Future Cars

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by browniehound, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. browniehound

    browniehound Well-Known Member

    Has anybody seen this show on The Science Channel or Discovery? Its pretty cool. Apparently in 3 or 4 decades computers will control all aspects of driving the vehicle.

    They made an example that computers already perform some function in controlling how the vehicle is driven. This would be the anti-lock break system. As soon as the car senses slipping in the tires the computer puts the breaks into anti-lock mode.

    So as technology improves all aspects of driving will be controlled by the computer elimanating all traffic accidents. So here is my UPS question. Assuming this will be possible in 30 years will UPS junk all the old vehicles in favor of the trucks that will drive themselves?

    UPS is notorious for holding on to old vehicles (hello 1983 non-power steering trucks still in the fleet), but the company would be accident free if they replace the fleet in the matter of a couple of years.

    I know it would cost the company billions of dollars to overhaul their fleet in the matter of a couple of years, but think of the savings in other areas. No 5 seeing habits. No Insurance. No safety training (driving). No accidents!($$$$$$$).

    You put 2 guys in the truck that would be totally focused on the most efficent way to deliver the packages, as they wouldn't have to think about anything else.

    I'll be retired(hopefully) before something like this becomes a reality, but its kind of cool to think about.

    My feeling is UPS will have to adopt the new fleet because if they don't they will be at a severe competitive disadvantage to any company that does. Any thought?
  2. Ms Spoken

    Ms Spoken New Member

    sure my thought is what happens to the kids that chases the ball out into the road in front of our self driving truck? umm JMO never going to work.
  3. browniehound

    browniehound Well-Known Member

    Ms, my quess is the computer would know when people were present and not go any faster than the car could make itself stop in time. At least that is my understanding. I'm also going to assume that the breaking systems 30 years from now will be far superior and will literaly be able to stop on a dime.

    Your opinion is it won't work because you or I can't comprehend what the engineering will be like that far in the future. I'm optimistic that cars will be far more safer 30 years from now than they are today.

    I am lacking optimism, however, that UPS will replace their old fleet with newer, more safer vehicles.

    For example, I drive a vehicle that doesn't have an anti-lock breaking system. Which is fine, I don't expect the company to be this up to date on its safety features in package cars.

    The problem I have is that I still only have a lap-belt for a seatbelt, no shoulder strap. If I get into an accident my head is going to hit that windshied, or worse maybe the pieces of metal that make up the sun-visor.

    My daughter is about to turn 13 and I've recently let her sit in the front seat with me. She knows she has to buckle-up but she tries to put the shoulder strap behind her. I try to tell her that her neck would be broken by the air-bag if we were to get into an accident. So, I know everyone who makes the corporate saftey decisions would never allow their kid to ride in a vehicle without a shoulder-strap seatbelt, but its ok for us drivers to do it 9.5 hours a day?
  4. rod

    rod retired and happy

    Kids don't chase balls now days. They either cry until their parents but them a new one or else just sit infront of some vidio game and have some robot or monster chase the ball. Kids of the future will be born with only one finger to use for a remote controll.:)
  5. GuyinBrown

    GuyinBrown Blah

    Should this ever come to pass, UPS will integrate the new vehicles slowly, upgrading to them the same way they upgrade to the ones with automatic transmissions now. If this is the future, then there will have to be a way for the vehicles to co-exist on the road, since the government would be hard pressed to mandate that everyone that currently owns a vehicle replace it with a self driving one. Look at all the fuss they created when they mandated all "over the air" TV broadcasts be digital in 2009. Replacing an old analog TV with a new one capable of receiving a digital signal is a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing a vehicle... :wink:

    And trust me, even if they took us completely out of the driving equation, I know a couple guys in my center that would still find a way to have an accident.... :lol:
  6. Sammie

    Sammie Well-Known Member

    So Brownie, we'll all be driving around in an enormous computer. Alrightee, then.

    I can't afford a Lexus but I've heard that Toyota's updated its Prius to parallel parks itself now. Man, could I use one of those!!! :punk:
  7. browniehound

    browniehound Well-Known Member

    Sammie, the program actually said your view of the road would be blocked out because you would be driving so fast and would craping your pants at what the car was doing and that you had no control over it. The werem saying the windshield would be a movie or you wouls be surfing the net while the car drives itself.

    I'm not making this up. I saw it on TV so it must be true:tongue_sm
  8. Griff

    Griff Active Member

    By the time this came to fruition UPS drivers would be a thing of the past, they'd have robots delivering the packages. Wonder how much deadwood would still be in UPS management at that point, complaining about the robots being overallowed.
  9. dillweed

    dillweed Well-Known Member

    Be darned if I want some robot dictating where and how I drive. I'll buy a horse and buggy and make like the amish. :mad:
  10. JustTired

    JustTired free at last.......

    A few thoughts.......

    Hopefully, the computer won't have Windows as the operating system. It would bring an all new meaning to the words "system crash".

    What about that low hanging wire?

    If EDD is controlling where the package car goes next, we will still never get done.

    Can you say 500 stops/day? Nevermind that we would still have to unload those pkgs.

    I'd be willing to bet that unless the vehicle actually delivered the pkg(s), it stands a snowball chance of ever being adopted by UPS this century.
  11. Sammie

    Sammie Well-Known Member

    I remember when we thought it unlikely that we'd be delivering to all 50 states...:blush:
  12. hoser

    hoser Industrial Slob

    in three or four decades ago, didn't they say in three or four decades we will be teleporting to work, running the border by flying over it in our space craft, and we will never have to get up to watch lou dobbs because it can be telepathically transmitted to our synapses?

    oh and they said something about us colonizing the moon.

    i say this is all hogwash. nothing's gonna change for a looong time.
  13. GuyinBrown

    GuyinBrown Blah

    Exactly. It's not about the technology, it's about making the transition....
  14. lovetokayak

    lovetokayak Member

    "Kids of the future will be born with only one finger to use for a remote controll.:)"

    Or to pick their noses!! :) :) :)
  15. Dirty Savage

    Dirty Savage Paranoid Android

    I can't see that happening anytime soon just for the simple fact that UPS is just too damned cheap to replace their fleet. I'm driving a p5 circa 1989, 4 speed standard transmission and no power steering. It's so very awesome trying to squeeze down tight, traffic clogged downtown streets when you have to crank the wheel a dozen times just to turn. And god forbid your hands should slip and the wheel unwinds itself the other way at a thousand miles per hour and you almost lose your thumb in the process.

    In UPS' defence, though, to replace our fleet with up to date vehicles would cost an astronomical sum I'm sure.