Well, we've finally done it "down under"......a completely driver-less ore train.....a triple header at that!!!!!

Have a look at this news article and get ready to be scared.

In this news article they claim the intentional derailment of the runaway ore train last year in Western Australia was because of "human error", but that is not the way they reported it at the time. I think they were in the early stages of introducing this "driverless train technology. It's a good thing BHP and Rio Tinto own the track, and no other trains can use it....... and the fact it is in the middle of nowhere with no one around to get hurt if/when it derails again.

LORD HELP US!!!!!

Regards.....Peter (Buco tragic) from sunny Queensland, Australia

Original Post

Driverless trains, what's wrong with that? At least it's on a track! 

Right now the post office is testing driverless tractor trailers between distribution centers in the west. Right now a driver is in the seat if there a problem but what about when the project is givin a go and the trucks are on the roadways driverless, yes the same ones you may be driving on. 

its just not the railroads we should be worrying about. 

Dave

The driverless train is actually old news. We had a multi page discussion about this a few months ago. The upshot of it was that it's all well and good if the Aussies want to drag ore trains through the outback without humans on board. But that ain't going to fly here in North America, too many populated areas, and too many hazmat loads. 

David, at least it's on a track (until it isn't). 

Some of the more advance features are available, standard equipment, with our 2018 Toyota Prius.  Cruise control monitors the speed of the vehicle ahead, will adjust to a safe distance, unfortunately, I usually get passed, the car cuts-in front of me.  Lane departure, Left and Right, apparently, sees the lines, on the road, will beep and display either the left or right edge line.  It did once yell, and scream, stop, stop, as I was approaching the vehicle ahead way too fast, It also automatically applied the brakes.  I also noted, with ice and snow on the main sensor, which is above the mirror, center of windshield, another warning about the system being disabled.   All recorded in the on-board computer system, which, I'm being told can be accessed for litigation/or insurance information.  World is changing quickly.   IMO, Mike CT.  

So yesterday night I'm driving on the highway and want to get into the right exit lane.  Some psychopath matches speed with me in the right lane, speeding up and slowing down to try to prevent me from changing lanes.  Hopefully he (likely a he) wound up in a ditch somewhere.  This sort of individual crazy behavior behind the wheel, or just plain incompetence (tail gating, cutting in with insufficient margin as above, etc.) will disappear in the future when robotic vehicles are the only thing permitted on the roads .  Sorry for those of you who enjoy driving (I don't, obviously) but 35,000 to 40,000 deaths per year and 100s of billions of medical expenses in the USA alone will go down in the future that's coming.

Sometimes there's just no substitute for a good old fashioned human.

As long as you brought up modern automobiles, I drive a 2018 Buick Enclave with all the bells and whistles. I still haven't figured out how to use half that crap. The one I like is the side mirror warning lights when someone is in my blind spots. My driver's seat has three vibrators in it, right, left and center that buzz my butt for lane departure or parking obstacles. It's a gentle reminder. I know the car can detect other cars ahead, but I haven't figured out how to set following distance. I hate reading the owner's manual. It has something to do with the little green car that pops up under the speedometer. I found out the other day, that the car can detect pedestrians, when a little yellow person popped up there. I've been driving this thing for a year, and hadn't noticed that one before.

These features are there to help me, not replace me. I can live with that. I'll take all the help I can get.

Someday, the insurance companies will even start giving a better rate for those features instead of pocketing all the savings.

As for driverless trains, there are several places that already have totally automated metro systems, two that I found are the Copenhagen Metro and the Barcelona Metro line 9 (still under construction).

I like the idea of pedestrian and vehicle proximity and lane departure warnings in our cars.... features that assist the driver are all good and probably should be mandatory on all new cars.  Autonomous driving features....not nearly as valuable and imo will never be as long as there are construction zones with no lane markings and emergency detours present on our streets and highways.  It seems I can't go anywhere anymore during road construction season (spring, summer, fall) without encountering some kind of impediment with re-routing, lane closures, temporary no left turn signs and lane divergences.   Your self driving system will inevitably disengage so often that it would be almost useless much of the time and even if it would do a fantastic job, a person might or quite possibly would be completely unprepared and too distracted to react in time in situations like I have encountered on our interstates and expressways too many times to count.  Just my 2 cents.

"Imagine a giant battery on one of those locomotives that's taking energy from the train as it's breaking," Mr Vella said.

Are we train about the train "breaking" as in not working any more, or "braking" as in slowing down? 

Whatever...journalism is dead.

Rich Melvin

Landsteiner posted:

  This sort of individual crazy behavior behind the wheel, or just plain incompetence (tail gating, cutting in with insufficient margin as above, etc.) will disappear in the future when robotic vehicles are the only thing permitted on the roads

Hopefully nobody will think it is funny to put a line of post-it notes crossing lanes of traffic. Believe it was Tesla who found out what could happen.

  The Australian train snafu is their problem, I guess.  I think we have a similar setup in Arizona or some other place out west.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's a point to point mining line delivering ore to a smelter?  Fine, if there's no chance of affecting the public when there's a wreck.

I have to recall the wreck of an eastbound Burlington freight in Lagrange, Il. in the late 1970s.  A car derailed in the middle of the train and caused a huge pile-up, taking out the entire bridge over the IHB.  At this moment a westbound Amtrak was approaching that bridge and thanks to the warning from the crew of the freight, they almost stopped with only the 2 Amtrak SDP40s going into the abyss where there had been a bridge just moments before.  Amazingly, none of the cars on the Amtrak train derailed.   I heard from someone second hand that the crew in the Burlington caboose sent the first warning over their radio that a wreck was happening and without that warning received by the crew on the Amtrak train, I shudder to think what could have been the result.  

What about the engineer and other crew members that used to run that train that are told, we don't need you anymore, go home? Automation could at sometime put almost everybody out of work.

One thing about trains, it doesn't matter where they are going, it's having the sense to get on.

I don't believe any of our trains should operate autonomously if there's any chance that the public could be injured or killed in the event of a wreck be it a runaway, collision or derailment or whatever.          It's like the driverless cars ( and now trucks.).     Phooey on that stuff.  The brainiacs say they have it all figured out and not to worry.  When someone says "don't worry about it" that's when it's time to worry.    The jobs are another matter and I especially hate to see railroad jobs go away.   (I'm retired myself and can't even describe how thankful I am for Railroad Retirement.  I doubt you could find a better deal for working folks.) 

feet posted:

What about the engineer and other crew members that used to run that train that are told, we don't need you anymore, go home? Automation could at sometime put almost everybody out of work.

It's no different at the local supermarket, they just recieved a robot that goes around the market looking for spills and other things on the floor. In the near future you will be able to ask it where items are and  it will also scan the aisles for out of stocks along with ordering for the store. 

It is the first step in eliminating non-essential employees. Who will be next? 

Dave

Add to the list, trip to the doctor, with pages of test request, each with a bar code to be scanned.   There is always, a senior, that needs assistance, the attendant/receptionist, if there is one, must have been told, help as little as possible.  

I don't know that we can stop progress because a specific job might be eliminated.  If we don't keep pace with the rest of the world, we'll quickly become a 3rd world country!  That wouldn't be good for anyone's well being in this country, I sure don't want to see that!  The key is retraining employees for jobs that are still necessary.  We're a very long way from total automation in the world.

Autonomous devices are nice. Except when your "Roomba" robot vacuum cleaner decides to have a go at a pile of dog p**p. Not a pretty sight.

Also bad would be when you instruct your driver less taxi powered by "Hal 9000" to let you off at the next corner and you hear..."I'm sorry Dave...I'm afraid I can't do that".

 

Consider the day when everything is so automated there will be no need for people to work.  Everyone will be given an annual stipend that provides sufficient funds for living, education and recreation.  You will be able to do whatever you feel makes your life productive and enjoyable.  The only limitation will be on maintaining a population size that makes society economically viable.

What'sUpDoc? posted:

Consider the day when everything is so automated there will be no need for people to work.  Everyone will be given an annual stipend that provides sufficient funds for living, education and recreation.  You will be able to do whatever you feel makes your life productive and enjoyable.  The only limitation will be on maintaining a population size that makes society economically viable.

ROFLMAO.

Yeah, right.      

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Some of the ideas I see being thrown around are plain ridiculous. See the thing about A.I is that people will still need to monitor it and maintain it as well as fix it when things go wrong. When people describe A.I like a whole new creature, that's impossible both from a scientific and a religious standpoint. Yes, A.I might get too involved in our lives to the point where our privacy is threatened to a whole new level, but that's going to be about it. Even if someone decides to create a machine that killed people it would still be susceptible to viruses, cyber attacks, and nature. We certainly won't become some communist country where everyone gets a set monthly income based on their needs. Now am I for A.I? Partially yes, but also no. I really don't like the idea of Trains driving themselves regardless of how safe it is. There is just something more comforting knowing that there is a human being who most likely cares about others and does not want to kill others driving a train. The other side of it is that A.I can be used in health which is usually always a good thing. We have advanced into the field of medicine so much over the last few decades thanks to computers. Computers are a tool, not a replacement, they won't replace humans, they will just help us become even more advanced.

prrhorseshoecurve posted:

Well the Newark Airport monorail is autonomous.

So is the JFK Airtrain and

A bunch of monorails and trams in Las Vegas that jump between casinos.

It's only a matter of time before the rest of the rail industry becomes "assimilated" into autonomy.

Also, the O'Hare people mover has been automated since 1993.

However, I would have to add that these types of systems are "closed loop" with a fixed route with no level crossings to encourage human targeting.

Fully automating something like the the BNSF three track Chicago-Aurora racetrack with its multiple level grade crossings and interleaving Metra, BNSF freight and Amtrak movements is another matter all together.

Rusty

Phil McCaig posted:

  The Australian train snafu is their problem, I guess.  I think we have a similar setup in Arizona or some other place out west.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's a point to point mining line delivering ore to a smelter?  

We did, but now we don't.

In the 1970's a mine railroad known as the Black Mesa & Lake Powell was built in northern Arizona.  It used GE electric locomotives and I can't say for sure if there was automation.  The same existed in Ohio - Muskingum Electric, newly built in the late 1960s and that one did have automation.  But the early version of automation was not reliable enough.  Muskingum got rid of it early in the game, and thereafter used an operator until the line was closed.  

Hundreds of freight trains in the US are operated daily with automation.  There is a crew aboard, who are supposed to set up the equipment at the beginning of the trip, allow the automated equipment to operate the train, be sure that proper speed and signal compliance are observed, and take action in case of an unplanned event.  Fuel savings is the payoff.  The equipment operates the train in a frustratingly cautious manner, and is agonizingly so in severe undulating territory, but it does save fuel and does not "grandstand", thus saving money in both areas.

Total crewless automation is not coming any time soon, to American common carrier railroading.  The safety of the public can only be assured by the presence of an alert Engineer on board.  The only exceptions could be rapid transit on a closed track system, or private railroads outside of populated areas (such as those in the Australian desert).

Same goes for common carrier trucking.  The automation in trucking will be used to run two or three (perhaps more) large trucks using fuel-saving driving practices, right on each other's bumper, so to speak, with an operator in each cab for unplanned events.  They will ride in each other's slipstream for economy of fuel.  And truck drivers will become acquainted with a device very familiar to Locomotive Engineers -- an alertor.

Don't waste your time being scared.  Skip the drama.  The technology is here, but there is too much risk involved in allowing it to operate trains or large trucks without supervision.  Even so, not many are enthused about it.  It is just part of the transportation business in our era.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

And now....Airbus has announced pilotless airplanes.  Not in our skies, I would hope.   Black Mesa/Lake Powell rail line is an interesting case, imo.  If the line doesn't cross roads or enter areas posing a threat to people and property, they probably couldn't be stopped from utilizing autonomous operation.  I am not for it.  But if you owned a 100 square mile ranch in Texas and had a private road and were driving a car on your own road.....who could stop you from driving 150 miles an hour on your own property?  I see this the same way.

Phil McCaig posted:

And now....Airbus has announced pilotless airplanes.  Not in our skies, I would hope.   Black Mesa/Lake Powell rail line is an interesting case, imo.  If the line doesn't cross roads or enter areas posing a threat to people and property, they probably couldn't be stopped from utilizing autonomous operation.  I am not for it.  But if you owned a 100 square mile ranch in Texas and had a private road and were driving a car on your own road.....who could stop you from driving 150 miles an hour on your own property?  I see this the same way.

   Why would you be against something on private land that poses no hazard being automated?  That's the only kinda place that it COULD make me feel safe.  

   I've been on automatated monorails stuck in the cars for hours twice already....at the stations!  

I never liked the idea of throttle by wire on cars. Electric steering and brakes seems downright stupid to me. Lots of Tesla drivers already bypassing safteys and sleeping while traveling (it is NOT a fully autonomous vehicle yet). I'm also a very competent driver in an emergency. Offroad only a few people have traveled with me over a mile or two. I possibly could have been a pro driver,high speed drifting (fishtailing) was something I taught myself late at night in secluded areas in my "exuberant youth".  I've only been T-boned in parking lots while I was moving to slow to maneuver.  I.e. I feel safer when I drive, and folks who know me always asked me to drive. (it's actually all past tense, I might drive a few miles once or twice a year at best now; injury)

But D500 pointing out all the OTHER people on the road today has made me reconsider quite quickly.      I do trust tech more than I trust the average person today.  If it means taking the controls from Jenny-Cell-Phone and Johnny-Text too, I'm open for talks. But if they have control, I want my wits more than tech.. At least then it's my shortcommings and I can't blame anyone but myself for attempts to avoidvoid getting hit and ending up in a ditch, especially the kind you cover up once I'm there. (best I could do against google gpellwreck.).........spellwreck😣

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:
Phil McCaig posted:

   Why would you be against something on private land that poses no hazard being automated?  That's the only kinda place that it COULD make me feel safe.  

. .. Lots of Tesla drivers already bypassing safteys and sleeping while traveling (it is NOT a fully autonomous vehicle yet). ... <edited for the sake of space.

Is this something you just heard or do you have first hand knowledge?  And if you have first hand knowledge, I'd like to know how that's possible as the Tesla, while in Autonomous mode, requires the person in the driver's seat to make contact with the steering wheel periodically, and in specific locations that would be difficult for someone other than the driver to do.  To bypass one would have to overcome hard coding.  I have verifiable evidence of this.

The accidents that have occurred (two, if I remember correctly) in Teslas that were in Autonomous mode happened while the driver was not paying adequate attention.  They were not, however, asleep at the time to my knowledge. 

There have been numerous news videos recently of folks sleeping at the wheel, with something wrapped around the wheel to bypass the safety measures in place on the steering wheel.  The last was in the Bing news crawl a day or so ago. (I'll try to link one later if need be. I can't connect to bing right now for some reason. If your search is working right now, I'm pretty sure a case could be dragged up)

Ok.. it connected. Here is one, about the 5th or 6th Ive seen.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news...5-freeway/ar-AAD0tbM

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Enough research and you'll also find fossil fuels still leave a smaller carbon footprint from material harvesting to endlife disposal the than electrical cars; but we have to start somewhere to get where we need to be.

  That comes from a former Tesla engineer's report I got to review (RIP)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×