Ford Will Have An Autonomous Taxi Fleet By 2021

Discussion in 'Android News' started by DroidModderX, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. DroidModderX

    DroidModderX Super Moderator
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    In super exciting but unrelated to Android news Ford has announced they will be launching an autonomous taxi fleet by 2021. The vehicles will be level 4 meaning they won't be 100% fully autonomous. They will be able to drive you around without a driver in ideal weather conditions. They will need some human driver assistance in poor weather. The company hopes to reach their goals with their purchase of the Velodyne self driving tech company.

    Ford's CEO Mark Fields mentioned that more details will come when the launch date nears. They expect to do some things on their own and partner with companies for other things. Fields has said the first application of the autonomous fleet will be commercial in nature. The vehicles will be used as taxis or parcel delivery. More information can be found at the link below.

    via Recode
     
  2. shockracer

    shockracer Active Member

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    Good picture for the post!
     
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  3. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    I want to know who gets the taxi fees, the taxi owner or Ford? It seems we may be moving towards a robotic "employee" type future. This takes away good paying jobs from professional drivers and just like factory robots essentially make those positions obsolete.

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  4. shockracer

    shockracer Active Member

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    This would allow them to pay a cheaper wage because you would only need a driving assistant. Like those that wanted $15 hour at a fast food establishment are now being replaced by a kiosk.
     
  5. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    I hear that, but the "assistant" would still need to be a fully licensed driver and also competent at controlling a vehicle. Would there be people willing to sit and monitor an autonomous vehicle for perhaps 8 hours a day and get paid a pittance to waste those hours? This would be a very boring job and the risk is that the assistant would fall asleep due to lack of physical and mental stimulation.

    The other risk is that since they would only need to monitor the vehicle, does that mean they can play Pokemon, or surf the web, or watch Netflix during? I could see this being a legislated no-no. So then we have so-called assistants basically doing nothing and getting paid nothing in relative terms.
     
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  6. shockracer

    shockracer Active Member

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    I fully agree, but there are people that already just sit all day monitoring a automated line or device(s) waiting to hit the all stop button.

    I can't help but imagine what happens if the computer freezes or locks up. I'd think it could end up like what happened at the end of this scene in the movie.
     
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  7. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    There is no doubt we already have that, and have for even decades on some mass transit systems, and on cargo transportation vehicles such as tanker ships and container vessels, however they are transporting MANY paying customers, or MASSIVE amounts of cargo, which translates to HUGE amounts of revenue per trip. In a Taxi, we're talking about average trips that bring $30 in revenue. This is not going to support the kinds of payroll necessary to have competent, skilled and motivated "captains" of the vessels, as it were.
     
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  8. shockracer

    shockracer Active Member

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    By the time this would be in full affect, a ride would cost twice if not 3 times the current fair.
     
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  9. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    There would have to be hard override systems that would NEVER be prevented from being used to take over the operation of the vehicles. Drive by wire, on a system that is autonomous would be a recipe for failure and put too many lives at risk. It's no secret that properly engineered and redundant automated systems can actually prevent accidents, or at a minimum reduce the risk of injury and death in such unavoidable accidents. We have these systems in cars (and trucks), of today, and many systems have been on production vehicles for now decades. Such systems include (but are not limited to), Automatically Deploying Airbags, Seatbelt Pre-tensioners, Anti-lock brakes, Autonomous or Speed-adaptive Cruise Control, Crash-prevention; Back-up or Parking Warning (sonar sensors and alerts), Automatic Braking, Rear Cameras, Blind Side Warning, Traction Control or Skid-prevention, Active Suspension, Full-Time All-Wheel Drive, Black Ice Warning, Anti-Roll and the list goes on and on...

    It's also been proven in real-world tests that have been going on for quite a number of years now, that these autonomous cars are actually far better at maintaining a vehicle on a safe path while traveling the roads than do humans, under the overwhelmingly greater percentage of road hours. That said, they are not infallible and there have been accidents. Still, I would "feel" safer in an autonomous vehicle in most cases, than I would in a Taxi driven by the likes of those behind the wheels in some I've been (un)fortunate to experience.

    There are no doubt, certain very unique and fluid situations where the intuition of the human mind will make a better, safer decision than will a computer, simply because a computer as of yet, can't learn the way a human mind can. For this reason, more than any I would not (yet, and perhaps not in my lifetime), want cars, trucks, buses, or other vehicles which do not run on a fixed track to be able to be completely autonomous and be commissioned without a human in the so-called "driver's seat", while operating on the same roads with other autonomous or actively driven vehicles. I believe there needs to be a huge build-out of supporting infrastructure (limited access roadway, fully interactive traffic signalling, mesh network geographic inter-vehicle communication and navigation systems, etc.), before we're ready for this.
     
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  10. FoxKat

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    And perhaps there is justification for such higher cost (assuming we're talking about inflation-adjusted cost increases, not simply inflation), such as the higher value of greater safety (if so can be proven), faster or more efficient transportation, again assuming the time saved is significant. I'm not going to pay significantly more for a Taxi ride, where if I drove myself (or was in a Taxi with a real active driver), I would arrive in 30 minutes, but in the autonomous vehicle it gets me to that destination in 2 minutes sooner.

    Consumer passengers would benefit mostly from these systems if they are coupled with limited or restricted access roadways - roads that have right of way for autonomous vehicles, or that are completely restricted to them, similar to public transportation railway systems.
     
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  11. shockracer

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    Google has been doing good with their test fleet at 25 mph or slower. Another huge factor is weather, and until roads can communicate to the vehicles I don't see autonomous vehicles driving in anything but clear weather. Until that can be dealt with, having a vehicle taxi just stop mid route won't be good.
     
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  12. xeene

    xeene Gold Member

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    Not an issue if you have triple failure backups, similar to what dod uses for Drone pilots. When one fails, another continues, if second fails, third continues. If 3 fail at same time, you better buy a lottery ticket!
     
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