Model 3 vs. Glowforge

I reckon a self-driving car would last about 3 minutes in Malta!


6 Days into the model 3 pre-order? Hope you’re in CA otherwise you’re looking at the middle to late next year.

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ehh. i like to drive when the roads are nice and the traffic is clear. commuting, though? i’m happy to let the bots take over.


I’m really looking forward to self driving cars. As we age, eventually we will be in a state where it is advisable to take away our car keys. But if we are functioning well otherwise, a self driving car would allow us to still live in our home vs assisted living and such. This could come up soon for my mom, who is 83 and still driving.


absolutely. not to mention the sharp decrease in accidents / deaths that come with self-driving technologies. at the moment we tend to view car accidents and death as a sort of “well, this is very sad but it comes with the territory,” sort of thing. by the time even cars like the focus get self-driving technology, that attitude will change.

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Now, if you figure out how to connect the Glowforge to your Model 3, then you can play with the Glowforge while commuting to work!


I love the idea of allowing elderly people more mobility. I’m also pretty keen on the idea of teenagers both learning to drive and not having to drive all the time. My kids are 9 & 10 and will be there soon and I would love for self driving cars to take some of the danger out of that part of our lives.


Many cities are gearing up to be Smart-Cities which basically means:

A developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas; economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government.

There was a Smart Cities challenge last year and I don’t think that a single city involved didn’t incorporate self-driving vehicles. In the traffic/transportation engineering world, self-driving vehicles aren’t even a question. They are coming, and in all honesty, they are coming much, much sooner than I ever expected.


I think I’d disagree except for niche markets. Long haul trucks on the highways, yeah. But then a local driver is going to pick it up for surface roads.

Maybe taxis in inner cities. Maybe.

Self driving cars are too polite which is fine when most cars are self-driving, not so much when 99% are still human piloted. And the hard problems haven’t been solved - roads without fog lines, snow covered roads where two lanes become one down the center, etc.

More realistic to think they’ll be assistive than independent. Self-parking & return to you in the lot, highway cruising, etc. Local is going to be hard.

The last 10% of technology is always the hardest 90% :slight_smile:

Besides how many people are going to be happy going the speed limit all the freaking time?


I believe I prefer to maintain control, but for people who try to text, natter on the phone, conduct business, eat lunch and drive simultaneously, I can certainly see the benefit of an automobile that will keep you from killing yourself, or someone else.

(And we’ve got a lot of them around here. AKA: Complete idiots. I’m married to one for now. Keep expecting to hear that I no longer am. It will not be a good day.)


Everyone surveyed thinks they’re an above average driver :slight_smile:


This is one of the primary targets. Uber is itching to have self-driving cars.

Tesla is already at this level at least. On the roads, today.

Full self-drive in Tesla is just around the corner, likely next year. Basically they just keep rolling out updates adding a new feature here and a new feature there until they get to the target. If you’ve never seen this video, it’s pretty amazing:

I just noticed that in this video, many of the roads don’t have fog lines.

My best guess (based on what I hear on the municipal side of things as a traffic/transportation engineer) is that Tesla will hit self-drive next year or maybe early 2019 at the latest. Uber will get their self-drive into more test markets (I think they are only in Detroit right now), and will probably roll-out nation wide in the next 3-5 years. I hadn’t actually heard much about the Waymo until this post, but they look to be in fairly good shape to roll out in a couple years.

I would hope that the autopilots are smart enough to recognize a situation where they can’t continue, more than that, anticipate it coming, warn the driver and if no confirmation is received (like if the driver is asleep or something), then pull over and stop.

I agree… but I think self-driving is further along than you think.

I’ve had to adjust to driving in WA where most people seem to stick fairly tightly to the speed limit. Sure people speed, but not everyone all the time like they do in CA. I think people would adjust pretty well. Traffic flow would get exponentially better if everyone drove the speed limit, merged when the sign told them to as opposed to pushing all the way to the last possible moment to merge, etc… So in general the traffic would be slower than usual, but the average speed between origin and destination would increase, and the total time between origin and destination would decrease as a result. In other words, you would be driving slower but arrive earlier.


I’ve been spending a lot of time lately in my flight simulator learning the flight management computer (FMC) ins and outs, and been learning how pilots largely have the option of automating everything from take off to landing.

It really is like Tesla of the air, except without the collision avoidance parts. :joy:

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I’m hoping that self-driving cars stay right, only move to left turn lanes 300-500 ft before needed and are marked in some type of way (yellow lights lit in back window or something like that) to tell the rest of us that they’re there.

Hopefully they’re “3 Laws Safe” and don’t impede others which causes it’s own problems.

FWIW, it will be a long time, probably with the need brought on by not being able to drive myself, before I’ll ever go for one.

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I was 17th on line in New York City for a Model 3. I’d have been higher on the line if the LIRR train doors didn’t close right in front of my face 45 minutes earlier. If they move at the pace they expect, I’m thinking I may get my Model 3 in December. But I was late to the Glowforge party (saving me about a year of frustration), so, if they stay on their new schedule, I’ll still get that first in November. But it’s going to be tight.


For curiosity sake, why would it be necessary to mark self-driving cars (i.e. the yellow light)?

In my opinion the fact that a car is self-driving should have no impact on the way that you (or I) drive. At least those cars would behave predictably in any given situation. Every car on the road that isn’t self-driving has the potential to react to any given situation in a different way.

I think knowing that a car is self-driving would only promote other drivers to be more aggressive around it, i.e. cutting in front of it because they know it will back off, etc…


Chuckle! If they are going to be maintaining the speed limit, they’d better be marked in some way, (like bright neon orange color with large flashing lights), in order to keep the drivers around them from mowing them down on the interstates and causing 80 car pile-ups.

No one drives the speed limit here. You can be killed if you do. (I hate these emojis.)


Another cool video was the first one Tesla released showing garage to workplace self driving, including parking lot navigation and avoiding pedestrians.


Okay. In fact, I think we’re further behind then even I think. We are notoriously bad at predicting the future of technologies.

The kill-a-child problem is one we’re not ready to deal with as a society. The cars have already been programmed (or at least the programming is known) to determine who dies when a car gets in a no win scenario. Hit the kid who suddenly darts across the street or turn into the path of the oncoming truck. Ethicists have determined how to make that decision and know what it will be. The public won’t agree the decision needs to be made, nor will they accept that someone will need to die and the car made the decision. We (humans) can kill 40,000 people a year making those decisions, we’re not ready to let machines make the decision to kill even one of us. The first one is going to cause a furor. The 5th is going to cause a call for a ban. No amount of logic is going to prevail.


I drive every day in Maryland which is at least up in the top 3 highest congested driving areas in the US. When I see cars marked as being driven by someone with a Learners Permit I’ll definitely drive around them differently (give more space between me and their bumper, extra sure to use blinkers, etc…). I think we all would agree that we drive differently when we see a vehicle marked as being a Police Vehicle.

I would definitely be in support of at least initially marking self-driving cars so we can easily identify them. Some of my biggest pet peeves on the road are those vehicles who don’t drive at least the speed limit (especially if they have space in front of them), those who don’t use turn signals, and those who take it upon themselves to “regulate” traffic by matching speeds with someone else and not allow anyone to pass, while having plenty of space in front of them.

Human drivers can be manipulated in certain ways to move over, or speed up, or we can flag them down if something is “wrong” with their vehicle, but computerized drivers will mostly be controlled by pre-programmed responses. I’d like to know that so I don’t frustrate myself trying to get one of them to move.