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Nissan aims to put self-driving cars on Japan's road in 2016

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Just goes to show that consumer preference trumps all.

Self-driving cars are not for sale yet, so nothing goes to show anything yet. That won't be known until they are actually on the market.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some big regulatory hurdles to clear. Do you need a driving license to ride in a self driving car? Who's responsible for the car?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maybe you like driving now, Mr. Bush, but how will you feel when you are retired and at some point not allowed to renew your license? This happens to everyone who lives long enough. Self-driving cars mean older and disabled people will have the same access to private transportation as everybody else.

So far as taxi drivers and truck drivers, they will go the way of stagecoach drivers, chimney sweeps, small farmers, and ice delivery men. When you reject obvious society advancements to preserve jobs in outdated and unnecessary professions, you may as well shut the economy down. People finds new ways to make money, as they always have.

Personally, I am delighted that I will have the option of a self driving car when I get older. I doubt I could afford to take a taxi everywhere - especially with the prices jacked up by taxi medallion fees and other things.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think driverless cars will just cause more congestion and pollution. I'm often too lazy to drive anywhere but if I can now sit there staring at my phone or reading a book, I'll be driving everywhere all the time.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

So far as taxi drivers and truck drivers, they will go the way of stagecoach drivers, chimney sweeps, small farmers, and ice delivery men. When you reject obvious society advancements to preserve jobs in outdated and unnecessary professions, you may as well shut the economy down. People finds new ways to make money, as they always have.

I was going to say much the same thing, with blacksmiths as my example.

Times change, professions are lost. That's the way progress works.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Really curious if these cars will be able to handle the snowy/icy road conditions here.

As for lost professions, the path of history is littered with many. As sad as it may be for those with pride in their jobs or nostalgia for old ways, it is inevitable. But which will be the biggest factor for taxi drivers, self-driving cars or Uber type systems? Come to think of it how will self driving cars affect Uber?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is my self driving car tries to kill me?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No doubt these cars will come but there are so many big questions to be answered. Who would responsible for an accident? The car? The driver? The system? What about when a regular car of today hits a self-drive car? Would there be no need for drivers licenses anymore? Could people drink and self-drive? Insurance companies would have trouble working these things out too. But in the end, if all cars become like this and they are 99% safe and reliable, it would cut road deaths a lot. Also, imagine just hopping in your car and saying, "Times Square" and off you go. Sit in the back and read the paper or have a nap or finish off your homework etc., just like being on a bus or just like having your own personal driver. Having said that, it would all take a lot of getting used to. A lot of people enjoy driving themselves, myself included.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hate driving. I hope they aren't prohibitably expensive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good idea here. People can do all the other things they do while driving while the car handles itself. Much safer. How about a car that will not start unless everybody has their seat belts fastened. Just an idea.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"More than 4,000 people die in traffic accidents in Japan every year."

And self driving cars will reduce that? So many things I don't understand.

If your self driving car gets into an accident, are you responsible or will people claim car error?

How long will it take for people to get tired of their car doing the speed limit before they get annoyed and take over so they can go 30kph over the limit?

When a dog or child inevitably jumps out in front of your car, will the car swerve to avoid taking into account its surroundings or could I go into oncoming traffic?

Will this increase or decrease car insurance?

Sometimes my google map directions will be completely wrong and send me down a one-way street in the wrong direction if im not paying attention, will this happen to a self driving car, it'll turn down a bike path or a road that doesn't exist anymore?

Will buying a self driving car come with a contract that says the company can't be sued for any unforeseen accident?

Are the hopes that everyone will have one and the roads become like that go-kart ride at Disney, completely controlled?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ideally self driving cars will reduce accidents and improve traffic flow. But it also depends on how many autonomous cars are on the road at the same time as people that choose to drive. An autonomous car would not try to cut someone off, run "red" or yellow lights and stop signs. Human beings do. Those who are elderly or disabled and should not actually be behind the wheel will benefit greatly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And self driving cars will reduce that?

Yes. They have faster reaction times than humans, and will be programmed to be drive at a safe speed. And the more of them there are, the more safe they will be, since they will all be driving under similar parameters.

As to the rest of your questions, there are some good ones in there, and need to be answered and programmed accordingly before they can be released to the general public.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What is not being reported is that these cars will be out of the price range for average people. They will be 2 times to perhaps three times the price of a standard automobile.

What this is - an engineering race to see who can design, develop, manufacture, and put it to market first. It is an auto industry pi**ing contest. If you think these will be as predominant as standard automobiles for at least 20 years you are sadly mistaken. They will again be far too far for reach for average people. Even then there is no guarantee that these will be able to carve a niche in the market and maintain it.

If anything - cool technology, but really nothing more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most new technologies start expensive and get cheaper. The average person couldn't afford the first computers either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No way in the world would I be a passenger in a drive less car. I don't doubt they can do it, I do doubt the safety issues considering no technology can account for other cars and drivers. And as a frequent driver, besides following the road rules, my biggest concern is the unpredictability of other drivers. Today's sic-fi is tomorrow's fact. Driverless cars are still sic-fi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fantastic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This will prove to be very dangerous. The biggest problem with most drivers in the metropolitan area is, not enough driving experience or practice driving. Now, with these self-driving cars they are going to decrease the experience even more. Yeah, a smart car can cruise on a highway, but it can't park itself nor can it negotiate those deadly narrow roads. These are the places where many accidents happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some of the comments above make me think that eventually non self driving will be banned - or the license requirements will be very strict. Human drivers, after all, with be the most dangerous people on the road.

Also, if these are made available for use anywhere with a credit card, there may be no need to own a car for many people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can see how this would be very beneficial for those living in areas with inadequate public transportation who cannot drive, due to age or infirmity.

On the other hand, I'm not sure if I'm ready to trust a computer-operated car when the "BSOD" could become frighteningly real.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Steve Crichton " How about a car that will not start unless everybody has their seat belts fastened. Just an idea."

My technologically advanced family had that from the mid 1960's. It was called "the car driven by Mom." And in short order, "the car driven by Dad." The key didn't turn in the ignition until confirmation of fastened belts.

If these cars really become completely self driving then we wouldn't need driver licenses and all the driving schools would go out of business? Or would fire engines, ambulances and such still require human drivers?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is not being reported is that these cars will be out of the price range for average people. They will be 2 times to perhaps three times the price of a standard automobile.

Just like all products, they will be expensive at the start, and get cheaper over time

If you think these will be as predominant as standard automobiles for at least 20 years you are sadly mistaken.

I don't think anyone has stated otherwise.

One thing is for sure, if you want to cut off a driverless car ie. when turning right (left in the US/Europe) go ahead and do so, the car will stop for sure and who's going to give you the bird... nobody.

Driverless car doesn't mean empty car. Whoever is in the car is still going to give you the bird for being a d*ck.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Still, I think it's important to make it possible to drive "autonomous cars" manually, in case of computer errors. I wonder how accurately the cars can drive itself. Provided its safety , those cars would be helpful for elderly, and for those who have some disability.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Your point being?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sounds dangerous to semi-automate them - such as the changing lanes function. I'm sure people will think the car is in control when in reality it isn't. Better to wait for full automation or nothing in my opinion. Except for the auto hazard avoidance function of course, that one sounds very handy

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What's going to stop you from whipping around the road like you own the place, you'd have no reason to be courtesy or mindful. The same goes for pedestrians. People will just cross whenever and wherever knowing that cars must stop.

What's to stop you from jumping in front of a train? Same thing. Not to mention better enforced laws against that sort of behavior. And not all that many people are that nutty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and says they will be able to navigate busy urban environments on their own by 2020. great so does this mean we can do away with all those old taxi drivers, just put a vending machine in each car, with no salaries to pay taxi fees should come down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nissan aims to put self-driving cars on Japan's road in 2016

Which road is that, then?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

great so does this mean we can do away with all those old taxi drivers, just put a vending machine in each car, with no salaries to pay taxi fees should come down.

It would probably also mean a higher unemployment rate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It would probably also mean a higher unemployment rate. unfortunatley thats progress, if taxi companies want to keep drivers in control then thats fine, but a car without a driver will probably be cheaper to run and also make fewer crashes than a human driver. cheaper to run, less crashes, cheaper insurance will mean cheaper competing fees. no different than factory using robots instead of humans.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

unfortunatley thats progress,

It would not stop with taxis. I would imagine that buses and trucks, etc would also become driver-less. I am not so sure I like this progress. Taking more and more work away from humans might not be the best thing for society. I am also not sure if it means cheaper services either. Look at self-service gasoline stations or self-service cashiers in supermarkets. In the case of the gasoline stations, the prices is the same or sometimes even more than full service. In supermarkets, it is exactly the same. It just means fewer people working and I don't think that is a good thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the US a whole lot of legislature has been in the works to make way for driverless vehicles. One law above all others still stands that a "driver" must be behind the wheel at all times. So in case of severe emergency situations a person can take control. Taxi, truck, and delivery drivers will not be losing their jobs any time soon until we get fully functional androids to sit in the drivers seat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it was around 1905 that a law was passed in England that a person had to walk in front of an "automotive vehicle" with a red flag to warn other road users.

We laugh at this now, but current vehicle legislation will probably look the same to us as this does in 20 years time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One law above all others still stands that a "driver" must be behind the wheel at all times. So in case of severe emergency situations a person can take control. Taxi, truck, and delivery drivers will not be losing their jobs any time soon until we get fully functional androids to sit in the drivers seat.

Okay, fair enough. This makes it much more reasonable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They'll probably modify a Nissan Leaf to build a self-driving car. It's going to be a tall order project, especially given how narrow many roads are in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If all cars on the road were self-drive, reacting in exactly the same way to programming, weather conditions, legal/insurance requirements, moose, kangaroos, moggies etc then we might MIGHT be okay. (how would it tell a wallaby from a child?). Add human intervention in the way of override etc. (they would have to have this) and you get potential problems. You wanna crash your computer, go ahead. It is not affecting anyone else. A computer on wheels at 70 km/h is another thing. We could have lanes similar to bicycle or truck lanes, which would carry only self-drive traffic, but considering the variation and extent of the road network, forget it for extensive use. Maybe niché, inner city use. But, nice try, Mr. Ghosn. Park the self-drive DMC-12 in front of the Beta-only video tape store.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back streets in Japan are far too complex for self-drive cars.

However, if the self-drive function came into operation on expressways, surely it would be fairly easy to implement.

Before Japan does this, though, how about a leap into the 20th century and giving Japanese cities actual addresses? You know, with street names on the corners and house numbers? Like the rest of the planet.

The Chome/Banchi system is medieval.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Taxi, truck, and delivery drivers will not be losing their jobs any time soon until we get fully functional androids to sit in the drivers seat. taxi truck drivers I wouldnt be so sure, delivery drivers wont be far behind, once drone technology takes off theyll be delivered by air within a few hrs. larger items will still need to be carried to your door.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@BertieWooster I would imagine the grid chome/banchi system, based as it is on numbers, would be better for a computerized system. In fact it is ahead of it's time. Better than trying to find 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Naming every street is quaint. But not enough names for Tokyo. Not enough numbers if you want to go New York-style.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rik314,

It's a system that probably makes sense to someone sitting in an office who never has to find where 3 Chome 2-16-201 is. Where we live in Okinawa it's even worse. Our area is XYZ 1256-5. NOWHERE is this written in the streets around the apartment. I have no idea where 1256-4 begins and ends or 1256-6 - if there is one. When we moved here (built up residential area), the removal guys (an Okinawan company) phoned to ask where our apartment was.

I hate to think how big and powerful the computer system would have to be to handle this kind of confusion, let alone the cyclists on the right, the left and the centre of the road, pedestrians, drunks and stray cats, electric poles and cars going the wrong way down a one way street.

I think self-drive should be restricted to expressways.

It would be nice to get on an expressway, switch onto auto-pilot and catch up with some paperwork.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Burning bush,

Supposing two driverless cars meet head to head in a narrow road in Japan - happens all the time in Okinawa. What do the DL cars do? Is it an impasse? Or are they programmed to shout at each other?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it not strange that in a world of cause and effect, people somehow keep the fallacy that there are "accidents"? When cars are operated by constant vigilance and super fast response, "accidents" (really collisions, over turnings,) will magically disappear. The causes....speeding, texting, phoning, eating, adjusting something or other, taking dumb chances will no longer happen. No cause of an incident=no incident.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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