[ExI] self driving cars

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu May 17 04:10:37 UTC 2012

>... On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
>...Subject: Re: [ExI] self driving cars

>...I think spike was suggesting the speeds go down for engineering reasons
(mostly fuel economy)...

Ja, but there is more to it than that.  Speed limits may not go up if we mix
human drivers with software drivers.  Human reflexes will not improve.

>...The timeshare notion also means we need fewer cars...

We can keep our current Detroits, even if we have the call-up car on demand.
I can imagine wanting to keep Mister Lincoln, even if he doesn't go out
often.  I love that car.  I love the venerable V8.  I will miss them when
they are gone.

>...Another important side effect of on-demand cars showing up when required
is that we de-invest our identity from them.  I'm not going to leave 'my
stuff' in the car ... for it is no longer a status object to be owned or
compared to others'...

Again, we can keep our stuff in our cars, in our garage, and still use the
robo-taxis for most travel.

>...During the transition, human drivers will absolutely be more aggressive.
Perhaps more accurately less careful because the rest of the traffic would
constantly compensate for their failure...

Perhaps, but the human drivers must deal with the possibility of other human
drivers, who will not compensate, and who will get pissed off and reach for
their shootin arn if you cut them offwardly.

>...  We already see this in high-price Cadillacs and Lincolns: the car
watches you for signs of falling asleep or backing over your children or
other forms of neglectful driving...

We have proximity warning systems, which would be easy to connect into an
auto-braking system.  This is one I am surprised is not already available in
the market.  I saw the technology demonstrated several years ago: guy drives
directly at a wall, car knows exactly how hard it can stop, driver never
takes his foot off the gas, the car stops 30 cm in front of the wall.  Seems
like those kinds of systems would prevent ugly pileups on a foggy or smoky

>...  At the point where cars are driving themselves, the option of taking
control will likely become a per-use upcharge in insurance, traffic
prioritization, and risk assessment...

I see where you can get a GPS box installed in your Detroit and get charged
insurance on a per mile basis.  I might switch to that company for my
motorcycle insurance, since I have four of them and can only ride one at a

>...  Oh I believe most of the readers of this list are the exceptional
minority who will escape that fate - but what of the 'average' prole?

Hey I resemble that, I am an average prole.  On a good day.


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