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Dispatch From the Future: Uber To Purchase 2,500 Driverless Cars From Google

samzenpus posted 1 year,22 days | from the going-for-a-drive dept.

Transportation 282

First time accepted submitter Dave Jurgensen writes "Uber has said it will be purchasing 2,500 of Google's self driving GX3200 cars to be used around America. They are hoping to have their first set of driverless cars on the road by the end of the year. From the article: 'Uber has committed to invest up to $375 million for a fleet of Google’s GX3200 vehicles, which are the company’s third generation of autonomous driving cars, but the first to be approved for commercial use in the U.S. The deal marks the largest single capital investment that Uber has made to date, and is also the first enterprise deal that Google has struck for its new line of driverless vehicles.'" Update: Yes, this is a piece of speculative fiction.

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Don't wanna be first... (2, Informative)

bosef1 (208943) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676379)

I don't want to be the first one to post this, but "What could possiblie go wrong?".

Re:Don't wanna be first... (5, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676417)

"What could possiblie go wrong?".

My question is, how do we give a car analogy when the story is already about a car?

How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676463)

We heard you like car analogies, so we put a car analogy in your car story...

Re:Don't wanna be first... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676511)

Yo dawg I heard you liked car analogies so ..

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2)

Nadaka (224565) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676683)

Yo dawg is already a car analogy as it originates from that "Pimp Yo Ride" show or whatever its called.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676559)

My question is, how do we give a car analogy when the story is already about a car?

You relate it to something else so that it becomes understandable on a reciprocal basis. For example:

The United States with President Obama is a lot like a driverless car, only more so.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (3, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676691)

You mean one that automatically and effectively drives effectively and avoids obstacles? That doesn't seem very appropriate considering the number of random obstacles that the house has thrown up that Obama managed to crash into.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676597)

Well it's kind of like a Ford Thunderbird muffler.

These cars are driverless, and that analogy was made without me controlling where it was going. Does/did Ford even make Thunderbirds? I assume they have mufflers.

I guess the lesson here is that we should be very concerned with driverless cars.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (4, Insightful)

Sasayaki (1096761) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676423)

Lots of things. And they will.

But statistically, it'll probably be better than having humans behind the wheel. Not that this will stop anyone the first time the car backs over a kid, despite their excellent safety record.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676459)

They will be far less likely to back over a kid, or confuse pedals like oldsters around here love to do. This is because the outside of the car can be covered in sensors instead of being a hinderance to visibility to the driver.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2)

notanalien_justgreen (2596219) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676461)

The google car already has over 300k miles on it without a single at-fault incident. Although I thought the law required a person to be in the car ready to assume control at all times?

Re:Don't wanna be first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676589)

The google car already has over 300k miles on it without a single at-fault incident. Although I thought the law required a person to be in the car ready to assume control at all times?

That is laudable, but you need to look at the big picture: 300k miles is not really a good safety record considering how many miles are driven a day. Even if it went double that before an at fault accident (600k miles) with the number of miles driven in the US, that amounts to 5 million accidents a year. Since they are starting small (2500 out of 250M total us passenger vehicles) that's .01% of the total, which suggests a potential accident rate of 50/year (again assuming they make it 600k miles per accident) just with this trial group. An at-fault accident a week will _ruin_ the reputation of the driverless car in short order, it will never get beyond this pilot.

In short, let's hope that the actual safety record manages to go much farther than 300k miles.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (4, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676679)

Agreed, 300,000 miles without an accident isn't that awesome.

I've probably come close to driving around 300k in about 16 years and I have yet to have an accident. I HAVE had a number of close calls, and I will admit every now and then one of those close calls would have been my fault had there been an accident (legally and realistically).

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2)

Nadaka (224565) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676707)

I am pretty sure the average person has an at fault accident more often than 300k miles driven.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676775)

The technology Double Standard.
If a person does it, they have a particular fault rate, if the rate is low enough they get credited as really good job.
If a computer does it, and they have a fault rate that exceeds the human fault rate by good factors, and it still fails, the idea is a disaster.

In general people don't like giving up control, and doesn't like doing the math to see if they are better off.

The automated driver, has a key advantage, it doesn't get distracted from driving, its primary goal is to get you from point a to point b as safe as possible. It doesn't get distracted by those bad drivers it is just an obstacle to avoid, after it avoided it, it isn't getting all pissy from it. Or if it is stuck in traffic, it will just drive the same without getting stressed about getting late.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676897)

If the human driver fucks up, you get to sue them/claim on their insurance policy etc. and your sucess rate is likely to be high.
If the computer driver fucks up, you get to sue one of the biggest companies in the world. Nuff said.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676899)

Also at fault accidents could result in software updates to reduce the accident rate for all cars.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676869)

>The google car already has over 300k miles on it without a single at-fault incident.

The standard shouldn't be "at fault" either, there are many situations at-fault that can be "caused" by the driver of the non-faulting car. For example, if the Google car has no idea that a yield sign is hidden by a bush and fails to slow for a round-about.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44677075)

Good thing, then, that a robotic car could consult a road map with all road signs on it in real time - unlike a human driver who wouldn't ever know about a yield sign like that.

PS: I don't know whether it does this now, I know it'd be more sensible than relying on vision only.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676435)

That they have a lower crash rate than humans and we are all forced to switch to them.

Not sure that is going wrong though.

If they can reduce the fatality rate, and the eventually will, it will not matter if different folks die only that less die. This is the same thing as vaccines. You trade X deaths for X/Y deaths, while those latter deaths are unlikely to be the same folks.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676653)

That's not going to happen.
Reducing the fatality rate is only a political argument to make people accept speed cameras, which in turn generate a lot of profit for the state.

Driverless cars would render speed cameras useless, so they will never be mandated.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (4, Insightful)

Skater (41976) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676439)

Given my experience with the idiot drivers on the roads, I'm going to say, "Not much that hasn't already."

Re:Don't wanna be first... (1)

arpad1 (458649) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676485)

The question ought to be "what could possibly(sic) do wrong ten years from now?"

RTFA, baby since the rocket scientists who now run slashdot can't be bothered to do it for you.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676525)

OK, I admit it - I did not RTFA and I am not going to. Are you telling us that the first purchase is in 10 years? If so, what a crock. Uber won't be around in 10 years - I am sure that even they know this. This must just be a "we will give you some cash now if you tell people that you are going to buy a bunch of our cars in the future, when you will be out of business" deal.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (1)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676681)

From TFA

The company hopes to have its first set of driverless cars on the road by the end of the year, introducing a new service called uberAUTO using those vehicles in one or two of its markets at first. Based on the reception there, Uber says it could have the service available in up to 10 markets by the end of next year.

Not sure what the "what could go wrong 10 years from now" has to do with anything. Apart from cars being hi-jacked remotely. Outside of that, everything else seems to be a plus over driven cars. I mean, I love driving for fun, but commuting is boring.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676547)

The question ought to be "what could possibly(sic) do wrong ten years from now?"

"Sic" in that context is generally short for "sic erat scriptum" i.e. "thus was it written", explaining that you've adopted the wording or spelling of the orginal including any errors. You did not follow the spelling of the original, you corrected it.

Captcha: Crankily

Re:Don't wanna be first... (5, Interesting)

ArsonSmith (13997) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676495)

My guess, the list of people waiting on organ donors will get longer.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676499)

Hello, I'm Johnny Cab, where can I take you tonight?

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676551)

I'm arming my Jag with an RPG pod.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676569)

> I don't want to be the first one to post this, but "What could possiblie go wrong?".

Apparently less than with human drivers.

They need to make these loaded with cameras for the inevitable lawyer scams. Then scammers, in conjunction with scam lawyers, can't get into a he said it said argument.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2)

Nadaka (224565) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676731)

The good news is that they are already loaded with camera's. As camera's are a component of their collision avoidance sensor suite.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2)

Dare nMc (468959) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677063)

I have see playback from these sensors (not from a google car though) it is better than most any camera. IE it is a 3D representation that shows exact speed and direction + distance of everything around, overlaid with the actions the vehicle is attempting. About the only "issue" I see, is that dense fog/snow/rain can affect most of these sensors just about as bad as a person. The problem arises, that these vehicles will likely be programmed to not overdrive their visibility to stopping distance. Many people who drive in these conditions are used to taking additional risk, to keep moving. I suspect these vehicles will not be "at fault" in the conventional sense for going to slow, but that doesn't mean they won't be sued as in the way.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676611)

Startup company plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars. What could possibly go wrong. Right, Webvan?

Maybe Google will make a little money selling some cars before Uber goes bankrupt.

Re:Don't wanna be first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676879)

I don't want to be the first one to post this, but "What could possiblie go wrong?".

the word possibly?

Re:Don't wanna be first... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677081)

One should note that we're inching towards driverless cars faster than you can imagine.

Things like cruise control were the first step. Now we have lane awareness (where it alerts you If you start to drift from your lane), forward accident detection and prevention (applies brakes if you start approaching an obstacle in front), auto-cruise control (keeps you paced with the car in front automatically), parallel parking assistance, radar, etc.

The driverless car probably won't come as one go, but all the technology spinoffs are coming fast and furious now.

And it'll be popular when people realize they could text and do other things during the otherwise boring commute (boredom was one of the most cited reasons for distracted driving, or why people text and drive).

worst idea since flying cars (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676391)

All it takes is one single person to get hit by one of these and they're illegal in 50 states. Since Toyota can't even get their software straight in a non-driverless car, I'm thinking this is going to be a disaster. Then there's security. Yeah, it's Google but still, someone needs to mass hack these cars and crash them to prove that auto makers and security is about as great a pair as a 2 year old and a grenade.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676471)

1. Incorrect, so long as it kills less people it will be fine.
2. Toyota had a market problem not a software problem. They were simply old geezers confusing the pedals.
3. there is no reason why good security could not be used in driverless cars.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676557)

1. Incorrect, so long as it kills less people it will be fine.

Have you met many people or seen them on TV? You are correct in that it will be better if it kills less people than cars with drivers. However, that isn't how the unwashed masses will see it. It also isn't how the media will present it either. The media will have headlines like "robot car plows through crosswalk, kills 2 - where are the three laws now?" Joe Sixpack (as in beer; not as in abs) who can't afford a driverless car will rant about those damn 1 percenters and their godless death cars. The earlier statement about them being made illegal in all 50 states is closer to the truth.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676583)

I think the GP is right. Reasoning is that if there's one accident where a human is killed the media will exploded with stories of how cars are coming to life and killing everyone that gets near them.

I can also imagine people who oppose driverless cars will be going to great expense to try and trip them up, causing accidents. There are some people, that no matter how extensive the evidence is that driverless cars kill fewer people by huge margins, are going to try and stop their adoption. So many people are killed by human error while driving it doesn't even make the news anymore, but I guarantee one driverless car accident will be international headlines. Like 3D printers being used to print guns. Forget the fact they can do anything else like printing organs, food or prototyping innovative ideas. OMG they print guns quick start the presses the masses must know of this injustice.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

Githaron (2462596) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676625)

1. Incorrect, so long as it kills less people it will be fine.

While I would hope this is true, I would find it more likely that the news media would play the deaths up for their own gain and cause masses to have unfavorable opinions of the technology. A four year old dieing in a firey blaze because of something that the majority would probably already by distrustful of likely cause the technology to be banned or highly contrained, statistics be damned.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676725)

1. Incorrect, so long as it kills less people it will be fine.
2. Toyota had a market problem not a software problem. They were simply old geezers confusing the pedals.
3. there is no reason why good security could not be used in driverless cars.

Actually, the OP is probably correct about #1. He's not talking about logic, he's talking about human reaction.

All it will take is 1 robot-car to hit a single person and the news will have a field day. They will whip up the population into a frenzy with "Murderous robots on your highway? News at 11" Seriously, they will hit this issue HARD because in their view it's just all kinds of s*xy... Robots, death, fear-of-the-unknown, making-the-news-team-seem-sympathetic, etc.

Meanwhile politicians will jump on the bandwagon and try to outlaw them in their state.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

Skater (41976) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676857)

FYI: A drone crashed into a crowd, causing several injuries, at an event near DC over the weekend. No whip up so far.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677001)

A small personal-type of drone, as opposed to large military drone, weighing only a couple of pounds of only injured a couple people. In other words, a remote control helicopter with a camera crashed.

Robot car driving at lethal speeds where the smallest mistake could kill someone... will eventually hit someone.

One is a s*xier story than the other. Trust me, when a robot car hits and hurts someone.... anchormen around the world are going to need to make sure their desks aren't made of glass otherwise the camera will show the world just how excited they are about delivering this "vital story"

The public's reaction will depend on a number of factors, but it ending with "bans" on robot cars is a high probability
- Was the victim a child? A photogenic teen? A mother of 3?
- How bad was the accident
- Are "witnesses" flocking to the camera saying "oh my god the humanity"

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676943)

"Skynet ran over my dog!" GP is right in that such an accident will be a marketing disaster... but it will only be a temporary one. However I am less worried about PR than about pet owners or parents suing the crap out of Google. If a human driver runs over your kid, there's only so much cash to be had from the driver, besides a jury might well rule that it was an accident and that the driver was not at fault. But in case of driverless cars, an accident translates readily into a defective product in the eyes of a jury, letting the grieving parents tap into a limitless corporate account. After all, if the product wasn't defective, it would avoid all accidents except those where someone would go out of their way to cause one.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

MikeMo (521697) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677049)

Being an old geezer, I take a bit of exception to this. In addition, the fatal crash that started Toyota's problems had no old geezers.. You can listen to the rather horrifying 911 call here. []

As an aside, agism is just as bad as sexism, racism, homophobism, etc. Oh, and by the way, you'll be one, too.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676533)

Recently I've been watching older relatives struggle with lack of mobility. For example, my stepfather is no longer able to drive and is completely dependent on my mother to drive him everywhere. If I should be lucky enough to live that long, I hope there are self-driving cars to improve my quality of life. I they are, I will buy one.

If self driving cars were available now for a reasonable price I would own one now. Not for driving me to the store but for the daily commute to work. There's plenty I could do in the 60-90 minutes I spend total each day commuting. I would also love to be able to do something else besides drive on long road trips. I'm not looking forward to the 7 hour drive to Atlanta for DragonCon this week, or the return trip. I could do a lot with that 14 hours.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

prefec2 (875483) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676643)

In future and today you can use self-driving car, at least in urban areas. They are called buses, trams and commuter rail. They work quite perfectly. In addition there are taxis. All these means of transportation work fine for elderly people (at least if they use modern equipment). And yes, I know they are not driver-less, but you do not have to drive yourself and in certain cities commuter rail services are already really driver-less, like in London or Nuremberg.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (3, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676741)

Public transit is a very sub-par replacement for owning your own vehicle to go where you want when you want. The's a bus stop right across from my house, but it takes two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening commuting to work everyday by bus. It's fifteen minutes in the morning, fifteen minutes in the evening by car and there are a number of other inconveniences I don't have to deal with. Like not being allowed to take my coffee on the bus, spending an hour waiting for a bus that's suppose to come every fifteen minutes, not having dirty sick scummy rude people coughing and sneezing allover me everyday and whenever I decide to go for a longer trip to Ontario, North Carolina or the hour and a half drive to my in-laws I can come and go as I please.

Cabs are acceptable for a once in awhile thing, but are too expensive to use on a regular basis.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676915)

While Google navigation does a great job of getting a person with a smart phone, and ability to use it around on multiple transfers. I am not sure that people too blind to drive are going to do well roaming around in the streets trying to see, is that the #5 or the #6 bus.
From what I see currently most Americans just give up traveling (at least without a able companion) at this point in life, if the driver-less vehicle gives a familiar trusted enclosure, that always knows how to get me home no matter how frustrated I am, I am sure I will feel comfortable traveling much later in life than otherwise. Is that a overall good thing; is a different question.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44677117)

Indeed there are certain thing where public transport has to be improved. Not living in the US, I could see some progress here. First, they changed the height of the bus stop and started using low-floor buses resulting in easy access for people with a buggy or those wheeled walking frames. The bus numbers are really big, so most elderly people should be able to read them. Even though blind or nearly blind people cannot read them. Therefore, they should have audio feedback. Nowadays people can just ask the driver. In addition the timetable and bus route displays a the bus stop could use a bigger font especially for the routes. In the bus, the next station is announced via audio and also visually. The display is also presenting the next three or four stops, so you can get prepared. At more important bus stops displays show the next buses and their arrival times or remaining minutes. The readability issues can be fixed. And I think it is much easier to fix them then to implement working cheap self-driving cars, which can be operated by people who are unable to drive.

Re:worst idea since flying cars (1)

Shimbo (100005) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676841)

All it takes is one single person to get hit by one of these and they're illegal in 50 states.

You may be right but I doubt that would make a significant difference by the time they're ready for the mass market.

Jeez, did you even READ the article? (5, Insightful)

new death barbie (240326) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676395)

It's dateline is 2023. It's fiction. NOT news.

Re:Jeez, did you even READ the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676519)

This is Slashdot, even the "editors" don't read the articles.

Watch as the majority of commentards take the story at face value.

Re:Jeez, did you even READ the article? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676693)

No, I stopped at the headline "Disbatch from the future"

Re:Jeez, did you even READ the article? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676821)

It's dateline is 2023. It's fiction. NOT news.

Not only is it fiction, ,but

Uber has committed to invest up to $375 million for a fleet of Google’s GX3200 vehicles....

They've only committed to invest up to $375 million in 2023??? That's going to buy what, a fleet of 500 cars?

Re:Jeez, did you even READ the article? (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676901)

I'd say that's more likely to buy a fleet of 500... candy bars.

Re:Jeez, did you even READ the article? (4, Interesting)

Thruen (753567) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676905)

I'm seeing a problem with internet news...

There's more, too. How scarey is it that this is being reported as news elsewhere based on an article from TechCrunch that opens with a date ten years in the future in bold letters? They didn't just not investigate, they didn't read the article they then based their own articles on. At this point, I'd be surprised if it wasn't on Fox tonight.

april 1st? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676405)

First post. And article is dated 2023. Oh Slashdot, how hast thou fallen?

Work of speculative fiction (4, Informative)

simonbp (412489) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676419)

Unless TechCrunch has a time machine, this is a work of speculative fiction. The dateline of July 25, 2023 should be a dead giveaway, but since when did the Slashdot edittors ever RTFA?

Re:Work of speculative fiction (1)

guttentag (313541) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676701)

...since when did the Slashdot edittors ever RTFA?

Not since they upgraded to the new JohnnyDot editorless publishing system. If you turn the sound up on your computer while submitting a story, you'll hear Robert Picardo's voice [] asking, "Please state the nature of the stuff that matters emergency."

(Picardo's voiced the JohnnyCab robot in Total Recall, and his face was used as the model for the robot. He also played the holographic doctor on Voyager and the robotic bureaucrat who thought he could run Stargate Atlantis.)

Re:Work of speculative fiction (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677103)

In any case, the current crop of Google Cars might have good stats, but they are stats generated under very controlled situations, such as not in rush hour LA traffic. Or rush hour downtown city traffic.

Not real! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676433)

The dateline on the original article should have been a clue: "July 25, 2023"

Jonnycab 1.0 (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676445)


Submitter didn't read article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676455)

It's satire/fiction/humour "from the future."

Early April Fools? (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676457)

It's bad enough to have April Fools come once a year and have to wade through the fake posts, but it's far from April 1st.

From TFA: "Dispatch From The Future: Uber To Purchase 2,500 Driverless Cars From Google July 25, 2023 "


Re:Early April Fools? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676509)

You are not supposed to read the articles.
Get off my LAWN!

ha ha (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676475)

very funny slashdot.. you got me again.. apparently, everyday is april fools day.

Uber will purchase cars from google in.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676483)


First we get browser shortcuts (3, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676497)

and now this fake piece of trash. What the hell's going on with the slashdot editors in the last couple days? I don't usually gripe about articles, but this is a little sad...

Re:First we get browser shortcuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676755)

Next up:
Kramerica Industries uses old plastic toys to qualify for XPrize Oil Spill Cleanup
Smartwatch comes with app to wake you up and tell you the weather.
What's the next great transportation innovation since the Hyperloop? Conveyor belts on the city streets to whisk people around more quickly.
Using meat slicers for low-cost biopsies to send to 23andme.
Man sues Apple for missing the marathon again when the do-not-disturb bug occurs.
Jackie Chiles wins big settlement from Starbucks: Spray-on Caffeine for life.
Ask Slashdot? How can I stop my snail mail?

Re:First we get browser shortcuts (3, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677043)

Wait a few hours for the dupe.

Re:First we get browser shortcuts (1)

CmdrPorno (115048) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677059)

I've said this many times before, but when CmdrTaco left, it was the beginning of the end for Slashdot. The writing was on the wall for a long time before that, but Malda's departure was a very clear demarcation of where the site was headed. We're witnessing a slow death spiral. Within 10-20 years, Slashdot will no longer exist in its current form. It will be gobbled up by Gizmodo, Techcrunch, CNet, or the likes, and eventually merged into their conglomerate and redirected to the parent company's site.

Just in: Slashdot testing new autonomous editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44677079)

In a surprise move Slashdot has ordered 10 Google autonomous tech editors at a cost of 3 billion ( only $3 in 1806 currency ).

Re:First we get browser shortcuts (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677111)

Well at least with this you'll be able to say "dupe!" when an article pops up in July 2023 about this, so there's some value... I guess?

Good old capitalism (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676503)

A news story from the future that is pretty much unavoidable.

I see the benefit of driverless cars, but people need jobs too. We need to think about that when we eliminate jobs instead of demonizing the unemployed. If companies and society are putting these people out of work, we need to do something. Our increasing productivity is producing a class of unemployable people. IMO, If we don't want that, we should hire these people to do what robots could.

Re:Good old capitalism (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676721)

We don't need jobs. We need food. We need shelter. Jobs are a means for which we obtain the resources to obtain those things. If robots can do everything, we can live in a very different kind of economy, basically proto-Star Trek. Don't ruin that with the notion that we need jobs.

Re:Good old capitalism (2)

internerdj (1319281) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676931)

Actually, psychologically, we do need jobs or at least meaningful tasks. However, we do need to rethink how we allocate the fundamental necessities given greater and greater productivity from less and less labor. We also need to think about what we do with human potential if we reach a place where labor isn't necessarily tied to survival.

Re:Good old capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44677159)

I can adapt very quick to GP "Star Trek" world very quick. Unfortunately the future could also evolve to a "Blade Runner" type of society (or Star Trek DS9).

Re:Good old capitalism (2)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676727)

When robots can do a task faster, cheaper, and more reliably than humans, it's inevitable that they will be replaced.

People have been fearing machines causing long-term and large scale unemployment since the cotton gin... history shows that actual unemployment increases caused by replacing workers with automation are not anywhere nearly as massive as was feared by some beforehand, but also extremely temporary.

Re:Good old capitalism (2)

losfromla (1294594) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676737)

I think that for every displaced worker, some kind of habitation and space should be set aside for these newly unemployable. If they are essentially being made redundant to the continuation of the human species maybe a reserve is where they belong. I'm thinking along the lines of intentional communities, not ghettos. Very open, no support provided but also no economic output expected. Just put them out on nice fertile land where they can thrive outside of the hustle and bustle. No they won't be sterilized, their (our?) numbers will be naturally controlled by resource scarcity.

Re: Good old capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676769)

Better solution: give everyone a basic income, let them educate themselves with MOOCs, hold challenges (such as Google bug bounties, Xprize challenges, Technology allows us to automate many jobs and frees us to pursue our own natural creativity and instinct for wonder. Create money (as banks do) and give it directly to people, instead of using it to create more debt than can be paid back (because banks don't create enough money for everyone to pay back their loans plus interest; thus to pay back your loan you have to make someone else default on theirs).

Who? (1)

space_jake (687452) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676553)

Who the hell is Uber?

Re:Who? (0)

Pharoah_69 (2866937) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676579)

Über in German means "above", so take a hint.

Re:Who? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676621)

You must live in flyover country.

Elder drivers (2)

wolfguru (913659) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676571)

I can forsee a state where older drivers who can no longer safely drive themselves can maintain a portion of their independence by using these to be able to get around without requiring someone else to taxi them from place to place. Simple destinations such as family member's homes, stores, doctor and medical offices, and other common destinations could be pre-programmed into the vehicle's memory, with a simple menu to select a destination. A "specify your destination" feature could be used for those who retain the ability to decide where they wish to go, and either locked out or require an authoritative OK when the elder gets beyond being certain of being able to specify new destinations safely. Combine this with a search feature that would allow stores, restaurants and other destinations to provide their coordinates to the driverless car network, and it would go a long way to making the elder but still active population safer while still more independent.

Jamming (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676581)

I wonder how much fun it will be to use a GPS jammer on roads infested with driverless vehicles?

Re:Jamming (1)

losfromla (1294594) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676749)

Fun for a little while, because after the first couple such tricks the cars will be provided with adequate local information to do feature based navigation and the gps will be used only if available. I'd be surprised if they didn't already work this way.

OH... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676591)

I read the article, but didn't note the date - so I was rather confused by a story about some mega-delivery company I'd never heard of that mentioned facts that weren't remotely true!

But, even in 2023... How is this supposed to work? They're a delivery company - are the customers supposed to be on the honor system, coming out to the curb and taking only the packages addressed to them? The basic idea doesn't really work, unless the car also has fold-out legs and can walk up to the door...

Re:OH... (1)

losfromla (1294594) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676777)

A little roll-out car (like a beefy roomba with arms) drops off the correct packages at the customer's doorstep. Some of these little buggers can handle stairs so even that won't be an impediment. Locked apartment buildings will require special provisions (yes, the doors might be hackable but so are the current ones).

I read this article earlier this morning... (1)

malakai (136531) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676595)

... and I was laughing at the posters on TechCrunch that read it as anything other than fiction. Including the people arguing over whether a private companies stock price could jump 10% in a day....

I made a mental note not to visit that website anymore, their users failed my mental Darwinian challenge.

Now I fire up Slashdot for my post coffee 'news' blitz, and I'm left with a bitter taste in my mouth that has nothing to do with over roasting of beans.

I'm having a sad nostalgia moment where I feel this community is the old guy talking about how he used to be the star athlete back in high school.... glory days.

wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676629)

Slashdot go home, you're drunk.

Trust the NSA? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676723)

Do you trust the NSA to provide you transportation without eavesdropping on you?

What happens when you discuss "terrorism" or "bombs" in the car?

What happens when you are working on a story that threatens the intelligence services? []

wild business? (1)

retech (1228598) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676743)

I've thought, since first seeing the google car, that zip car would do well to have a fleet of them. A car that arrives where and when you need it and drops you off... it's perfect for them. And they can offer rate plans. If you don't want to spend premium and be the only person in that car with a single destination you can opt to have up to 3 other people coordinated with your ride.

Likewise, Amazon, could do well to use them for delivery on their same day service. If you click on a button saying you'll be at the delivery spot in a certain time window it would be an ideal service. The car honks, you get your package after swiping your CC in the slot.

I suspect that by 2016 we'll see a good many companies/services using autonomous cars.

Re:wild business? (1)

aviators99 (895782) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676949)

How much do you want to bet?

I wouldn't assume the editors noticed it's a joke (3, Interesting)

rebrane (17961) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676785)

The editors of the Daily Mail [] didn't.

imagine when all of the drivers lose their jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676853)

Instead of a cab driver there is a cab "minder". He sits in the front but doesn't touch the controls. Instead his only job is lift people's bags into the trunk and chat with the passengers. He is a temp worker at 30 hours a week, paid minimum wage (+ the temp agency's cut).

All of those people who have no skills beyond their meager abilities to process sensory input and turn the results into mechanical action. All of them replaced by machines and possibly minimum wage, no-benefits, temp workers.

More pressure on low income labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44676895)

Great. Let's put the taxi drivers out of work too. That's not going to put additional pressure on other low income fields. Nope.

They were going to change their name, too... (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | 1 year,22 days | (#44676981)

But it's already taken ...

There's companies in both California [] and Hawaii [] , likely others.

Fooled DailyMail and eFinanceHub... (1)

Thruen (753567) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677023)

Check out who was fooled by this article, maybe use Google to dig up a few more...

I know, scarey right?

Think About It! (2, Interesting)

b4upoo (166390) | 1 year,22 days | (#44677149)

Although this article is a spoof it should point to another issue. We are well aware that robotic transport is close at hand on a large scale. And this is a perfect example of an issue that no one is confronting. As it has occurred in other trades we will see misery applied to a very large number of professional drivers. They will simply be out of work, permanently. And then there is a ripple effect. The diners that serve truckers, cab drivers and others will close or lay off workers. Motels will do the same. Even sales of items such as CB radios could take a hit.
                I would not be overly shocked to learn that robotic vehicles displaced five million workers in the US. Although nobody is entitled to earn a living we will have to create an economic system that makes certain that all people are well paid without regard for whether they work or not. People without good pay checks can not purchase nor can they pay taxes. Unemployment and under employment will shift the tax burdens to those who work and it will also collapse or limit the income of businesses leading to an ever deepening, chronic poverty.
                We are now confronted with a social reality that forces a sea change in our economic and political beliefs. We have no options at all other than to create a very socialistic society. Human labor, whether physical or mental, is in decline as far as value is concerned. I strongly suspect that our youth have glimpsed that which explains their lack of concern with education and their willingness to participate in activities likely to destroy them whether that be surfing a thirty foot wave, racing a motorcycle or shooting heroin.

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