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(The Street)   If you want a self-driving car, you are a bad person and should feel awful about how bad you are   (business-news.thestreet.com) divider line 99
    More: Obvious, self-driving  
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1273 clicks; posted to Politics » on 04 Mar 2014 at 12:52 PM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-04 12:04:26 PM  
What if I want to run down pedestrians and have it not be my fault? Did you ever think of that Mr. Street Writer? What if I want to shut my eyes and listen to the clatter of spokes raining down on the roof of my car? Did you ever think of that?

But seriously, I bet once lawyers get involved a self-driving car trip will be a sequence of brake slams. You never know when that bird launching from a telephone wire will swoop down, hit the windshield, and trigger manufacturer liability under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. That's what they got BP for. The Gulf oil spill harmed a bird.

The manufacturer doesn't care about your comfort. They don't care much if you get rear ended by an 18 wheeler, because the truck's insurance will usually pay. They care if there is an accident that a vengeful jury will blame on the car.
 
2014-03-04 12:06:57 PM  
I don't want a self-driving car.
I want everyone else to have one.
 
2014-03-04 12:09:51 PM  
The author is almost right, in that the more we automate, the worse humans will be at driving. What he's incorrect about is that it has to be an all-or-nothing system, and anything less will never fly. While the ultimate goal is to have an automated chauffeur, I know that the first time I get in a self steering car I'm not sitting back and relaxing. People will naturally distrust the new technology, and be vigilant in case it screws up. As the technology improves and people become more familiar with it, they will relax, and slowly trust the cars to drive.

It's true that the system screws up, you won't be in a position to fix it if it's a split-second thing, but on the other hand it'll stop lots and lots of accidents that are human error, like drunk driving and running red lights.
 
2014-03-04 12:10:13 PM  
Oh look, it's another article that people can look back at in 100 years to laugh at how backwards we were.  Good to know we are still making them.
 
2014-03-04 12:28:51 PM  

nmrsnr: It's true that the system screws up, you won't be in a position to fix it if it's a split-second thing, but on the other hand it'll stop lots and lots of accidents that are human error, like drunk driving and running red lights.


I'd go so far as to say it would stop the vast majority of accidents, which are overwhelmingly human error.
 
2014-03-04 12:33:54 PM  
What's with the ad hominem all over his introduction.  "You're just lazy like everyone else."  Yeah, because I'd like cars to take over in congestion, form a hive-mind chain to alleviate shockwave jams during the absolute most-boring, fun-free part of driving that is pretty much always worsened by human decision making, I'm just lazy.

And the idea of a built-in DD is really nice.
 
2014-03-04 12:39:41 PM  

factoryconnection: And the idea of a built-in DD is really nice


Wait, cars will come with D&D? Now I can run a campaign on my commute!

Oh, you meant Designated Driver, never mind.

*sigh*
 
2014-03-04 12:42:11 PM  

nmrsnr: Oh, you meant Designated Driver, never mind.


The D&D is to play while the car drives your drunk-ass home, duh!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-04 12:45:57 PM  
And the idea of a built-in DD is really nice.

Under current law if you ask a self driving car to take you home you are considered to be driving drunk. Doing anything that is part of the process of setting the car in motion is driving (for purposes of DUI laws). There's no exception for cases where no harm was possible. In some states you can prove the car was inoperable and still go to jail.

Now imagine you're a lawmaker being asked to change the law. On one hand, you have wrecks and dead bodies. On the other hand, you have MADD warning of the consequences of letting a drunk near the controls. You'll vote for death rather than be soft on crime.
 
2014-03-04 12:54:40 PM  

ZAZ: And the idea of a built-in DD is really nice.

Under current law if you ask a self driving car to take you home you are considered to be driving drunk. Doing anything that is part of the process of setting the car in motion is driving (for purposes of DUI laws). There's no exception for cases where no harm was possible. In some states you can prove the car was inoperable and still go to jail.

Now imagine you're a lawmaker being asked to change the law. On one hand, you have wrecks and dead bodies. On the other hand, you have MADD warning of the consequences of letting a drunk near the controls. You'll vote for death rather than be soft on crime.


Quit being dumb. Most DWI laws require you to actually operate the car. Otherwise we could charge all drunk passengers who give their keys to the DD with operating.
 
2014-03-04 12:54:42 PM  
If you want a horseless carriage you are a bad person and should feel bad!
 
2014-03-04 12:55:53 PM  
Fark you article writer. If you don't want automate the most tedious and yet dangerous part of most people's lives, you're the moron.

Machine chaffeur sounds like progress to me.
 
2014-03-04 12:59:23 PM  
lazytechguys.com

As long as I can look like a giant cannoli if I get into an accident, then I'm all for it
 
2014-03-04 01:00:11 PM  
I can think of a lot of people who would rather sleep or surf the net than drive while going to work in the morning.

/way to much surfing the net going on already.
 
2014-03-04 01:00:20 PM  
One, that guy sounds like an insufferable douche and I wouldn't be surprised if he was part of a vehicle lobbying group. Two, driverless cars don't need to be 100% safe. They just need to be safer than driven cars are today. Hell, put the passengers in some sort of internal safety pod, just so long as I can sleep during my commute.
 
2014-03-04 01:00:29 PM  

Obama's Reptiloid Master: Quit being dumb. Most DWI laws require you to actually operate the car. Otherwise we could charge all drunk passengers who give their keys to the DD with operating.


It depends on the state.  People have gotten DUIs for being found, asleep in the back seat of their car that was parked and off.

ZAZ has a point; with actually autonomous cars we  would need changes to our laws and not just DUI law.  There would definitely need to be a change with respect to "safe following distance" for linked, autonomously-piloted cars in traffic.  If lead car in a 100-car train has to brake, all the cars can brake simultaneously without and accordion effect, which would allow for a shorter following distance (and a nice fuel economy bump from drafting).

That's just one example.
 
2014-03-04 01:00:42 PM  
My work computer has crashed twice today, but at least it didn't plow into a farmer's market, so I guess I'm getting a kick out of these replies?
 
2014-03-04 01:00:45 PM  

factoryconnection: What's with the ad hominem all over his introduction.  "You're just lazy like everyone else."  Yeah, because I'd like cars to take over in congestion, form a hive-mind chain to alleviate shockwave jams during the absolute most-boring, fun-free part of driving that is pretty much always worsened by human decision making, I'm just lazy.

And the idea of a built-in DD is really nice.


yeah, maybe i want a self driving car because i drive for an hour and a half every day on large highways and its incredibly boring. its not like my trip to the office is freaking le mans.
 
2014-03-04 01:00:52 PM  
Psssh.

My Hyundai practically drives itself already.

the future is now!
 
2014-03-04 01:00:58 PM  
Oops, but the statistics support the notion that even terrible inattentive people will be safer for using one.
 
2014-03-04 01:01:13 PM  
Man, he sure tore those strawmen to pieces!
 
2014-03-04 01:01:34 PM  
I hate driving and will buy the first self driving car that's under $35K.
 
2014-03-04 01:04:10 PM  

incendi: nmrsnr: It's true that the system screws up, you won't be in a position to fix it if it's a split-second thing, but on the other hand it'll stop lots and lots of accidents that are human error, like drunk driving and running red lights.

I'd go so far as to say it would stop the vast majority of accidents, which are overwhelmingly human error.


That wouldn't be the case if mandatory continued education/training was a part of license renewal as well as making crashes due to negligence a serious crime.  I'd love to see people getting hanged for minor fender benders because they were yapping on the phone.  You can bet your ass that the rates of distracted drivers would plummet.
 
2014-03-04 01:04:24 PM  
Philly ... union thread?
 
2014-03-04 01:04:28 PM  
One of the things we do when we drive our current cars is we look around constantly. We look in our side mirrors, in the rear-view mirror, we survey the cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and other traffic actors so we can anticipate any sudden and irrational moves by others.


Good drivers do that. Plenty of idiots on the road don't.

I have mixed feelings about the self-driving car thing, for self-serving reasons. Me, I think staying out of peoples' way is the right thing to do and I'm annoyed when people get in my way. If this means more oblivious dopes on the road holding everyone up, that would be a bad thing. But if it means fewer jerkasses on surface streets passing me on the right and swerving in front of me just to stop dead to make a left turn 100 ft later, that would be good.
 
2014-03-04 01:04:34 PM  
Well, that was impressively dumb.
 
2014-03-04 01:05:17 PM  

factoryconnection: Obama's Reptiloid Master: Quit being dumb. Most DWI laws require you to actually operate the car. Otherwise we could charge all drunk passengers who give their keys to the DD with operating.

It depends on the state.  People have gotten DUIs for being found, asleep in the back seat of their car that was parked and off.

ZAZ has a point; with actually autonomous cars we  would need changes to our laws and not just DUI law.  There would definitely need to be a change with respect to "safe following distance" for linked, autonomously-piloted cars in traffic.  If lead car in a 100-car train has to brake, all the cars can brake simultaneously without and accordion effect, which would allow for a shorter following distance (and a nice fuel economy bump from drafting).

That's just one example.


Citation needed.

I've lost cases because I wasn't able to prove "operating" a motor vehicle while intoxicated after a crash where no one saw the drunk ass defendant driving because someone else could have driven the car. I narrowly won a case where the guy was passed out in his car at a drive through. If the jury had believed he was not intoxicated while driving, they could have acquitted.

I'm not saying we wouldn't need to update the wording of the law. I'm saying it doesn't introduce any new element of the offense and no attorney will tell you that this is somehow making his or her life any more difficult.
 
2014-03-04 01:05:53 PM  
My problem is that once you get into C or lower neighborhoods Grid Guide just doesn't work anymore.  Without driving skills, you can't make meets out in the Barrens and then how are you going to pick up your Panther Cannon without the Star looking over your shoulder?
 
2014-03-04 01:07:08 PM  
The first step will be "automated" lanes on the inside of highways (like diamond lanes) where you can merge in and put your car on auto pilot. You can then take a rest while your car handles rush hour. It would be cool if you could slide the driver seat back and have a little work area. Alarms will go off when you near your exit.
 
2014-03-04 01:09:00 PM  
There's a certain underlying creepiness in some of the cgi demonstrations of roads full of self driving cars. No individuality, and it reminds me of cows herded for the slaughter.
 
2014-03-04 01:10:45 PM  

Chameleon: My problem is that once you get into C or lower neighborhoods Grid Guide just doesn't work anymore.  Without driving skills, you can't make meets out in the Barrens and then how are you going to pick up your Panther Cannon without the Star looking over your shoulder?


That's why you have a rigger.
 
2014-03-04 01:11:27 PM  

tlchwi02: yeah, maybe i want a self driving car because i drive for an hour and a half every day on large highways and its incredibly boring. its not like my trip to the office is freaking le mans.


Indeed.  There were pitchforks and torches in the Automobile Magazine "reader responses" section after they labeled Autonomous Controls as their "Technology of the Year."  As if most people have any opportunity whatsoever to enjoy driving on their daily commute.  Instead it is just coast, brake, coast, brake, coast, brake.  I mean, you might get to take an off-ramp with some speed but traffic sucks where most people live.

No one is calling for all this stuff to take over our weekend blasts through twisty, rural 2-lanes.
 
2014-03-04 01:12:55 PM  

Frank N Stein: There's a certain underlying creepiness in some of the cgi demonstrations of roads full of self driving cars. No individuality, and it reminds me of cows herded for the slaughter.


Have you looked at suburbia?
 
2014-03-04 01:14:16 PM  

Obama's Reptiloid Master: ZAZ: And the idea of a built-in DD is really nice.

Under current law if you ask a self driving car to take you home you are considered to be driving drunk. Doing anything that is part of the process of setting the car in motion is driving (for purposes of DUI laws). There's no exception for cases where no harm was possible. In some states you can prove the car was inoperable and still go to jail.

Now imagine you're a lawmaker being asked to change the law. On one hand, you have wrecks and dead bodies. On the other hand, you have MADD warning of the consequences of letting a drunk near the controls. You'll vote for death rather than be soft on crime.

Quit being dumb. Most DWI laws require you to actually operate the car. Otherwise we could charge all drunk passengers who give their keys to the DD with operating.


I've known a couple of people who got DUIs for sleeping in the back seat of their cars while the key was in the ignition to have the radio/heater on. There was no possible way they could move/operated the vehicle from their location, but because they were drunk and the keys were in the ignition, they got a ticket.

But as far as self driving cars are concerned, I don't think they are far off and they don't scare me. I find it funny that the author using the whole "driving a car is much about experience. Just like pilots, those who drive cars the most typically do it the best. We learn to handle our cars by doing it as often as possible. Do you want to ride in a plane where the pilot is active almost every day, or one who takes the wheel on rare occasions?" Because most planes you fly on are pretty much automated. The pilot takes off, the pilot lands, sometime they alter course, but 90% of the time in the air, the thing is on autopilot and the actual pilots are just sitting there.
 
2014-03-04 01:15:00 PM  
God, the guy's an idiot.  I love driving, but he's completely wrong about stuff.

Like, he says he looks in the mirror to keep track of if a car is coming up behind him so he knows that he can swerve into another lane in an emergency.  Well, if he's paying proper attention all the time and thinking about these things, sure, but it takes some measure of thought.

A self-driving car ALWAYS KNOWS FOR CERTAIN if there is a car alongside.  It doesn't have to pay extra attention.  It doesn't lose track if the kids are screaming in the back seat.  Its sensor says "OBJECT LEFT" and it knows it can't go that way.  In fact, with a proper network of self-driving cars, it knows the position and velocity of ALL cars within, say, a hundred feet or more.  And further, if it DOES need to swerve, it could even signal the other self-driving cars within a tenth of a second so they can start avoiding it before it even moves!

There are probably things that humans are better at when it comes to driving than computers.  Looking in all directions at once and monitoring the position and velocity of half a dozen objects?  Not one of them.
 
2014-03-04 01:15:14 PM  
Self-driving cars have the potential to completely destroy Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  I think that is a noble pursuit.
 
2014-03-04 01:17:18 PM  

factoryconnection: Indeed. There were pitchforks and torches in the Automobile Magazine "reader responses" section after they labeled Autonomous Controls as their "Technology of the Year." As if most people have any opportunity whatsoever to enjoy driving on their daily commute. Instead it is just coast, brake, coast, brake, coast, brake. I mean, you might get to take an off-ramp with some speed but traffic sucks where most people live.

No one is calling for all this stuff to take over our weekend blasts through twisty, rural 2-lanes.


i think people mentally highlight that sunny day when they put the top down and wound their way through a twisty back road, without considering that is maybe .01% of their driving time.

also, if you live in the acela corridor or the big west coast cities, the traffic conditions and road types to be able to really drive like that pretty much don't exist anymore.
 
2014-03-04 01:21:48 PM  

Makh: Oh look, it's another article that people can look back at in 100 years to laugh at how backwards we were.  Good to know we are still making them.


And we can probably look back 100 years and see same sort of people fulminating about these new-fangled automobiles that can't get out of trouble by themselves like a horse can
 
2014-03-04 01:22:09 PM  
I want to buy one for my grandmother before she finds the local farmers markets
 
2014-03-04 01:22:23 PM  
FTA:  Just like pilots, those who drive cars the most typically do it the best. We learn to handle our cars by doing it as often as possible. Do you want to ride in a plane where the pilot is active almost every day, or one who takes the wheel on rare occasions?We saw last June at San Francisco Airport what happens when an inexperienced pilot has to take the wheel on short notice.

True, we did see a bad accident at San Francisco last year due to inexperience. You know what we've seen over the last 15 years as more and more automation has entered the cockpit? Fewer accidents and fewer fatalities. From 2003 - 2012, the average number of people killed per year in airline accidents was 1046, with around 176 crashes per year. The ten years before that? 1755 killed per year, 230 crashes. Before that? 2059 killed per year, 251 crashes. Yes, it's scary that our pilots are getting less experienced with automation, but the improvements from automation are so much greater than the decline from experience that it's a worthwhile trade-off.
 
2014-03-04 01:23:46 PM  
Dear Sirs, Does it come in black?
i276.photobucket.com Signed, Miss Daisy Rand Paul
 
2014-03-04 01:26:31 PM  

Frank N Stein: There's a certain underlying creepiness in some of the cgi demonstrations of roads full of self driving cars. No individuality, and it reminds me of cows herded for the slaughter.


100redflags.com
 
2014-03-04 01:26:32 PM  

GameSprocket: The first step will be "automated" lanes on the inside of highways (like diamond lanes) where you can merge in and put your car on auto pilot. You can then take a rest while your car handles rush hour. It would be cool if you could slide the driver seat back and have a little work area. Alarms will go off when you near your exit.


That would be awesome.
 
2014-03-04 01:27:59 PM  

incendi: nmrsnr: It's true that the system screws up, you won't be in a position to fix it if it's a split-second thing, but on the other hand it'll stop lots and lots of accidents that are human error, like drunk driving and running red lights.

I'd go so far as to say it would stop the vast majority of accidents, which are overwhelmingly human error.


And you'd be right.

I never got the histrionic concern over self-driving cars getting into accidents as if everyone's a perfect driver NOW...
 
2014-03-04 01:29:57 PM  
I'm all for self-driving cars. While there might be an increase in the number of accidents due to mechanical failure, the number due to human error will plummet to near-zero. The net gains in that, road congestion, speed of travel, and other areas is glorious.

Frankly, I'd like one where I can flip a switch to black out the windows so I don't have to see things whipping along 6" from me at 100 mph. I can just sit there in peace, read my book, surf the net, or (on long trips) take a nap.

Make it so I don't have to get out to gas up or grab snacks and I'd be in heaven.

//wishes we had a real commuter rail system in this country
 
2014-03-04 01:31:15 PM  

pslong009: True, we did see a bad accident at San Francisco last year due to inexperience. You know what we've seen over the last 15 years as more and more automation has entered the cockpit? Fewer accidents and fewer fatalities. From 2003 - 2012, the average number of people killed per year in airline accidents was 1046, with around 176 crashes per year. The ten years before that? 1755 killed per year, 230 crashes. Before that? 2059 killed per year, 251 crashes. Yes, it's scary that our pilots are getting less experienced with automation, but the improvements from automation are so much greater than the decline from experience that it's a worthwhile trade-off.


That crash wasn't even less experience due to automation.  The guy in control of the plane had just literally only flown 43 hours in that type.

It seems mainly to have been a failure to engage automation that caused it - if they'd had the auto-throttle on, they wouldn't have crashed.
 
2014-03-04 01:32:16 PM  
As someone who's disabled and can't drive, F U.
 
2014-03-04 01:33:12 PM  
I want a  self-driving car so that I can flip people off with BOTH hands as I cruise by.
 
2014-03-04 01:36:07 PM  

ampoliros: Frankly, I'd like one where I can flip a switch to black out the windows so I don't have to see things whipping along 6" from me at 100 mph. I can just sit there in peace, read my book, surf the net, or (on long trips) take a nap.


Nope.  Sorry, you forgot that a lack of external visual reference in conjunction with acceleration changes causes motion sickness in most people.
 
2014-03-04 01:37:30 PM  

ikanreed: ampoliros: Frankly, I'd like one where I can flip a switch to black out the windows so I don't have to see things whipping along 6" from me at 100 mph. I can just sit there in peace, read my book, surf the net, or (on long trips) take a nap.

Nope.  Sorry, you forgot that a lack of external visual reference in conjunction with acceleration changes causes motion sickness in most people.


"Nope Sorry"? It's button activated you whiner. If you get motion sick, don't flip the stupid switch.
 
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