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Comment: Re:Your situation isn't everybody's. (Score 1) 88

by Firethorn (#48925443) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

And 10% savings with no changes to technology (apart from the platooning system of course) or driving is pretty good, isn't it?

Only on a closed track, and remember that my assertion isn't that the gas savings aren't there, it's that even with self-driving cars 8 meters isn't safe once you start trying to move it to production, especially when you'd have cars of different makes, and maintenance levels in the 'platoons'. It'd also be limited(mostly) to the highway systems, which doesn't do much for most commutes.

Comment: Re:Not just slashdot. (Score 1) 127

Just a nitpick, but most of the UTVs I'm talking about could easily be considered a "Mini Truck - (44)“Mini truck” means any four-wheeled, reduced-dimension truck that does not have a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration truck classification, with a top speed of 55 miles per hour, and which is equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, and seat belts."

For example, one can point out that this does indeed have 4 wheels, isn't NTSA truck classified, I don't know about top speed, but with 22.8 hp it's probably NOT hitting 55, and it has lights & turn signals. All you'd need to do is mount mirrors.

You can get electric, as well.

For example, I can't think of any routes that you could safely use to get from downtown Tampa to downtown St. Petersburg.

That's kind of exceeding what I was targeting as well - the old farts in retirement communities moving around the neighborhood.

Comment: Re:Your situation isn't everybody's. (Score 1) 88

by Firethorn (#48918597) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

15 meters is the max they measured, you really need to be within 9 meters to realize 10% fuel savings.

That close you're looking at an impact by following vehicles if something happens to make the lead vehicle abruptly stop or slow.

Also, I wasn't considering dedicated 'lead' vehicles like trucks, but other cars, and computer driven by lots of different companies.

IE I don't trust their communications.

Comment: Not just slashdot. (Score 1) 127

True, golf carts aren't great if you have to go across town, but apparently they're quite popular in the retirement areas down in Florida. If you don't walk so well anymore, the weather's nice(though full cab versions exist), and all you want to do is go to the local convenience store or local community center they're great.

You also have UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles), which are golf-car like, but generally more powerful. They're popular in many industrial areas for zipping around while taking up less space than full size vehicles would need. Quicker to get in and out of as well.

Summary: I wouldn't underestimate their ability to sell and be useful in niche categories.

Comment: Re:Your situation isn't everybody's. (Score 1) 88

by Firethorn (#48909649) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Research done has shown that for real mpg improvements you need to be closer than even a computer controlled car can compensate for, and you pay for it by needing to brake so often that you burn off any potential savings.

Computer controlled cars might be able to do it better, but do you trust the signals from the lead car?

Comment: Martial law (Score 2) 293

I think this is why it managed to say 'secret' for so long. When you were briefed into the program you realized that:
1. The plan was incredibly unlikely to ever go 'live'
2. If the plan DID have to go 'live' things were so FUBAR that it was the best remaining option.

We need continuity in government. So long as the military command(majority of surviving government due to being designed to survive attack) gives command back over to civilians in a reasonable timeframe*, we're good.

*2-4 years? Enough for a new election cycle, at least.

Comment: Re:Still sounds like early flight... (Score 1) 88

by Firethorn (#48909203) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

I don't know, the world's 2 most ancient professions are still around... ;)

Actually, I'd imagine that truck drivers, especially long haul, would suffer before taxi drivers.

The taxi 'industry' would be fine, perhaps even invigorated by this. Fire all the nasty taxi drivers, have a computer do dispatch, etc...

Reduce costs enough and people will be less likely to buy a car rather than just renting one when they need it.

As you say - need a heavier vehicle, rent one, even over the phone. Heck, buy something and arrange for delivery. It'll drop the package wherever. Though delivery services at that short range are often cheap enough to be worth the human labor placing it in it's final location and hauling the old one away.

Comment: Re:No fuck off (Score 2) 443

by Firethorn (#48909075) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

Sometimes they're sitting there between calls doing paperwork.

The problem with cutting their budget is that traffic enforcement(writing tickets) generates revenue, solving crimes doesn't. So you'd be forcing them to write even more tickets.

Even in areas where the police department doesn't get a cut of ticket revenues, generally the legislatures will alter funding - IE give the cops money to be able to afford to write tickets where the money from the tickets goes to the schools. If they don't write enough tickets, they'll be questioned by the budget committees.

Comment: Re:Still sounds like early flight... (Score 1) 88

by Firethorn (#48908489) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

You obviously spout misinformed nonsense - the only opponent with some national support was Langley.

You spout things you do not know. I never stated that they all had national support. I don't remember who, but Langley wasn't the only one with government support. Which is why I said 'some'.

Comment: Time value of money (Score 1) 88

by Firethorn (#48908449) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Do you own a car? If so, do you change it's oil or take it to a place? Why?

Most people don't do it as explicitly as I did, but people still do it. It's one of the major reasons people drive rather than taking the bus. Sure, it's more expensive to drive, but they value their time highly enough that they'd rather spend $5 to get there in 1/3rd the time that the bus would take.

People especially do it when they hire a contractor to fix something in their home, mow their lawn, etc...

Comment: Re:Depends on use (Score 1) 82

by Firethorn (#48908403) Attached to: Modular Smartphones Could Be Reused As Computer Clusters

At how much cost compared to salvaged cell phone CPUs? Secondly, the 'needs' you list rather depends on the task they're being asked to do. There are still lots of tasks out there that aren't particularly CPU dependent.

Oh, now that's an idea: Said CPUs tend to be fairly ruggedized. What if we're talking about micro-servers intended for use in neighborhood locations for whatever function?

As Kenh says, "maybe not your cellphone".

My cell phone is more powerful than the old domain controller at one of my previous jobs...

All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists know it. -- Richard P. Feynman

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