Getting Closer To Autonomous Cars: Vans Make The Trip From Italy To China

from the marco...-polo... dept

Back in July we mentioned that some researchers had begun an attempt to have an autonomous vehicle drive safely from Italy to China. Then, about a month ago, we also noted that Google had been successfully testing autonomous vehicles on the roads as well. Now, Slashdot alerts us to the news that the Italy to China effort was completed successfully. As with the Google experiments, it wasn’t “perfect.” Apparently, humans had to intervene during a Moscow traffic jam — and at toll booths. They also mention that “at one point, a van stopped to pick up hitchhikers.” That’s quite a story the hitchhikers must have left with… Either way, it’s nice to see so much research going on in this field. Hopefully we can start to see some of that research make its way into actual production vehicles, at least to improve accident reduction techniques.

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Comments on “Getting Closer To Autonomous Cars: Vans Make The Trip From Italy To China”

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KnownHuman (profile) says:

Who Stands to Benefit

This area of research should rather interesting to watch in terms of future business potential. It would be interesting to see the beverage and hospitality industry really get behind this, while the taxi (and to a lesser extent, insurance) industries argue against autonomous vehicles.

Imagine the potential drop in drunk driving accidents.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Who Stands to Benefit

What about autonomous package delivery vehicles. A car has a package and only the sender and receiver of the package have the keys to the car. The car simply drives from the sender to the receiver and the receiver then opens the car, takes the package, and locks it back up. The car drives back.

Quick, I should get a patent!!!

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Who Stands to Benefit

I’d imagine the taxi companies would be all for this – think if they could eliminate most of their labor expenses while at the same time making their entire fleet of vehicles available 24/7. Big profits.

Once these things are proven safe and reliable, insurance companies will love them. They could offer marginally lower rates while greatly reducing their costs for accidents. Big profits. And if something goes wrong – you can bet they’ll be suing the manufacturers.

Ryan Diederich says:

Several Things...

Of course insurance companies would benefit; the odds of an accident occuring (this is what they base their rates on) go down. They get to offer a lower price if they desire, and pocket the difference.

Anyways, I will never in my life give complete control of a vehicle to a machine. This is all well and good, and it should hit the brakes for me if Im in danger and whatever, but it shouldnt do everything.

Remember the guy who followed his GPS up a goat run?

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