Flutterby™! : GM talking about self-driving cars

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

GM talking about self-driving cars

2011-10-20 14:17:17.013877+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

GM: Self-Driving Vehicles Could be Ready by End of Decade

“The technologies we’re developing will provide an added convenience by partially or even completely taking over the driving duties,” Taub said. “The primary goal, though, is safety. Future generation safety systems will eliminate the crash altogether by interceding on behalf of drivers before they’re even aware of a hazardous situation.”

Via Green Car Congress, Via Transportationist.

Given that the various people with self-driving cars are saying about $500k per car, and randomly assuming Moore's law, I've been assuming that we'll be at a $2k or so premium per car in a decade and a half. Now that GM's making similar claims, I may have to revise that to half a century.

[ related topics: Politics Weblogs Current Events Journalism and Media Automobiles Archival ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-10-20 19:57:45.647901+00 by: petronius [edit history]

Sometimes even good ideas just don't catch on. I possess a 1960 copy of Popular Mechanics that has a small item about an idea that GM was working on: a system that would selectively turn off various engine cylinders when they weren't needed, so you might have 8 firing when you needed to pass but reduce to 4 when cruising on the interstate. Sound Familiar? its the GM Northstar system , which was introduced in the mid 80s on Cadillacs, but never really caught on. It was revived for high-end GM cars in the 90s, but was eventually phased out in 2010.

Obviously in 1960 they couldn't figure out how to control the system without microchips. These were available by the 80s, but other problems with the system dediviled GM. Even by the 90s the thing had problems. If you do a google search you see all sorts of complaints about ruined hed gaskets. Apparently any problem with a Northstar engine was a major one. Too bad, the idea sounds like a good one.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-10-21 12:46:49.775068+00 by: meuon

I don't want a self-driving car. I do want a small safe high quality car that gets 100mpg+. The "customer electronics module" should be modular. ie; My GPS settings, music, etc.. should either be linked to my phone or be my phone, but I want to "dock" my phone via bluetooth or a standard USB cable.

"Cruise control" might have some special modes: "Max economy" for example, that uses my GPS and "tom tom" (or equiv) info for intelligent coasting/acceleration based on terrain and traffic sensors.

Maybe. Just maybe.. on a long lonely stretch of road, it would have "train" mode, where with a little communication prior to the drivers of the other cars, you lets the cars cruise controls sync up and close the car to car gap for maximum MPG. But only in special places.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-10-21 14:42:05.982187+00 by: petronius

There has been some work on your train mode, called Platooning .

#Comment Re: made: 2011-10-21 16:11:20.764041+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, the car-to-car gap for effective platooning is somewhere in the .5 of a vehicle length range, but it's a really good idea.

I suspect (strongly) that the "I don't want a self-driving car" thing is generational: Kids these days are less a part of the car culture that was so strong when Meuon and I were in our formative years.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-10-21 16:31:10.696159+00 by: m

I don't want a self driving car now, but I probably will in 15 years when I will probably drive the way my father did at that age.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-10-26 21:09:31.886985+00 by: spc476

Bunny and I just completed a road trip between Boca Raton, Florida and Troy, Michigan (1,362.4 miles one way, door to door) and a self-driving car would have been wonderful.