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Old September 25 2013, 03:33 PM   #121
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Technological Stagnation

sojourner wrote: View Post
What traffic control computer? autodrive cars do not need a centralized control system. Each car will manage itself.
With millions of driverless cars on the roads, the only way to effectively control them will be through a central system.
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Old September 25 2013, 04:15 PM   #122
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Re: Technological Stagnation

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Ultimately, the reason advancement failed to materialise in transportation tech - zeitgeist, economic conditions, the difficulty of the problems to be solved - is irrelevant to my point, which stands regardless of it:
Transportation tech stagnated since ~1970.
The Boeing, 777 Dreamliner is between 13% to 23% more fuel efficient than any Airbus in production, is made of 100% composite materials and travels nearly at supersonic speeds but is limited by socities desires to not have a sonic boom over population centers and the airline companies to maximize efficiency because jetfuel is their biggest cost exceeding even employee expenses.
The Boeing 777 is an aluminum plane built almost 20 years ago. I think you mean the 787 Dreamliner, which still isn't as fast as the Convair 990. The 990 still holds the record as the fastest subsonic airliner ever built, with a Mach 0.89 cruise and a Mach 0.91 top speed. The 990 was built in 1961 but lost out to the Boeing 727 (only a few dozen 990's were ever built). It's top speed is 23 mph faster than the Dreamliner.

Interestingly, modern airliners took until the 1990's to match the passenger mile fuel efficiency of the prop airliners of the 1940's and 1950's, as they sacrificed efficiency for speed. If the earlier airliner had been powered by something like radial diesels (which weren't really pursued), they'd still probably beat the 787 for fuel efficiency.
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Old September 25 2013, 04:51 PM   #123
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
What traffic control computer? autodrive cars do not need a centralized control system. Each car will manage itself.
With millions of driverless cars on the roads, the only way to effectively control them will be through a central system.
No.
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Old September 25 2013, 07:09 PM   #124
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
What traffic control computer? autodrive cars do not need a centralized control system. Each car will manage itself.
With millions of driverless cars on the roads, the only way to effectively control them will be through a central system.
So, we have people driving autonomously right now, but computer driven cars would need to be centralized?? No. that's a recipe for disaster. You've just reduced every vehicle on the road to a single point of failure. If that central system has a failure or is hacked, millions die. If a single vehicle has a failure or is hacked only a few die.
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Old September 26 2013, 02:28 AM   #125
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Some sort of computer-to-computer communication will be important if we want to get the full benefits out of driverless cars. There's probably a middle-ground between a centralized computer program and a bunch of purely-autonomous systems. Coordination between cars will allow us to reduce traffic, increase road speeds, and increase safety all at the same time.
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Old September 26 2013, 07:37 AM   #126
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Re: Technological Stagnation

The cars can do that without a centralized computer.
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Old September 26 2013, 07:24 PM   #127
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Re: Technological Stagnation

They can somewhat, but to get the real benefit of computer-driven cars will require that they be either centrally controlled or that they communicate with each other. If the cars do that, they can travel at high speeds (don't know how fast, perhaps 100-200 mph?) with mere inches or perhaps a couple of feet of space between them. When a car needs to change lanes, the other cars around will know it and make space immediately. If one slows down at all for any reason, the others will all know it and slow down accordingly. If the cars only get information from their sensors, they cannot work together in such a coordinated way and travel improvements will be only a small fraction of what is possible with central control or communicating cars.
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Old September 27 2013, 12:28 AM   #128
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Yes, I believe you are agreeing with me. Cars can do that on their own. no central computer needed.
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Old September 27 2013, 04:09 PM   #129
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Re: Technological Stagnation

I don't think that's a good idea. If my car talks to your car then my car can send your car messages, and I can trivially hack that to tell your car really scary things about what my car is about to do, making your car slam on the brakes and swerve out of my way.
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Old September 27 2013, 05:03 PM   #130
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Re: Technological Stagnation

But that's better than having your car send messages to a central computer to tell it scary things to make thousands of other cars slam on their brakes and swerve out of the way.
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Old September 27 2013, 09:31 PM   #131
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Re: Technological Stagnation

sojourner wrote: View Post
Yes, I believe you are agreeing with me. Cars can do that on their own. no central computer needed.
No, if the cars' actions are not coordinated in some way, either by communication with one another or central control, they then know nothing about what other cars are going to do until they do it. With central control or communication, you could have several miles of cars on the freeway, all traveling at 200+ mph, separated by mere inches. One needs to get off in a mile, and the others all know it, so they gradually make room for that car to move over and get off. If there's a reason to slow down, they can all do so together. If each car only knows about the other cars actions when it actually happens, they can't coordinate their movements and they have to keep sufficient distance between them and go slow enough so that they can react appropriately to the actions of other cars.

Now, I suppose you could have the cars communicate with each other with brake lights, turn signals, and such, but then the cars will only know about the cars in their immediate vicinity and can't really coordinate their actions with more distant cars.
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Old September 27 2013, 10:57 PM   #132
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Yes, once again. No central computer needed. We agree. See the post above yours for why a centralized system is bad. One point of failure. Cars communicating is workable though.
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Old September 28 2013, 03:50 AM   #133
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Birds are able to easily move in large groups without a central means of coordination. Works fine for them. Besides, if a car is driving along and needs to change lanes, why would it need to coordinate with a car a mile away?
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Old September 28 2013, 07:15 AM   #134
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Re: Technological Stagnation

All this discussion of self-driving cars is a colossal geek-wank. Because IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

We're talking two different transportation paradigms here. There's public transit, which can certainly be made faster, more efficient, and more flexible. And then there's private transportation, i.e., the personal automobile -- the entire POINT of which is that you, the driver, control the vehicle and make the decisions. People will never willingly surrender control of their cars to automation -- because then they won't be cars anymore.

BTW, on my recent poll thread, a majority said they enjoy driving for its own sake. As do I.
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Old September 28 2013, 07:41 AM   #135
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Humans love convenience. Anybody who spends ten hours a week in traffic will jump at the chance to own a self-driving car.

As for the coordination issue: we can reduce traffic by increasing the level of coordination on the roads. Much of those gains can be achieved through self-driving cars. More gains can be achieved through self-driving cars with high-speed communication among vehicles. Eventually, we will reach the point in which any additional gains would require a central control system. Each step has its pros and cons.
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