High Performance Cars

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
reohn2
Posts: 40642
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: High Performance Cars

Postby reohn2 » 2 Dec 2020, 10:05pm

landsurfer wrote:Nice ... a lot more than i could afford .... but nice.

Thanks,l'm liking it :)
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rareposter
Posts: 242
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: High Performance Cars

Postby rareposter » 3 Dec 2020, 9:57am

kwackers wrote:Got some bad news for you, long before semi-autonomous vehicles drivers were already switching off. People are easily distracted - and that's *everyone*, me, you and everyone on here is distracted at some point whilst driving, it's just how we work.


Yes and no. This cuts across a lot of industries and occupations and it's not about momentary lapses of concentration (that favourite phrase in court...), it's about actively expecting the vehicle to do the work and then not being prepared when it doesn't.

It's happened in aircraft crashes when pilots so used to flying with an autopilot have either expected it to do something which it can't / won't or looked to it to get them out of a situation which is beyond it's capabilities. As a general rule, the more automation you put into a task, the less the human operator will concentrate on it. That works both ways - it's a benefit because sometimes people are fallible and a computer can monitor something 24/7 without ever needing a coffee break but it becomes a downside when people expect the computer to sort everything out and it can't. It's called Out Of The Loop - removing a driver from both the physical control loop (the feel of the steering wheel and pedals) and the cognitive control loop which is loss of situational awareness either because they are looking away from the driving scene during automation (assuming the computer will sort everything out) or because of boredom and mind-wandering.

It's different to driving a normal road car and glancing at a mobile phone; it's when you expect to be able to do that by leaving the car in control of something.

kwackers wrote:The rest of your post is the usual anti autonomous nonsense. We're nothing like decades away from full automation.
Consider that a decade ago cars struggled following the lines in the road, today the best are driving and parking quite happily and that includes navigating around pedestrians and cyclists.
We've come that far in ten years and the systems are improving exponentially and so quickly that improvements are being rolled out over the air almost weekly to existing vehicles. Imagine that, the cars become better drivers on a weekly basis!


Given that I work in transport, it isn't - it's a series of tests and considerations that need to be made before FULL autonomy can be considered. By FULL, I mean the point at which EVERY car on the road is talking to all the other cars and the road system and the "driver" is essentially just sitting there reading the paper. There are situations (like having an autonomous lane on motorways) that could come much quicker but autonomous only works to its full potential when everything is working on that same grid. Not a mix of auto and driver-controlled, especially not one where auto ones are programmed to obey the law and a driver-controlled vehicle can "bully" it.

There are other factors - the well-known legal discussions around who the car kills in the event of an unavoidable incident, who is responsible (the vehicle manufacturer or the driver) and the level and type of supporting infrastructure required, the safety of those systems (hackers, power failures etc). At the moment there are dozens of companies competing because it will be a very lucrative market but it's like the old Betamax/VHS wars - all this tech being driven around (especially in America) but, as yet, no standard interfaces.

Once again, it's trying to use the answer of "technology" to overcome issues, which is encouraging blindness to some of the simple solutions that are already there. The answer to a speeding car passing a cyclist is not to make the car autonomous; it's either to limit the speed at which the car can be driven at, enforce the speed limit so that the driver gets punished or to provide separate infrastructure for the two road users. Or a combination. However, no-one likes those because they involve change or because they're not politician-friendly soundbites.
The "technology" answer is also leading to a lot of local authorities pushing more road-building as the answer to solving congestion and pollution and using the argument "oh by the time the road is built, everything will be electric / hydrogen powered, autonomous / self-driving so it's OK to build another dual carriageway". It's the wrong mindset.
It might be part of the solution long-term but it is neither realistic or practical on a short term and unfortunately, we need solutions on a short term rather urgently.

That's kind of off-topic from high-performance cars although one thing that gets mentioned a fair bit with autonomous is a desire to increase speed limits because "the cars will be able to handle it".

Icsunonove
Posts: 56
Joined: 15 Oct 2008, 12:59pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: High Performance Cars

Postby Icsunonove » 3 Dec 2020, 10:28am

Bmblbzzz wrote:
peetee wrote: Cars are so cosseting these days that I don’t think the average driver has any idea how their presence, speed and positioning affects other un-cocooned road users. Most of the situations that appear threatening to us as cyclists (and, largely for pedestrians too) ie speed, speed of approach, proximity, tyre and engine noise are being filtered and diluted by the vehicle so when challenged the driver considers themselves without fault. “I gave you loads of room” “What you moaning about? I didn’t hit you, did I?” Excessive speed is commonplace. Not just in absolute terms such as speed limits, but such that the dynamics of vehicles create the expectation that higher average speed is possible in most situations and when delays and obstructions occur drivers are less inclined to deal with them in a calm, measured and considerate manner; cars are getting faster but horses and cyclist are not.

I very much agree with this. The 'cosseting effect' is all the more serious for having crept up in degrees and for seeming desirable. Who wants an uncomfy car?


I've recently got an old car I've owned for 22 years back on the road. I'd not driven it for 10 years. It's was made in 1988 but it's design dates to the late '60s/ early '70s. It's very noisy, there's no power/servo assisted anything, it's very low to the ground, it's very small, you feel every bump, undulation and change in the road surface, changing gear can be described as 'an effort', but the seats and driving position are actually not that bad (Although at 6'1'' I'm at the upper limit of what's possible; anyone taller simply wouldn't fit.)

I can thrash the little engine to what feels like an inch of its life. It feels incredibly fast, it's an absolute hoot to drive. Yet this is all done at legal speeds... to go any faster would simply feel too dangerous! I also wonder that, because it takes so much effort to get up to speed that, subconsciously, I think it'll take a similar effort to slow down again. Easy come, easy go...

But I repeat, it's and absolute hoot to drive. I'd wager much more fun than most modern cars. But then I guess most people just use cars as tools to get to places as quickly, easily, in as much comfort and least effort as possible.

Most people are drivers of cars, whereas I'm a proper Motorist! Motoring should be for enthusiasts and experts!

kwackers
Posts: 15231
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: High Performance Cars

Postby kwackers » 3 Dec 2020, 10:42am

rareposter wrote:<snip>

You ignore all the main points.

AI is improving exponentially.
It *will* be able to drive a car far better than a human can (on autopilot alone Tesla's have demonstrated themselves to be an order of magnitude safer than cars not running automation).
In 10 years we've gone from simple lane following to complex behaviour, in another 10 self driving will be fully solved.

I agree that the more automation the less the human operator concentrates - that is after all the point of self driving. You don't want them to interfere.
There's a saying in aviation; "planes fly in spite of pilots not because of them". Accident investigation after investigation show the pilot at fault rather than the automation, cherry picking out the few where that's not true is hardly making a point valid just as the odd Tesla crash doesn't prove the tech doesn't work despite what the media claims.

And of course you're correct in saying there are lots of other solutions but "the war on the motorist" is still a thing and thus most are politically unattractive, also for the most part they only address tiny bits of the issue.
If you can't remove cars from the road then taking away control from the ape brain is the next best thing.

Bmblbzzz
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Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: High Performance Cars

Postby Bmblbzzz » 3 Dec 2020, 12:41pm

Given that I work in transport, it isn't - it's a series of tests and considerations that need to be made before FULL autonomy can be considered. By FULL, I mean the point at which EVERY car on the road is talking to all the other cars and the road system and the "driver" is essentially just sitting there reading the paper. There are situations (like having an autonomous lane on motorways) that could come much quicker but autonomous only works to its full potential when everything is working on that same grid. Not a mix of auto and driver-controlled, especially not one where auto ones are programmed to obey the law and a driver-controlled vehicle can "bully" it.

This illustrates the danger of mixing industry jargon and general language without first explaining terms and making clear which meaning you are using.

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[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17971
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: High Performance Cars

Postby [XAP]Bob » 3 Dec 2020, 8:19pm

Fully autonomous doesn’t mean fleet replacement in any sane persons mind - it’s the first car on the road (though it might be hundreds of thousands of them overnight the way we’re headed).
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.