy." And oh, hey...

Why haven't AFRICANS built one of these? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260103)

Any answers?

I have one. Their average IQ is that of a 12 year old white child.

That's why.

Do you have another answer?

Are you bothered that your country is being invaded by millions of third worlders, who clearly think white people are superior to them (otherwise, why are they so desperate to live among white people?), and who are rapidly destroying it?

Back to tracking, always on topic (3, Interesting)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year ago | (#43260105)

Something wicked that link hides: "Web Site Blocked by NETGEAR Firewall"
http://www.shiotsu-used-car.com/blog/hitachi-selfdrivingroboticcar-ropits.htm [shiotsu-used-car.com]

Made it past my HOSTS file and got caught by my router which is set up
for the Android Motorola XOOM and Playstation 3 (blocking the tracker Playstation.net).

You can complain about tracking, post to articles about it being wrong or you can do something about it.

what 's important (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260283)

Is there enough room inside to masturbate to tentacle porn??

"within a roughly 18 km wide sidewalk" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260345)

Thats a really big sidewalk. I think someones rigging the testing...

The company conducted a test in ... wide sidewalk. (1)

SlashAdotter (1465581) | about a year ago | (#43260517)

The company conducted a test in Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture) within a roughly 18 km wide sidewalk.

Superior linkage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43260657)

This link includes some more information, as well as a link to a Youtube video of the car in action:

http://www.gizmag.com/hitachi-ropits-self-driving-urban-vehicle/26727/

human packet carrrier (1)

fredness (95020) | about a year ago | (#43261473)

The silicon valley commute on 101 is no fun anymore, robot car take it from here please.

I dream of getting in the backseat of my car, punching in work parking lot, then reading/napping/web surfing as my robot car takes special robot only right of way routes, traffic lights, and such until I'm at work. The same heading home afterward.

THAT Hitachi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43261537)

Hitachi? Given that it's driverless, I imagine that what would be the gear shift stick probably has more horsepower than the engine that makes it drive, and meanwhile, is located right in the middle of the passenger seat...

This is wonderful news (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#43262385)

At 6 kilometers per hour, it will only take 5 hours to get to work instead of the 20 minutes it takes right now. Also, if I get bored, I can get off and walk. Of course, I would need to stop once in awhile and wait for it to to catch up.

Re:This is wonderful news (1)

volmtech (769154) | about a year ago | (#43265621)

An old lady muttered at my as I strode around her in a bank lobby years ago, "You will be old some day". When your hips wear out, 6 kph is a pretty good pace. So, yeah, you will be old some day.

Have they not seen 'Astroboy'? (1)

ikhider (2837593) | about a year ago | (#43264315)

Any manga/anime enthusiast knows the series started with a device just like this...

Sounds good to me (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | 1 year,28 days | (#43287575)

I ended up in Tsukuba a few years back in the middle of the night, lost, with no GPS, and I don't speak a lick of English. I finally found a bus station and waited for a half-hour in the cold before one came by. I got on and it was just me and the driver and he spoke no English. Finally, by sketching out landmarks near my hotel, he managed to figure out where I needed to go and let me off at the nearest stop with some gestured-directions.

Anything that would have made that experience more pleasant is gladly appreciated.

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