A robotic arm that refuels cars in service stations has been launched in the Netherlands.Key notes in this article:-kalos (October 22, 2014, 02:44 AM)
- Scans a tag on the car and then looks it up in a database to determine the position and angle of its fuel neck
- Does not work on cars with locking fuel caps- which is highly recommended and commonplace in urban areas to prevent theft.
- Expensive technology that hypothetically increases convenience without doing anything major to save time. Station must up-front the cost.
Point 1 is another valid solution to what I mentioned before- that the arm must somehow locate where the car is fuelled at, open the hatch and remove the cap, and then insert the nozzle. Simply retrieving the car's data from a database is a valid solution of course, but this adds a tremendous administrative burden in that every time a new model of car comes out the database must be updated to support it. And it will not work at all with vehicles that have been significantly altered- and I know a good many trucks that have relocated their fuel tanks for a variety of reasons.
Point 2 is a problem that could in theory be addressed by having the robot reach around to be near the driver and request the key. But this adds incredibly to the complexity of the system, as the arm now has to be able to reach halfway around the vehicle without hitting it, accept an object from a human, then return it to the human when it is done. Robots can do this part at least, but its not nearly as easy as it sounds from an engineering standpoint.
Point 3 is that there is little to no incentive for stations to actually adopt this. The only advantage is that customers will not have to leave their car to use the system, it does not change the fuel dispensing rate nor does it add any real value to the process. It'd be a different story if it was used on a full service island, since it could handle the fuel while the attendant takes care of other tasks. Or even eliminate the attendant entirely, with the attachment for another $250,000 that allows it to automatically wash the windows check the oil and put air in the tires.
Back to auto-pilot cars...
http://time.com/3517...0/end-human-driving/Let’s Fix It: Let’s End Human Driving
My prediction is that it doesn't end well...
If it were just purely the technology as a tool, I'd be cheering. But it's not. The IoT will ensure it turns into a dystopian, hellish nightmare. And not that the IoT itself is bad - same deal there - just a tool - but I think more than a couple people here know the sinister side of computer control -- the people behind the scenes.
Again - cool technology - but serious doubts about how it will actually be used/abused.-Renegade (October 22, 2014, 07:16 AM)
I'm actually okay with elimination of manual driving in daily life.
However, I am not okay with cars that are designed without mechanically linked operator controls. I've seen way too many computer malfunctions to trust a computer driven car that I can't wrench the wheel away from it or stomp on the brake and make it stop before going off the cliff that it can't see.
Long as a car still can be driven on full manual, the convenience of automatic driving makes it worth pursuing.
Especially in the cities. Parking in NYC is said to be unbelieveably expensive, and even in an upstate small town I would have no problem at all having my car drive itself to the parking lot at my workplace after dropping me off at the concert hall a few blocks away for a show. Saves me the $10 I would have to pay for parking, and it'd even be able to drive me home again after the show when I've had a bit to drink.
But I'd better be able to take manual control if I see a need to, and it cannot have the ability to ignore that input.