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Robo Cars

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Robo Cars

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Robot Cars and where they can take us
Brad Templeton
Chicken, Chicken (& Foresight Institute)‫‏‬ bradt@eff.org

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Robocars are coming
• No longer Science Fiction • A question of when, not if • The overwhelming arguments for them • Green, green, green, safe, safe, safe • The implications for mass transit

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They're coming
– DARPA Grand Challenge #1: Total failure – DARPA Grand Challenge #2: Five cars – Urban Challenge – 3 winners – Videos

– Autonomous, not centrally controlled

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Arguments For it
Death toll, Death toll, Death toll And‫‏‬don’t‫‏‬forget‫‏‬the‫‏‬maiming! Geeks can save the planet
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Accidents
• Kill 45,000 in USA, 1M worldwide, injure far more • Cost 230 billion dollars (over 2% of GDP) • Every year we delay, another million die.

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Congestion
• Congestion wastes 4 to 8 billion hours, 6 billion gallons • Just timed lights improves city gas mileage 30% • Hours spent driving -- 50 billion, 10% of total working hours, 5% of waking

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Infrastructure
• Parking • Real Estate • Environment -- 25% of greenhouse gasses

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Speed and Comfort

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Death toll

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Self Delivery
Almost as important as self-driving

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The Robotaxi
And the WhistleCar

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Cell phone summoned
If what you need isn't close, something that is close takes you to it

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Right Vehicle
10-mile electric trike to pickup truck to van to SUV to bus

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Most common – the minicar

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Private cars for hire
• Custom memory for your preferences • Your box of stuff, robot loaded

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Parks itself, Charges or refuels itself
• Parks more effeciently, even in driveways • Solves the battery problem • Allows experimental fuels with vastly less infrastructure

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Special features
• Gentle acceleration, constant speed • Gimbaled turns • Super-soft suspension

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Compared to other forms
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Infrastructure already in place
(compare with PRT or other private ROWs)

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The private individuals pay for it
• No hugely expensive ROW needed • Already more capacity than needed

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Almost every advantage transit has
…including‫‏‬one‫‏‬it‫‏‬doesn’t actually have

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Greener
• • • • • • • • Cars: 3500 btu/passenger-mile Bus: Also 3500. Trolleybus: 3200 Light rail: 1500 to 7000 Heavy Rail: 2200 to 6000. NYC: 3300 Electric Car: 500-700 Lightweight electric trike: 300 Cyclist: 145. Beefeater - about 6,000. Pedestrian: 300. Beefeater - about 12,000

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Light Rail Energy Use

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More advantages
• • • • • • • No parking No congestion Read/Work Don't need licence Don't need to own a car Cheap Safer from accidents

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Almost every advantage private cars have

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Roadmap to get there

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Drive by wire car

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Self parking car
Lexus LS460-L

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BMW 5 and 7 Auto-spacing cruise control
Audi, Volvo S80 Lane change warning Infiniti Lane departure prevention Mercedes Pre-Safe applies brakes before accident. Lexus pre-collision similar
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Robovalet Garage (Home garage 5' high)
Military use in parallel

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Accident-avoiding car
(somewhat negates death toll.)

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Special lanes

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School of Fish

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Deliverbot

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Whistlecar

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Autopilot w/ human oversight

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Allowed on regular streets
The‫‏‬lobbies…

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Robocar only lanes

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Robocar only streets

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Robocar only zones

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Sleeper cars

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Superlightweights

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Time for Apollo Project
• A major leader, somewhere, must declare the charge. • Do‫‏‬it‫‏‬not‫‏‬because‫‏‬it’s‫‏‬easy‫‏‬but‫‏‬because‫‏‬it’s‫‏‬ hard • May well happen in Japan, India or China first

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All I have time for, but
• • • • • Barriers Downsides Engineering Changes Deliverbots http://www.templetons.com/brad/robocars/

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Barriers
• • • • • • Law Fear Liability Terrorists Technology Software reliability

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Downsides
• • • • • • • • Health Restructuring of cities, less walking People taking longer trips, empty trips Computer Intrusion and Mass Failure Reworking of car culture Privacy Freedom Jobs

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Engineering Changes
• • • • • • Range not a factor Acceleration and speed not a factor Comfort much more of a factor, soft ride. Want to be sharable Different safety constraints Small width, face-to-face

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Deliverbots
• • • • In military, then on back streets No need to own expensive, rarely used goods Vast alteration of the nature of retail Also changes, airports, farms etc.

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