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Old 01-05-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
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Self driving Tow Vehicle?

I've been listening to various news reports about self driving cars, which of course, made me wonder about the viability of a self driving tow vehicle. I'm assuming it's possible. You'd need to be able to tell the tow vehicle how long the towed trailer is, its weight, etc., of course.

I'm assuming this will be possibly eventually since I'm also thinking that transport trucks will be self driven eventually.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:49 PM   #2
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that would probably be a big NOPE for me

Would the computer know the stopping distance

Would it know to leave enough space between the vehicle in front of you

Any aggressive evasive measures could cause loss of control.

I'm thinking that the cost of customizing software for such a small number of vehicles with so many different size trailers would be astronomical
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:23 PM   #3
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Since self-driving semi-tractors are already being tested, I don't see why tow vehicles and motorhomes would be a stretch. It's probably just a matter of time...

Daimler puts first self-driving semi-truck on road - CBS News
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:42 PM   #4
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Why........and who is demanding these things? Seems to only be of benefit to lawyers when the inevitable "re-calculating" event happens while the vehicle is doing 75 in traffic. If you don't want to drive, take the bus. End of rant.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:56 PM   #5
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Who is asking? I think it is probably the 30,000+ killed each year in the US alone in automobile accidents, and the many more who are injured. We have become inured to it, but it is a pretty big number.

I think it is inevitable that we will migrate to autonomous vehicles, whether automobiles or trucks. As they become more common, the crash rate and injury cost for human operated vehicles will become more obvious, and as a result of that insurance rates will vary greatly depending on whether the vehicle is operated autonomously or not. Eventually human operated vehicles will be too expensive to insure. Just a matter of time.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:28 PM   #6
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Saw something tonight on the news that I want.
A self parking car. You pull up to you office, get out, tell the car to go find a parking spot. When you need the car just push the remote.
Another advantage- parking spots could be much narrower. No dinged up doors.


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Old 01-05-2016, 06:38 PM   #7
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Take human error out of driving (whether towing or not) and I'd wager our roads will be safer places than they are now.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:56 PM   #8
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Ah, trust the Borg.....got it.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:49 PM   #9
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after 30 years of driving in NYC ....
i'll go w/ the borg.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwydir View Post
Ah, trust the Borg.....got it.
Once the technology is in place and proven, why would I trust a fallible human who might fall asleep at the wheel, be texting, or distracted by any variety of things that make him a less than reliable operator of a motor vehicle?
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:08 PM   #11
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Once the technology is in place and proven, why would I trust a fallible human who might fall asleep at the wheel, be texting, or distracted by any variety of things that make him a less than reliable operator of a motor vehicle?
Heck, yes. Everybody knows technology is infallible. . . take Windows 8, for example!

And for that matter, after the robots have taken over it won't be too long before they figure out that the world would be a much tidier place if they just eliminated those fallible humans altogether.

Fortunately this is of only academic interest to me, since I am a fallible human approaching my expiration date.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:53 AM   #12
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Its the middle of winter...wouldn't it make so much more sense to spend our time/efforts on planning our 2016 spring trips and summer vacations with TVs that exist??? I usually see some to a lot of value/interest in the various forum topics....I see absolutely nothing applicable to our current state of affairs in this one. jon
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:05 PM   #13
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the technology is available and capable of everything involved with towing and parking. Just think about the last time you rode on a jet airliner, the vast majority of the flight including landing was handled by similar technology. I would watch for it to come in stages over the next 20 years or so beginning with alignment & back up for hitching up and parking at the camp site including backing up (I know everyone else but me is expert at this but I was not born with the "turn the wheel the same direction that you want the back end to go" gene for some reason). Imagine pulling up to the front office and they provide you with lat/long points for both the site & the recommended orientation of the RV which is loaded already in their database for your particular unit which is then transmitted to your tow vehicle and the rest is taken care of within minutes instead of 30 - 40 minutes of yelling, cussing, bumping, and re-positioning for a back in only space - the more desirable spaces tend to be back in spaces. That said, the related technology tends to be reserved for smaller cars for now (the auto parallel parking technology). It will take time to see this come into the broader and much larger market for pick-ups and other heavy V-8 powered TV's and further to see it come into the much much smaller market for people that actually use these machines to tow trailers. It's not the technology it's the market opportunity and the infrastructure to support it.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:21 PM   #14
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Certainly driverless tow vehicles are possible and will likely emerge at some point in the future, but there are more variables involved with TVs for RVs or miscellaneous trailers than for over the road trucks. I would think that at least initially each TV and trailer combination would either have to be a custom built pair or would require significant amounts of custom programming. A self driving motor home would be a lot simpler and correspondingly less expensive, at least until a toad or toy trailer was added to the mix.

Even when all that is worked out I find it difficult to envision fully autonomous TVs on some of the one lane dirt forest service and county roads where I go. Some of those roads are not even on the maps and if they are, the maps are often inaccurate, so it would be back to manual operation.
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