10.10.2005

 

Four vehicles finish in $2 million robot race

Four vehicles finish in $2 million robot race

From the article:When you consider that just one year ago, the best car went only 7 miles, this is quite an improvement.

The implications of this achievement are profound. Imagine progress continuing at this rate for the next five years. This means that:The process should be very interesting to watch.

Comments:
This is a huge surprise. Obviously, this much improvement in one year implies either a software breakthrough or an easier course. I'm guessing the latter, as it seems very unlikely that multiple contestants would benefit from unpublicized software breakthroughs in the same year. If anyone can confirm why that did happen, please tell me why this year rather than last year.
 
DARPA stated the course was significantly more difficult than last year.

The biggest factor aside from much more effort put into the software was that several teams actually were able to do extensive desert offroad testing.
 
Self-driving cars will be a reality much sooner than people would have thought.

Nearly every truck will be able to drive itself as well. This means 24x7 long-distance trucking and the elimination of up to 1 million truck driving jobs.

Automatic taxis that drive themselves at much lower cost than current taxis. This will also eliminate several hundred thousand jobs.

Improved autopilots in airplanes, meaning that the process of eliminating pilots will speed up. Another half million jobs are on the line.

New types of vehicles and businesses that may not be possible today. For example, automatic delivery vehicles may be possible.

And lets not forget DARPA's goal of automated warfare, where robots are doing everything on the battlefield.


Can anyone truely say that any of the above are bad? I would love for my car to drive me around while I sleep, or for fewer soldier to die from IEDs. Concerning the loss of trucking and delivery jobs- good riddance. If there were ever jobs that wasted human potential, these are them. These are truely mindless jobs. Keeping them open when technology could take care of them would be like bringing thousands of welders back into car factories to make the same weld, day after day, forever.
 
It isn't just "software". A term so vague has little meaning.

Time spent on system integration is writing and debugging software, but can have a huge effect on performance.
 
I've wanted a self-guided car ever since I read a description of one in a Robert Heinlein novel many years ago (sorry I don't remember which one)...
 
I wonder how much more engineering development is required to run on public roads? In the Grand Challenge, the only other moving objects to contend with were other robots carefully programmed to avoid obsticals. On the roads, you have to contend with other cars, some driven by drunks and idiots...
 
I'm really excited by this. I'm looking forward to two things:

1) Buying my first car which I can't drive.

2) The day it's illegal to manually drive a car on US streets.
 
"I'm really excited by this. I'm looking forward to two things:

2) The day it's illegal to manually drive a car on US streets. "

Talk about the land of the free...
 
Talk about the land of the free...

We reduce some freedoms to increase others.

For instance, we coerce people into not taking money from banks, so that we can store money safely, and go about more sophisticated business. *

We will restrict people from driving their cars, so that people can go places without being killed.
 
Although the statement above no doubt sounds controversial, the actual path to a driverless future needn't sound so Orwellian. If automated vehicles become safer than human operated ones, the market -- and lawsuits -- will inexorably lead us in that direction.
 
Governments haven't been able to significantly improve unemployment rates in the past four decades. So it's doubtful that they'll find solutions once the robots slowly start "taking over" in the next ten years or so.
 
Talk about the land of the free...

Hey, I think this would make us freer. I want this single law so we can do away with a significant number of things I find very distasteful: DUI, Speeding, driver licenses, less-than-optimal use of law enforcement, the huge bureaucracy meant to handle all of this, etc...

It frees us of both the laws and the problems today's laws fail to solve. I’m willing to give up driving and spend the time going to and from work reading, surfing the ‘net, or watching TV for that. You, of course, are free to disagree.
 
You can let the car drive while you play a driving video game.
 
Terrorist\Criminals hacking cars to DRIVE into buildings and blow up.

weeeeee I cant wait!

*rolls eyes.

With no speeding cars, how will small towns survive on tax dollars alone? hahaha

I'm Vintage, I love to drive.
 
Car Bomb will take a whole new meaning...
 
Using self-driving cars as weapons isn't really going to be any more likely than using cars as weapons is today. After all, the terrorists love to kill themselves as well as killing everyone else.

Besides, reprogramming your car to cause accidents is likely to be more far more difficult than killing people in some other way.

As far as how will small towns survive on tax dollars alone, well your comment just shows how little speeding violations have to do with controlling speeding. I guess they'll just have to increase the local property tax or something else...
 
I love to drive too, but if auto-cars could save lives, we could designate recreational areas for legal mannual driving.
 
Last year on 3.16.2004 on this site, when DARPA entrants failed, the site owner suggested that DARPA will be a success in around 2012 due to Moore's Law, but it seems we are 7 years early: http://roboticnation.blogspot.com/2004_03_01_roboticnation_archive.html
 
There's a difference with automated cars as oppose to blowing yourself up.

The criminal or terrorist don't have to show up at the scene of the crime! How Convenient!
 
This is the same type of argument against new technology all over again.

Would you really do away with computers, just because we've got virii that occasionally do a few millions worth of damage?

I really think the benefit outweighs the bad stuff. So far, humanity has successfully realized the promise of new technologies, while managing the peril.

It will be no different with driverless cars.
 
I'm with akg... I want to own one of these yesterday.
 
I don't recall getting a virus on a computer being a life or death situation. =P

I mean these things are meant to be for warfare, DARPA is paying after all. So of course they could be used as weapons when hacked!

this is something surely to think about! IDless cars running over and blowing people up!

We had a hard enough time with a guy and a sniper rifle.

Imagine this senario.

Highspeed Wireless connection to automatic gun and car. Terrorist? in another country...

Sorry to sound doomsdayish, but if 9/11 happened yesterday you'd be thinking the same thing.
 
I don't really equate "freedom" with whether or not I'm controlling my car, as long as I can arrive comfortably and in style. No different than having a chauffeur. I'm all for it..
 
Come back Marshall! Your public awaits. :)
 
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