Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Taxis - Yea, Nay or Maybe? - An ARRSEr Poll

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Taxis - Yea, Nay or Maybe? - An ARRSEr Poll

  • Hell yes! Where do I sign?

    Votes: 17 30.9%
  • Umm…maybe let others be the guinea pigs first, will take a rain check.

    Votes: 14 25.5%
  • Hell no! This is the start of Skynet. Now, where is my Model T taxi?

    Votes: 24 43.6%

  • Total voters
    55
#81
Like it or not the creep began years ago to AV's, the first recognised safety critical item to partially take over was ABS! We now have adaptive cruise control, lane assist, fly by wire throttle and brakes. Auto gearboxes where the stick is just an electronic switch. Auto handbrakes and hill start assist. As mentioned above self-parking is now common, so the motors are in place for taking over steering. Collision control now steps in if the car thinks we're not paying attention. We are being engineered out of control of our vehicles slowly but surely.
I have all of the above in my Merc, except the adaptive cruise control and collision braking. I have no wish to handover control to the car. Happy with all the assistance but I am in control.
 
#82
I'm a traffic engineer who has heard all the patter from salesmen trying to push the latest technology into my industry. All too often the latest thing is found to not live up to the salesman's promises.
Mate it's the same in every industry! The shiny shoed salesman promises perfection but the person you need to speak to is the engineer. In my experience they're much more grounded and realistic about capabilities.
 
#83
Mate it's the same in every industry! The shiny shoed salesman promises perfection but the person you need to speak to is the engineer. In my experience they're much more grounded and realistic about capabilities.
Yep. The most spectacular failures in my game these days often involve electronic kit. Which, quite by coincidence, is what this thread is about. If you catch my drift...

Solar powered LED road studs (cats eyes to the man on the Clapham omnibus), 3 to 4 times as expensive as a bog standard cats eye, with a life expectancy of 2 years max. At which point they are scrap, being sealed units incapable of being repaired/refurbished. That's assuming they don't fail before then, which many do. The old style low-tech cats eye - you just replace the rubber insert for a couple of quid when/if the old one pops out. The housing will last at least 10 years.

LED traffic signs - eye-wateringly expensive and especially so in comparison to bog-standard plate signs. £5k absolute minimum (and often nearer to £10k), with a static plate sign usually under £1k. Out at the side of the road 365/24/7 in a very hostile environment for delicate electronics. When the sign inevitably fails, you'd better pray the manufacturer has the (inevitably now obsolete and out of production) parts you need or hasn't gone bust, otherwise you got some expensive scrap to replace.
 
#84
I have all of the above in my Merc, except the adaptive cruise control and collision braking. I have no wish to handover control to the car. Happy with all the assistance but I am in control.
Advanced versions of the adaptive cruise and collision avoidance, will take some control away. Slam the accelerator and vehicle deems it dangerous the car will not respond. Get too close to the car in front, your car will apply the brakes. Insurance companies like these systems a lot.
 
#85
Insurance companies like these systems a lot.
I don't because it's my car and I'm in charge. Bearing in mind that I'm a control freak :)
 
#86
At least the autonomous taxi won't spend its time grooming vulnerable schoolgirls.
But seriously, full autonomy will take time, but automated safety systems will creep in because insurance companies will favour them.
 
#87
Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) are coming, at least initially as ride hailing services. Waymo, part of Google/ Alphabet, has just launched the first commercially available AV driverless ride hailing/ taxi service in Arizona.

I rode in Waymo’s new self-driving taxi service

Yes, initially they will have drivers in the cars for scenarios when something goes wrong (kinda like in DLR) but they will be driven completely by the computers, otherwise.

I wanted to know what ARRSErs take on this is? Even though they will be launched on a limited basis in selected locations, they will come to Europe as well. It’s a matter of when, not if. Will be a lot trickier in the old world (London springs to my mind!), for sure, except maybe in some cities and regions where the road signs and infrastructure is decent.

If an AV taxi service comes to your neighborhood, will you be part of the early adopter crowd, or more of a wait and see one? Or are will you be showing your middle finger to these AV services?

Me? Sign me up now! These would great for drunken pub crawls. Eventually, one day, cut down on drink driving for those out in the sticks/ places with no public transport.

Disclaimer: I am not being paid by anyone/ firm, this is just for my personal curiosity with regards to the adoption trends/ opinions of people on this board. I have a background in STEM/ Business and have dealt with AV systems professionally and in school.

---
Other background info: Uber had an incident earlier this year when an AV Uber had an incident and unfortunately the pedestrian got killed in the accident. This was found to be due the fact that Uber overwrote Volvo’s own pedestrian braking systems with Uber’s own SW which was taking some shortcuts, bypassing the usual test routes leading to this incident. Since then, Uber apparently has made a number of changes and the test program is back on track.

Why Uber’s self-driving car killed a pedestrian



So far, the AV testing has shown it to be much much safer than human drivers in most “normal” scenarios. Throw in snow, sleet and other tricky conditions, they are not quite there yet. For all the AI computing power and technology, the human brain, when it’s sober and functioning properly, is still the ultimate machine.
Anything that means I don't have to listen to some boring c*nt behind the wheel telling me things I don't want to know is good to me, taxi drivers are a pain in the ass the way they think they have to talk through the whole f*cking journey
 
#88
No O2 isn't but O2's failure this morning left me with limted communications and dysfunctional telematics for half the day
Not the end of the world but clearly demonstates that technology has its limitations. The same limitations and defects apply to all automotive electronics. Autonomous vehicles will break just the same as conventional ones do but they don't have the driver to deal with it.
Your O2 outage was caused apparently by an expired certificate.

Update on software issue impacting certain customers

Just FYI.
 
#89
Its concievable
However, the loader/unloader may well end up traveling with the vehicle, in which case there is no labour saving in the costings.

The big motive behind this for the haulage industry is labour cost. Labour accounts for around 30% of my cost. I'm not a haulier so simple haulage companies have a different cost breakdown to our operation

As a little bit of an eye opener on this one, I know of one operator in London who has invested in a single 26 tonne electric lorry for operation in London due to Mr Kahn's hairbrained bollox.

A conventional 26 tonne fridge costs in the region of £120-130,000 and can work day and night
This new fangeled electric one cost £330,000 and can only do 120 miles on a charge.
I can see an Ocado style solution becoming more widespread, more sophisticated and more automated. Automated warehouse pick and pack into pods that get loaded onto a bulk mover which gets them from depot to distribution point at which point the pod is broken down into smaller ones, eventually ending up with some sort of local delivery robot.

Far fetched and a long way off? Maybe not, especially in countries that are building new towns and cities; China, India etc.
 
#90
I have all of the above in my Merc, except the adaptive cruise control and collision braking. I have no wish to handover control to the car. Happy with all the assistance but I am in control.
Forget Mercs, ACC and Forward collision control are being offered even in small cars like the Fiesta.
 
#91
Forget Mercs, ACC and Forward collision control are being offered even in small cars like the Fiesta.
One does not drive those ghastly small cars.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
#92
Yep. The most spectacular failures in my game these days often involve electronic kit. Which, quite by coincidence, is what this thread is about. If you catch my drift...

Solar powered LED road studs (cats eyes to the man on the Clapham omnibus), 3 to 4 times as expensive as a bog standard cats eye, with a life expectancy of 2 years max. At which point they are scrap, being sealed units incapable of being repaired/refurbished. That's assuming they don't fail before then, which many do. The old style low-tech cats eye - you just replace the rubber insert for a couple of quid when/if the old one pops out. The housing will last at least 10 years.

LED traffic signs - eye-wateringly expensive and especially so in comparison to bog-standard plate signs. £5k absolute minimum (and often nearer to £10k), with a static plate sign usually under £1k. Out at the side of the road 365/24/7 in a very hostile environment for delicate electronics. When the sign inevitably fails, you'd better pray the manufacturer has the (inevitably now obsolete and out of production) parts you need or hasn't gone bust, otherwise you got some expensive scrap to replace.
But that’s only half of it. The solar studs have a better record in terms of improving road safety because of their better delineation. LED signs give a dynamic traffic management capability which fixed signage doesn’t.

And no, I’m not a salesman...
 
#97
FYI for cars. Right now, Tesla is at Level 3. The Waymo one is Level 4 (mostly).



This is for trucks. Slightly out of date(~2yrs), so most of the pending features can be moved into the "today" part.

 
#99
But that’s only half of it. The solar studs have a better record in terms of improving road safety because of their better delineation. LED signs give a dynamic traffic management capability which fixed signage doesn’t.

And no, I’m not a salesman...
And I'm guessing you also don't know the legal ins and outs of traffic signing coupled with the maintenance liabilities thereof, let alone the financial side of it...

Yes they can be seen from beyond the headlight range of your motor. That's their only plus in comparison to normal studs. Overall their disbenefits far outweigh that.
 
I can see an Ocado style solution becoming more widespread, more sophisticated and more automated. Automated warehouse pick and pack into pods that get loaded onto a bulk mover which gets them from depot to distribution point at which point the pod is broken down into smaller ones, eventually ending up with some sort of local delivery robot.

Far fetched and a long way off? Maybe not, especially in countries that are building new towns and cities; China, India etc.

That will work for some operators but not all.
We simply don't have time in our network for that kind of operation. As a rule of thumb our customers order up to 14.00, we start dispatching from 20.00 and delivering from 01.00
In between order and delivery 10's of thousands of products run through production, picking, dispatch and on to the vehicles. In some cases delivery can take place around 12 hours after the order is placed in excess of 200 miles away from the factory and delivered by HGV.
Average is around 16-18 hours from order placed to delivery.
There just isn't time to run that through an extra depot or two for onward distribution. One of our larger customers does that (we deliver in to their RDC's) and it adds 24 hours to the delivery cycle with the goods we deliver in to them not arriving in their stores until 24 hours after that. That delivery cycle is three times as long as delivery to end user direct from the factory.
Shelf life on our products is 2 to 6 days depending on what it is.
Our product is typically being consumed less than 20-22 hours after the order is placed.

We supply what is known in the industry as FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and the cycle is incredibly quick.
Much of the distribution operation takes place during the night or in the early hours. In most cases the product is comes out of production, picked as it does so and often loaded directly on to the vehicles. Those vehicles are dispatched as loading completes and the Whacky Races start. Vehicles are running with anything from 3000 to 15000 products on. Typically delivered nationwide before 09.00 the following morning (most a lot earlier).

We are far from alone in this practice and most manufacturers of short shelf life products follow a similar model.

When we specify lorries and vans they are ordered with the specific criteria that they must be able to stay at the speed limit up hill and down dale. Slow lorries are no use to us at all. They must be capable of staying on the limiter on any motorway climb they come across.

I had the Renault Truck rep in here last week, he was dumbstruck when told that economy comes a very distant second to performance. Even our Chief Exec and Financial Director understand and are happy that we specify the biggest available engine on lorries.

The distribution model envisaged by most people works fine for your kitchen sink ordered from B&Q. Doesn't work at all for FMCG and that is pretty much every fresh food you eat....

Apologies for the long winded explanation. RDC's and onward distribution only works for medium and slow speed distribution. Fast distribution networks don't work so well that way.
 

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