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Autonomous Vehicles


We recently achieved a milestone with AI performance at chess equal or better than the best human mind.

In this instance we have massive computational power at out disposal.
A chess board has only 64 squares and 32 pieces.
Pieces are static. IE No piece is dynamic (constantly on the move).
Only one moves at a time according to a simple set of rules applied on a single 2 dimensional plane.

it’s a long way removed from 100,000 fast moving flying AI passenger carrying machines cramming into the small volume of airspace over down town Sydney every peak hour. Perhaps AI will form them into a circling swarm of bees, all waiting for their turn to exit the holding pattern and land.

Why not. We removed the man with a red flag preceding the automobile from the roads. History reveals the compromise has been with us for a while already.

What if perfect AI were to arrive? All autonomous systems will still rely on mechanical and electrical systems, sensors, motors, drives, power sources and structures. Is the development in these areas ready to deliver 100% reliability including fail safe redundancy? is it also being progressed at the same pace?

It’s easy to foresee commercial interests choosing to look away from risks that are beyond the control of the AI. However the AI may become so aware and clever it will realise the world is imperfect and refuse to operate at all!

A degree of imperfection or blindness (IE risk acceptance) may be essential for AI to function?


It looks like the first operational autonomous vehicles won’t be on the roads:


An article from MIT regarding AI learning in autonomous vehicles.


And now we have autonomous car parking robots.

I wonder if there will be an extra charge for valet parking on top of the already outrageous airport parking fees?


Toyota pledges to have an autonomous vehicle on the road in 2020.


Amazon has invested in an autonomous vehicle company.

I guess you will be able to simply order one on Amazon’s website and they will program it to drive to you.

Save on packing and handling charges.



It might only come in Left Hand Drive? :rofl:
Could be a long drive for it from Amazon, although the AI might enjoy the Pacific Ocean cruise/voyage. :passenger_ship:


An article regarding the development of a walking robot which operates without GPS using technology which may be utilised in autonomous vehicles.


It will be interesting to see whether they encounter problems like the Volvo tests.


Perhaps AI needs to deliver much more than only safety directing a vehicle from point A to point B?

It willl also be interesting to hear what Volvo or Renault or any AI car brand considers “ acceptable road kill”.

From wombats and wallabies to Wedge Tail Eagles and Galahs. Consider the goanna and Mr Black headed diamond python? There are many more Aussies, other than just skippies, I’d prefer to not run into or over. A cassowary or the last Koala living in NSW? 2050 is the latest guess for this one.

Many human drivers do a good job of avoiding most wild life. There is an increasing level of awareness and empathy within the community for continued survival of all our varied and unique animal species.

Is it reasonable to ask for an equal or better level of care from a vehicle under the control of computer chips and algorithms?

Who will decide what level of harm is acceptable?

And how will all AI systems performance be validated? Doubtless Google prefers the same model it uses for its internet tentacles - trust us, we know what you need! :thinking:


Given the range of sensors (how many humans have radar, lidar or sonar?) and the potential reaction times of robotic systems, it’s probably reasonable to expect superior performance.


The autonomous vehicles won’t be texting, rubber necking or drink driving either.




  • there’s a “peak body” for autonomous vehicles in Australia & New Zealand;
  • Australia’s international ranking has dropped and;
  • that’s a bad thing.


You would hope not! Too much AI IQ and the autonomous vehicles might seek out pleasure in other ways? Look how fast I can take this series of hairpins down Kangaroo Pass! :rofl:

For me as a passenger, all the more time to read your posts @Fred123 and cool off with a sarsaparilla. :wink:


Once autonomous vehicles are operational, I wonder how long it will take before owners will be able to order takeaway food, booze, groceries, etc on line and send the vehicle to collect the order, or to take the kids to school and pick them up after school?

It may even be practical for 2 car families to simply have just 1 autonomous vehicle instead.

It could take one person to work and then return home to take the other person somewhere else, or take the kids to their various sporting and other activities and bring them home afterwards.

Interesting times ahead.



More likely, the order will be delivered by a vehicle owned by a third party. Something similar for the kids’ school trips. Impacts on freight, delivery and public transport (particularly taxi) industries could be substantial.

Or own no vehicle at all. The resources tied up in vehicles that spend most of their time idle is enormous. The economic impact of freeing that up is beyond my comprehension.



Consider, as @n3m0 has suggested a zero ownership future.

It would seem unlikely that in the near future a full autonomous vehicle will be any where as cheap to own as a Hyundai i10, or Toyota Corolla, or …?

Allow for a possibly still expensive alternate energy drive system, a complex array of sensors and triple redundancy self correcting control systems.

Think Boring or Airbus cockpits scaled down and modern industrial control systems used in high risk explossive chemical plants as current working examples. Yes it will be made to fit into a car dash, just as a 1970’s main frame computer filling a house now fits inside an iPad.

Maintenance of the AI is a second cost, currently specialists with the skills include licensed aircraft engineers. They may be the most expensive trade of the near future!

Personal transport as a service, not an ownership right! In the race to perfect Autonomous Vehicles, one future favours personal ownership. An alternate favours effecient use of resources at the expense of the car dealership and automotive aftermarket business.

Perhaps that is another reason why the NRMA, RACQ etc are already so keen to develop in ways not tied to the motor car?


I’m hopeful the technology will also drastically reduce drink-driving related fatalities once it becomes available.

@mark_m let’s hope personal transport as a service comes to pass :+1:


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water:


Another great reason to use an autonomous vehicle so as to beat the grubby airport, hospital and other car parking rip-off merchants and their corrupt towing scammers at their own rackets.