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Self driving cars are coming: re-design a transport vehicle!

Extrapolating the idea of self driving cars: the reason for a cockpit has become obsolete, so you can have new kinds of cars: offices driving you from meeting to meeting, or dinner-cars that will make a scenic tour... or a sleep-car that brings you to your further destination.
And no need for Cab drivers anymore.

What are your ideas of how these cars can look like?

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  • Nov 30 2013: At first, these self-driving cars will look unchanged for the simple reason that people would want a manual backup.
    Once we learn to trust them more, its a fairly simple matter of ripping out all the controls and replacing them with a much smaller computer. No major redesign required, other than perhaps making fewer engineering compromises for driver visibility and the lack of controls.

    There's actually a running gag in the aeronautics industry, claiming that in the future, planes will pilot themselves, and all the crew you'd need is a man and a dog. The man's job is to feed the dog, and the dog's job is to bite the man should he try to touch anything.
    No major redesign required. Except maybe a kennel at the airport.
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      Nov 30 2013: Thanks Nadav.

      I think that is a realistic perspective...

      Though I imagine the possibilities and new designs that open up are quite big, don't you think?
      • Nov 30 2013: Closest I can think to something that'll require redesigning is motorcycles for delivering things (or even people). In that case, its less of a redesign, and more along the lines of starting from scratch, as there will be practically nothing worth salvaging from the old version's blue print--the engineering requirements are too different.

        As for anything bigger, the change won't be nearly as drastic.
        A car's driver isn't such a crippling design compromise. In your average family car, the driver and controls both don't account for as much as 10% of the weight--significant in an aircraft, less so in a land vehicle. The percentages only move down when you look at bigger vehicles, like trucks.
        Not to mention that in those occasions when the driver simply becomes a passenger, the savings are even smaller,

        There are benefits to be sure, but nothing that calls for any major redesign. Sometimes, the intelligence/automation controlling a design is more important for performance than the design itself.
      • Dec 1 2013: My only concern Nice trip then I look out Why am I in a lake and my vehicle is simking?

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