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EE Times Radio: What's Your Definition of 'Autonomous' Car?

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MichaelOFaolain
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Re: Definition of 'Autonomous'
MichaelOFaolain   10/24/2015 7:41:54 PM
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I realize this is a bit silly and I realize at this point nobody in the business is going to ban the use of the word or even pick an alternative word. But my discomfort with the word "autonomous" in this context made me think of a horse.

I used to have a horse - a mare. Sure she would usually decide to do what I wanted, but sometimes she also would decide to do what she wanted to do - like go back to the barn or even under a low tree limb despite my efforts to "steer."

The word also troubles me when the CEO of Volvo starts complaining in public about regulations. Volvo owns Mack Trucks. I see very large potential profits deriving from "autonomous" tractor-trailer rigs zooming down our interstates regulated by Congress rather than 50 legislatures.

I'm old so I figure I won't see those trucks in my community. But I would urge folks to go slow and use extreme caution with this technology. When Steve Jobs engaged in marketing of a new iPad and it had a flaw, no one was injured or killed.  Elon Musk doesn't have that luxury.

Bert22306
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Re: Definition of 'Autonomous'
Bert22306   10/23/2015 5:23:00 PM
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I would invite people to look up the term at Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. Perhaps we should use some term like "unassisted" instead to reflect the state of the car's "operation", not its state of "being."

I wouldn't put such a fine point on it, in comparison with other things we term "autonomous." Take a look a this:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autonomous

The second and third uses of the term apply here too.

Autonomous regions have "the right or power of self-government," to the same extent an autonomous car would have. Autonomous regions of a country are still subject to treaties, international laws, commercial trade agreements, what have you, just as an autonomous car is subject to the rules of the road.

"Existing or capable of existing independently" is also not an absolute requirement. Even in biology, an autonomous creature survives only in the proper environment.

I think that a Uber driverless car, especially while it's driving independently and empty between clients, can be termed autonomous, as much as these other examples. Or what about a Uber car which goes out on a short drive, just to keep its battery charged, after having had no clients in x days?

For that matter, what about the well-accepted term "automobile"? The prefix "auto" means "self propelling" or "automatic," according to

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/auto-

And yet, it is neither.

Loser99
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Autonomous = $$$ for lawyers.
Loser99   10/23/2015 2:19:25 PM
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Thats my definition of autonomous.  as well as $$$ for the consumer for replacing the zillion extra sensors and other things that can malfunction.  Fender benders will cost a lot more to repair now.

When the sensors fail, can't detect the road or anything else because its SNOWING, etc.

Who to blame but the rich car company?

How complicated is designing a ignition switch?  How about an airbag that doesn't spray shrapnal into your neck?  They can't even do that right.  

I think an automonous car will only exist in controlled closed off areas with no chance of inclimate weather owned by companies with large insurance policies. 

 

 

 

 

MichaelOFaolain
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Re: Definition of 'Autonomous'
MichaelOFaolain   10/22/2015 5:52:28 PM
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"So would this meet your definition of 'autonomous'?"

 

Unless the car had a choice, no.  To me "autonomous" means the car could decide to take a drive somewhere because it is a nice day.

elizabethsimon
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Re: Definition of 'Autonomous'
elizabethsimon   10/22/2015 1:47:34 PM
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I agree that most of the discussion has been about "unassisted" cars but I can see a need or market for cars which will operate without anyone in them.

I'm thinking of car sharing programs. Having the car you requested come to you instead of having to find it would be helpful...

So would this meet your definition of "autonomous"?

 

MichaelOFaolain
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Definition of 'Autonomous'
MichaelOFaolain   10/21/2015 5:10:20 PM
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I know it's too much to ask, but is there any chance we could halt the use of "autonomous" relative to cars right now! I would invite people to look up the term at Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. Perhaps we should use some term like "unassisted" instead to reflect the state of the car's "operation", not its state of "being." Or maybe we actually mean to allow the cars on the road without even any supervision or control like other autonomous beings.  Do we really mean vehicles like Herbie, Christine, and Knight?

dt_hayden
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Re: Autonomous Driving
dt_hayden   10/21/2015 3:13:02 PM
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Good point.  Probably higher taxes to feed the city and community policing to protect the jobs.

no clever name
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Re: Autonomous Driving
no clever name   10/21/2015 2:26:11 PM
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What will all the speed trap cities use for a revenue source when autonomous cars that never break laws become popular.

 

Rod

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Re: Autonomous Driving
R0ckstar   10/20/2015 11:23:55 AM
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I'm semi-impressed with the progress and field testing of auto cars in San Fran and Austin. There is definately a place for them, and I actually look forward to my car taking over for me on long overnight road trips, but they still have a long road ahead. Imagine a cautious and "polite" google car trying to get anywhere in a place like NYC, even in good weather. I consider myself a reasonably opportunistic driver, and I couldn't even change lanes for the exit during 3 AM traffic there. Good luck with that, Google. I say forget this whole car nonsense, and go for autonomous flying cars.

HardwIntr
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walk + bike + public transportation = happiness
HardwIntr   10/19/2015 4:36:03 AM
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Cars shouldn't have existed in the first place; when you think of it a bit, it's a nonsense. It's a complete waste of money, time and ressources.

Autonomous cars won't change anything to the traffic jams; all those people locked in their cars, don't talking to each other, aggressives. They won't solve the lack of space in towns, the enormous infrastructure. It can't continue like that. I'm sure of one thing it won't scale, it can't.


Fortunately, there are some places left on earth where cars didn't impose their law; Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Strangely, the people there are among the most happy. And strangely too, these countries don't have any car manufacturer or industry to protect. They don't care about cars, there are so much more interesting things to do.

 

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