GM Introduces Self-Driving Car That Has No Steering Wheel

Submitted by: fancylad 5 months ago in News & Politics Tech


CNN reports that General Motors’ self-driving division, Cruise Automation, has released a new autonomous vehicle that has no steering wheel or any other manual controls. The plan is for the Chevy Bolt to get the design mod first.

So far, all self-driving cars presented by major companies have all included manual controls, but Cruise has said there is no need for an accelerator, brake pedals, or steering wheel in their vehicles. Multiple screens throughout the car will allow the passengers to communicate with it -- all driving will be verbal.

How about straight jackets attached to the seats and no windows -- let's take all control away from the driver.

Anyway, good luck with the early models -- it's sure to have a few bugs that'll kill a few early adapters.
There are 37 comments:
Male 548
You mean I can read a book instead of getting angry during stop-and-go rush hour traffic for 45 minutes twice a day? Sign me up, please!
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Male 3,764
All driving wil be verbal? I guess stutterers are gonna be fucked, huh?
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Male 21,403


The thing is, either all cars have to be self-driving or this would never work. That's my main beef -- humans self-correcting and trying to out maneuver these driverless cars is a recipe for accidents. 
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Male 1,940
fancylad I really don't think so.  I think these autonomous vehicles will fare well against nitwits.  The real trouble will be the hignway and road infrastructure improvements required so these cars can verify where the road edge is and where intersections are.  Up north after a light snow, it's impossible to tell where the roadsides are.
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Male 5,908
Most of us are just too old to be comfortable with this idea, but in another 20 years, it will be the norm.
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Male 1,634
daegog Hey, we actually agree on something.  Awesome.
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Male 116
The idea of self driving cars isn't that scary if every car on the road is a self driving car.  It will be the transitional period of self driving vehicles and manual operated ones on the road at the same time that will be truly terrifying. 
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Male 9,582
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Male 12,053
megrendel That's just your monkey brain speaking (so to speak). Surely your scientific / rational brain realizes that this is infinitely safer, no? This will virtually eliminate car accidents and traffic jams.

As freaky as it seems, our grandkids are going to view it as a completely normal mode of transportation and the idea of steering wheels will seem freaky to them.

"Grandpa you mean to tell me you were going 80 miles an hour at night on a road and there were cars coming at you at 80 miles an hour and if the guy in the other car moves his hand 2 inches the only thing that protects you is a yellow line painted on the ground?"
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Male 9,582
holygod This will virtually eliminate car accidents and traffic jams.

No, it will just give the term 'My Computer Crashed' a whole new (possibly fatal) meaning. 

I work with computers enough to know that they fail and screw-up all the time. 

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Male 548
megrendel True, however, the automotive industry has some of the most stringent safety standards compared to other fields (including aerospace) of the economy. My guess is they won't fail like PCs do, in terms of the regularity of failure. For instance, how many times do the regular computer control modules in your car fail (ECU, TCM, BCM, etc)? My guess is seldom, if ever. 
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Male 9,582
mrsnowmeiser I've had to take a car in for a faulty ECU.  I've had a car basically have a nervous breakdown that involved replacing the ECU and majority of sensors.

Most recently (4 months) I had my truck's EPS unit mess up and the truck start pulling violently to the right at random intervals. (BTW...them puppies cost $3K to replace.)
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Male 21,403
megrendel that gif is a side-splitter. 
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Male 1,634
megrendel Yes, they do, which is why these autonomous vehicles have several, separate, redundant systems in place.
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Male 9,582
waldo863 Well, they can keep their several, separate an redundant system.  It still only takes a shorted wire or blown fuse to fuck it up.

Don't get me wrong, I like advances. Adaptive Cruise Control is awesome. But I still have oversight and ultimate control. 
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Male 304
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Male 9,582
johndplorable Nice!

Virtually every Asimov robot story was based on the conflict inherent with the three laws.

When he ran out of those type conflict, he added another law...the Zeroth law. 
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Male 1,634
megrendel a shorted wire or a blown fuse would impact one system, not the other redundant system.  That's why there are separate redundant systems.  You would then know you need to take it in for service ASAP and it would work in the mean time.  The chances of all redundant systems failing simultaneously is pretty low, though you are right, it could happen.

However, as a human, no you do not have ultimate control.  Power steering goes out?  Brake fluid leaks out?  Several things can cause you to lose ultimate control and a computer can respond to those situations much much faster than you or I.
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Male 9,582
waldo863  The chances of all redundant systems failing simultaneously is pretty low 

I see you are not acquainted with Mr. Murphy. 

waldo863 Power steering goes out?

You can still steer, it's just more difficult. (power steering is an assisting system...how much do you know about cars, anyway?).  Plus, the automated car still has the same issue with steering. 

waldo863 Brake fluid leaks out? 

Okay, an automated car will still have the same braking system and problems...I think a human element when the brakes go out would  help out in more situations than a command tree.
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Male 1,634
megrendel 

I did admit it could happen, but the chances are pretty low.  Of course it will happen, but the rate at which it will happen will still be lower than human error.

Yes, I can still steer, and yes, I know how cars work.  However, I do know people that have had their power steering go out and due to being weak could not turn their vehicle.

Yes, an automated car could still have those failures as well, but apparently you missed the point where a computer can respond faster to those situations than a human.
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Male 9,582
waldo863 And I state that a human will be able to respond correctly more often than a computer, which is guided only by it's input and programming, and no amount of programming can cover every single variable.

Humans are still more intuitive than even the most advanced programing. 

It takes approximately 6.5 million lines of code to fly a jumbo jet.

Currently it takes about 100 million lines of code to drive a car, and that STILL does not even begin to cover all possible scenarios.

Say I'm going down the road and see something in my way.  Is it a moose? Is it a Kangaroo?  What if it's a kid in a zombie moose costume?  I can determine instantly, "KID" and react appropriately. 

But a computer could very well be confused as  that particular situation is too unusual to be included in the standard risk database, so the vehicle would either miss-categorize it, perhaps treating costumed fun-seekers as injured animals or riotous mobs, or simply freezing.  

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Male 548
megrendel That raises a pretty important moral dilemma which might arise from autonomous vehicles in the future. 

Imagine an autonomous vehicle being put into a crisis situation wherein two main scenarios can happen: 1) run over three people in front of you or 2) immediately swerve to the right and hit a car carrying a single passenger, but that is also on the road in traffic. 

What does the car do?

Furthermore, who gets the blame once this crisis situation happens? Automaker, part supplier, etc?

Some lawyers and judges are going to have a hell of a time with this in the future, I'm guessing. 
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Male 1,634
holygod Grandkids?  At the rate this stuff is moving, it may seem normal to my daughter as her first car may be autonomous.
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Male 12,053
waldo863 Well, I more meant to the point of them not understanding non self driving cars. We're still a ways from that. I think my kids' first cars may be autonomous as well, but they will be old enough to remember today's cars. 
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Male 1,009
"So far, all self-driving cars presented by major companies have all included manual controls"
Google is not a major company, eh?
http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/13/us/google-self-driving-car-pulled-over/index.html

Awaiting a retraction for this serious misrepresentation of facts. Shame on you, fancylad! ;P
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Male 21,403
boredhuman Google is not a major car company.
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Male 1,634
fancylad I agree, they are not.  But that's not what you wrote in the article either.  Move the goal posts much?
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Male 1,009
fancylad Pitiful excuses. You clearly stated "major companies." Nice try covering up your lies! ;p 
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Male 21,403
boredhuman Semantics.

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Male 1,709
"let's take all control away from the driver"
I only want self-driving cars so I can sleep on the way to work anyway..
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Male 12,053
squidbush Or on the way anywhere.

Let's say you have a self driving electric car and your house runs on solar. 

Now all of a sudden it doesn't matter how far you live from work. You can get in your car and sleep for 2 or 3 hours on your way to work.

Hell, I could live in Phoenix and work in L.A.


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Male 1,709
holygod They had better make the seats DAMN comfortable!
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Male 12,053
"let's take all control away from the driver"

37,000+ traffic fatalities last year.

Yes, let's.
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Male 853
The driver is the cause of most accidents, so maybe?  I know I don't trust all those nutjobs out there on the roads.
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Male 4,949
"How about straight jackets attached to the seats and no windows" I like it fancy, I like it.
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Male 28
trimble Just because they are pronounced the same it doesn't mean s-t-r-a-i-t = s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t.
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