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A German Parking Garage Parks Your Car For You

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the free-dents-included dept.

AI 131

moon_unit2 writes "Tech Review has a story about a garage in Ingolstadt, Germany, where the cars park themselves. The garage is an experiment set up by Audi to explore ways that autonomous technology might practically be introduced; most of the sensor technology is built into the garage and relayed to the cars rather than inside the cars themselves. It seems that carmakers see the technology progressing in a slightly different way to Google, with its fleet of self-driving Prius. From the piece: 'It's actually going to take a while before you get a really, fully autonomous car,' says Annie Lien, a senior engineer at the Electronics Research Lab, a shared facility for Audi, Volkswagen, and other Volkswagen Group brands in Belmont, California, near Silicon Valley. 'People are surprised when I tell them that you're not going to get a car that drives you from A to B, or door to door, in the next 10 years.'"

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Slashdot fraud/abuse warning... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303061)

A corrupt slashdot luser has infiltrated the moderation system to downmod all my posts while impersonating me.

Nearly 150++ times that I know of @ this point for all of March 2013 so far, & others here have told you to stop - take the hint, lunatic (leave slashdot)...

Sorry folks - but whoever the nutjob is that's attempting to impersonate me, & upset the rest of you as well, has SERIOUS mental issues, no questions asked! I must've gotten the better of him + seriously "gotten his goat" in doing so in a technical debate & his "geek angst" @ losing to me has him doing the:

---

A.) $10,000 challenges, ala (where the imposter actually TRACKED + LISTED the # of times he's done this no less, & where I get the 150 or so times I noted above) -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3585795&cid=43285307 [slashdot.org]

&/or

B.) Reposting OLD + possibly altered models - (this I haven't checked on as to altering the veracity of the info. being changed) of posts of mine from the past here

---

(Albeit massively repeatedly thru all threads on /. this March 2013 nearly in its entirety thusfar).

* Personally, I'm surprised the moderation staff here hasn't just "blocked out" his network range yet honestly!

(They know it's NOT the same as my own as well, especially after THIS post of mine, which they CAN see the IP range I am coming out of to compare with the ac spamming troll doing the above...).

APK

P.S.=> Again/Stressing it: NO guys - it is NOT me doing it, as I wouldn't waste that much time on such trivial b.s. like a kid might...

Plus, I only post where hosts file usage is on topic or appropriate for a solution & certainly NOT IN EVERY POST ON SLASHDOT (like the nutcase trying to "impersonate me" is doing for nearly all of March now, & 140++ times that I know of @ least)... apk

In Soviet Russia puppet regime (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303117)

In former German Democratic Republic, car parked YOU!

What is plural of "Prius"? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303139)

Priui? Pri?

Re:What is plural of "Prius"? (1)

phil_aychio (2438214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303253)

Plural for Prius is Prii...much like the plural for octopus is octopii.

Re:What is plural of "Prius"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303329)

You know... I absolutely adore cum farts. In fact, I'm farting out some of your cum as we speak, and it's the very same cum that you shot into my bare Bayer aspirin hole just a few moments ago! Wait... something just shot out of my asshole along with the cum; it's... feces! It's a feces fiesta!

Re:What is plural of "Prius"? (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year and a half ago | (#43305055)

Does that mean the real plural is Priodes, like octopodes? Priodes ... I like it!

Re:What is plural of "Prius"? (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303277)

In the Southern US, we say "Pri-ya'll".

Re:What is plural of "Prius"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303721)

According to Wikipedia, Prius derives from Latin. Typically, this would mean it is pluralized as Prii, though prius itself as a word can not be pluralized in the original Latin.

Re:What is plural of "Prius"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43304481)

Prius is both an adverb ("previously") and the neuter, singular, nominative form of an adjective ("previous, prior.") Declining the adjective starts with a stem from the masculine/feminine form (prior) and in the neuter, plural, nominative form would be priora. Nouns and pronouns that end in -us and decline to plural ending in -i are only for the second declension. There are many other -us words in the 3rd and fourth declension that do not result in -i plurals.

Re:What is plural of "Prius"? (3, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304845)

I hear you talking, but all I can think is "People called Romanes, they go, the house?!"

Re:What is plural of "Prius"? (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304045)

Pious?

Sheesh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303159)

'People are surprised when I tell them that you're not going to get a car that drives you from A to B, or door to door, in the next 10 years.'

Well certainly not with that attitude, lady. The tech has been available for some time, and legal in-roads have been paved for their use. Now someone just needs to step up to the plate. Thanks for announcing that that someone wont be you.

Life Safety Critical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303237)

Life safety critical autonomy is very, very hard. Think a billion dollars for a system that makes one dectision -- up, down or not. TCAS took a billion dollars and 2 decades from the start of funding to fielding.

Re:Life Safety Critical (4, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303399)

It's only "very, very hard" because people have an inflated sense of safety when a human is in charge. People can regularly cause accidents, but a single error by a machine will threaten the entire technology.

Re:Life Safety Critical (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303759)

I have an inflated sense of safety when I'm the human in charge, but just the opposite is true when I'm in a car with any other human in charge (especially my mother, she's scary). I'd feel safer in a car controlled by Skynet than I do in a car being driven by another human.

Re:Life Safety Critical (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303655)

Life safety critical autonomy is very, very hard.

Perfection is hard, but beating a human operator is not. Humans constantly crash vehicles, but we just accept it as a matter of course.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/12/06/mbta-driver-crash-held-second-full-time-job-with-bha/4M66jdB3J0HCnx2DwEwt7K/story.html

How fucking had is it to design a system that prevents two electric trolleys from colliding? It's really fucking easy. Wire it up so drawing a load from any two adjacent blocks trips the circuit breaker for the block in the back. It's a practically bulletproof design-- get too close to the train in front and you lose power. Humans...even humans with "a decade of experience and a perfect safety record" really suck at this stuff.

The REALLY hard part about autonomous vehicles is that they eliminate jobs in the short term. Go tell the Teamsters that $75/hr truck drivers aren't needed in this world, and then go run for office.

Re:Life Safety Critical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303709)

Go tell the Teamsters that $75/hr truck drivers aren't needed in this world, and then go run for office.

Simpsons did it, Simpsons did it! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Life Safety Critical (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#43305497)

Perfection is hard, but beating a human operator is not. Humans constantly crash vehicles, but we just accept it as a matter of course.

I don't, and I don't. The failure of your argument comes when you realize that you would be replacing a large number of independent operators, most of whom do not "constantly crash vehicles", with a unified system that, when it fails, can potentially crash many of them.

I don't crash my car very often (once rear-ended at a stoplight). I also don't hand my keys over to someone I don't trust to drive my car. By using an automated driving system, I would be replacing a known quantity that has a proven track record with an unknown potentially disasterous quantity that obeys the laws that appear in Risks Digest.

Re:Sheesh (2)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303249)

It is rather short-sighted and pessimistic for him to say. The technology is already there. The only things holding it back are intricate details and liability concerns. The latter being the bigger issue.

Re:Sheesh (5, Insightful)

gutnor (872759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303725)

10 years is the time it takes to bring a technology that is fully available now to mass production. Nothing to do with optimism or not, it takes several years to design and produce an incremental upgrade on existing cars.

Just have a look at electric car and a modern company like Tesla. They announced their first car in 2006. Produced it in 2008, upgrade it to something slightly more usable by Joe User in 2012. If they keep it up at the same rhythm they could maybe have a real mass production (i.e. with the problem of the masses fixed) model in 2016. 10 years.

Same thing here, you will get more and more automated car (there are car that park themselves, and can drive on the highway available now), but for a mass market, robotic taxi, 10 years does not seem so pessimistic.

Re:Sheesh (1)

slas6654 (996022) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304919)

Next time there is an election and he/she/it candidate proposes "tort reform", vote for them! Slow progress == bad laws + civil judgements

Re:Sheesh (3, Informative)

lennier1 (264730) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303817)

The topic probably would've made more sense if the bullshit summary had actually contained a video of the experimental system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfgn6evkMpw [youtube.com]

Re:Sheesh (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304203)

'People are surprised when I tell them that you're not going to get a car that drives you from A to B, or door to door, in the next 10 years.'

'People are surprised when I tell them that you're not going to get a car that flies you from A to B, or door to door, in the next 100 years.'

How does the insurance industry feel about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303199)

How will the insurance industry make up for the rates charged if cars are fully autonomous? They will lose a very lucrative market if and when this comes to be.

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303239)

Probably what everyone else does when their current business model is threatened: bring in the lawyers and sue sue sue!

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (3, Interesting)

xelah (176252) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303251)

How will the insurance industry make up for the rates charged if cars are fully autonomous? They will lose a very lucrative market if and when this comes to be.

By insuring car makers against crashes caused by their software. And, of course, it's not the rates they care about, but the profit....they may be able to maintain their profit whilst reducing rates by paying out less and getting rid of administrative overhead by dealing with a few big customers.

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (1, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303617)

If GM ends up assuming additional liability for each car they sell, I'd expect them to largely self-insure. Then again, utilizing existing insurance channels might be for the best.

I would NOT be surprised to see a legislative bill that indemnifies manufacturers of a autonomous car and puts the onus on the owner/operator, or even a switch to 'no fault' type insurance, in order to encourage them, so long as

Hit submit by accident... (4, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303777)

If GM or other major car companies ends up assuming additional liability for each car they sell, I'd expect them to largely self-insure. Then again, utilizing existing insurance channels might be for the best.

I would NOT be surprised to see a legislative bill that indemnifies manufacturers of a autonomous car and puts the onus on the owner/operator, or even a switch to 'no fault' type insurance, in order to encourage them, so long as they test as being safer than average human drivers to a high confidence level, probably using DUI convicts as test beds.

Given a reasonably self driving car, I see a shift away from breath testers for driving to 'you can only take self-driving cars for X years', even if the system costs $40k. Just the breath system is like $10k for the first year, what with all the maintenance required, going by the road signs declaring 'YOUR FIRST DUI CAN COST $X', with breakdowns. Add in the thousands probably saved in insurance, etc... It adds up.

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304087)

If he thinks the car insurance company will have it bad, wait what is going to happen to us.

Fully automated cars means less cars and lower fuel consumption, that will translate in fewer bought cars, less car mandatory insurance, less road taxes and less fuel sold. Our governments will have their tax income cut in half.

If you think we are in a bad position now ...

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43304903)

People will shift those funds to other purchases that are also taxed. If there were to be a problem, and I don't know why there would be, they could simply tax cars more while still leaving people with a lower total bill than before.

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (1)

OlRickDawson (648236) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304909)

How would this result in less cars? People are going to still want their own, for convenience. The shared model may work for some, but that will be made up for by rich parents buying self-driving cars for their small children. Imagine not having to drive your kid to soccer practice, but have a car do it for you... Since there is no need for drivers licenses for those cars, there will be a lot of cars sold for children's use, which will more than make up for those that are using the shared cars.

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43305413)

How would this result in less cars?

Because someone is going to come up with a way to better use the 100 million commuter cars in the US that predictably sit idle in a corporate parking lot from 9AM to 5PM all day. At an average value of $10K each, that's a trillion dollars in capital equipment that currently just sits and depreciates for 150 hours per week.

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (1)

SlashAdotter (1465581) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304433)

One way this can play out is that the car makers will self insure (i.e. their own cars). Ford, GM or Toyota are big enough to handle this.

go after the deep pockets of the big players in th (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303331)

go after the deep pockets of the big players in the market

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303485)

How will the insurance industry make up for the rates charged if cars are fully autonomous? They will lose a very lucrative market if and when this comes to be.

Charging people at a risk level that has substantially dropped? They'll be pissing their pants in excitement. The reduction in risk turns directly into profit.

Re:How does the insurance industry feel about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43305181)

How will the insurance industry make up for the rates charged if cars are fully autonomous? They will lose a very lucrative market if and when this comes to be.

Charging people at a risk level that has substantially dropped? They'll be pissing their pants in excitement. The reduction in risk turns directly into profit.

Exactly.

And I really don't think we have much to be worried about with insurance companies with big oil being their main competitor in the greed market.

Self Parking (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303223)

While it's a neat idea for a self parking garage. I saw a concept(?) previously where you drive your car into a "single car container" and when you left, your car in it's container would be shuttled off to a compact/secure storage array like a tape in a server room storage rack. Even though it requires more track and sensors, that system seems to be more realistic than a system that requires every car be programmed to understand the signals being broadcast by the garage.

Re:Self Parking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303271)

These are car companies, they still can't figure out how to get a 20 yr old convenience technology in a $1200 hunk of metal for less than $27,000...

Re:Self Parking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303309)

The system you're descibing is for new build - this one can be retro fitted to an existing garage. Quite different.

Self Parking isn't new (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303369)

wikipedia says: [wikipedia.org]

The earliest use of an APS was in Paris, France in 1905 at the Garage Rue de Ponthieu.[2] The APS consisted of a groundbreaking[2] multi-story concrete structure with an internal elevator to transport cars to upper levels where attendants parked the cars.[3]

In the 1920s, a Ferris wheel-like APS (for cars rather than people) called a paternoster system became popular as it could park eight cars in the ground space normally used for parking two cars.[3] Mechanically simple with a small footprint, the paternoster was easy to use in many places, including inside buildings. At the same time, Kent Automatic Garages was installing APS with capacities exceeding more than a 1,000 cars.

APS saw a spurt of interest in the U.S. in the late 1940s and 1950s with the Bowser, Pigeon Hole and Roto Park systems.[2] In 1957, 74 Bowser, Pigeon Hole systems were installed,[2] and some of these systems remain in operation. However, interest in APS in the U.S. waned due to frequent mechanical problems and long waiting times for patrons to retrieve their cars.[4] Interest in APS in the U.S. was renewed in the 1990s, and there are 25 major current and planned APS projects (representing nearly 6,000 parking spaces) in 2012.[5]

While interest in the APS in the U.S. languished until the 1990s,[2] Europe, Asia and Central America had been installing more technically advanced APS since the 1970s.[3] In the early 1990s, nearly 40,000 parking spaces were being built annually using the paternoster APS in Japan.[3] In 2012, there are an estimated 1.6 million APS parking spaces in Japan.[2]

The ever-increasing scarcity of available urban land (urbanization) and increase of the number of cars in use (motorization) have combined with sustainability and other quality-of-life issues[2][6] to renew interest in APS as alternatives to multi-story parking garages, on-street parking and parking lots.[2]

Another article is here. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Self Parking (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303417)

There are plenty of automatic parking garages:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=automatic+parking+garage [lmgtfy.com]

Re:Self Parking (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304239)

I can't believe I'm going to do this; I deserve copius down votes...

In Soviet Russia, car parks YOU.

Ok, let the hate begin...

Re:Self Parking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303497)

The probable long term issue with those garages is maintenance. Moving parts = wear and tear. Eventually things just wear out, esp if you are shuffling a couple of tons around. A normal garage prob has life expectancy of decades with low maintenance. A 'robot' garage not so much. They are cool to watch in action though and much more space efficient.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMWki9Ssdh4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JguJpX7bS6k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=QFHVukDUI2U&feature=fvwp

Re:Self Parking (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303997)

Actually Volkswagen has had one similar [twistedsifter.com] for a few years now.

Re:Self Parking (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304095)

that system seems to be more realistic than a system that requires every car be programmed to understand the signals being broadcast by the garage.

Yeah, after all.. look at the problems we had getting all the cell phones to work on the same systems. And getting all our appliances on the same voltage and frequency standard. And getting all modems and routers and switches to communicate...
 
Oh. Wait.
 
Seriously, you miss that there's a transitional form - where autonomous cars are parked automagically, while valets handle the rest. (Maybe hanging a dongle from the rearview mirror so the system knows where the manually driven car is.) There's also no particular problem with a standard communications format that the car then translates into it's own commands. In the computer field, these are long solved problem types - the problem here will be bringing the auto industry online and cooperating.

Uh-huh. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303305)

People are surprised when I tell them that you're not going to get a car that drives you from A to B, or door to door, in the next 10 years.

Oh really now?

Google has already been testing the cars on the road in Nevada, which passed a law last year authorizing driverless vehicles. Both Nevada and California require the cars to have a human behind the wheel who can take control of the vehicle at any time. So far, the cars have have racked up more than 300,000 driving miles, and 50,000 of those miles were without any intervention from the human drivers, Google says.

Source dated Tue October 30, 2012 [cnn.com]

Someone's a touch behind...

Re:Uh-huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303375)

RTFA shithead:

"The problem, according to Lien and others within the industry, is that the kind of technology seen in many demonstrations given by automakers and in Google’s self-driving cars (see “Self-Driving Cars” and “Is This Why Google Doesn’t Want you to Drive?”) is nowhere near ready for the showroom. The hardware needs to become cheaper and more compact; systems need to be easy and intuitive to use; security and reliability has to be assured; and legal issues need to be ironed out. “You can make a car drive fairly autonomously, but it’s not a business product, and that’s the difference,” Lien says."

Re:Uh-huh. (1)

lloydchristmas759 (1105487) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303847)

I don't really value a statement from a player of an industry that wasn't able to produce a decent electric car in 3 decades, but an outsider (Tesla) did it in a few years.

Re:Uh-huh. (4, Interesting)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303791)

Last summer I was in New England. A buddy and I were driving down the interstate and I wanted to stop at a pharmacy and get some antacids. We had the GPS unit find the nearest pharmacy and it began directing us to a CVS just two miles away. The unit kept telling us that we were getting closer, but I didn't see any exits. Just before we crossed an overpass the GPS announced, "Your destination is on the right." Sure enough, I looked down and there was the CVS -- forty feet below us.

I have often wondered how a driverless car would handle that situation.

Re:Uh-huh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303917)

Which is exactly why self-driving cars won't be powered by Apple Maps.

Re:Uh-huh. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304261)

Ok, I've heard of these stories, but I've never had my GPS unit (which is my phone) steer me wrong. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I seriously have to wonder HOW often. If it happened often enough you'd think that the units wouldn't be marketable, and they clearly are.

Fahrvergnügen (4, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303315)

The Germans love driving. They love driving fast. I can see why it is set up so that "the first self-driving vehicles will perform only specific tasks." To numerous of them driving isn't just something to get from point A to point B. Which is why most German cars didn't have cupholders, etc that American cars did back in the 80s.

I was recently working in Germany and a coworker mentioned that some lawmakers want to put a speed limit but there is heavy, heavy resistance funded in part by VAG and Benz. He likened it to America's gun culture. and with that analogy some of the stuff some of our gun rights advocates say makes sense to them. (Not all of it, some of it is crazy rhetoric.) You don't touch Germans' driving/cars and you don't touch Americans' guns.

Re:Fahrvergnügen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303467)

You don't touch Germans' driving/cars and you don't touch Americans' guns.

The other end of the spectrum would like us all to walk around in straitjackets and hum to express disapproval. I'll take the freedom-loving "nutjobs" in both of those countries.

Re:Fahrvergnügen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303749)

I'm regularly crossing Germany from Belgium to Poland and that's nearly 800 km of Autobahn without speed limits. Not only do germans love to drive fast but they also drive very very well, in safe and recent cars. The contrast with, say, France, which is full of old wrecks and very bad drivers is staggering.

As an ex-CEO of BMW once told to a minister in France: "If you have so many deads on the road in France it's because people are falling asleep due to driving at such low speeds"

: )

Re:Fahrvergnügen (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303897)

Yet here in the UK where we don't drive around at stupid speeds our death rate in motor vehicle accidents is lower than in Germany by any measure you choose to use.

Re:Fahrvergnügen (1)

sgtrock (191182) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304075)

Yeah, but I'll bet you're all bored to tears driving from Point A to Point B. :-)

Re:Fahrvergnügen (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304111)

Don't know where you live in the UK, but I have easily seen people hit 130mph on motorways (about 200km/h, which is the maximum recommended speed on autobahns).

In fact it is getting so that even the "slow lane" has people doing 70mph, the middle has 90mph, and 100mph+ is in the far lane.

Not sure about the death rate between the two countries, but I would have thought the UK's would be higher, primarily because people in the UK don't seem to know that you should slow down in adverse conditions. People seem to do 90mph no matter what. In clear weather, rain, fog, etc...

It seems the police will only stop you if you are driving dangerously, and they have the sense to know that isn't the same as driving fast.

Re:Fahrvergnügen (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304355)

What about the speed cameras that Jeremy Clarkson always bitches about on Top Gear?

Re:Fahrvergnügen (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304595)

I can only assume that budget cuts mean most of them no longer work. Since the coalition took over the number of camera's that actually work have reduced (I believe the Tories talked about reducing the cameras as part of their platform, along with other generic "easing the burden on the motorist" promises) .

Additionally, most speed cameras are not on motorways, but on A roads and smaller. Some motorways do have them, so as long as you know where they are and take care, you should be ok (just pay attention to the cars ahead, and leave a good amount of space. Every once in a while someone doesn't know there is a camera there and slams on their brakes. You don't want to end up in their rear).

It also depends on which county you are in. Some are car unfriendly, and will do everything they can to dissuade you from owning or using a car, including punitive chargers and speed cameras everywhere.

Others are really lax about it, and have things like free parking, little/no ticket wardens and few speed cameras (usually on actual dangerous roads, where they should be).

Clarkson lives in Oxfordshire, which from what the locals tell me. is a pretty car unfriendly place (only place I have seen 15/20mph speed limits on public roads).

Re:Fahrvergnügen (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year and a half ago | (#43305161)

Additionally, most speed cameras are not on motorways, but on A roads and smaller.

I was under the impression that there were a lot of average-speed cameras (where the system tracks you from point A to point B and fines you if you get there in less time than it would have taken if you drove the speed limit), which would only work on limited access roads (i.e., motorways).

Re:Fahrvergnügen (1)

tapi0 (2805569) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304949)

I don't know where YOU live in the UK, but most motorways are so clogged up that maintaining 100mph+ is pretty much impossible - it's almost easier to do that on A roads. As for easily seeing people hit 130mph, well that's feasible but rarely due to the aforementioned traffic - perhaps the M6 toll is the only realistic area where you can do that regularly. And as for the police not stopping you for that, I call bullsh*t - there is no-one in the UK who will tell you that they could drive past a copper at 100mph and not get pulled.

Re:Fahrvergnügen (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304151)

But only by a small margin. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Fahrvergnügen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43305065)

mainly because you move a grand total of 8 feet and pay stupid amounts to drive anywhere in london.

England, land of the traffic jam.

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303325)

welcome our new robotic valet overlords.

Furthermore, hot grits.

if it were up to VW... (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303387)

If it were up to VW, no advanced technology would ever be ready for the showroom. The company likes to tinker around the edges of existing technology and charge huge amounts of money for it. And Germany isn't going to allow anything that new-fangled on its roads anyway.

True innovation will have to come from other companies in other countries. There are easy ways of getting useful self-driving tech into cars right now, with little of the complications of Google, no laser 3D scanners, and little risk. All it takes is a desire to do so and some political will.

Re:if it were up to VW... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303541)

What a load of bullshit.

Re:if it were up to VW... (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303661)

I remember reading about a self driving car with a 486 processor running Linux back in 97 or 98.

Re:if it were up to VW... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43305227)

If it were up to VW, no advanced technology would ever be ready for the showroom. The company likes to tinker around the edges of existing technology and charge huge amounts of money for it. And Germany isn't going to allow anything that new-fangled on its roads anyway...

Yes, because after all, every new German car is immediately imported to the US where we only allow that new-fangled stuff.

(sorry, really don't see how you could be any more wrong here. Often the latest and greatest supercars and tech is not only built outside of the US, but in many cases, isn't even allowed to enter the US for use. Gotta love those pointless DOT regulations.)

In the year 2525 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303395)

Your arms hang limp at your sides...

Is this an SCP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303397)

SCP-9398237

Oh! Great! the last few jobs for part timers gone! (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303465)

Working as the parking valet is one of the last few part time jobs still left in the great land of USA. Now even that is in peril. The gas stations are fully automatic now. So are most parking garages. There are very very few jobs available for low skilled people. We keep telling poor people, "You are poor because you are not willing to pull yourself up with your bootstraps and find a job", and at the same time we keep cutting social programs, and invest more and more on taking even the last few jobs away.

It is one thing to have an autonomous car that improves safety, and relieves the driver of strain. It is entirely another to make this level of investment for the paltry return of firing a few parking valets.

don't take you car in on the last day even more so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303679)

don't take you car in on the last day even more so if you are a poor / no tipper.

Re:Oh! Great! the last few jobs for part timers go (1)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304391)

This is the most fundamental of economic arguments, and why "King Lud" smashed the looms and formed the luddite anti-technology movement. You are thinking about the low-wage jobs that are lost, but completely ignoring that the same parking garage will now need to hire a high-wage computer technician to manage the system and keep it running.

Re:Oh! Great! the last few jobs for part timers go (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304641)

So all these fired valets go back to school and earn a degree in electronics and communications? We need to leave a few jobs for the people with low skills and low motivation. It would cost the society more, when these hungry despo people fall into crime or become homeless.

Re:Oh! Great! the last few jobs for part timers go (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year and a half ago | (#43305141)

People who need charity should get charity, not anything else that hides the fact that they're getting charity.

Re:Oh! Great! the last few jobs for part timers go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43305259)

So all these fired valets go back to school and earn a degree in electronics and communications? We need to leave a few jobs for the people with low skills and low motivation. It would cost the society more, when these hungry despo people fall into crime or become homeless.

No, actually you can remove all those fired valets from the country, along with all the other illegal immigrants consuming jobs.

(Sorry, but if you're going to start down that road, you might as well target the real issue.)

Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (2)

zacherynuk (2782105) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303507)

Manual : Those that can drive a real car
Automatic : Those that can drive a real car but don't understand how it works
And Self-Drive : Those that should have taken the train; and should not be allowed on the road without all of their assists.

Obviously the latter fits in with the two former; modern driving aids like auto park, lane detection, radar follow and brake - even ABS and ESP mean that really, if that's all you have ever driven, you should not simply be allowed on the streets, with me and my kids in anything 'manual' - IMVHO

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303575)

I had a similar discussion with 'er indoors about Formula 1 recently - I am of the opinion they should have to go back to manual gear boxes, clutches, etc and remove all the auto-tweak controls. It's getting to the point that (IMHO), excellent as they might be, F1 drivers are more pilots than drivers.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (1)

zacherynuk (2782105) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303717)

Yeah - this why rally and formula 3 / 2000 / ireland is more fun to watch..and probably compete in - money aside..

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (1)

amorsen (7485) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303741)

I had a similar discussion with 'er indoors about Formula 1 recently - I am of the opinion they should have to go back to manual gear boxes, clutches, etc and remove all the auto-tweak controls. It's getting to the point that (IMHO), excellent as they might be, F1 drivers are more pilots than drivers.

There is hardly any auto-anything allowed in Formula 1. Manual gearboxes are obsolete technology, it would border on the ridiculous to use those.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (1)

zacherynuk (2782105) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303841)

Obsolete ? It's only in the last few years that dual clutch is available to the public. And they still don't pip manual gear changes in real world situations.
Also are you confusing auto gearbox with auto clutch, perhaps ?

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (1)

amorsen (7485) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304499)

Traditional automatics are just as obsolete, of course. When a semi-automatic can shift gear in 50ms, why would you want anything else?

We are talking Formula 1 here. Supposedly the pinnacle of racing, the ultimate series. Why should they be saddled with manual gearboxes? Performance cars do not have them anymore. There are rally and stock car racing series for those who like that kind of thing.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (2)

jewens (993139) | about a year and a half ago | (#43305009)

When a semi-automatic can shift gear in 50ms...

Clearly they need to be banned or at least restricted to require the driver has to swap gearboxes every 5 shifts. Anyone who needs to shift more than 5 times must be up to no good.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303925)

You're about ten years out of date, and obviously don't actually follow F1 any more, otherwise you'd know that in many respects F1 cars are much lower-tech than road cars, they have no ABS or traction control or active suspension, for example. There is a limit to how low-tech you can go while remaining the premier, top-tier motorsport formula. Sounds like what you want to watch is kart racing, not F1.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303987)

You are the exact reason why the car industry is so shitty today and why roads are so unsafe, by saying crap like "REAL men drive REAL cars" (i.e. 5L V8 pick-up truck with an incredible 8 MPG gas milage and a bumper right at the level of the abdomen of a pedestrian), instead of valuing safety efficiency, fuel economy, low maintenance costs and usefulness.

Manual vs automatic vs self-driving has nothing to do with the driving capabilities of people. Self-driving cars will always be safer, especially with people like you who think that THEY can drive better than anybody else and that THEY are infaillible.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43304205)

The secret is that you can get all of those boring qualities in a good car as well as in some shitty Prius. Also fuck you, I will never relinquish my steering wheel and I will enjoy watching people like you whine about it endlessly for the next ten years.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (1)

lloydchristmas759 (1105487) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304571)

Roads are as much yours as they are mine. I think it is not too much to ask to be able to cross a street as a pedestrian (I know, REAL men don't walk, REAL mean drive a CAR) on a pedestrian crossing without being hit by a car with a stupid driver like you thinking he is the best driver on earth and that it must be someone else's fault for hitting me with his car.

Yes, it DID happen to me 2 years ago. I got a broken foot and I couldn't walk or drive for two months (and I consider myself lucky). But of course, you don't care because you are a REAL man who only drives a 5000-lbs pickup, so you are not at risk.

And BTW, why are you so obsessed by the Prius? Is it because its main advantage is fuel efficiency, and thus your manhood is threatened?

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year and a half ago | (#43305177)

And did you learn the lesson life was trying to teach you, or do you still cross a street as a pedestrian?

My favorite statistic: more drunk pedestrians are hit by sober drivers than sober pedestrians are hit by drunk drivers. Almost as if the pedestrian has an important role to play is his own safety, or something.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (1)

lloydchristmas759 (1105487) | about a year and a half ago | (#43305339)

Well tried, but failed:

I was sober. I did look carefully before crossing and saw the car about 100 yards away. Considering its speed, the driver had plenty of time to stop by braking only mildly. Actually he could probably have reduced his speed without stopping and I would have had more than enough time to cross. But he thought he was such a great driver that he did not actually need to keep his eyes on the road at all time, but it was ok to change a CD or dial a phone number or whatever other stupid crap he did not really dare to deny.
Plus, it happened in a country where cars must yield to pedestrians about to engage on a crossing in all cases. A pedestrian crossing is like a yield sign for cars over here.

So the only thing I did wrong is assuming the driver would yield, since he had plenty of time to do so and there was no reason at all for not seeing me.

Now stop pulling dumb statistics out of your ass to try to tell me that I am at fault.

Re:Perhaps we need a 3rd type of licence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43305275)

Also fuck you, I will never relinquish my steering wheel

Only girly-men drive. Real men ride a horse. Only pathetic sissies like you need a padded seat, a roof, and roads. Are you afraid of getting dirty, or are you afraid of being unable to figure it out?

Finally a use for Illuminati technology (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303543)

Of course this happens in Ingolstadt. [wikipedia.org]

I'll go back on my meds now.

If people are surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303727)

'People are surprised when I tell them that you're not going to get a car that drives you from A to B, or door to door, in the next 10 years.'

Oh really? Most cars people that are brand new that people can buy today have production cycles that are taking years and years. And typically it's not ten years only because they're reusing many components from previous cars. One of the shortest development cycle for, say, BMW was their little Z3: because Mazda and it's MX5 was taking all the market and BMW had to be fast. Still took them two years to to get the Z3.

Then when cars come out they stay on sale for years before a new model comes out.

So the models that people are going to buy brand new in ten years are being researched right now. And they're not autonomous.

Autonomous cars? Maybe in 30 years and that is conservative. That person is realistic when it says that you're not going to get one taking you door to door in ten years. There's nothing surprising about it.

Something also has to be said about security: there are botnets made of hundreds of thousands of zombies and there are concerns that a single amplification attack could take down the entire Internet (a recent tiny attack from an ISP in a bunker in the Netherlands managed to create latency measurable in the U.S.)... So either these autonomous cars will be using the Internet and it's not anytime soon that we'll be using secure OSes, servers, smartphones, cars and whatnots or they'll be using another network which... Has yet to be built! (I hardly see the current phone or satellite network providing the latency and security needed to run millions of autonomous cars).

So, yes, them Priuses are cute. But we're not all riding them in ten years.

Btw I'm driving as a daily a perfectly fine 25 years old car ; )

You sure the smartest people are in the Valley? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year and a half ago | (#43303735)

>> Annie Lien, a senior engineer...near Silicon Valley. 'People are surprised when I tell them that you're not going to get a car that drives you from A to B, or door to door, in the next 10 years.'"

Are you sure that the smartest people live in the Valley?

Geometry Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43303909)

Okay, But what I want to watch is an Audi turn around 360 when confined inside a circle with only 2 inches clearance bumper to bumper wall to wall. Forward, turn wheel, backup, turn wheel, forward, turn wheel, backup turn wheel.... I want to watch it with parking lot tire squeakages and full backup beeper glory of hell!

Beepers going deet deet deet deet
Tires going errt errt errt errt

How about a few Garbage trucks and "The Claw (TM)" for the Impact noise?

What happened to the good old days of buying a yellow or orange vest and taking the keys to that Mazaradi...

Automatic parking, of course (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304005)

Back in my DARPA Grand Challenge days, I saw fully automated parking as the first "killer app" for automated driving. Everybody was obsessed with automated freeway driving, but that's not what annoys people. Looking for parking annoys people. The general idea is that you get out of your car at your destination, and it goes and parks itself somewhere. When you want your car back, you call it and it comes to you. Parking then need not be as close to the destination; a big parking garage a mile away is fine.

The first application of this should have been for airport rental cars. You rent the car via your phone, and the car comes to the loading area near baggage claim and picks you up. When you're done with the car and at the airport, you get out at the departure area, and it drives itself to rental car return. Customers would save an hour on every plane trip. That would sell.

It's workable. At no time is autonomous operation above about 20MPH necessary, which means slamming on the brakes is sufficient to deal with most problems. All the rental cars are new and under common ownership and maintenance, so the self-driving systems can be checked out on every rental. The system could be expanded to include the top 10 destinations for rental cars - major hotels, convention centers, etc.

After 9/11, no way would autonomous vehicles be allowed in an airport terminal area. So that didn't look promising back in the mid-2000s. Today, though, with terrorism down to nuisance levels, it's worth looking at again.

As for VW thinking that automated driving is more than a decade away, both Ford and Mercedes have said they expect to have it in production vehicles in five years.

Re:Automatic parking, of course (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43304701)

Terrorism has, speaking from a public health and epidemiological standpoint, always been at nuisance levels.

Re:Automatic parking, of course (1)

Person147 (1924818) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304733)

Today, though, with terrorism down to nuisance levels...

Maybe in the US, but have you seen how many people we pick up in the UK still that are at various stages of planning or executing major attacks? More than enough to keep this a problem here for the foreseeable future. If it is a problem here then I don't think the US will take chances there either. But the plan you outlined is a very nice one!

Re:Automatic parking, of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43305199)

how many people we pick up in the UK still that are at various stages of planning or executing major attacks?

When googling "terrorism" is considered "planning", I'm not surprised by the number of people you pick up.

Re:Automatic parking, of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43305303)

Today, though, with terrorism down to nuisance levels...

Maybe in the US, but have you seen how many people we pick up in the UK still that are at various stages of planning or executing major attacks? More than enough to keep this a problem here for the foreseeable future. If it is a problem here then I don't think the US will take chances there either. But the plan you outlined is a very nice one!

There is a large and fundamental difference between a valid major attack...and a fundraiser.

It is very sad that we must start to question the drivers and motivations behind the organizations in charge of controlling "terrorism", but I can think of a few hundred billion reasons why they would.

Security issues? (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43304009)

With sensor located in the garage and sending data to the car, anyone could temper with the data sent with some appropriate knowledge and tools and giving the car bad directions and instructions. "Yeah, yeah, go ahead, there's no problem, nope, there's no pillar there at all."
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