Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by n1 on Tuesday June 24 2014, @06:43AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the rs6-avant-or-gtfo dept.

Parmy Forbes writes at Forbes Magazine that Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based startup, thinks it can get driverless cars to market faster than Google with something far more simple: a $10,000 accessory you can strap to the roof of your car and plug into your footwell. Cruise is taking pre-orders for 50 units of its RP-1 product, and says it will start installing them in cars early in 2015. One caveat: the system only works on Audi A4 and S4 vehicles, but Cruise is working towards making its technology compatible with other car manufacturers too. Cruise's founder Kyle Vogt refers to his product as a "highway autopilot." To work, drivers take their car onto the highway and onto the lane they want to be in, then they push a button for the system to take control of the accelerator and brake pedals, along with the steering. Drivers can then turn the system off in several different ways, including by tapping the gas pedal or by taking control of the steering wheel.

The technology works just like the cruise control button most vehicles already have, with some additional perks. RP-1 kicks in at a desired speed, but unlike traditional cruise control, it can bring the car to a stop, navigate through stop-and-go traffic, and keeps the driver in the center of the lane without the driver touching the steering wheel. It is not able to weave in and out of lanes though.

Vogt says the reason a startup can compete in this space is because of the intersecting trends of cheap and good sensors and cheap and good computers. Because many of the big-picture pieces are already laid out, Vogt and his team can spend their days tweaking their algorithms to do things like making steering smoother. "We are a new company, and I understand some people are not going to trust us in the same way they would trust a car company that's been around for 100 years," says Vogt. "This is not the holy grail. But it's a first step, and I think some people will really enjoy it."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @06:47AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @06:47AM (#59269)

    Car? Why would I want that? I spend 14 hours a day sitting at a computer, walking everywhere is the only exercise I get.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday June 24 2014, @07:23AM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @07:23AM (#59280) Homepage

      Some of us have further to go than up the basement steps and into our parents' kitchen for cheetos.

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday June 24 2014, @06:56AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 24 2014, @06:56AM (#59271) Journal

    Would You Spend $10,000 for a Driverless Car in 2015?

    One caveat: the system only works on Audi A4 and S4 vehicles,

    Let's make the things clear: if you offer me an Audi 4 [rankingsandreviews.com] with autopilot for $10,000, I should be stupid not to take it at this price.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday June 24 2014, @08:25AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 24 2014, @08:25AM (#59298) Journal

      Just remember to leave the autopilot on the garage floor.

      The last thing you want is to ruin the looks of that Sweet A4 with some lash-up Rube Goldberg contraption hanging from the roof, and draped over your pedals.

      Pretty sure the the integrated Collision Avoidance and lane monitoring package will do 80% of the work anyway.

      I wonder if these guys can spell L A W E R?

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday June 24 2014, @08:29AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 24 2014, @08:29AM (#59299) Journal

        I know I can't. (Spell that is).

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Wierd0n3 on Tuesday June 24 2014, @05:19PM

        by Wierd0n3 (1033) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @05:19PM (#59489)

        strap to the roof of your car and plug into your footwell

        Sounds like a ODB-II jack kinda thing to me, you could easily tuck the cord under the panels, like how most kids do with their sound system wires.

        I think i'd be more worried about the shape of the sensor. kinda looks like a police light.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by gallondr00nk on Tuesday June 24 2014, @07:22AM

    by gallondr00nk (392) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @07:22AM (#59279)

    It is not able to weave in and out of lanes though.

    So in other words, it'll behave precisely like any manually controlled Audi on the motorway - welded permanently to the middle or outside lane.

    To complete the authentic Audi experience, I assume they'll also program the device to aggressively tailgate other drivers as well?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @10:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @10:57AM (#59327)

      To complete the authentic Audi experience, I assume they'll also program the device to aggressively tailgate other drivers as well?

      Sure thing. I'm told the Lexus version will speed up just enough to cut you off as it switches lanes at the last second, and comes with a complementary greying mid-life crisis to flip you off in the process.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Tuesday June 24 2014, @07:15PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 24 2014, @07:15PM (#59542) Journal

      To complete the authentic Audi experience, I assume they'll also program the device to aggressively tailgate other drivers as well?

      Like a lot of high end cars and some mid range as well, Audi has adaptive cruise control [businessinsider.com]. What you perceive as tailgating is probably just the AAC locking on to your car and maintaining a set distance that increases with speed.

      These systems are astoundingly reliable, and many measure the speed of more than one vehicle ahead, so even when you slam headlong into the back of stopped semi because you were more worried about what is in your rear view mirror than what is in the road ahead, the Audi will stop in time.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mmcmonster on Tuesday June 24 2014, @10:10AM

    by mmcmonster (401) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @10:10AM (#59314)

    I wouldn't mind spending an extra $10k to make my car driverless.

    But there's no way I would pay that type of money to a startup to do it. That sounds more like an interesting form of suicide. When the auto manufacturers offer it as an add-on I'll get in line.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Geezer on Tuesday June 24 2014, @11:16AM

    by Geezer (511) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @11:16AM (#59330)

    This thing may work, or it may not. Maybe it could be a breakthrough in vehicular automation. Time will tell. But I'll be damned if I'm going to be the first to buy the A4+Autopilot package. I shall adhere to Geezer's 1st Law of Procurement: never, ever, buy v1.0 of anything.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by WillR on Tuesday June 24 2014, @03:07PM

      by WillR (2012) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @03:07PM (#59440)
      Nomination for the n+1th law of procurement: never pay for a product now in anticipation of it being legal when it's delivered.
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:13PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:13PM (#59369)

    Nope, I can already get one of those for $10. Doesn't need a garage, when I'm not using it, it leaves on its own. I don't need to service it either, it does that all by itself too.

    Only problem is that sitting in there doing nothing but looking out the window gets boring really fast - and I get driving sickness, so I can't spend the time reading or anything else that might make it less boring.

    It's called "the bus".

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kbahey on Tuesday June 24 2014, @02:07PM

    by kbahey (1147) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @02:07PM (#59408) Homepage

    Well, for things that involve safety, I prefer to be a late adopter rather than a pioneer.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by kwerle on Tuesday June 24 2014, @04:17PM

    by kwerle (746) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @04:17PM (#59467) Homepage

    If google's goal was to drive in a (more or less) straight line. But it's not. Cruise is smart Cruise Control + steering (which is amazing, granted). It is not full navigation.