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  #21  
Old 15 September 2017, 10:39 PM
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It wouldn't be to make the safe roads safer, it would be to test the new technology under more controlled conditions and figuring out whether the tech was ready to go on to wider testing on less-safe roads or needed to go back to the lab for more tweaking first.
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  #22  
Old 15 September 2017, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
No, that is not correct.
http://www.airships.net/hindenburg/disaster/myths/

Also, BTW, before that in the same article:
That cite really isn't correct. A big bag of hydrogen wont burn at all until it is ruptured and then it doesn't burn all that hot, most of the heat goes straight up with the hot combustion gases. The flash across the surface of the Hindenburg, which did the most damage, was just the canvas + dope outer shell. In the movie of the crash there is no indication of an actual explosion, which might have happened if there was a significant leak in one of the hydrogen containing bags and that leak mixed with air between the hydrogen bags and the outer shell. The hydrogen certainly did burn but by then the damage was done and the Zeppelin was basically gone. Indeed, it is possible that some of the survivors survived because the burning, lighter-than-air hydrogen generated a significant updraft that kept the wreckage from hitting the ground as fast as it should have.

The Brit's had huge problems shooting down the Zeppelins. Indeed they had to specially design a weapon to do it since standard machine guns did little damage. There were hundreds of Zeppelins in attacks on England. The zeppelins were slow, maybe 80 MPH top speed, and were in British air space for hours for every attack. Yet the Brit's had tremendous difficulty shooting them down and it wasn't until there had been many attacks that they got the bullets needed to down a Zeppelin. Even then the chances of a shot up Zeppelin burring or crashing was still pretty low. Indeed, the first time the Brits succeeded in shooting one down 15 other Zeppelins in the same attack flight escaped without significant damage.

The Zeppelins were terror weapons and did little real damage. The aircraft attack on the Zeppelins were largely symbolic and really didn't do nearly as much damage as you would think a plane would do to a gigantic, lumbering air balloon.

PBS did a Nova recently on the Zeppelin attacks on England. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/militar...or-attack.html
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  #23  
Old 15 September 2017, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
It wouldn't be to make the safe roads safer, it would be to test the new technology under more controlled conditions and figuring out whether the tech was ready to go on to wider testing on less-safe roads or needed to go back to the lab for more tweaking first.
Exactly. Confining the automated vehicles to closed systems is not to make the closed systems safer. It's to make the other, already more dangerous parts of the system not have an additional danger added to it.

And I agree that public funds are limited. I think it makes sense to direct them primarily toward the most dangerous parts of the system. That's why the industry ought to be paying much of the costs, and it's why the vehicles should be kept out of the parts where there would be the greatest added danger.
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  #24  
Old 15 September 2017, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
That cite really isn't correct. A big bag of hydrogen wont burn at all until it is ruptured and then it doesn't burn all that hot, most of the heat goes straight up with the hot combustion gases. The flash across the surface of the Hindenburg, which did the most damage, was just the canvas + dope outer shell.
The cite is very well referenced. It cites the paper that debunked that hypothesis as well as the many zeppelins that burned up the same way simply while refueling etc, not even counting the ones that burned up over Britain when they were hot down - also not a few. I don't think you'll ever be convinced if you read all that and weren't but I urge anyone who thinks that theory is true to read the whole thing and try some of the links, almost any one of which pokes a giant whole in the hypothesis.
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  #25  
Old 15 September 2017, 11:30 PM
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What exactly would need testing on these closed system routes? The ability for a driverless vehicle to follow a path in a closed (or even limited access) system designed for it has been around for years if not decades in automated warehouses and localized delivery systems. Such systems even include collision avoidance and location broadcasting. What hasn't been fully tested is the ability for driverless vehicles to follow preexisting roads with human driven vehicles, pedestrians, and road hazards and irregularities.
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  #26  
Old 16 September 2017, 12:19 AM
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I'm not advocating for closed systems for testing. I'm saying that we should not just accept that there has to be a phase of vehicle automation when automated vehicles have to operate on the same roads with human drivers, or that the time for such integration, if it will happen, is now.

I get that it's a great engineering challenge, and that if a company can do it successfully, it would be great for them. But that doesn't mean that it should actually happen that way. As you say, automated vehicles can already operate relatively safely in closed systems. Why should we not plan a phased switchover to complete automation, where automated vehicles *at this stage* operate only in closed systems? If there eventually has to be a phase where human drivers are included (not a given) why not have that be further down the line, when the technology and infrastructure have developed further so that the whole system is safer?
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  #27  
Old 18 September 2017, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
I think the problem with the "closed ecosystem" model -- nice as it might be in theory -- is that it would require a big investment in infrastructure first, to get the special roads up and running. I just don't see that happening on a large scale.
I don't think that you would need that much infrastructure. At least in Germany, highways (Autobahn) already have clear lines seperating the lanes and indicating the edge of the road, and clear signage indicating speed limits and directions. All those are even today used by driver assistance systems to make sure the car stays in the lane and doesn't go over the speed limit. You also have sensors that can pick up the distance to the car in front of you and to an obstacle in the road and adjust the speed accordingly (also in driver assistance systems). Add a way for the cars to communicate with each other, saying things like "I'm going at a speed of 120 kph until further notice" or "in 500 meters, I'm goint to slow down and change to the exit lane - 480 - 460 - 440..." or "OBSTACLE! Warning to all cars behind me!", and you are basically set to go - as long as you keep drivers from interfering with the system by suddenly changing lanes.

And that's probably where all these plans will end. Here in Germany, driving as fast as you want (at least on the Autobahn) is to many people what the right to bear arms is to US-Americans. "Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger!" ("Free driving for free citicens!") is an often quoted slogan against speed limits:



A system that would mean your car decides how fast you can go would never get public approval here. Although - there is a trend among the millenials towards sharing cars rather than owning one, the maybe the German's fixation on his car is to be a thing of the past one day...
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  #28  
Old 18 September 2017, 08:29 PM
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I'm curious on how how a country's driving habits could come into play, if a closed course isn't used.
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  #29  
Old 18 September 2017, 09:34 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
The cite is very well referenced. It cites the paper that debunked that hypothesis as well as the many zeppelins that burned up the same way simply while refueling etc, not even counting the ones that burned up over Britain when they were hot down - also not a few. I don't think you'll ever be convinced if you read all that and weren't but I urge anyone who thinks that theory is true to read the whole thing and try some of the links, almost any one of which pokes a giant whole in the hypothesis.
OK. The first two "debunked" points are iffy at best. Thermite components were definitely present and thermite (unlike most explosives) really doesn't have a required formulation. There are better and worse formulations but most mixtures of Iron Oxide and Aluminum will burn if ignited. Furthermore, the entire framework of the Zeppelin was aluminum so there is that source in addition to the aluminum that was in the dope.

The "Ultimate Reality" check is 100% bogus. Saying other ships burned says nothing about why they burned. The Brits fired thousands of rounds Including tracers, into German Zeppelins and failed to ignite them. Even with munitions specificaly designed to ignite a Zeppelin the success rate was minuscule, hundred of specialized rounds were required to ignite a particular Zeppelin.

Some of the cites are dead links so they cant be checked.

The fact that it took 34 seconds to destroy the ship means nothing exploded, the ship just burned.

There were several hundred sorties of Zeppelins over Britain. Less that 10 were shot down by aircraft. More were shot down by antiaircraft fire and even more were destroyed by bad weather.

I've seen doped paper burn, it burn vigorously, so I'm not sure about the citations saying the fabric burns poorly. WW-1 airplanes burned vigorously when ignited and they were also doped fabric.
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  #30  
Old 19 September 2017, 12:01 AM
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I don't even know why we have to talk about the Hindenburg or fires over Britain. I mean, while I'm sure your opinion is far more credible than the airship experts who investigated that hypothesis and wrote those articles, to save others the trouble of finding the first link on the article I posted, here is a list of some of the hydrogen airships that have burned up. In hydrogen fires.
http://www.airships.net/hydrogen-airship-accidents/
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  #31  
Old 19 September 2017, 12:12 AM
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But ganzfeld, both those references come from airships.net, and they're clearly anti-hydrogen!
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  #32  
Old 19 September 2017, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I'm saying that we should not just accept that there has to be a phase of vehicle automation when automated vehicles have to operate on the same roads with human drivers, or that the time for such integration, if it will happen, is now.
That's the difference right there. I think the only way that automated cars will ever become viable is if they are able to be integrated into the existing road system with human drivers. Other than maybe a few select routes (IE, Washington DC to New York), there is not going to be enough funding to build a separate highway system or even dedicated on and off ramps for a separate lane on existing highways. And I think the time is now because all the information that can be gathered from sterile or near-sterile testing has already been gathered. AFAIK, none of the accidents involving driverless cars have been simple errors that would have happened on a dedicated road.

Quote:
Why should we not plan a phased switchover to complete automation, where automated vehicles *at this stage* operate only in closed systems? If there eventually has to be a phase where human drivers are included (not a given) why not have that be further down the line, when the technology and infrastructure have developed further so that the whole system is safer?
My answer to the first question is that it is kind of a catch-22. No one is going to build a closed system without a decent chance that there will be enough subscribers to pay for it and few people are going to subscribe to an experimental system without many options.* The issue is somewhat analogous to the issues with cell phone systems except that a cell phone system that covers only one city is still viable.

My answer to the second is that technology and infrastructure has (IMO) reached the limit of what can and will be tested without real world testing. The analogy to me is that automated driving technology is at the point where animal testing has done all it can and it is time for limited human trials.

* For example, based on average interstate highway costs, adding a single driverless lane in each direction to I-95 from Washington DC to Manhattan would cost just under $1 billion, plus whatever additional costs the driverless option would require. Certainly doable, but an awful lot to spend on a speculative project.
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  #33  
Old 19 September 2017, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
But ganzfeld, both those references come from airships.net, and they're clearly anti-hydrogen!
Yep. Shills for Big Helium, I'm sure.
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  #34  
Old 19 September 2017, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
I'm curious on how how a country's driving habits could come into play, if a closed course isn't used.
That article paints a rather positive picture of German driving habits. There are cup-holders in German cars (even build-in ones), and talking on the phone while driving has just gotten it's fine raised because it was responsible for so many accidents.


Recarding the switch-over, I rather doubt that we will ever get a fully automated system. Look at what clonkers are still on the road today, driven by people who just can't afford or don't want to change from their 30 year old car to a new one. You can't force them to get a new car that has a modern self-driving system, and so you can't have a full switch-over ever.

What I expect to see is more and more driver-assistance systems doing more and more assisting and ironing out more and more human mistakes. Within the next ten years, car manufacturers will agree on the specifics of a car-to-car ("c2c" - trademark pending ) communicating system that will integrate all cars in the vicinity into a ever changing, flexible communication grid making it even easier to keep a resonable distance and break in time with the car in front of you. Non-smart cars will just be treated as moving obstacles by the cars around them.
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  #35  
Old 19 September 2017, 05:44 PM
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Recarding the switch-over, I rather doubt that we will ever get a fully automated system. Look at what clonkers are still on the road today, driven by people who just can't afford or don't want to change from their 30 year old car to a new one. You can't force them to get a new car that has a modern self-driving system, and so you can't have a full switch-over ever.
It wouldn't be hard here. Just require fully automated system before allowing license plates for all vehicles produced after 202X. Set up a rolling cash-for-clunkers kind of deal for older cars.
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  #36  
Old 19 September 2017, 06:18 PM
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Yeah, I don't see why you couldn't make a switch-over date after which all cars on the road have to be properly equipped. There could be an overlap period where nonautomated cars have to be retrofitted with a transponder, but can still be driven. Then a hard switchover date where nonautomated cars are no longer street legal.
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  #37  
Old 19 September 2017, 10:14 PM
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During the "transition" phase, you could also tighten up driver's license requirements, to try to make sure that what human drivers remain know what they're doing. I'm guessing there will be a lot of people, particularly people born before 1990 or so, who are going to be reluctant adopters.

Come to think of it, I wonder how the insurance industry will react. That would be an interesting way to market driverless cars: "We buy your liability insurance." (You'd still have to cover yourself for collision/comprehensive, presumably.) Eventually insurance companies might price human drivers out of the market...
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  #38  
Old 19 September 2017, 10:21 PM
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During the "transition" phase, you could also tighten up driver's license requirements, to try to make sure that what human drivers remain know what they're doing. I'm guessing there will be a lot of people, particularly people born before 1990 or so, who are going to be reluctant adopters.

Come to think of it, I wonder how the insurance industry will react. That would be an interesting way to market driverless cars: "We buy your liability insurance." (You'd still have to cover yourself for collision/comprehensive, presumably.) Eventually insurance companies might price human drivers out of the market...
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  #39  
Old 19 September 2017, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
Recarding the switch-over, I rather doubt that we will ever get a fully automated system. Look at what clonkers are still on the road today, driven by people who just can't afford or don't want to change from their 30 year old car to a new one. You can't force them to get a new car that has a modern self-driving system, and so you can't have a full switch-over ever.
Eventually there will be 20 year old used self-driving clunkers on the market. They can't instantly get rid of used cars, but at some point they will mandate it for new cars, and over time it will percolate through the used car ecosystem. At a certain point used cars are either lovingly restored by collectors willing to pay whatever it takes, or they wear down to the point that their resale value is considerably less than the repairs that it would take to keep them operational. The small niche of classic car collectors will do what it takes to comply with requirements, and the people just driving old cars for purely economic reasons will work itself out.

Also, people will have to pay significantly more in insurance for the privilege of driving themselves and being a hazard to everyone around them. So it won't be a matter of not being able to afford a self-driving car. They won't be able to afford not to get one. The difference in insurance costs costs after many years would eventually add up to the cost of a whole brand new car.

There will probably always be some enthusiasts who will do whatever it takes to drive antique non-self driving cars. They will pay whatever insurance, upgrade whatever transponders are needed, and meet whatever extra licensing requirements, because that's what they enjoy. Just like there are people today who still ride horses, mostly because they love horses. With a few exceptions, most horse riders aren't doing it as a utilitarian option that makes more sense than a motor vehicle. For the vast majority of ordinary people who are just trying to make a reasonable, practical choice that fits their lives, cars make more sense than horses, and for that vast majority, self-driving cars will make more sense than non-self-driving. You don't need special horse lanes for all the horse traffic on major highways, though when cars were first introduced sharing the roads with horses was a major concern.
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  #40  
Old 19 September 2017, 11:23 PM
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Driverless cars should also end up changing the model of car ownership pretty drastically.
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