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Old 10-06-2014, 04:54 PM   #1
RockyRaccoon OP
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Technology Takes the Wheel

I had a chance to drive a Subaru with EyeSight technology recently. It was a little annoying at times -- think nanny state backseat driving -- but it was also interesting to see how technology is evolving and, coupled with the variable / adaptive cruise control, I found it very useful.

The system warns you of lane departures and obstacles ahead and brakes automatically if you don't and a crash seems imminent.

With cruise control on, the system adapts your car's speed to that of a vehicle ahead and maintains a suitable distance, braking when the car ahead does, speeding up when it does, etc.

The cruise control also has active braking, not just engine braking, so it will maintain a designated speed going downhill as well as up. Subaru's X-Mode feature that holds the vehicle to crawl speed in downhill off-roading situations probably relies on the same technology.

I'm sure these things have been around for years on the really fancy cars, but this was my first encounter with anything beyond basic cruise control, and it made me think how we really aren't that far from the day of driverless cars.


Quote:
...

By the end of the decade, a growing number of automakers aim to offer some form of hands-off-the-wheel, feet-off-the-pedals highway driving where a driver can sit back and let the car take control.

The very nature of driving, experts say, will be radically reshaped — and the biggest players in the auto industry are now vying to capture a slice of the revolutionary market they see coming within a matter of years.

“This is the year we’ll look back on as the turning point,” said Scott Belcher, president of the nonprofit Intelligent Transportation Society of America, who has helped organize a global connected car expo for seven years. “We’re at the cusp now of this completely new generation of transportation, and it’s going to change things on a scale not seen since Eisenhower and the Interstate Highway System.”

...
NY Times Article on advances in driverless and driver-assist technologies

Article on the Subaru EyeSight system features

Car and Driver review of EyeSight collision avoidance
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:11 PM   #2
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Cars are apparently already smarter than their users... so it's a natural fit.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:21 PM   #3
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The question is... can the subie see and react to a motorcycle?
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:32 PM   #4
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First drove Adaptive cruise control back in '01. Since then have drove several. Some are better than others. The bad ones will block manual throttle application when trying to pass until the computer declares it safe to do so. No pre accelerating before pulling into oncoming traffic. The newer ones have most of the bugs worked out and work a lot better.

The active lane control was hideous when it first came out. It applied the brake(s) on one side to force a steer to that side. Didn't pull to the side nearly as much as simply giving you a nasty brake apply. The new lane control is a lot better since they got into the electric steering and give a little nudge that way. Almost like driving in a mildly rutted road only without the bouncing off the ruts part.

New GM trucks have a red light in the dash as a crude heads up display. Get aggressive in rush hour traffic and that thing is going off in your face all the time. Some sort of forward collision avoidance.

Just wait, pretty soon someone will fall asleep with the cruise set and drive 100 miles past there exit as the cruise just follows the truck in front and the computer keeps it in it's lane. Next thing you know they are out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Or they plow into something the computer can't adjust for.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:07 PM   #5
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Ugh. I can just imagine getting stuck behind a whole pack of vehicles with this tech, all running 54.9 mph.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:10 PM   #6
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The question is... can the subie see and react to a motorcycle?
Yes. I came up behind a motorcycle while using it, and it recognized it just like a car.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:12 PM   #7
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Ugh. I can just imagine getting stuck behind a whole pack of vehicles with this tech, all running 54.9 mph.
As soon as you pull out to pass, it recognizes a clear path ahead and accelerates back to your selected speed, or you can throttle up as desired. The Subie system is pretty passive, it always seems to let you take control when you want.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:46 PM   #8
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As soon as you pull out to pass, it recognizes a clear path ahead and accelerates back to your selected speed, or you can throttle up as desired. The Subie system is pretty passive, it always seems to let you take control when you want.
I'm thinking about urban commuting, where it'll be eight lanes of morons letting cruise control handle everything, just very slowly. The only passing lane will be the shoulder.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by troidus View Post
I'm thinking about urban commuting, where it'll be eight lanes of morons letting cruise control handle everything, just very slowly. The only passing lane will be the shoulder.
Or the median.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:47 AM   #10
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I wonder how it'l hhandle changing road conditions. We have this stuff called ice up here in Canada.
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troidus View Post
I'm thinking about urban commuting, where it'll be eight lanes of morons letting cruise control handle everything, just very slowly. The only passing lane will be the shoulder.
It might help reduce congestion because it will match the speed of the vehicle in front. Instead of speeding up and running up on the back of the next vehicle and then over braking. The only problem is it will take 10 years till most of the vehicles have this technology.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:22 AM   #12
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Just saw this a few min ago. It was coming down a left hand on ramp as I passed by.



I slowed down but it kept slowing down and would not pass me. All the lights were LED. There is some type of camera thing in the front bumper. There was all types of gadgetry on the roof, including some device that was the size of a coffee can and was spinning. There was what looked to be an array of camera type devices on the roof.

A few hundred yards off of the highway where he got on is a robotics testing area for Carnegie Mellon University. I am thinking this truck was self driving.


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Old 10-08-2014, 06:53 AM   #13
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It might help reduce congestion because it will match the speed of the vehicle in front. Instead of speeding up and running up on the back of the next vehicle and then over braking.
Except that it's those people at the front who are the problem. They're afraid to push on the gas pedal. Go, or GTFOOTW! If the technology develops to the point that they'll be able to read, knit, sleep, whatever, it'll get worse. "I'm going to make the whole city save energy by setting my cruise control to 43 mph."
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:02 AM   #14
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Found a Top Gear video about the truck I saw.

http://youtu.be/1pl_Pont_Zk


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Old 10-08-2014, 07:05 AM   #15
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Here is the company making them.

http://oshkoshdefense.com/components/terramax/


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