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City infrastructure conducive to energy savings and safer self-driving

Discussion in 'Charging and Infrastructure' started by GrigoryC, Nov 9, 2016.

More threads by GrigoryC
  1. GrigoryC

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    Is Tesla or any other company or government body doing any serious research on which changes to our roads and signage would improve the energy efficiency and safe-driving capabilities?

    The way we do roads is quite conservative, mostly for good reasons. You can learn to drive in one end of the world and easily go across the globe, rent a car and most signs and road devices will be relatively familiar to you. But they are horribly outdated with regards to the revolution in self driving capabilities and the new importance of energy efficiency.

    I know there are people working on autonomous intersections:


    But there are a lot of other things that are worth studying.

    For example, road bumps and stop signs seem like horribly energy inefficient devices that can be replaced with something smarter. Every stop/start or slow down/speed up cycle wastes a lot of energy, unless you have really good regenerative braking.

    Adding metal particles to the paint can help the self-driving car to use radar to see the lanes despite poor visibility conditions.

    Adding QR codes to signage can help self-driving cars with more complex signage and small print. For example parking signs with complex rules that depend on the day of the week and time of day can be hard to read and understand even for humans, but a QR code can contain a URL that would return a standardised JSON description of parking rules for this spot, and maybe real time availability and pricing.
     
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    • garsh

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      There will always be people driving in addition to self-driving cars. Any changes must still work well for people.

      For stop signs, people have already discovered the solution. It's called the "rolling stop". You just have to make sure a policeman isn't watching the intersection when performed. Unfortunately, some people prefer to employ the "rolling stop" even when it's not appropriate. But when there's no other cars at the intersection, go for it.

      Making sure the paint is visible in non-visible spectrums is a good idea. UV- or IR-visible paint might help. It's probably not necessary to make it visible to radar.

      QR codes for signs aren't really necessary. Eventually, a database of signs will be procured. Computer vision technologies will be used to match a sign encountered to the correct database entry. This can be done quite accurately even if the sign isn't close enough to read perfectly. The database entry will contain all of the particular information (ex - parking enforcement hours).
       
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      • Michael Russo

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        I am starting to warm up to the notion of autonomous driving as I read all your posts younger, more technically astute folks than me... :)
        I also realize that I could still decide to keep my hands on the wheel (or whatever it will be ...) when circumstances (roads, weather, absence of traffic...) make it fun to do! :)
        Also still need to see the cost of the software for my Model ≡... but remaining hopeful.
        Call me slow.. :)
        But I'm opening up...
         

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