May 4, 2016

HURRY ROBOTS:

Google's Self-Driving Minivan Could Bring Autonomy To the Rest of Us (Jack Stewart, 5/04/16, Wired)

 Implementation of even the more rudimentary elements of Google's technology could save lives. Human error is the cause of over 9 in 10 crashes. Of those, inattention or distraction are responsible for 41 percent, and another third are caused by poor decisions. Any technology that can override those errors will make the roads safer.

Automatic emergency braking (AEB), sometimes called city braking, is already becoming widely available, and in the US will become near standard by 2022. The systems vary from one automaker to another, but the general idea is to have the car apply the brakes when it senses an impending collision.

Kid-hauling minivans aren't just worthy of extra safety technology, they demand it. A recent study from Virginia Tech shows that drivers increase their chances of getting into a crash by a factor of 10 if they're emotionally agitated. For a parent, trying to calm a screaming child in the backseat, active safety technology can be more useful than that rear seat DVD player.

Tesla has shown that a couple of radars, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors, plus a pile of software, can be combined to create an autonomous driving experience. The automaker's beloved Autopilot lets its cars follow road markings, maintain a set distance from the vehicle in front, and park itself. Those sensors are not revolutionary, but their integration, and software that takes the data from them and makes decisions, is. 

Posted by at May 4, 2016 6:49 PM

  

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