CHOICE membership

Autonomous Vehicles


How far still to go?

For anyone interested on where Uber is up to from Uber ATG!

A sobering comparison with how well non-autonomous vehicles (that’s us as drivers) perform:

Australian drivers - one fatality for every 200million km driven. (2017 report as 2018 is not quite done yet, however it looks to be an improvement on 2017.)

Despite what autonomous operation of vehicles promise, Waymo (Google/Alphabet) has only recently boasted reaching 10M miles or approx 16M km. And that’s test miles including operator intervention along the way, plus the daily bingle?

There is also a recent article on that is headlined,
“21 Nov 2018 · Tesla, Uber, Waymo, Cruise face autonomous-driving reality check”.
It sits behind a paywall if anyone is interested in an objective look that suggests the short term prospects of autonomous vehicles are being over sold.


The article does not mention whether this incredible Hyundai concept vehicle is autonomous or whether it is bringing the Transformers toys from the 1980’s to life.


This piece of cheap filler is not even useful for smoothing out dents in a car panel!

Caution the linked article is full of adds and other garbage.

Other than broadcasting the tennis does the Nine media organisation deserve any further interest?

Not so much an autonomous vehicle as a re-envisioned version of the off road vehicle. Needs much bigger rubber and twin stacks to be fair dinkum?

Looks like clever Hyundai promotion using the heart tugging emphasis on potential for emergency rescue service.

Popular Science and Popular Mechanics used to do this sort of thing routinely. Every alternate cover would have some graphic artists imagination of the next great thing in tech, backed up by a footnote on some current science research in progress.

Firstly the engineering and technical design requirements for such a concept while they may be feasible, probably put the project in the moon buggy category for difficulty and production cost?

Secondly if it becomes an economic reality, who is going to be able to afford one? And given it might just go every where, what’s the point. Every after market 4WD shop will be redundant?

Thirdly it is competing against the drone style flying car which is at least part way proven on a smaller scale.



People living with disabilities worldwide that don’t have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate

Warning: annoying auto-playing video.

There are far better sources. The merger with Fairfax is cause for concern for the integrity of that organisation.

Meanwhile, in a completely different direction, DARPA is still in the game:


Thanks for the context @n3m0.


Edward Ludlam may be dead, but Ned Ludd lives on in spirit.


Hopefully the AI has self control and does not deduce the need that to protect the occupants pedestrians are the enemy? :thinking:

In a more frightening Sci-fi inspired vision.
The alternate Darwinian theory might be that we only need pedestrians who are AI vehicle aware? :scream:

For the moment it appears that being an AI vehicle safety driver is of greatest risk.


Wow, an incredible report. Thanks for sharing @n3m0. @mark_m This scene would have been considered pure sci-fi in 2009, which raises the question what 2029 will bring.


The original article:


Horse drawn carts and buggies?
Apparently most are quick to learn their way home and have a built in collision avoidance system. :wink:
Also a built in tolerance system for the human race while harnessed, mostly!

May also be carbon friendly compared to even electric options, and good for the garden. :cactus:


In the 1950s, the local baker complained bitterly when his horse & cart were replaced with a van. The horse used to follow him down the street, stopping as necessary while he made deliveries and chatted to customers. The van was a lot more work (though cheaper for his employers to run). Maybe autonomous vehicles will have a “Back to the Future” aspect.


:laughing: No doubt.


Some thoughts regarding autonomous vehicles including one opinion that they will not be a reality for 30 years.


Tech advances so swiftly that sometimes people base their opinions on what is current and within a year they are so outdated as to be worthless opinions. I see many problems for autonomous travel but as AI (Artificial Intelligence) programming improves (and it is advancing quite quickly just not as quickly as some would like) we could have solutions within just a few years rather than decades.

In the same breath I can also remember some visions of our futures that had as an example us all flying to the moon and back by Christmas 10 years ago and those are obvious failures to correctly envision what would change. I guess it comes down to where the money on research gets spent and who will see the benefit financially of that. If autonomous travel (AT) means big dollars back into corporate pockets I am sure it will get the money spent, but if it is just about safety and perhaps convenience for travellers then if it doesn’t get legislated to provide AT or there is no financial incentive to progress faster it will languish and move ahead much more slowly.


Or if the associated technologies prove (or are thought) to have military applications. Much as the space race brought us non-stick cookware, things like the DARPA challenges are likely to lead to civilian advances.

We won’t know until after the event. Autonomy only has to outperform the median human driver. That’s a pretty low bar.


Mostly underneath the Defence part is large multinational corporations who love to get their hands on the dollars many nations spend on Defence. GE, Boeing, British Aerospace, Mitsubishi, Samsung and so the list goes on of those with the vested interest. AT for Defence has huge man power savings they drool over…Drones that work autonomously until human intervention/authorisation is required is but one of them.


Perhaps faster than others would prefer:


Under the state’s $9 million Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Trial Grants Program, Bosch will access $2.3 million in funding to conduct high-speed on-road testing on rural Victorian roads.

… as I recall it, ‘speed kills’ … maybe a driver-less car translates to a victim-less crime?


Does it though? Taking the two words at face value, we’re only safe if we’re not moving. But are we really safe even then? What exactly do we mean by “safe”? If we’re not moving at all, then will we live forever?

More realistically, speed beyond that which is reasonably safe under the circumstances is more likely to kill. But that doesn’t make for a punchy slogan.

With a lot of caveats, it seems likely that hardware and software can be made to react more quickly than wetwear (human brains, nerves & muscles). For an autonomous vehicle therefore, a reasonably safe speed is likely to be higher than that for a human driver under the same circumstances (if all of the problems can be overcome).


No, it just creates addictive revenue from those of us who believe living begins at 80 m/s :wink:

A lot of caveats and a really big if. At some point in the journey it will probably become acceptably safe, with swept under the carpet carnage and/or blaming of any remaining wetware to spin the outcome.