5G and autonomous vehicles… Coming soon? | TECH(talk)


hey everyone welcome back to Tech Talk
I’m Julia Beauchamp I am here with senior writer for computer world Lucas
Marion as well as video editor Chris Hebert he’s behind the camera
2020 is supposed to be the year of 5g there’s gonna be plenty of use cases for
it but right now let’s talk semi autonomous vehicles stick around so
Lucas you covered semi autonomous vehicles quite a bit a few years back
right yes and so I want to know what was the hype like a few years ago because
now it seems like that tech is really being in implement implemented that’s
the word it’s it’s a lot like comparison but it’s a lot like blockchain there was
a hype cycle for a while and it’s all very real technology just like block
chains very real technology it gets hyped in the beginning and basically
everybody’s thinking all this is gonna be fully autonomous driving in a few
years and no it’s not it’s gonna be semi autonomous driving and it is being
rolled out because the cost of a lot of these systems lie to our systems and
radar systems and visioning systems and the cars is car coming down plus
automakers see the benefit of this as to does the federal government so what’s
interesting is that a lot of the times semi autonomous and autonomous driving I
feel like is really tied to 5g but we don’t have widespread 5g right now but
there’s still semi autonomous vehicles yeah because right now it’s isolated to
the vehicle itself there’s a lot of pilot programs around the country going
on with the vehicle to infrastructure communications which is what we really
need to make this a fully capable autonomous driving experience for
Americans and that allows you to talk to roadside infrastructure traffic lights
that’s something they’re testing a lot of yeah I would be in fact came out with
a vehicle pilot for many of their vehicles technology that allows it to
talk to these traffic lights and basically tell you when it’s going to
turn green so if you can imagine what the endgame here is is that
you eventually wouldn’t need lights you could come to an intersection and your
cars would be perfectly timed to mesh through that intersection without ever
stopping oh my gosh that sounds so it almost sounds futuristic well it
obviously is features but it seems like it feels like it should be in a movie
about what the future looks like but it’s going to be a reality I don’t know
if I like that I think I like it’s gonna take a long time for me to get used to
not driving my car right I mean can you imagine approaching
an intersection I guess eventually once you become comfortable with it you won’t
even think about it but yeah at first I think I’d be a little nervous
approaching an intersection without lights I mean I sit in the passenger
seat of some cars when other people are driving and I’m slamming on the
imaginary brake so I can imagine being in like my wife a backseat driver the
other thing to think about is damn that cloud computing has to be oh yeah for
all those cars like if you think about it if you know autonomous vehicles you
know became widespread and everyone used it and the infrastructure was there
that’s a lot of cars yeah that’s a lot of cars that are gonna have to
communicate of each other so I think definitely you know bandwidth and all
that is gonna play a big part especially with 5g I have a clip here me and
Michael Simon from PC world we actually went out and tested out actual 5g speeds
let me pull it up real quick okay and you can actually see this is a phone we
got to use and just watch that needle so that’s download Wow and you’re gonna see
upload and just a second once that finishes but you know with 5g you know
with all that with all you know the cars communicating communicating with each
other and the cloud this is gonna make it much more practical it’s like my
amplifier it goes to a lab right right it’s ridiculous okay
so anyways that just gives a little perspective you know about you know the
connectivity that you know we’re gonna have to have once autonomous vehicles
rolls out you know widespread yeah yeah it’s it’s all Wi-Fi communications when
you’re talking vehicle the structure vehicle the vehicle so your
car is talking to mine my car can predict when you’re going to make a lane
change when you put your turn signal I’m just going to tell my car oh this car
wants to make a lane change or wants to exit the highway all useful information
when you’re trying to control traffic and keep people from getting into
accidents and some studies show that autonomous vehicle technology can save
as many as twenty one thousand twenty one thousand live twenty one thousand
lives a year in by 2035 I think it was that’s interesting because I feel like
how it sort of stands now public perception is that there’s no way
technology can be smarter than a human driver but if anyone has driven in
Massachusetts they would know that perhaps that could be the opposite case
yeah my calculators smarter than I am so I’m it’s not that I’m putting all my
trust in this technology but after it’s been proven out obviously like any
technology we become come to rely on it it’s going to have there’s going to be a
period where this technology is going to have to be tested and unfortunately
during that period you’re going to have drivers who are going to put too much
faith in this technology we’ve already seen deaths from this technology rolled
out in Tesla’s for example I think too is I would imagine that once something
is once we have fully autonomous vehicles which I said earlier 2020 is
supposed to be a hallmark year for 5g autonomous driving not 2020 so much but
I think it kind of is interesting that I would imagine that once the car is a
much safer and frankly probably better driver than actual people I would
imagine that traffic is a lot more predictable and probably I would think a
lot of highways and things would run smoother I’m picturing not as much
slamming on the brakes the vast majority of traffic jams it’s just a fact is
caused by people who tap the brakes while they’re driving on the highway and
it creates this ripple effect that’s true that because you how many times
you’ve been driving on the highway near like there’s no roadwork what is causing
this traffic yeah no overcapacity but a lot of times it’s just people tapping
their brakes and it creates that ripple effect that then
creates a bottleneck yeah I find that that always happens and then I get out
of the traffic and there wasn’t anything there no it wasn’t even an exit it sound
like there was a crash there wasn’t a police officer was just people being
slow yeah it’s yeah exactly it’s people being overly cautious not giving enough
room between the car in front of them in themselves and truck drivers will tell
you just you need to keep a certain distance if you do that then you’re not
going to have to be slamming on your brakes every ten seconds when the car in
front of you slows down so that helps but we’re not going to program down into
human beings but we can program that into autonomous driving technology like
adaptive cruise control for instance that’s interesting something I also
actually heard maybe a few days ago on NPR actually they had a segment on the
marketplace tech program and they mentioned that Amazon just made a huge
huge investment investment in autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles and they
basically invested a ton of money and in a company that will make autonomous
delivery trucks which I can imagine when 5g rolls out in big cities would
completely change the way that your pack and just get delivered absolutely that
I’ve been I was writing about that four or five years ago when there were trucks
being piloted with autonomous driving technology on board yeah I mean the
safety the ability to track them more accurately be able to predict the the
when packages are going to arrive supply chain technology it all fits into it let’s see so you’ve got one of the one
of the things that has enabled this technology to be rolled out in more
automobiles because now you’re seeing it in almost virtually all car companies
are enabling at least some form of semi autonomous driving or semi autonomous
technology in their vehicles like lane-keeping like brake assistance and
adaptive cruise control and a lot of this is coming out as standard as well
is because the price of the technology is coming down so you’ve got Delphi and
other big parts manufacturers coming out with lidar detection
technology and what that does what lidar does it some light detection and ranging
it paints a picture it uses lasers to paint a picture of the surrounding
environment up to I think in some cases more than thirty meters away so it’s
telling the computer in your car this is what this the scenery this is what the
scene around my car the objects around my car look like and then the car can
use that to process how it drives how it maintains itself on the ground the road
I think the fact I actually just had a rental car a few weeks ago I had to have
a rental and it was like a brand-new 2019 Infiniti and they had in there some
sort of driver assist and I was I mean first of all too scared to touch it
cause there’s a rental car but I was so floored by the fact that it’s so
commonplace and my car’s not even that old but I don’t have that I’m so looking
forward to I think the adaptive cruise control is one of the things I’m looking
forward to on my next vehicle because I just now right now I put on cruise
control and that’s great but the traffic the flow of traffic is constantly
changing so I’m turning it off putting it back on turning it off putting back
on you don’t get to use it as much as you’d like if it’s adaptive you can put
it on and forget it and and then you’re not tapping your brakes all the time
think of what that’s going to do for the flow of traffic that’s a good point
because I I do the same thing especially when I’m driving long long doesn’t says
I just second troll and go man I I got to get rid of my my old jalopy I gotta
get some some new car I got I got to upgrade
I gotta upgrade one other thing I want to ask real quick and this is kind of a
good question and I didn’t think about this until I saw a comment actually from
Joe Rogan Joe Rogan actually asked this question will self-driving cars
eliminate duis and that brings up that you know can of worms you know what do
we think autonomous cars is gonna do to laws driving laws I mean you know then
you have a whole question about liability insurance and all that what do
you guys think well I did I actually wrote about this several years ago
especially in terms of insurance and because the question then
becomes who’s responsible for the accident right of course is it the
technology is it the vehicle manufacturer if this is vehicle
infrastructure was there some sort of a glitch there that makes the government
responsible or is it the driver because they weren’t paying attention today a
lot of its kind of falling on drivers shoulders because it’s semi autonomous
you are required to keep your hands on the wheel
and we know everybody does that right Chris oh yeah yeah yeah nobody would
ever sit in the passenger seat or read a book
I mean check check this out check this out all right let me just cut to our
screen here if we just look at this video right here I mean you just type in
self-driving car you seem to see motors play read and relax so you have these
people playing like chess like as they’re driving you have that you see
them playing games and I’m like I just feel like you know throw your autonomous
vehicles great great but it’s kind of scary right I mean this is sophisticated
technology and these people are acting as if they understand it so well and
trust us so they’ve dealt with it for so long oh I just trust this implicitly Moe
Tesla built this car I trust it because it’s Tesla you don’t know anything about
this vehicle other than you bought it and you’ve read something in the owners
manual or some article online but other than that you’re you’re blindly trusting
this technology I would never do that I can’t even imagine doing it it blows my
mind no that’s scary but actually back to sort of how autonomous vehicles will
change driving laws I think it would be interesting to think about how it’s
gonna change the speed limits for example oh yeah because I mean as it is
no one’s following the speed limit so I think I feel like it could go either way
and that autonomous vehicles there’s gonna be some sort of mandate of
regulatory mandate that they have just follow the speed limiter go you know no
more than five miles over per hour over the speed limit when they’re passing a
car or speed limits can just sort of become irrelevant because all the cars
are talking to each other yeah I’m seeing an iRobot scenario here where the
cars are traveling 200 miles an hour and I was just I was just gonna say that it
reminds me exactly of iRobot that’s seen when Will Smith takes his hands off the
wheel and the woman’s like oh you sure you want to do that
yeah cuz you going like 200 miles per hour and the only way well it’s the way
around he puts it on manual control right right she flips out because she’s
like I you can’t possibly drive this car at
this speed right because I mean really a machine can really only do that you know
right make ones tiny little like yeah you’re dead you’re dead so no III see I
totally see that happening where the speed limits will be able to increase
because computers will be able to their reaction times will be vastly faster
than humans so I’m gonna maybe shift the conversation a little bit we’re sort of
talking about you know our ideal perfect scenario which like I said years and
years away hovercraft yeah perfect but I want to talk maybe a
little more realistic like what do you think we can expect to see in terms of
semi autonomous driving in 2020 and what and how we’ll sort of 5g facilitate that
change sure I I think did I mention that out II had a test vehicle on summer
several of the test vehicles using Wi-Fi to talk to traffic lights I think I
believe so okay anyways so you’re going to see more of that you’re going to see
more vehicle infrastructure coming out pilots coming out where your
vehicles can be able to tell you when that lights gonna turn green so you’re
sitting at a light I don’t know what you’re doing while you’re sitting at the
light but you know you have three seconds now before that light turns
green so you wake up and look around not know it’s just sleeping but let’s say
you’re not paying attention you don’t have to get the hi guy behind you
honking you because you’re still seeing at a green light but eventually that’s
gonna turn into like I said not even having to stop at an intersection that’s
not happening in 2020 what is happening that’s going to be important is a lot of
this autonomous vehicle technology for safety purposes so automated braking
most of the major car manufacturers have committed to having that in place I
think it’s by 2020 I might be wrong might be 2021 I was really happy to see
that because that’s huge you know automatic braking technology keeps it
keeps you from rear-ending the card that slams on his brakes ahead of you and
it’s a lot like antilock brakes but better so um I think that’s what we’re
gonna see going to see more Lane changing technology this stuff’s going
to become standardized on so that you know you already know as
you’re driving along and you see those little lights on the side view mirrors
that pop on as you’re passing them well well that’s in a sense that’s the same
thing it’s a sensor that’s using radar to detect your car’s presence next to it
well you got to do then is to hook that into the central computer system in the
car which then tells you I can’t change lanes right now I will not let you
change lanes right now because there’s some there’s some vehicle next to you
that’s that’s the next logical step so it’s already being deployed in a lot of
vehicles at least the detection systems now it needs to get tied into the
central nervous system of the car that’s also really you know back to my rental
that I had I’m very happy I have my own car back frankly but it had something
yeah I wasn’t Lane Assist but exactly if I turned on the turn signal it would
start beeping if a car was in my blind spot it was crazy nice but that does
seem like a natural next step it’s brilliant technology and it just
follows that you’re gonna want to deploy this you know it doesn’t have to be
perfect unless you’re allowing the vehicle to do all the driving right what
it does is it alerts you to the possibility that there’s a danger next
to you in front of you behind you whatever and we packing up that all that
stuff I have yet to test parallel parking does not want to try that but
that’s all sensor technology and that’s a handing over control again to the
central computer system in your car at the very least I would love if someone
could if the car could tell me when I’m supposed to be cutting hard because I’ve
watched people parallel I see it all the time yeah except to parallel park on my
street and I watch people parallel park and I just want it I just want to tell
them to start cutting mm-hmm like cut the other way go
so that would at the very least that would be nice yeah you want to do it for
me I mean you could yeah it’s it’s it’s I remember this in I never took driver’s
ed I think everybody else had to our demo did but I remember being taught by
my mother that as you back your car up as you as you hit the halfway point on
your car that’s when you cut it hard to go into the space and then as your front
end is clearing the rear end of the car in front of you then you cut it back in
almost every time I get this perfect parallel park oh yeah
powder foot from the car gotten very good at it living in the
city but anyways you should teach driving oh my goodness look I first of
all I would have a ruler and every time a person didn’t use their turn signal
I’d crack them on the knuckles it’s a little lever next to the steering wheel
it doesn’t well you can break your arm lifting your finger to turn it on I’m
like alright have you seen the what the parity video a cop made about this
brand-new turn signals yes a turn signal it just blows my mind all the ones that
go into the turn and then go oh I think I’ll use it as I’m turning the car and
I’m like no it’s not an afterthought you’re supposed to be telling the people
around you that you’re gonna turn anyways autonomous vehicles will have
turn signals Oh or they won’t matter because we won’t be driving the car yeah
exactly no it’s I’m sorry it’s one of my pet
peeves and you know that and people running red lights through intersections
like I’m more important than you and I’m gonna clog this intersection because
darn it all I deserve it I’m sorry also will be solved yeah thank you so
much Lucas for joining us sure love to lending your knowledge and a little bit
of your drivers edge thanks for having me thank you and thank you everyone for
watching this episode of tech talk if you like this video be sure to give it a
thumbs up and subscribe to our channel let me know in the comments how do you
feel about autonomous and semi autonomous vehicles how soon until you
trust them on the road I don’t know if I do right now so thanks for watching and
we’ll see you next time

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