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Volvo Plans To Have Self-Driving Cars In Swedish City of Gothenburg By 2017

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the take-me-somewhere dept.

Transportation 134

Qedward writes "Volvo is starting a pilot project that aims to have 100 self-driving cars on Swedish public roads around the city of Gothenburg by 2017. The project is called 'Drive Me' and is a joint initiative between the Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg, Volvo said Monday. Together they will make an effort to eliminate deadly car crashes in Sweden, said Erik Coelingh, technical specialist at Volvo Car Group. In the next few years, Volvo will develop its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) in its XC90 model. The goal is to have the first self-driving cars available to 100 consumers by 2017, Coelingh said. They will be able to let their cars navigate about 50 typical commuter arteries that include motorway conditions and frequent traffic jams in and around Gothenburg, the country's second largest city."

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134 comments

I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45576933)

I for one welcome my remote car derby overlords and look forward to using my new 100 car derby racers to crash into buildings and lamp posts with great amusement!

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 5 months ago | (#45577087)

Why would you think that these cars would accept remote commands?

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45577343)

Why would you assume they don't?

The first rule of hack club is assume everyone leaves lots of doors open and try them all.

Find out if the firmware rev and parts have ports they didn't turn off or enabled bluetooth cell links.

Then find a way to store instructions somewhere.

Maybe a traffic sign has a signal - alter or enhance that.

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (3, Interesting)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 5 months ago | (#45577465)

It makes zero sense for the vehicle control system to have any connection to anything you mentioned.

But if you want to live in a Hollywood fantasy world where hackers can set off fire sprinklers, that's fine.

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45577495)

Mark my words.

You should look at the actual Request For Proposal for the entire scheme, it's part of it.

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577781)

I recall how some researchers showed how a car (a Nissan, I think) could be hacked through the wireless connection between the air pressure sensors in the wheels and the computer. So at least some internal data connections a car has can be exploited even though I agree with you that Hollywood greatly exaggerates how connected and hackable electronics are. And I also factor in security issues into my thinking when I conclude that self-driving cars will be much safer than human-driven cars.

On a related note: There are good reasons for wireless connections on aircraft as well - at least as backups but due to weight savings maybe cables will be skipped completely if a wireless backup system has to exist anyway. The substantial benefit is that when everything is controlled through electronics anyway and an airframe stretches and bends a lot even during normal circumstances the pilots would not lose their ability to control the aircraft as they have done in the past when hydraulic systems have failed or electrical cables gotten cut. Hydraulic failures have caused many, many accidents and whilst I don't recall any due to electrical cables getting cut, one thing which at least was a PITA for the fire crew was the Qantas A380 engine explosion. The cables to the other engine on the same wing were damaged and thus the crew could not regulate power to it at all so it was giving normal thrust throughout the entire incident. It only stopped when the fire crews on the ground had sprayed it with foam for over an hour.

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45577965)

There are good reasons for wireless connections on aircraft as well - at least as backups but due to weight savings maybe cables will be skipped completely if a wireless backup system has to exist anyway.

The day they start using wireless as the primary means of communication between different critical parts of the plane is the day I stop flying. As for weight saving, fiber optics don't weigh much.

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (2)

Catbeller (118204) | about 5 months ago | (#45577975)

About two weeks ago, yes. They hacked in.
Also, HERF guns to kill the electronics exist, and GPS spoofing and jamming can create fun fun FUN.

This is a bad idea, and the people promulgating it are not the right kind of engineers. You plan for the least probable bad scenario, not the optimum. Millions of PCS driving themselves around on concrete ribbons at 75+ MPH is a recipe for Blue Screen of Mutilated Bodies.

"You're holding it wrong!" does not work in this context. The situation should not exist. Do not give create scenario, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. If you want a safe system for transporting people without drivers, build trains. That's what trains do. You don't put a jet engine on a skateboard.

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578547)

You don't put a jet engine on a skateboard.

Well, I don't, but these guys [youtube.com] do.

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 5 months ago | (#45578463)

I recall how some researchers showed how a car (a Nissan, I think) could be hacked through the wireless connection between the air pressure sensors in the wheels and the computer.

Yeah. It allowed evil hackers to access the OBD-II system and read any error codes your car is sending. Because car engineers are not complete idiots, you can't do anything dangerous with it.

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/11/cars-hacked-by-researchers-through-wireless-tire-pressire-monito/

Re:I for one welcome my Remote Derby Overlords (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#45578081)

It makes zero sense for the vehicle control system to have any connection to anything you mentioned.

You are correct - it makes no sense for infotainment systems to be connected to the CAN bus.

So, we've established that doing so makes no sense... which does absolutely nothing to change the fact that they are.

Re: Swedish Capital (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45576949)

Clueless geek! The capital of Sweden is Stockholm...

Re: Swedish Capital (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577171)

The capital of Sweden is Norway.

Re: Swedish Capital (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#45577185)

Clueless geek! The capital of Sweden is Stockholm...

No.. It's the Swedish Krona.. Unless you are talking about the *location* of the capital of Sweden...

Re: Swedish Capital (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 5 months ago | (#45577735)

Must be a bastardized translation or something; Volvo's headquarters (prior to purchase by the Chinese anyway) was Gothenburg.

Gothenburg is a Swedish Capital (1)

Ottawakismet (2798639) | about 5 months ago | (#45578859)

Of its local county, Västra Götaland County much as Toronto, Quebec City and Lansing are capitals. Gothenburg is A Swedish capital its just not THE Swedish Capital

Capital.. (3)

XXeR (447912) | about 5 months ago | (#45576951)

Since when is Gothenburg the capital of Sweden?

Re:Capital.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577015)

Oh they'd LIKE it to be Gothenburg but the UN says it's Stockholm, if only the UN could see that it's the religious right of the Swedes to have it as Gothenburg. Pesky natives!

Re:Capital.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577175)

Trust me, we do not want it to be Gothenburg due to their insane accent!
Stockholm isn't much better though, but hey, can't have it all.

Re:Capital.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577663)

Speak for yourself. The Gothenburg accent is really quite jovial and pleasant. An awful lot better than Småländska, Skånska, Norrländska, Jämtländska, and most others, that's for sure!

Re:Capital.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577759)

Don't bring in Norrländska as an awful dialect, it is one of the nicest one in the country, together with Gotländska.

Re:Capital.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45579041)

Since 2017 at the latest if Volvo gets its way.

Capital? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45576957)

"Capital..."
"...the country's second largest city."
I have a bad feeling about this.

Re:Capital? (3, Funny)

bigwheel (2238516) | about 5 months ago | (#45577085)

Bad feeling? Wait until we find out that they use Apple maps for navigation.

Re:Capital? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#45577649)

Yea, even Siri is going to be reduced to babbling.... "Siri, show me the way to the capital, Gothenburg!" What's she going to say?

"I'm sorry, you're nuts!"

"There is no destination for your request. "

"Destination is not available, try again.."

Gothenburg the capital?!? (5, Insightful)

pmsr (560617) | about 5 months ago | (#45576963)

Gothenburg is NOT the capital of Sweden, it is the second biggest city. Education is like butter, the less you have the more you spread.

Re:Gothenburg the capital?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577389)

I hope they update the satnav before the first car hits the road.

Re:Gothenburg the capital?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577413)

Are you kidding me? The editors can't spell, can't recognize duplicates, and often write the summaries in such a way as to suggest they didn't understand the article.

You expect them to know the capital of Sweden? They're half fucking illiterate.

Re:Gothenburg the capital?!? (3, Insightful)

Eevee (535658) | about 5 months ago | (#45577447)

Well, it's not the capital NOW...Volvo has got until 2017 to convince the Swedish government to relocate.

Re:Gothenburg the capital?!? (2)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 months ago | (#45577711)

Actually Karlsborg was supposed to be a backup capital for Sweden.
If you look at this picture I guess you can figure out why:
http://goo.gl/maps/JXSTA [goo.gl]

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karlsborg7.jpg [wikimedia.org]
(Built 100-200 years ago.)

Cooler:
http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodens_f%C3%A4stning [wikipedia.org]
http://www.rodbergsfortet.com/ [rodbergsfortet.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWLBuc12z24 [youtube.com]
That one is more north though: http://goo.gl/maps/OOvoc [goo.gl]

Doubt either can be seen as current today though.

Wanna see more?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G217tJL4_xA [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EKUwNUmex0 [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtAPA5O3qSg [youtube.com]

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-PmRUkgyds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv46kbHqJL0 [youtube.com])

I don't really know why we show such things today. Sure they have been decided not to be used any more I suppose and the locations are likely already known by the one who would care the most. But anyway, just seem weird =P. Then one need to build new stuff .. (or: Don't look here! It's abandoned!)

It's Stockholm, not Gothenburg. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45576985)

the capital of Sweden. Or does Volvo also plan to move the parliament?

Re:It's Stockholm, not Gothenburg. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577327)

It's not a joke either as indeed the capitol is Stockholm. Don't know who screwed up that idea with Gothernburg.

Re:It's Stockholm, not Gothenburg. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45577987)

Or does Volvo also plan to move the parliament?

They can do anything they like - Volvo owns the parliament. Oh no, wait, I'm thinking of American politics. Not sure about Sweden.

Capital? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45576995)

Misleading title. Gotheburg is not the capital city of Sweden.

Where did Summary Come From (5, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 months ago | (#45577007)

Nowhere in the article is Gothenburg called the capital of Sweden nor is it the capital. Perhaps the submitter is suffering from Gothenburg Syndrome.

Re:Where did Summary Come From (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577059)

More likely that imbecile samzenpus.

Re:Where did Summary Come From (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577073)

Nowhere in the article is Gothenburg called the capital of Sweden nor is it the capital. Perhaps the submitter is suffering from Gothenburg Syndrome.

Check the title.

Re:Where did Summary Come From (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577199)

The summary is not the article.

Re:Where did Summary Come From (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577237)

Please allow me to help out the editors a bit.

The capital of Sweden is 'S'.

Regards,
A. Coward

Re:Where did Summary Come From (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577469)

There is some great pizza in Gothenburg. Perhaps that is the explanation.

Re:Where did Summary Come From (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577551)

No, the swedish capital is Washington (and I'm a native swede being not so *happy* about it).

Re:Where did Summary Come From (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578445)

either is Julian Assange, and he's not even Swedish

Re:Where did Summary Come From (1)

Tor (2685) | about 5 months ago | (#45578423)

Look at the title of the post. As of now, it STILL reads: "Volvo Plans To Have Self-Driving Cars In Swedish Capital Gothenburg By 2017".

Not to worry about not spotting that, it's commonly known as the Dan Quayle syndrome.

In the USA... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577027)

they already have that in the capital Mexico City. And in the state of Los Angeles they are soon going to have lots of recharging stations for electrical vehicles! You'll be able to drive all the way to the city of Texas! I think this was all started by president Clooney.

Re:In the USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577133)

president Looney.

FIFY... Oh Wait... You where telling a joke?

Re:In the USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578629)

Candidate Clooney became president, didn't he?

Volvo - 2017? (1)

jcbarlow (166225) | about 5 months ago | (#45577055)

This seems to assume that Volvo will still be in the business of making cars of any sort in 2017. I wouldn't bet on that.

Re:Volvo - 2017? (1)

Lluc (703772) | about 5 months ago | (#45577149)

Geely will continue to keep Volvo alive for the next couple years. The real deciding factor for Volvo will be whether the Chinese consumer accepts it as a luxury brand and purchases the Chinese-made Volvos. I wouldn't be surprised if Volvo manufacturing starts shifting to China by 2017, however.

Re:Volvo - 2017? (1)

Plammox (717738) | about 5 months ago | (#45579121)

Which makes me glad I just made it to acquire a new Swedish Volvo, before the build quality goes Chinese in the coming years. I have a bad feeling Volvo's swan song is fast approaching. :(

Re:Volvo - 2017? (2)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#45577559)

That's pretty bleak. The Geely takeover appears to have been largely successful and they're appearing to do a lot more innovating than they did under the lost decade of Ford.

Unsolved challenges? (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 5 months ago | (#45577127)

I have to admit I have not been keeping up with all the press on self-driving cars. What coverage I do see is short on details of what they actually can and cannot do.

What capabilities would a self-driving car really need to be acceptable, both to passengers and to the general public, that current prototypes lack?

For example, being able to yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk seems pretty important. In my (work) neighborhood we have a couple of crosswalks with no traffic lights, so drivers are supposed to see and stop for people waiting to cross. How well this works depends on the driver, but a "dumb" autonomous car is equivalent to the worst-case human driver -- it wouldn't even try to yield, traffic law notwithstanding.

What else is important? Maybe being able to follow hand signals from a traffic cop. Or at least knowing enough to hand over manual control to the driver when there's a police officer or flagman directing traffic.

Being able to deal with foul weather and icy roads seems important, as well. There could be a big payoff there, as human operators are pretty bad at dealing with ice.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 5 months ago | (#45577243)

What capabilities would a self-driving car really need to be acceptable, both to passengers and to the general public, that current prototypes lack?

Not requiring a $85,000 LIDAR unit, and about $40k worth of other equipment, plus the cost of the actual vehicle, is probably high on the list of requested features.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45577535)

Not requiring a $85,000 LIDAR unit, and about $40k worth of other equipment

That's Sergey Brin's hobby project. An actual car company's product might be different.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 5 months ago | (#45577309)

but a "dumb" autonomous car is equivalent to the worst-case human driver -- it wouldn't even try to yield, traffic law notwithstanding.

Where did you get this gem from?

By all accounts autonomous cars are better at spotting potential road hazards, like deer and pedestrians, than people are. Seeing as people can only rely on what they see where as the cars use a whole host of sensors to detect objects that may not even be visible, like when it's foggy and/or at night).

There could be a big payoff there, as human operators are pretty bad at dealing with ice.

Human drivers are bad in every condition. An individual human may be an ok driver, but for every one competent person there's 20 more that should just drive into a tree to preemptively save someone else's life.

It really isn't that hard to make a system that drives better than the average person. People just don't want to accept that computers are, or could be made, better than us at just about everything.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 5 months ago | (#45577633)

Where did you get this gem from?
By all accounts autonomous cars are better at spotting potential road hazards, like deer and pedestrians, than people are.

If you read what I actually wrote, the problem is one of identifying that a pedestrian standing on the sidewalk has the right of way and traffic should stop. That's not a road hazard. The pedestrian is not even in the road.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45578063)

By all accounts autonomous cars are better at spotting potential road hazards

The OP's second sentence was "What coverage I do see is short on details of what they actually can and cannot do.". So what sort of "accounts" have you heard, Google hype? (now augmented by Volvo). Any details on conditions or varieties of road hazards tested (not just the ones they successfully detected), not to mention many other details without which this is all meaningless hype? How does it do in a heavy snowfall? Oh, hold it, being in CA Google may not have done much testing with that. Has Volvo taken that into account? Does it ever snow in Sweden?

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

Reapman (740286) | about 5 months ago | (#45578111)

Just curious - assuming the car can determine who is a traffic cop - as you seem to imply by your response to the GP - how do you stop a teenager on the side of the road from holding his hand out like a traffic cop - something any driver would ignore, but how would the car? Are we installing some wireless signal in all cop uniforms? Can that be hacked? What if a cop doesn't have his special uniform on does the car just ignore him? Do we also replace all traffic cops with robots?

I'm tired of this whole "cars will be safer once machines drive because they never make mistakes" argument that seems to be common here. For many months a year where I drive the road is covered by snow and ice, and you basically have to "best guess" where the lanes are. How will cars handle that? Whats the safety order - do we dodge to avoid the kid, but force ourselves into an oncoming semi, or does the car weigh hitting the kid as an acceptable loss?

Maybe someones solved all of this and has brought the cost down so everyone can afford one - but I've seen minimal evidence so far. Just that R"obot Cars are the future and I should embrace them and stop asking questions..."

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#45578157)

By all accounts autonomous cars are better at spotting potential road hazards, like deer and pedestrians, than people are.

Pretty sure that's just a Law of Averages thing; there are hundreds of millions of non-autonomous cars being operated around the US every day, compared to a few thousand auto-cars. If the numbers were switched (hundreds of millions of auto-cars vs a few thousand diver-operated ones), I'd wager the percentages of who's better at what would be swapped as well.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#45578225)

Where did you get this gem from? By all accounts autonomous cars are better at spotting potential road hazards, like deer and pedestrians, than people are. Seeing as people can only rely on what they see where as the cars use a whole host of sensors to detect objects that may not even be visible, like when it's foggy and/or at night).

Spotting them, I think so too. With an IR camera they're much better at picking out elk and deer and whatnot else in the dark on forest roads than humans. Figuring out who's simply walking by on the sidewalk and who's going to make a panic dash across the crossing - or not the crossing - to catch his bus or is absent-mindedly talking on his cell phone on the other hand without going into ultra-paranoid mode will be tougher.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577357)

It is a lot further along than you think and they (being volvo) have your same concern. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/11/25/131125fa_fact_bilger?currentPage=all

That is a long read but much better than some of the hype we get.

"one afternoon, not long after the car show, I got an unsettling demonstration of this from engineers at Volvo. I was sitting behind the wheel of one of their S60 sedans in the parking lot of the company’s American headquarters in Rockleigh, New Jersey. About a hundred yards ahead, they’d placed a life-size figure of a boy. He was wearing khaki pants and a white T-shirt and looked to be about six years old. My job was to try to run him over."

"As the car sped up—fifteen, twenty, thirty-five miles an hour—the warning chime sounded, but I kept my foot off the brake. Then, suddenly, the car ground to a halt, juddering toward the boy with a final double lurch. It came to a stop with about five inches to spare."

What else is important? Maybe being able to follow hand signals from a traffic cop. Or at least knowing enough to hand over manual control to the driver when there's a police officer or flagman directing traffic.
If we could hit say 80-90% of use case it would turn our world upside down. For example interstate driving and long haul driving. Most trucks are idle 13 hours a day. If they could increase the usage to 20 hours a day we would need less trucks and decrease shipping costs.

One thing for sure it will kill the radio star :) (think about it)

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#45577609)

If we could hit say 80-90% of use case it would turn our world upside down.

Uh, no.

It has to be 100% usable, or we'll be back to the AF447 case where the autopilot hands control back to the 'pilot', because it doesn't know what to do, and they crash because they haven't been watching what's happening. And, in the case of a car, you won't have two minutes to figure out what to do before you crash, you'll probably have two seconds.

That doesn't mean it has to be usable in all road conditions, though; I'm guessing a viable 'cruise control' for the open highway would be much easier than town driving, and could eliminate many truck drivers.

But, for the average driver, if you can't sit in the car drinking beer and sending text messages, what's the point?

Re:Unsolved challenges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577799)

So to paraphrase an old joke, if the computer can't figure out what to do it just gives up and cries "Allah has control!"

Re:Unsolved challenges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578263)

It has to be 100% usable, or we'll be back to the AF447 case where the autopilot hands control back to the 'pilot',

What do you think the small fleet of self driving cars do now when they encounter something they do not know what to do? They pull to the side of the road stop and turn on the machine that goes ping. In automotive terms it is called 'fail safe'. Or in other words fail in the safe position. Also what if I told you 99% of the flying done is done by a computer. Today. Right now. The pilots rarely touch the controls. Except for a few mins at takeoff and landing.

And, in the case of a car, you won't have two minutes to figure out what to do before you crash, you'll probably have two seconds
So like it is now then. Dont know about you but most of the accidents I have been in happened in 1-2 seconds. I did not have minutes to think about what was going on. If 2-3 mins were true auto accidents would be near 0.

Also the car will be able to use sensors I do not have. Such as IR/laser scan/lidar/radar/etc. For example I can not see in the dark without the assistance of a light. Then if a light comes the other way I am blinded for a couple of seconds (176 feet if I am going 60mph). How quickly could a sensor array recover from that? In milliseconds (less than 1 foot).

Seriously I know you wanted to snark off with 'uhhhhh no'. But read this http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/11/25/131125fa_fact_bilger?currentPage=all

It has a much more realistic POV on where the tech is at. Cost, weight, and size are some of the major things holding it back right now.

We will see the tech slowly added in. Until it is an auto self driving car.

But, for the average driver, if you can't sit in the car drinking beer and sending text messages, what's the point?
You are thinking too narrow. Why would I drive to the store? I can send my car and someone can load the stuff up. Why would I own a car? Why would I an owner of a fleet of trucks not want my truck roll to be nearly 24/7? If something is going to go wrong with my car I tell it to drive to the autodealership and it comes back fixed. Why as an owner of a b&m store not have a small fleet of small cars that self deliver my goods to my customers or maybe a nice taxi service for them right to my store? As a city planner I can designate highways as 'auto only' and make them much more narrow and use less of my precious land space as cars do not need 3 lanes I can get away with 2 or even 1.

In your quest for 100% you will never get there. A 90% solution would still be pretty good. Maybe my car can not park itself but it got me from the end of my driveway to the bar parking lot and I park it. Which is 99.99% of the cause of concern for DUI's.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45578699)

What do you think the small fleet of self driving cars do now when they encounter something they do not know what to do? They pull to the side of the road stop and turn on the machine that goes ping.

According to the article they tell the human to take control.

As for pulling over to the side of the road, how does it do that from the middle of a crowded five lane highway, in the snow, when it's already confused about what to do? What does it do on those urban highways that have no shoulder?

Dont know about you but most of the accidents I have been in happened in 1-2 seconds. I did not have minutes to think about what was going on. If 2-3 mins were true auto accidents would be near 0.

And so you completely missed what the GP was saying, including where he said that most car accidents happen in 1-2 seconds? Where is it that you disagree with him? He said many aircraft accidents take minutes to unfold, hence allowing the human pilots to take over when the autopilot says "beats me what's happening - good luck!"

But read this ...

An excellent example of writing about technical issues in the popular press. Amongst other things it mentions the important fact that one of the engineers is very tall. Oh, and all of them are really, really smart. Technical details are a little short on the ground though.

You are thinking too narrow. Why would I drive to the store? I can send my car and someone can load the stuff up.

But if the car goes into fail safe mode and stops on the side of the road, the beer will get warm while you're waiting.

Re:Unsolved challenges? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 5 months ago | (#45578161)

What else is important?

Wow, one simple contrived test was demonstrated. Was there any background clutter? Snow or rain? Was the dummy even moving? Detecting a single target in a clear field at a distance of 100 yards is about as easy as you get. Consider me unimpressed.

We do these sort of demos all the time when developing products. It just means "we got something kind of working in some circumstances", and there's a lot of work to be done to turn it into a reliable full-functioning design. Any engineer should know that, and when we demo stuff internally, we make no bones about it. Dealing with gullible members of the press is another matter. They love hype, because they need something interesting to write about. "Nothing interesting" is not something editors like to hear.

GM is moving HQ to US capital. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577147)

I heard that GM is moving HQ to Mexico City, the capital of the US.

No they don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577215)

Volvo no more plans TRUE self driving cars for 2017 than it plans for flying cars. The announcement may be compared to similar, laughable, announcements about 'AI' breakthroughs in the area of speech recognition and language translation in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, or more recently multi layer holographic disk storage.

What these PR lies are about is politics, and the state of the industry that feels it gains 'advantage' by declaring such dishonest garbage.

Of course, AUTONOMOUS transport systems, 'on rails' (which includes trams and guided buses found in many airports) have been viable for years, and implemented on and off. Given that potential drivers for such transport devices are VERY cheap to employ vs other system costs, the 'reason' for experimenting with driverless vehicles, even on these 'track' systems, never had anything to do with common sense or better engineering of any type.

Why is Google, the R+D arm of the NSA, leading the propaganda push for self-driving vehicles? This has NOTHING to do with domestic transport, and EVERYTHING to do with grooming the sheeple to accept 'autonomous' KILLING MACHINES built for the US armed forces. American military planners want the ability to invade nations via robotic mass murder machines- land based mobile slaughter factories protected by air based drone systems. For such systems to be usable, thousands or years of conventions governing the morality of warfare have to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Tony Blair already successfully eliminated the rules of warfare established long before WW1. Blair declared that ANYONE targeted by the forces of the West, or their proxies, had ZERO protection under any pre-existing conventions governing the conduct of warfare, and the US armed forces in particular unleashed attacks against EVERY type of civilian system in Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya- especially hospitals, schools, power and water plants, and the family homes of civilian leaders, and government workers. These were Crimes against Humanity in WW2. Under Blair's new regime, accepted by the populace of the West after masses of grooming propaganda on all the mainstream media outlets, these crimes became the new face of war.

Un-manned, autonomous murder machines are the future of American military might in the minds of most senior powerful figures in the US armed services. Real troops only sweep in after every aspect of the target nation has been ruined.

The last time anything like this happened was when war from the air was being planned (around the beginning of the 20th century), and the horror with which the public viewed such a prospect had to be eliminated.

Again, you are NOT going to see self-driving cars on ordinary roads in your lifetime, but you will see America increasingly invest in 'land drones', and seek opportunities to use such evil devices in actual conflicts. The owners of Slashdot are proud to work to help prepare you to accept this coming eventuality.

Those backwards Swedes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577277)

From the article:

"By 2017 it should be possible for consumers to read the paper or have a cup of coffee behind the wheel, Volvo said"

I see commuters reading the paper all the time. USA! USA!

Re:Those backwards Swedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578085)

Americans reading? Don't you mean watching a movie or TV show?

Why would I care about hot air (1)

CBravo (35450) | about 5 months ago | (#45577301)

If I want to be near hot air I would be flying gliders in Australia instead of listening to marketing BS.

Amazing future (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#45577331)

Cars driving themselves, flying drones delivering Amazon packages... Very exciting stuff.

and prisons filled with people who need a home, fo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577661)

and prisons filled with people who need a home, food and doctor as most of the jobs are gone.

Re:and prisons filled with people who need a home, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578089)

It's strange and sad but true that at the same time as we're automating human beings out of work, those who work are more stressed than ever and squeezing in more and more hours. What should be done is some sort of system that substantially limits the amount of work any individual does over a year. Our societies would perform better if people worked less and instead enjoyed their money and also studied more to keep themselves ahead of what robots can do. However, I don't know how to make that change to society. Regulating the number of hours anyone is allowed to work can be tricky with many white-collar jobs since you can work on your report, presentation or analysis anywhere and you will choose to do that if you can get paid more by simply being "super productive" during "working hours" when you just do a fraction of the total work. Another alternative is some job type -specific maximum wage limits that maintain an incentive to study so you get a high-paying job but give you a disincentive to work more than what is set as the new goal for working hours an individual should have each year but that will be hard to sell to people with long-term plans for when to have enough to buy a new house, kids etc.

Re:and prisons filled with people who need a home, (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 5 months ago | (#45578539)

I propose that we break all of the steal powered looms so that the textile mills have to hire back the unemployed weavers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite

Qedward is obviously a "gÃteborgare" (1)

xduffy (82302) | about 5 months ago | (#45577385)

Qedward, the submitter, is obiously himself from Gothenburg. They normally view themselves and their city as being the front side of Sweden and not the behind, as Stockholmâ¦

what happens when the selected roads (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#45577601)

has any kind of change ranging from planed work that I hope get's into the data base in time to WE NEED TO X RIGHT NOW.

marRe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45577863)

ARE ALMOST or 8ake loud 8oises

No, Bad. No computer driven cars. Stop now. (0)

Catbeller (118204) | about 5 months ago | (#45577893)

We used to have things called "trains" for this. Self-driving cars are point-to-point trains for wealthy people.

Always Keep It Simple Stupid. Self-driving car is a oxymoron - if we don't trust people to drive cars - and we should't, 'cause they are the biggest cohort of murderers the world has ever seen - then we should build trains on tracks, or pods on tracks, and get rid of the concrete and asphalt paving nightmare. Car is overkill tech for a simple problem. We're trying to mate the 1950s with a drone. It is a Bad Idea.

Also: dependent on GPS and computers.
Anyone know what a HERF gun is? A EM pulse cannon or gun. Easy to build. Aim and fire, fry the electronics of the car, instant crash.

So is a GPS signal jammer. Some techs had fun with the drones in a test last year - they crashed a hunter killer drone in a test by telling the GPS receiver that the drone was 500 feet higher than it was. It dived into the ground.

Computers have purposes appropriate to their ability to fail. You don't use them to drive cars. A plane, yes, as there are two pilots who will dive on the controls if something fails. Voting - no, too many ways for a motivated man-on-the-inside to rig an election undetected. Tested and dusted. Cars will, if the electronics fail and the driver isn't instantly engaged, will crash and take a highway of cars with them. I know we all love shiny things, but for once, think about this before it happens.

Re:No, Bad. No computer driven cars. Stop now. (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 5 months ago | (#45578579)

Self-driving cars are point-to-point trains for wealthy people

And cars used to be loud, dirty, playthings of the rich and were widely criticized by the horse-riding public. Fortunately not everyone is as short-sighted as you.

No, Bad. No human driven cars. Stop now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578675)

Human-driven cars are absurdly unsafe and should be banned.

Anyone know what a HERF gun is? ... instant crash.

Anyone know what an RPG is? Instant crash.

So is a GPS signal jammer.... 500 feet higher than it was. It dived into the ground.

So is a flash grenade. A few guys threw a flash grenade at a human. The thing's eyeballs had no idea where it was anymore. It drove into a tree.

Computers have purposes appropriate to their ability to fail. You don't use them to drive cars.

And don't get me started about what happens if you puncture a human (they leak!) or if the human's brain goes into sleep mode or if the human reaches end-of-life while driving. Humans are clearly too failure-prone to be allowed to operate vehicles.

Re:No, Bad. No human driven cars. Stop now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578793)

The antidote to stupidity is not opposing stupidity.

Re:No, Bad. No computer driven cars. Stop now. (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 5 months ago | (#45578707)

Easy to build? Really? And how is a modern conventional car any safer from such a device?

Proof read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45578589)

Gothenburg isn't the capital of Sweden. Stockholm is

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