Electric Cars - The Future?

DistortAMG

TS Member
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It's a fallacy to think an autonomous car won't have an accident. Of course it will, and people will die. The question is, will it be safer per 1000 miles than the average driver? If so then it's a success.

I absolutely agree with you. Automous cars will crash. Maybe not as much as cars with human drivers but it will happen.

An interesting, slightly dark, but very important and repevent article that I read recently, was discussing this paraphrased subject:

The automated car you are sitting in finds itself in a situation where a crash is inevitable. What should the car do and how should it respond to the situation in front of it.

As a very neutral example. Say the car had 4 passengers, found itself in trouble and had to swerve onto the pavement to save the car and passengers, but took out 4 padestrians (which it would already have seen) to save the car. Or, taking another way which would more than likely result in the car rolling and causing serious injury or death to the passangers, but saving the pedestrians.

This sort of decision making is a very real issue they are trying to solve, I don't think anyone knows the answer and although quite dark, it's extremely relevant for autonomas cars.
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
This reminds me of the whole "is Facebook a publisher?" thing where we've let technology steam ahead of the legislature.

At the end of the day, there should always be a human to be held accountable for anything that happens and technology should not be used as an excuse to hide behind. It's the reason pharmacists still exist and why computers haven't replaced GP's despite numerous attempts over the last decade.

If my self driving and/or speed controlled vehicle ends up killing a pedestrian then there needs to be robust laws in place to ensure that someone in silicon Valley is extradited to face a UK court for their negligence.

Sadly however, I think what will happen is exactly what has happened with Google, Apple, Uber, Amazon etc over the past decade already. Big business, hungry to sack some expensive workers will use tech to achieve this, government will be unwilling to act and then something goes wrong and they somehow try to get some legislation through to remedy the situation after the horse has bolted.

People will die, then we'll scratch our heads wondering who was to blame and realise that the answer is no one because we don't have up to date laws to deal with such circumstances.
 

Alsty

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@DistortAMG, what you're describing is the Trolley Problem. If a runaway trolley is about to kill five people but you have the ability to divert it to kill one person instead, do you do it? The experiment becomes more interesting when, for example, that one person is a child or somebody you love. There's no easy answers.
 

Lurker

TS Member
I've long been interested about the most efficient way of getting power to the car, and perhaps someone here has more of an idea.

Firstly a turbine, even if using fossil fuels is far more efficient than a small engine for a car. So in theory you are not only moving pollution out of residential areas but also reducing it.

However, getting the power to the car through the grid, and then actually charging the battery also uses the power, so including that, which is actually more efficient? I've tried to research this but as it's variable depending on the battery and where you live, it's hard to find any graph which could illustrate wether its overall better or worse than a traditional fossil fuel burning car?

Obviously you can also take 'green' energy like nnuclea and wind which helps tip the balance too, but there is no guarantee (especially with wind/solar) that the energy is green in that exact moment (as far as I know). Whilst I was living at university we at least had a meter which stated how much of the power was coming from the onsite wind turbine. Where I live no I've no idea where my power is coming from.

Additionally I rent an apartment which has an outdoor parking space included. I've no way to charge an electric car even if I bought one, and I'd say this is true for more people in more densely populated areas. (Aside from new build blocks which from what I've seen have chargers in the car parks). So where it's most needed is also where it's hardest to use.

As for autonomous cars, I fully support the technology. People will die using them, thousands of people. I don't care if the rate is equal to current cars where over a million people die a year. Technology needs time to develop, and needs to be on the roads to work out the bugs. Just mandate that a driver is behind the wheel and is ready to take over if anything goes wrong, that way it's their fault if anything goes wrong.

What is a million people in the grand scheme of things?

It's also worth pointing out that there are ~3% of jobs which will no longer exist if fully automated cars become a thing. Hundreds of millions lose their job overnight, it's clear to see why some would oppose the progress of automated cars.
 

speedy

TS Member
I've long been interested about the most efficient way of getting power to the car, and perhaps someone here has more of an idea.

Firstly a turbine, even if using fossil fuels is far more efficient than a small engine for a car. So in theory you are not only moving pollution out of residential areas but also reducing it.

However, getting the power to the car through the grid, and then actually charging the battery also uses the power, so including that, which is actually more efficient? I've tried to research this but as it's variable depending on the battery and where you live, it's hard to find any graph which could illustrate wether its overall better or worse than a traditional fossil fuel burning car?

Obviously you can also take 'green' energy like nnuclea and wind which helps tip the balance too, but there is no guarantee (especially with wind/solar) that the energy is green in that exact moment (as far as I know). Whilst I was living at university we at least had a meter which stated how much of the power was coming from the onsite wind turbine. Where I live no I've no idea where my power is coming from.

Additionally I rent an apartment which has an outdoor parking space included. I've no way to charge an electric car even if I bought one, and I'd say this is true for more people in more densely populated areas. (Aside from new build blocks which from what I've seen have chargers in the car parks). So where it's most needed is also where it's hardest to use.

As for autonomous cars, I fully support the technology. People will die using them, thousands of people. I don't care if the rate is equal to current cars where over a million people die a year. Technology needs time to develop, and needs to be on the roads to work out the bugs. Just mandate that a driver is behind the wheel and is ready to take over if anything goes wrong, that way it's their fault if anything goes wrong.

What is a million people in the grand scheme of things?

It's also worth pointing out that there are ~3% of jobs which will no longer exist if fully automated cars become a thing. Hundreds of millions lose their job overnight, it's clear to see why some would oppose the progress of automated cars.
There may be grants for installing a charging port... my parents have a Leaf (monthly payment type thing) and I'm pretty sure either Nissan the dealership or the government funded the socket in our garage.

I think reducing pollution in city centres is the most important point here. Ultimately I think we need to move away from the idea of personal car ownership, and electric/driverless cars won't solve traffic, but at the very least they will save thousands of lives by cutting pollution and so they are worth it IMO.
 

Lurker

TS Member
Totally agree that personal car ownership doesn't make any sense when it's possible for a hive of automated cars to anticipate where they'll be needed and only ever be a moment away.

I think a socket in a garage is easier than a stand/pump style thing in an outdoor car park. (Which is why I said that it's going to be least available in cities, where the vast majority don't own a garage) It's already a big problem of people parking in your spot, it'd be worse if they thought they could charge up while at it too! It's harder still when it's leasehold, so I'd have to get the management company to agree to disrupt the rest of the residents to fit it and the associated cables. All a bit of a distant dream at the moment.
 

rob666

TS Member
It would be pretty much cost neutral for me to get a new (ish) electric vehicle for my gardening round, but I live on a main road in a terraced property, with poor access to the back alleyway.
Feeding the lecky via the bedroom window to the road is illegal, and the nearest charger is over a mile away, so I can't just charge it up and walk home easily.
I want Diogo to sort me out a nice miniature nuclear reactor to keep in a trailer behind my electric van, that should sort it.
 

IanSR

TS Member
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Squirrels? Horses are too big, might as well just ride them instead of sticking them in a wheel generator.
 

rob666

TS Member
Think Ive seen a horse powered car...horse in a hamster wheel, powering a big flatbed trailer/parade float thing.
It was on one of the world's weirdest animals shows.
Bet Richard Gere would invest in a hamster powered car.
 
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IanSR

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Richard Branson would, right before running round the corner and jumping back in his gas guzzling Aston Martin lol.
 
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