Autonomous vehicles, planes and high speed rail

User Forum Topic
Submitted by no_such_reality on April 10, 2016 - 7:58pm

Looking twenty-ish years down the road, will automous vehicles kill commuter trains, high speed rail and planes for regional travel?

California's high speed rail,plan is essential San Fran to San Diego with dozen other stops.

As automous vehicles take over will they replace regional flight?

If auto drive crs take the ride to San Fran, Phoenix back to 4 or 5 hours, will you bother hassling with an airport?

Is there any reason to take HSR?

Submitted by FlyerInHi on February 20, 2018 - 1:34pm.

There 3 million truck drivers in USA.

Even if fully autonomous doesn't happen for decades, we should at least use tech to force drivers to keep distances and not bunch up on the road. I'm ok with coercion in that way.

Submitted by spdrun on February 20, 2018 - 2:27pm.

... or to follow each other closely in "platoons" under precise automated control. Closer following means less air resistance for the rear vehicles.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on March 24, 2018 - 9:26am.

So Hong Kong is getting a new train and a new bridge.
We can't even mantain our infrastructure in NYC

Fake news until it's real.
https://youtu.be/OWshAtlZFpU
https://youtu.be/NgLhzq3FD9M

Submitted by FlyerInHi on April 23, 2018 - 7:45pm.

This is what a second rate city has in China. We suck at public transport.

https://youtu.be/bDJypHv8ZDM

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 19, 2018 - 10:59pm.

Virgin rail to Las Vegas. Ha! Pie in the sky. I’ll beleive it when I see it.

Panama and Mexico will have it before we do.
https://youtu.be/03gA1xrnXWs

Submitted by spdrun on December 20, 2018 - 5:24pm.

I've ridden Brightline in Florida, same company as is planning to do rail to Vegas. Clean trains, good service. What kills it for me is the fucking security theater -- they have airport-style boarding where you have to pay more money to board early, and either way, you have to wait in line and have some dumb mouthbreather riffle through your bag before you're allowed into the station waiting area.

Part of the benefit of taking the train is that you can literally arrive 5 minutes before the train leaves -- their system is literally combines the worst aspects of rail and air travel. The Coaster trains in CA and Boston-DC Amtrak basically get it right. Walk onto the platform from the street or station, board, pick a seat, and take the trip. No nonsense designed to make cowards feel better that they're "protected."

NYC has boarding lines for some trains, but at least there's no security theater and the lines themselves are easily circumvented (use the lower level for boarding at Penn if you're ever there).

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 4, 2019 - 1:26pm.

I know that this is "propaganda". However china is opening new highways and new highspeed rail lines weekly.

And we can't get a lousy line from Victorville to Vegas where it's all desert.

https://youtu.be/HB1drsbh6Xk

Submitted by The-Shoveler on January 4, 2019 - 2:06pm.

You seriously still think California HSR will get done?

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 4, 2019 - 3:01pm.

The-Shoveler wrote:
You seriously still think California HSR will get done?

It will not get done. Sad!

I'm sad because since a young age I have aspired to tech and innovation. I want to live in bright lights, big city where things are sleek and high tech.

Look at the awesome light show in Shenzhen. Imagine a high tech city of autonomous vehicles and no petrol pollution, no noise from autos.
https://youtu.be/aKbs1beYAJQ

Submitted by barnaby33 on January 6, 2019 - 2:28pm.

HSR probably won't get done and it's not that sad at all. We have an immediate problem of not even having enough functional regular rail in this country. Upgrading out existing rail networks needs to have a higher priority than the fantasy of tech workers and vacationers easily able to get from La to Vegas or SF to LA.

Second if you are going to dream of a shiny future for human transport, why not build out hyperloop. Now that has sizzle and probably ultimately at lower cost.
Josh

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 6, 2019 - 6:51pm.

The truth is that rail system in the Anglo world is total rubbish. Many obvious reasons for that.
Here’s how Britain’s system is crumbling:
https://youtu.be/njJ94o1B0qI

Yes hyperloop would be awesome too.... but we won’t have it either. My bet is that the UAE, China, even perhaps México will get it first.

BTW, under the current system, it’s not possible to prioritize upgrading systems nationwide. Each transportation authority is separate and have different funding sources. You can’t transfer California HSR money to New York.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 7, 2019 - 9:42am.

Man, China is building a new HSR line just for the Winter Olympics. As a skier, I would love to ride HSR to the central plaza of a ski resort and walk to my hotel.
I hope the Chinese build sleep modern resorts and not imitation log cabins or pastiche versions of European resorts.
https://youtu.be/rebNIS9tkZg

Just for fun, I looked up the resort. It’s not much right now but I’m sure it’ll become a theme park. I hope they don’t go Swiss chalet or German village.
I hope a famous architect will reimagine the mountain resort and create something new and fresh. I’m sure the resort will be very successful.
http://wapen.secretgardenresorts.com/int...

Submitted by Myriad on January 7, 2019 - 1:53pm.

I'm all for rail when it makes sense. China is lucky in the sense that their timing was good for HSR. They had the capital, the right available technology and the population density to support such a system. However, for the large majority of Chinese, the rail is very expensive - it's great for relatively wealthy city workers and foreigners.

The CA HSR between LA and SF is a colossal waste of money - if it is ever completed, it would be a huge financial drain on CA state resources. The only way it will be economically feasible is when a new technology system is fully developed (Hyperloop). Yes, most roads are funded via sales tax, and so could the HSR, but the ridership data behind it is overly optimistic. People are just not going to pay the prices on the rail, especially with a 3 or more people - It'll be cheaper to drive.
CA is better off spending the money on regional rail and intermodal transport. Such as SF-Stockton/Sacramento/Fresno. LA-SD/Bakersfield/Palmdale/LV. Why? Because commuters will use these routes every day as opposed to the once in a while travelers between LA and SF (and competing with air travel for the same passengers.)

I'm more optimistic on South Florida. The distances are way shorter, the population density substantially higher (for relative distance), and it's regional.

Submitted by Myriad on January 7, 2019 - 1:52pm.

Also this article from WSJ.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-china-f...

In order to get political leverage in Malaysia, China basically cut a deal to gloss over the stolen funds in 1MDB. $16B for the East Coast Rail Link for an estimated cost of $7.25B, to cover $4.78 billion of 1MDB debt.

Also this:
"At a meeting the next day, Sun Lijun, then head of China’s domestic-security force, confirmed that China’s government was surveilling the Journal (aka WSJ) in Hong Kong at Malaysia’s request, including “full scale residence/office/device tapping, computer/phone/web data retrieval, and full operational surveillance,” according to a Malaysian summary of that meeting."

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 7, 2019 - 3:06pm.

Myriad wrote:
Also this article from WSJ.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-china-f...

In order to get political leverage in Malaysia, China basically cut a deal to gloss over the stolen funds in 1MDB. $16B for the East Coast Rail Link for an estimated cost of $7.25B, to cover $4.78 billion of 1MDB debt.

Isn’t that generous of China? Wouldn’t you like a generous patron to bail you out when in trouble? The twisted logic on the part of the WSJ makes them sound like western propaganda.

Myriad wrote:

Also this:
"At a meeting the next day, Sun Lijun, then head of China’s domestic-security force, confirmed that China’s government was surveilling the Journal (aka WSJ) in Hong Kong at Malaysia’s request, including “full scale residence/office/device tapping, computer/phone/web data retrieval, and full operational surveillance,” according to a Malaysian summary of that meeting."

I don’t think it’s any big deal. Do you think the FBI is not surveilling RT’s activities in USA?

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 7, 2019 - 3:22pm.

Myriad wrote:
China is lucky in the sense that their timing was good for HSR. They had the capital, the right available technology and the population density to support such a system.However, for the large majority of Chinese, the rail is very expensive - it's great for relatively wealthy city workers and foreigners.

China was not lucky. They worked very hard when everyone said would fail.
Not only are they successful, they are extreme successful in rail and developing new technologies (such as high altitude extreme conditions travel). They built the whole network in 10 years, faster than California’s HSR. That just shows how screwed up we are.

Just more “hate” to belittle China’s achievements. Their high tech infrastructure will drive more development in the future. For historical comparison, we built the airports around the country when air travel was for the “elite”.
Was grand central terminal a monumental waste of money when New Yorkers lived in tenement apartments?

Submitted by spdrun on January 7, 2019 - 3:30pm.

Scrap any antiquated notions of patriotism or nationalism, pay the French, Germans, or Chinese to build a turn-key HSR and electrification system. They seem to be good at it.

Also, if you build SF-Fresno and LA-Bakersfield, you're left with a gap of approximately 100 miles. May as well close this gap.

Electrified rail has environmental advantages -- unlike aircraft and long-distance buses, it's easy to power using any source of electricity, including clean sources like nuclear (yep, NUCLEAR) and renewables.

While we're at it, time for Californians to overcome their cowardice and build two (or ten) new nuclear plants to replace San Onofre and Diablo Canyon.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 7, 2019 - 4:08pm.

spdrun wrote:
Scrap any antiquated notions of patriotism or nationalism, pay the French, Germans, or Chinese to build a turn-key HSR and electrification system. They seem to be good at it.

That’s what we said when we had the best technology. That’s also what you learn the first class of economics. A widget Is a widget. You buy the best widget at the best price. Provenance is irrelevant.

The Chinese are already providing rail cars to Boston. If I remember, they have the contract to run the system in Copenhagen.

BTW, US public works is hardly free market. . With trade opening, we need to open public procurement to international competition.

I love the Chinese train controllers in uniform. They are polite and professional. They even exported that style of customer service to Africa.

Submitted by Myriad on January 7, 2019 - 5:51pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
China was not lucky. They worked very hard when everyone said would fail. Not only are they successful, they are extreme successful in rail and developing new technologies (such as high altitude extreme conditions travel). They built the whole network in 10 years, faster than California’s HSR. That just shows how screwed up we are.

Lucky in the sense that their development happened in the recent past decade. If it was a few decades ago, it probably would have been too expensive and they may have done something else. Another decade in the future, maybe there's some other technology.

That's for sure. You can't do crap with CA's environmental and local resident provisions. If only our land was owned by the state and we could plow anything in the way like SimCity/City Skylines. Maybe we'll just have to wait for the next earthquake.

Submitted by Myriad on January 7, 2019 - 5:46pm.

.

Submitted by Myriad on January 7, 2019 - 5:45pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
I don’t think it’s any big deal. Do you think the FBI is not surveilling RT’s activities in USA?

Oh, I'm sure they are, since the RT is essentially backed by the Russian government. But that's not an equivalent story here.
It would be more like the CIA monitoring a Turkish dissident newspaper reporter in Canada, taking that info, and willingly provide it to the Turkish government to hunt down someone in Turkey's government who was the source of a leak of someone stealing $4B from the Turkish people.

Have we done that before? Maybe in the Cold War. Heh, but I guess we're going back into one so maybe the gloves come off the CIA again. Maybe they'll bring back the proxy wars in Africa too.

Submitted by Myriad on January 7, 2019 - 5:57pm.

spdrun wrote:
Also, if you build SF-Fresno and LA-Bakersfield, you're left with a gap of approximately 100 miles. May as well close this gap.

Sure, eventually. After you build out all the rest first. You can plan for the right of way now, since you have to do that if you plan to build in 20 years.

spdrun wrote:
While we're at it, time for Californians to overcome their cowardice and build two (or ten) new nuclear plants to replace San Onofre and Diablo Canyon.

What... I was waiting for my Mr Fusion to solve all the problems.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 7, 2019 - 8:17pm.

OMG. Now there’s fear of spying.
Like I said what goes around comes around. We were so proud when IBM computers sold to China were compromised.

Kishore Mahbubani asked, I paraphrase: are we ready to live in a world where China acts likes the USA? Hence the need for multilateral institutions to contain the impulses of super powers.

Could a Chinese-made Metro car spy on us? Many experts say yes.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tra...

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 7, 2019 - 9:01pm.

Myriad wrote:

Lucky in the sense that their development happened in the recent past decade. If it was a few decades ago, it probably would have been too expensive and they may have done something else. Another decade in the future, maybe there's some other technology.

Makes sense. That’s why we have to think big and carpe diem.

We had our chances when were were the master builders. Why is it that don’t own infrastructure around the world? We should have a Belt and Road.
The US, Japan and the EU should have developed the world, not in a colonial way, but in a vertically integrated way like China is doing now. It’s amazing how many awesome Chinese projects are coming online every month.

You know, my dad built infrastructure but in his whole career he only built one shit dam and one shit cement factory. The rest of the time he basically wasted time. That pretty much sums it up.

if we love tech and development, we need to give credit where credit is due, regardless of nationalism. If the west had developed the world instead of making war and conflict, the whole world would be richer today and we would own part of the wealth. Now we are getting worried because China is eating our lunches. They are taking our techniques but they are not doing stuff our way. They improved our management methods and they are actually delivering completed projects that better humanity.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on January 11, 2019 - 9:15am.

I was listening to a guy who has been working on autonomous vehicles, he was saying fully autonomous vehicles are still a long way off.

Listening to him would have to agree, there are lots of situations where sometimes makeshift dirt roads etc.. must be used when roads are washed out or earthquake etc.. makes the regular road sometimes un-passable for months at a time (I have seen this on major freeways even in L.A.).

Then there is just weather, Fog, 3 inch's of fresh snow etc.. other chaos and mayhem.

It may be quite a while yet, then there will still
a requirement for manual driven vehicles for a very long time.

Submitted by spdrun on January 11, 2019 - 9:30am.

"Autonomous" vehicles today aren't truly autonomous. They're too reliant on detailed maps and outside data in situations where a human can rely on their brain and a set of fairly primitive sensors.

A truly autonomous car should be able to drive from L.A. to New York, taking local roads on occasion, while using maps with a similar level of detail as is available on Google Maps on any smartphone and its own sensors to read road markings, see vehicle positions, and detect signs and lights.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on January 11, 2019 - 9:39am.

To me weather chaos and mayhem are the biggest obstacles and happen a lot more frequently than most think.

What happens if there is no mapped road and no markings.

Do things just stop?

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 11, 2019 - 10:31am.

Consumers want a vehicle to do everything so that’s why they buy SUVs.

But in practice, as long a tool fits the purpose then it fine. Other countries, namely China, will be able to carve out geographical markets where autonomous excel at what they do. We will lose out on the technology and industry.

Often, an all or nothing attitude gives you nothing.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on January 11, 2019 - 10:57am.

I don't think it is all or nothing,

Just that it is going to require a human decision maker who can take over control or at least have that option.

Machines are still a long long way off from full control of our roads.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 11, 2019 - 11:43am.

Yeah, but If you say vehicles can’t be autonomous anywhere unless they have a backup driver, then you’re making the technology more expensive and you’re shrinking the market.

You need the effective hand of government to carve out markets and get rid of the chaos autonomous vehicles can’t deal with yet.

You need the invisible hand of the market and the effective visible hand of government, for in a 2 handed world, the single handed is handicapped.

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