[ExI] self driving cars

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu May 17 13:52:07 UTC 2012

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson
> _______________________________________________
> Ja, but this is exactly what I am finding so frustrating Kelly.
> puts us right back to where we are now: even [our current ]small light
vehicles aren't particularly fuel efficient.

>...I'm not parsing what is frustrating to you.

I didn't explain that very well.  If you look at our current crop of really
small cars, such as the Mini and others, they are surprisingly heavy for
what little bit of room they have.  They are built with the current
auto-parts shelf, the currently produced tires, the metal-shell paradigm.
So they end up heavy and not particularly efficient.  They are better, but
not great.

Now think of those little harness racing buggies that are pulled by horses:
narrow wiry wheels, light as a feather:


My suggestion is to rethink the design of an ape hauler and start with the
kinds of parts used in a harness racer and build up to handle the loads of a
small IC engine, rather than start with a current car and work down.  If you
assume a top speed of about 55 mph, you don't need a hard metal shell.  A
plastic one will do fine.  If you assume a super smooth road surface, you
don't need those super rugged tires, the ones we see on all modern cars.  We
can use super light super low rolling resistance tires more like what you
see on a light motorcycle today, or a sturdy bicycle.

If we can only figure out a way to divide the lanes and let software do the
driving, we can have vehicles that get five times the distance on a volume
of gasoline compared to my beloved Mister Lincoln.  If we do that, soon, we
probably have enough time to avert TBCs (Truly Bad Consequences.)

>...So, in this ideal future world of yours drugs are legalized too? I like

Ja.  If stoners don't drive, I don't care what they smoke or poke into their
veins, or whatever people do with dope.  Most of our society's disdain for
that sort of thing comes from stoners getting behind the wheel and
threatening my life.  Ja I do resent the hell outta that aspect.  If they
have a robo-car and don't commit crimes, then they can go right on ahead and
play, I don't mind a bit, and there are plenty of others like me.

>...Certainly if you are copulating with your sweetheart, there is no need
to go fast. However, you might need something bigger than a Geo Metro... LOL
:-) -Kelly

Hmmm, think that over Kelly, and here's your design exercise: imagine an ape
hauler big enough to use for copulation but still a featherweight.  It
doesn't need to go fast: you and your sweetheart are in no desperate hurry.
This is a good exercise for your mechanical engineering talents.  Assume top
speed 55 mph, software driven and no need to be tall enough to be seen on
the road (we will find alternate solutions to the visibility problem.)  Can
you get this rig down to less than 500 kg?  I bet I can.


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