Automatic Driving Systems


Announcer: Go behind the wheel, under the hood, and beyond with Car Stuff from howstuffworks.com.

Scott Benjamin: Hi, everybody. Welcome to the podcast. I'm Scott Benjamin, the auto editor here at howstuffworks.com. And with me, as always, is Ben. How are you doing, Ben?

Ben Bowlin: I'm doing super well, Scott. You know me, Ben Bowlin - a faithful co-host, and maybe a person with a little bit of an impulse control problem.

Scott Benjamin: Really?

Ben Bowlin: Well, yeah. Every time we talk about a new vehicle, or anything except for Pikes Peak, I'm all about getting that next vehicle, taking that next ride.

Scott Benjamin: True. You're right. You're pretty much up for anything in this podcast, really.

Ben Bowlin: I am. And I think that's one of the reasons we work well together. But also, let's be honest. Let's be objective. People with poor impulse control do not make the best drivers.

Scott Benjamin: That's also true, which plays right into what we're doing today, of course.

Ben Bowlin: That's right, man.

Scott Benjamin: So do you want to hit them with what it is?

Ben Bowlin: Yes, let's do it.

Scott Benjamin: Okay, go ahead.

Ben Bowlin: Okay. Today we are talking about automatic driving systems.

Scott Benjamin: So that removes some of your impulse reaction out of it, is that right?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah -

Scott Benjamin: Or does it? Maybe it works with your impulse reactions.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, yeah. Like how people who already have poor math skills and grew up in the age of calculators just still have poor math skills.

Scott Benjamin: That's true. But they get it done somehow.

Ben Bowlin: They do. I guess you could say the seed of this podcast was planted when we talked about some very interesting future technology such as driverless cars.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, there's an article on our site about driverless cars. And there's a lot of technology out there that's starting to make the leap, baby step by baby step, towards removing some of the control from the driver and actually taking it into strictly electronic controls. Others, like we mentioned, are a mix of both. It's an electronic control that alerts the driver that something's happening - or an electronic control that overrides the system in order to make it safer in some way. But we've got a whole variety of things to talk about today. So do you want to dive right in?

Ben Bowlin: Yes, sir. I propose that we take this approach, Mr. B. Let's take a look at automatic driving technology that may already exist. I think we'll surprise some people there. And maybe we'll wrap it up with some nice words about the future.

Scott Benjamin: Sounds good. I think I have somewhat of a surprise. We've mentioned it before, but it's becoming a reality now. It's something I think you'll be interested to stay tuned in for.

Ben Bowlin: And let me start off. Let me go ahead and kick this event off by letting everyone know about something that I knew about - and I think most people knew about this, but most of us don't consider this an automatic driving system.

Scott Benjamin: What is that?

Ben Bowlin: Antilock brakes. And these are, believe it or not, what we're talking about. If you think about it - we've got this in our article - and antilock brake system does something that the driver would do if this system did not exist.

Scott Benjamin: Okay, very good. Yeah, you're right. Is that a passive or active system? Do you know?

Ben Bowlin: Well, let's see if we can break down the process. Before the days of antilock brakes - we'll call the days of yore.

Scott Benjamin: The good ol' days.

Ben Bowlin: When you have your good ol' day car and it didn't have an antilock brake system, when you slammed on the brakes the wheels could lock up, and that would, of course, send you into a skid. So what did you have to do to prevent that?

Scott Benjamin: You'd have to pump the brakes.

Ben Bowlin: Right. And for old fogies like us, we know that pumping the brakes is relatively an easy thing.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it sort of is. The goal there was to maintain steering control. If you just lock the wheels and hit the brakes and you're skidding, you're just going the direction that the car is traveling, you're not going to be able to steer out of whatever incident you're ready to go into. So I think maybe I just stepped on your toes here.

Ben Bowlin: No, that's exactly right.

Scott Benjamin: But antilock brakes allow you to steer through the problem. So if you are skidding, you still maintain control. But what does it really do? I think a lot of people may not know exactly how intense this is.

Ben Bowlin: What the antilock brake system in any vehicle actually does, it does the pumping of the brake for you. No offense to anybody who thinks they are the king and the last word on brake pumping, but this is not a John Henry situation. The computer probably does do a better job than the driver.

Scott Benjamin: Very nice, the John Henry reference.

Ben Bowlin: Hey, I try.

Scott Benjamin: Good work.

Ben Bowlin: So some people might say, "No, come on guys. This is just a braking system." But technically, it does qualify because any automatic driving system, or assisted driving system, we're defining that as something that automates or takes over what would traditionally be a human occupation.

Scott Benjamin: Sure. It makes perfect sense. That's a great example. I've got a couple of things here. I can run down a quick list of a few things that I've got.

Ben Bowlin: Lay it on me.

Scott Benjamin: I found some information on a site called EventHelix. This is kind of hard to believe, but EventHelix is claiming that - you'll hear these claims all over the place, so take it with a grain of salt. They say that by 2030 all major interstates in the US are going to be expanded to have what they call AutoDrive lanes.

Ben Bowlin: 2030, eh?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, that's coming up pretty quick. That's 20 years, but that's faster than you think, because we were going to have flying cars by the year 2000.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, I know.

Scott Benjamin: This is a strange thing. The idea is that it's for automated cars and commercial trucks that have these automated systems built in. And they claim that the speed limits in these one lanes - it's kind of like HOV lanes now, but strictly for automated driving systems. They say that the speed limits could be as high as 130 miles per hour in those lanes.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, because human operator error is -

Scott Benjamin: Removed from the equation.

Ben Bowlin: In theory.

Scott Benjamin: In theory. Now, for that to work - I've got this small chart here that EventHelix had on their site. It's what it requires in order for a vehicle to have this AutoDrive system. So you've got your vehicle. There's vehicles in front and behind you, and I'm not clear whether or not they need to have a signaling system as well, or if it would just be you. So this is the case where we talk about so many times, if everybody has a system, it works great. If one person steps out of line that does not have the system, that throws a wrench into things. That's maybe the true test to see how it works.

Ben Bowlin: We're talking about interoperability.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. So it's better if you have cars surrounding you that have this type of thing as well as guardrails and the roadway itself. They need to be imbedded with these sensors and information gathering devices that can narrow down exactly where you are on the road. And they do that via GPS. So GPS is another element to this thing. Radar is another element, because you need the radar to detect objects in the road. And according to them, the radar would detect anything that's higher than three centimeters in height on the road. So if there's an object left in the road, like a muffler or something or a ladder that fell off of someone's truck - or a person - anything that wanders into that lane, it would detect that. Also, it also requires - and this is sketchy right now, too - wireless Internet. Now you and I both know that the signal fades and there's places where it's just dead and not capable. But that's one of the things that this depends on, because it requires current maps and automatic weather updates and constant updating of information for it work. And if it doesn't get that information continuously, right up to the very last second, there's going to be problems. That may give them construction information and backup information. So if you're barreling down on these cars that are stopped ahead of you and you're going - like they say, 130 miles per hour - in this lane, that's going to be trouble. I know for sure they've got a bunch of backups built in and there's a big description about how they plan to cope with all of this.

Ben Bowlin: The redundancies and stuff.

Scott Benjamin: It's an interesting site if you get a chance to check it out. But it does require a lot of different things - radar, GPS, other vehicles with this. And again, a sticky one - infrastructure - that's a big money thing. And where are they going to put it? How extensive is this going to be? And then you have to deal with the accuracy, too. That's another tricky thing as far as I'm concerned. They're claiming they have lane accuracy plus or minus one centimeter.

Ben Bowlin: Wow. Really?

Scott Benjamin: I know. They can determine lane accuracy plus or minus one centimeter. And again, that requires this wireless Internet update, the radar systems, and everything to work perfectly in unison in order for that to work without any problems or issues and being able to avoid everything. But these things are being tested. They do work in a test situation, in a controlled situation. But how is it going to work out on the highway? That's my concern.

Ben Bowlin: I can help you out with that, because when we're talking about this, astute listeners will notice that we brought up a couple of things that already exist and we're talking more about integrating them into an effective and, most importantly, safe system. So we already have the ability, to a degree, to automate speed - and we just call it cruise control.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. We have dynamic cruise control on a lot of vehicles. That's already out there. It works fine. It has to be calibrated and has to be set up exactly right. There's issues here and there, nothing major. You're able to set up the distance from another vehicle that you want to travel, t he speed, and you're able to maintain that distance. And it automates the entire cruise control system, I guess. You still have to drive, of course. It's not a true hands free system yet.

Ben Bowlin: It's an assist, more than anything.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. It's just a speed control, but it's a nifty gizmo. There are other things out there as well. Do you have a list?

Ben Bowlin: I think we should do this together. So why don't you do the next one?

Scott Benjamin: Really? Okay. I've got a few more, but Nissan has something called the Collision Avoidance System. And if I take yours, just tell me so I can let you describe it.

Ben Bowlin: No, no, please.

Scott Benjamin: So Nissan has this Collision Avoidance System they're working on. And the interesting thing about this is, it's a biomimicry device, where they're mimicking the eyes of a bee in order to make it work.

Ben Bowlin: That's so smart.

Scott Benjamin: There's so many different facets in the eye and it takes in so much. It gets something like a 300-degree of the vehicle, which is pretty incredible. 360 would be perfect, but you can't do that with a system yet, I don't think. There's a chance that that may make it into production soon.

Ben Bowlin: I think that depends on where they can get the price point. Because the adapter for the dynamic cruise control we were talking about - which is this brilliant idea - is still not in very many cars just because of the cost.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it's in relatively high-end cars. And that's based on your point of view, I suppose. It was in the top end Chrysler 300 for a while.

Ben Bowlin: Right - which is a nice car?

Scott Benjamin: Mercedes, I believe, had it. Of course, they were sharing technology at the time. Like I said, it's in the higher end vehicles right now. But like all of the other stuff, it'll trickle down eventually, as well as the cost.

Ben Bowlin: Another thing that might surprise people - I remember, I was surprised when we first talked about this. It was not quite in the days of yore, but a little more recent - radar. Some cars already have radar - the cars for people who hate parallel parking so much that would rather have an automaton do it for them.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, isn't that amazing? I am still amazed by a vehicle that can park itself.

Ben Bowlin: I would love to be in a vehicle as it happens. Of course, that parallel parking system - we've talked about his before - is not perfect. It needs a lot of room. And one of the criticisms we get a lot about these sort of systems is very valid, and that's if you're ever in a city where you do need to parallel park the spaces are too tight for this system to work.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah. Because doesn't it need one and half times the length of the car to work?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, something like that.

Scott Benjamin: And usually you have one and just a tiny little bit. You don't have a full one and a half times the vehicle. That's pretty big when you're talking about an SUV. That's a big spot to find in the city. You might as well be able to pull in at that point, really.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, or buy a MINI.

Scott Benjamin: Good idea - and then it's simple to find one that's twice the size of the vehicle you're parking.

Ben Bowlin: Buy a MINI and keep the automatic parking.

Scott Benjamin: I'm sure that's real easy to just change that out.

Ben Bowlin: So before we move on to some more stuff, I wanted to put in a word about the infrastructure. I forgot it earlier. As we said before, the Eisenhower interstate system, in today's dollars, cost about $128.9 billion. And those are just the regular roads - no computers. That's just asphalt and guide rails along cliffs.

Scott Benjamin: That's right. We're looking for the XLS version, the top end - the GT. It's going to be expensive no matter what. And how extensive is it going to be? Once you get out into stretches in Texas and Utah -

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, Nevada.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. Are they going to continue the system all of the way through some of those regions? Maybe - maybe not. I can see them instituting them in larger cities at first, of course, and smaller cities - and then the trickle down where it eventually gets everywhere.

Ben Bowlin: Northeast corridor and then along the coast - major interstates.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, but then again they've been talking about this for an awful long time and so far we haven't really seen anything outside of test facilities. It's not a criticism; it's just what's happening. It's taking a long time.

Ben Bowlin: Okay. Do we have anymore present stuff?

Scott Benjamin: A couple. Just to mention that there are other brands out there that do have some of this stuff. Volvo has had a collision avoidance system for a couple years now.

Ben Bowlin: Safest cars in the world for awhile, too.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah. And Mercedes Benz has a brake assist system, of course. I think they were the first ones, as a matter fact.

Ben Bowlin: I think you're right.

Scott Benjamin: They had some kind of Presafe System in 2003 S-class sedan. So they've been doing this for a long time - seven years. And what that amounted to was measuring the steering angle and acceleration, a pre braking thing. It raised the seats, which is nother common thing in these systems. There's stuff that happens inside the vehicle. It'll bring any reclined seats up to seating position to prepare for the impact if it's imminent. You're in a better position for the seatbelts to work properly.

Ben Bowlin: I see. That's pretty smart.

Scott Benjamin: Front and rear, because some of these vehicles have rear reclining seats. Ford has a collision warning system with brake support for the Taurus and Lincoln MKS - and also for the crossover vehicle. And Honda and Nissan are offering lane deviation prevention programs. That's pretty cool because that's ballpark what we're talking about here - really close. If you're getting out of your lane and it tells you, honestly that's pretty advanced to be able to do something like that. I know someone's going to say its real simple and here's the way they do it. But think about it. It wasn't that long ago that we had standard roll up windows. We had to roll them down by hand.

Ben Bowlin: I knew you were going to talk about window cranks.

Scott Benjamin: I know. It's that amazing. You're talking about radar and we're talking about cruise control that keeps a certain distance to the next vehicle.

Ben Bowlin: We're talking about using satellites in space.

Scott Benjamin: It's space age stuff.

Ben Bowlin: Welcome to the future.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. But I think lane deviation prevention systems are pretty cool. And that's what we're getting here with what Helix is talking about. That's all we have for the current stuff. There's more out there, here and there, but that's hitting the major ones.

Ben Bowlin: Obligatory nod to Space Odyssey 2001. I have thought about driverless cars for awhile since we've been talking about them, and I just can't shake it. Somewhere between how and Knight Rider with Kit I picture myself in a car. I've already told it what exit I need and I'm trying to escape and I try the manual override and that light comes on and goes, "I'm sorry, Ben. I can't let you do that." Do you know what I mean?

Scott Benjamin: I do. It's telling you that it's not possible.

Ben Bowlin: How do I change the oil?

Scott Benjamin: It may tell you.

Ben Bowlin: So let's talk about the future.

Scott Benjamin: This is cool. It came out relatively recently. We're a little late to mention this because it's already happened, but at the 2010 Pikes Peak race - we've talked about it in the past. We didn't have a show on it this year but we did last year because there was a record run and a real push for it last year.

Ben Bowlin: Yes, sir.

Scott Benjamin: This year, if you remember, we talked about Audi in that episode.

Ben Bowlin: Yes, we talked about a very specific Audi.

Scott Benjamin: Now Audi has quite a history on Pikes Peak. 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the Quattro system. And the Quattro system just blew away the motor sports world when it came out. It was just unbelievable what this thing was capable of. And of course it shattered records on Pikes Peak. So Audi news this week - audiusanews.com - sent out a press release. If you remember, we talked about an autonomous car was going to make an attempt at Pikes Peak. Now they didn't race in the Pikes Peak race this year because they're still testing. But I've got some good news.

Ben Bowlin: What's the good news?

Scott Benjamin: They are well on track and they're going to make a run for it later this year, I believe.

Ben Bowlin: So we're going to have, for the first time in human history, the possibility of an artificial driving system that may become the winner of Pikes Peak.

Scott Benjamin: Well, I guess it's possible.

Ben Bowlin: Maybe probable.

Scott Benjamin: It's possible that this thing could find the cleanest, fastest, most efficient route up that hill. And it may break a record. Now it won't be happening during the race this year. They're going to test it and actually do a run mid-November. They're going to attempt two things. They're going to have the Guinness Book of World Records monitor a land speed attempt they're going to complete at the El Mirage dry lake bed in southern California or another nearby location if they can't because of weather. They are also going to attempt the Pikes Peak run. It's going to be a new record no matter what if it makes it to the top. This is a brand new category for the fastest speed in an autonomous vehicle. And so far that has yet to be done because it's incredibly complex to get to the top of that mountain. It's -

Ben Bowlin: Tricky turns.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. It's nearly 12 and a half miles. They call it the Race to the Clouds. It's different surfaces - it' s an intense race. So it's called the Pikes Peak Audi TTS and it will be making a run mid-November. And they have a schedule at the end of the press release that talks about continuing the testing. And they're out there right now checking the route. Just after the race, they went out and were checking the route, seeing what's different and what's new - the different conditions - and they're going to make some attempts at it. Now what's really crazy about this is they're replicating decisions that rally racers make at race speed. So this is taking the autonomous driving thing to the very max right away. You're talking about a racing situation where it's a seat of your pants type of decisions that you make based on what you see, feel, and hear. It's making these maneuvers based on these difficult road conditions and everything that's going on around them. It's a difficult thing for it to do, but you can also see the future of these assisted technologies and what we can expect to see in the future. This is where it comes from. Racing is where a lot of things come from. This is no different.

Ben Bowlin: Seatbelts, side view mirrors, rear view mirrors.

Scott Benjamin: It goes on and on and on - aerodynamics come from that. It just goes on and on and on, what came and comes from racing. That's why companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Formula One stock car racing. The technology that they learn for the racing series translates directly into the automobile that you and I park in our driveway. And this is no different. So when they're developing this autonomous car to climb Pikes Peak, you may think, "What's Audi doing spending this money to do this?" They're looking farther down the road and saying, "This is where we need to go so we can develop these safety systems. And better than that, maybe we can develop the first autonomous car."

Ben Bowlin: And there are couple of things we have to mention. I cannot let it pass by anytime we have an opportunity to mention the DARPA Grand Challenge. This is the big daddy of automatic driverless systems. And of course we've mentioned this before, the defense department's research wing - the same folks who brought us things like HARP and the Internet and - do you know they're actually building the matrix now?

Scott Benjamin: Wait, what's this Internet thing?

Ben Bowlin: The Internet is a series of tubes -

Scott Benjamin: No, that's okay. Did you say something about the harp?

Ben Bowlin: HARP is a place in Alaska that does ionospheric research. These are the really smart people. And it's secretive out of necessity because it is national security. But they've had this competition several times now. The last one that I have good data on was 2007. But places like HARP and companies like Audi are propelling the future of vehicles. And for awhile I was dead-set against it. I thought driverless vehicles were a bad idea, because even if we get the infrastructure in, all it takes is one monkey wrench into an intimate machine -

Scott Benjamin: You can say it, Ben - just one clown. Just one clown out there to screw everything up.

Ben Bowlin: One guy who decides to go, "No, I'm going to go manual."

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, that's right. "I'm taking over."

Ben Bowlin: "So I can try out my turbocharger." But we're painting a baby step future where - you guys can probably tell that Scott and I are completely on the same page here. If these kind of systems happen, we're going to see them first in heavily populated urban areas and we're going to see them expand outward from there and start to connect the way that major roads started to expand out and connect.

Scott Benjamin: And it'll be a relatively slow speed in those areas versus the high speed. If they were to develop this in Utah, you can expect those high speeds you're talking about, like the 130 in the automated lane. Because you just have the distance and there's not quite as many obstacle potentials other than maybe an elk running across the road or something like that, which would be awful. But apparently the radar would detect objects nearby and the direction they're traveling. It would calculate all of that and supposedly you'd be safe. But I think that urban areas are where this is all going to start, if and when it does start.

Ben Bowlin: And I have actually changed my mind on driverless cars. You'll recall before I was dead-set against it. And I got to thinking and I hit upon this. I looked up some statistics. The majority of auto accidents, including fatal accidents, are attributable to human error, not to any fault of the equipment.

Scott Benjamin: I believe that.

Ben Bowlin: And so to me it seems like we have this incredibly expensive, incredibly imperfect system. But we also have the opportunity to make the roads a little safer and save people's lives. I think that the long-term benefit is worth it, but only if we go at a very careful, slow, graduated pace.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, don't jump in with both feet first.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, let's not put sensors everywhere and then make some sort of cockamamie law that requires people to have an automated car by next year.

Scott Benjamin: We know systems like this track train traffic. They monitor the elevated trains we have here in town - well, they're underground at some points. But I know they monitor bus traffic. Of course, we've had planes that are monitored via radar. I guess it's natural that cars would be the next thing that they try to tackle with something like this. I don't know if I'm on board with this yet.

Ben Bowlin: Would you feel safe? That's the question. I think that's the question in everyone's mind.

Scott Benjamin: I really wouldn't.

Ben Bowlin: If you have children, would you want your children to be in a driverless school bus?

Scott Benjamin: No, I don't think I would.

Ben Bowlin: I think it's going to take a very long time, even if somehow - we've talked about this before. I completely disagree with that 2030 number. I don't think it will happen.

Scott Benjamin: No. To me that's way too soon. It's a little ambitious, I think.

Ben Bowlin: I think it's super optimistic.

Scott Benjamin: But you've got to give it to them. They're working on it. And if you work on this every day, 20 years from now seems like it's possible.

Ben Bowlin: Fortune favors the world.

Scott Benjamin: They know a lot more than we know about this, of course.

Ben Bowlin: That's true.

Scott Benjamin: And we're these armchair engineers, I guess, saying there's no way - 20 years? No way.

Ben Bowlin: People don't know about these new chairs unless they've been listening to some of the other podcasts. Guys, we have these swank new chairs. We've moved up in the world.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, I'm not leaving.

Ben Bowlin: I think I was going to stay here, too. Dibs on the VO booth.

Scott Benjamin: Very good.

Ben Bowlin: We got it now, I guess.

Scott Benjamin: I think so. That about covers it. And it's up to individual listeners if they buy into this idea or not. I like the manual idea. I like to drive. I like to have full control of everything around me. I don't think I would even be comfortable in a system like the dynamic cruise control. I would still be nervous about that. I would probably be hovering, waiting for something to go wrong on that. I would like to see it work, but I don't know if I could ever give it even full trust and be relaxed with the system.

Ben Bowlin: We'll have to see, but I like what you were saying about individual listeners because it gave me a great segue to -

Scott Benjamin: Listener mail.

Ben Bowlin: Okay, Jerry from Chicago writes in to say, "Hi, guys. I just finished listening to the show. I have not had much experience with superchargers, but I do love that whining sound it makes when you step on it." He recommends that listeners search for Terminator Mustang Cobra on YouTube. Jerry says, "I have the Nissan 300 ZX twin turbo" - nice one - "and I love it, so I would go turbo. It just lags a little, but when they kick in they really push you. On another note, one thing you may have missed is that one advantage of the turbo system is that you make more overall horsepower with bigger turbos, which adds even more lag. But you can always use a sequential two turbo system where you can have a small turbo spool up and feed the intake while the large turbo starts up."

Scott Benjamin: That's right. See, he's got a 300 Z - right?

Ben Bowlin: Yes.

Scott Benjamin: So that's a twin turbo system. So he knows what the twin turbo's all about. I've never driven a car with twin turbo.

Ben Bowlin: I have no either. And again, since we just talked about my lack of impulse control, I don't know if people like me should be in charge of machines like that.

Scott Benjamin: Maybe and maybe not. I've driven a car with regular turbo, of course. And then some insanely powerful normally aspirated cars - but never a twin turbo car! That's odd. I guess I've never had one.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, that's cool. I'd love to see that. I'm going to check out that thing that Jerry recommends there.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, the cobra to hear the wine of the supercharger?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it's a distinct sound. You'll never forget it.

Ben Bowlin: So thanks for writing in, Jerry. I want to say a big thanks to all of our fans who are listening. And we want to tell you guys that we have had a name change. You can find us on Facebook at Car Stuff.

Scott Benjamin: And we've also got a Twitter account. It's probably easiest if you search CarStuffHSW, that way it'll take you right to us. You don't have to narrow down the choices at that point.

Ben Bowlin: For How Stuff Works.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. And we also have -

Ben Bowlin: An awesome blog.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, we do have a blog. That's right. And we've been mostly using that to update podcast stuff, so you can catch up on some of the older podcast items we've talked about in the past. It's a history record, really. And we've also got a lot of great articles on our site in the auto channel. Check that out.

Ben Bowlin: And most importantly of all, we have a deep abiding love of listener mail. So if you have something that you'd like to tell us about automated driving systems, driverless cars, or if you yourself are a driverless car system and you think that we have misrepresented you, then please send us an email. Don't hesitate. Our address is -

Scott Benjamin: Carstuff@howstuffworks.com.

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