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Self-Driving Cars

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Yes, it is still early. I think this earlier article might address part of your "why" on the incidents.

Two rival self-driving cars have close call in California

Both companies previously have reported minor collisions of self-driving cars with vehicles piloted by people. In most of those cases, the self-driving car was stopped, typically at an intersection, and was rear-ended by another vehicle.

In all cases, the self-driving prototype was not at fault, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the companies.

I expect, as the proving grounds come into play, the testing of self-driving cars with other self-driving cars will help to accelerate the development progress.

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A $20,000 Self-Driving Vehicle Hits the Road

Even so, reckless behavior is standard on America’s highways as people spend more time with their thumbs and eyes on a smartphone rather than on the road. Data indicates drivers are aware of their need for help.

Mixed impressions on this one. The mix between business and government doesn't help with those impressions. If it were strictly business bringing forth the option, great. The driver assist option is an $1800 add-on, and people are opting for it more enthusiastically than the electric vehicles have been embraced. Again I say great.

It is the excerpted paragraph that casts the more ominous shadow.

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But for the overarching power of the State, imposition of regulation, "so called" safety, and infrastructure - in general our democratic mixed economy - I suspect the genesis of self-driving cars would have occurred at a much later time, perhaps after development of AI (or real I), when it would have seemed natural to ask RoadsR US whether your robot (or non-biological) friend could drive your car on their system of roads. Such is of course a fiction, and RoadsR US will likely never be... not outside a Gulch of the distant future.

A self-driving car would have been a minor play if not an absent one in a truly free market for a long time to come. 

I get the distinct impression that this is driven "top down", a managerial proposal by Government and Corps in bed with them, not a "bottom up" demand (and I purposefully use morally inverted language to illustrate the "perspectives"  of the de facto "managers" of society).  Let us hope this does not become a "top down" imposition ... although I see no evidence of the march toward the all powerful State slowing down.

 

Autonomous State Transportation

One day, no one would even dream of the freedom of driving oneself on the open road, or the stress and horror of having to do so.  One day you and everyone (and "equality" of course is more important that opportunity) will be free to step into a State automated and tracked car, ask it to take you somewhere, and after stating the reason for your trip, have the State give you permission (or possibly not) to be taken to your destination without your participation, perhaps only after paying up any fines, or fees you may owe at the time.  Efficiency and safety for the greater good of all!

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Let us hope this does not become a "top down" imposition ... although I see no evidence of the march toward the all powerful State slowing down. [...] One day you and everyone [...] will be free to step into a State automated and tracked car, ask it to take you somewhere, and after stating the reason for your trip, have the State give you permission (or possibly not) to be taken to your destination without your participation[...]

Too pessimistic. What about that small group of people hacking the cars in defiance of the government? Who are "the government"? Logically, this march is only temporary.

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40 minutes ago, JASKN said:

Too pessimistic. What about that small group of people hacking the cars in defiance of the government? Who are "the government"? Logically, this march is only temporary.

I hope you are right. I really do, if not for my sake, at least for my son.

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My over-riding sense of pessimism on this (self-driving vehicles) comes from seeing the reliance on computers and computer programming over-riding the contrast of a fading edge of a generation that groped for connecting the perceptual to the epistemological, even if they could not put it in such terms.

Yes, I will admit, there is a pang that seems to identify with her point of trying to overcome her observation that "There is nothing so naive as cynicism." Yet, . . . I watch as others in my industry rely on computer outputs over struggling to grasp the identify of such outputs.

"Oh, we haven't got time to go into such things."

Ironically, I have observed more time spent on investigating "how long is this going to take", than how long it actually takes to do. I have a hard time writing something like this off as a simply a misplaced sense of concern.

 

 

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From the Wall Street Journal, an article on Self-Driving Tractors.

Offering some optimistic and pessimistic farmer's views,

“The skilled labor now is limitless throughout the day,” said Rob Zemenchik, a CNH global marketing manager.  “This allows us to hit tight time windows for planting, harvesting or spraying.”

Some farmers weren’t so sure. They fretted it could take away jobs and wouldn’t respond to mechanical problems or obstacles as nimbly as a human operator. One farmer imagined the tractor plowing into a house.

“What happens if the neighbor’s dog runs out there? Is it going to run over the dog?” asked Robert Maier, 53, another Iowa farmer. “Is it going to run over the kid because it can’t see it?”

One of the more interesting lines to me was:

But Mr. Gano, the owner of an Iowa corn and soybean farm, sees potential value in the tractors as the ranks of skilled drivers thin out.

“There’s just not enough experienced people to drive them,” he said.

Experienced, or educated? The two are distinctly related.

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Uber self-driving car involved in fatal crash couldn't detect jaywalkers

The NTSB will meet on November 19 to determine the cause of the accident that occurred in Tempe, Arizona in March of 2018. Prosecutors have already absolved Uber of criminal liability, but are still weighing criminal charges against the driver.

So even though the vehicle has a autonomous mode, the driver is responsible to know when the software/hardware interface creates a dangerous situation and take control.

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