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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old September 10 2013, 02:54 AM   #46
sojourner
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Late back to the thread, but yeah. Driverless cars would not have to communicate with other cars on the road to work. People would still be able to drive their classic cars.

As far as automated trucking, yeah, if unmanned, I could see people environmentally hacking them to stop in order to steal cargo. (manikins in the road, etc.) Thieves always find ways to exploit a system.
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Old September 10 2013, 08:46 AM   #47
Into Darkness
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Mysterion wrote: View Post
Stagnated? Don't think so.

Look at the world in 1900. Now look at the world in 2000. Think we did pretty well in the technological/scientific progress game, don't you? I'm gonna guess that 2100 is going to look just as alien to us as 2000 would to someone from 1900.
Yes there has been many discoveries and advances between 1900 and 2000, but in the latter part of the 20th century nothing much new came about, and since then, for pretty much all the 21st century, what has there been that's been of any significance? it's all just "updates" on existing technology from the 20th century.

I'm talking about new technology. Breakthroughs. Something like the discovery of the wheel or the successful test flight of the first plane. There isn't anything new, it's all just current technology getting a little better.
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Old September 10 2013, 10:05 AM   #48
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Re: Technological Stagnation

If you see it that way, there hasn't been any technological progress for thousands of years. Da Vinci already proposed rockets and airplanes. Technology only got "updated" to the point where they could be made for real. And an airplane is just a windmill on steroids.

The fact that you question the significance of recent inventions on an internet message board is hilarious. Probably writing it on a TFT monitor with LED backlighting. Or from a smartphone with touchscreen. With wireless internet access.
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Old September 10 2013, 12:38 PM   #49
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Mysterion wrote: View Post
Stagnated? Don't think so.

Look at the world in 1900. Now look at the world in 2000. Think we did pretty well in the technological/scientific progress game, don't you? I'm gonna guess that 2100 is going to look just as alien to us as 2000 would to someone from 1900.
Yes there has been many discoveries and advances between 1900 and 2000, but in the latter part of the 20th century nothing much new came about, and since then, for pretty much all the 21st century, what has there been that's been of any significance? it's all just "updates" on existing technology from the 20th century.

I'm talking about new technology. Breakthroughs. Something like the discovery of the wheel or the successful test flight of the first plane. There isn't anything new, it's all just current technology getting a little better.
You're talking like incremental technological improvements are unusual rather than typical. Huge breakthroughs don't happen all the time and they never did. They're infrequent and occasional and depend on a lot of factors.

Your original post said that we've "stagnated." Now you're saying we're improving, just slowly.

If you don't believe there's any interesting research and development going on, google the following:

* Nanomedicine
* Graphene
* Quantum computing
* Photonics
* Genomics
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Old September 10 2013, 02:16 PM   #50
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post

Well, I would imagine truck drivers might not like the idea of putting out of a job.
Driverless tech wouldn't necessarily put them out of a job. Someone still has to help unload the trucks and I'd imagine they would still monitor the road.
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Old September 10 2013, 02:28 PM   #51
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I'm talking about new technology. Breakthroughs. Something like the discovery of the wheel or the successful test flight of the first plane. There isn't anything new, it's all just current technology getting a little better.
That is usually how science and technology works by developing and building from what has been done before.
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Old September 10 2013, 02:29 PM   #52
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Re: Technological Stagnation

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post

Well, I would imagine truck drivers might not like the idea of putting out of a job.
Driverless tech wouldn't necessarily put them out of a job. Someone still has to help unload the trucks and I'd imagine they would still monitor the road.
I imagine it will be a long while before driverless actually means driverless, i.e. no one occupying the vehicle at all. I don't think drivers help unload, though. There are people at the endpoint who do that.
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Old September 10 2013, 02:30 PM   #53
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Re: Technological Stagnation

farmkid wrote: View Post
To get the kind of real efficiency improvements that self-driving cars are capable of, coordination is absolutely necessary. If each car operates autonomously, it has to go slow enough and keep enough distance from other vehicles that it can react appropriately and safely in situations where it doesn't know what the other vehicles are going to do until the other vehicles actually start doing something. If the vehicles communicate with each other, they can safely cruise along at much higher speeds with only inches or perhaps a few feet between them, dramatically decreasing travel times, increasing road capacity, and potentially reducing fuel usage by reducing wind resistance.
I think a practical system is going to need a combination of approaches. At the end of the day, for safety reasons (and hack protection) cars will need to make decisions locally. There's nothing stopping them from warning each other what they're about to do, but they need to be smart enough not to rely on other vehicles doing what they claim, and recognize quickly when a given vehicle is "untrusted".
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Old September 10 2013, 04:34 PM   #54
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Re: Technological Stagnation

The fate of driverless cars rests in the hands of future juries, who will decide whether an automotive company is <i>liable</i>, to the tune of millions of dollars, for accidents that will inevitably happen and have no other clear explanation.

Recall that the US light plane industry (Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft) was at one point virtually dead because they kept losing massive lawsuits after their customers would crash. In many of those cases they were held liable just because their aircraft's design contributed to pilot error. I recall one case my former coworkers had defended a claim that even though the crash was caused by carburetor icing (because the pilot forgot to apply carb heat on approach) in an airplane built in the 1930's, the crash wouldn't have happened if the company had later provided an upgrade to a fuel-injected engine. My best friend works as a professional engineering witness in vehicle crashes. If there's a way to blame some flaw in the vehicle and convince a jury that the manufacturer is liable, they will so vote.

Generally the profit on a vehicle is a few thousand dollars, sometimes as low as a few hundred, so losing one multi-million dollar lawsuit can wipe out the gains from building a thousand or more cars. Thus manufacturers take great pains to avoid causing such lawsuits, and really try not to lose the ones they do face.

So even though driverless cars may drop the rate of vehicle fatalities tenfold, what's more important is whether they up the number of successful multi-million dollar damage awards against the manufacturers by a significant degree. To hedge against that, manufacturers will take on much more insurance, adding it to the price of the vehicle, and possibly designing very defensively regarding the technology, such that if all the sensors aren't in top condition (dirty camera lenses, etc), the vehicle might refuse to proceed. Another approach they might take is use all the vehicles sensors to indict the driver ("and here she is, sipping a slurpy and reading the paper through a residential neighborhood filled with small children").
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Old September 10 2013, 05:24 PM   #55
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
DarthTom wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post

Well, I would imagine truck drivers might not like the idea of putting out of a job.
Driverless tech wouldn't necessarily put them out of a job. Someone still has to help unload the trucks and I'd imagine they would still monitor the road.
I imagine it will be a long while before driverless actually means driverless, i.e. no one occupying the vehicle at all. I don't think drivers help unload, though. There are people at the endpoint who do that.
Perhaps in some cases yes, in the majority I'm going to say not. For example at shops/supermarkets in some cases those shop workers aren't allowed to touch the cage until it's come of the tailgate.
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Old September 10 2013, 06:06 PM   #56
DarthTom
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Lindley wrote: View Post
I think a practical system is going to need a combination of approaches. At the end of the day, for safety reasons (and hack protection) cars will need to make decisions locally. There's nothing stopping them from warning each other what they're about to do, but they need to be smart enough not to rely on other vehicles doing what they claim, and recognize quickly when a given vehicle is "untrusted".
Whhile I was driving to work this morning I was thinking, what would be the biggest technological challenges to a driverless car. And in most driving situations I think a computer can navigate. However there are some situations where humans anticpate a problem may lay ahead.

For example, if I see a car drifting out of its lane 3 cars ahead I'm aware of that as a potential hazard - the computer however cannot anticipate that as a hazard?

Another example,

If I see a pedestrian 1/4 mile ahead who's standing at the curb but appears as though they may dart across the road based on their body language, I slow down.

A computer cannot anticipate where hazards are whereas we can.
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Old September 10 2013, 06:24 PM   #57
Lindley
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Re: Technological Stagnation

DarthTom wrote: View Post
A computer cannot anticipate where hazards are whereas we can.
Possibly true. Don't underestimate computers, though. They're getting pretty good at stuff like that.
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Old September 10 2013, 06:39 PM   #58
JarodRussell
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Re: Technological Stagnation

The concept of automated cars isn't feasable. On highways, perhaps. In cities, never.

There will ALWAYS be situations a computer cannot cope with, and the human needs to take over. But that human will be playing chess or masturbating inside his car in the meantime, his situational awareness is gone. That problem cannot be solved and that's why it will not work.
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Old September 10 2013, 06:53 PM   #59
Solstice
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Re: Technological Stagnation

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
The concept of automated cars isn't feasable. On highways, perhaps. In cities, never.

There will ALWAYS be situations a computer cannot cope with, and the human needs to take over. But that human will be playing chess or masturbating inside his car in the meantime, his situational awareness is gone. That problem cannot be solved and that's why it will not work.
Complete nonsense.

Please provide examples of problems a computer could not respond to.
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Old September 10 2013, 07:08 PM   #60
DarthTom
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Lindley wrote: View Post
Possibly true. Don't underestimate computers, though. They're getting pretty good at stuff like that.
i'd imagine accidents with driverless cars will happen when the car fails to anticipate how irrational us humans can be sometimes - especially while driving.
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