[ExI] self driving cars

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Thu May 17 13:45:42 UTC 2012

On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
> Economics will push speeds faster if safety isn't an issue. Unless Al
> Gore is in the white house, or OPEC starts throwing their weight
> around ala 1973, I can't see a speed limit for fuel economy because
> the overall economics is that the time of the car's occupant is more
> valuable to the overall economy than the gasoline.

True.  We rarely discuss a peak for the preciously limited resource Time.

> If all the data were known, there could be car pooling, larger
> mini-van type cars for car poolers, etc. The best thing about pooling
> cars like this is that you then have all the data you need to
> facilitate real mass transit.

You just said each occupant's time was more valuable than the fuel -
now you want me to wait for this machine to go out of my way to pick
up other passengers?  Perhaps you weren't intending to trigger my
negative association with 'carpooling' where the first unlucky
participant has to be ready to go early enough to wait for every other
participant.  I guess you meant drawing as-needed from a 'pool' of
cars.  Mass transit is an equally poor name:  Are we hauling the
masses as figurative terminology for what spike calls proles or
discussing a physics problem of weight vs. volume?  Of course I know
what the term means, I sometimes wonder how subtle inflections of
meaning can bias usage long after the name has become ubiquitous.

> I absolutely agree, until eventually some lawyer brings a class action
> suit that ends all human driving except in the most exceptional
> conditions. Sort of like how we go drive fast at the race track now.

What if the self-drive software anticipates your maneuver and
communicates it to your neighbors before you can act?  I imagine this
traffic network is constantly broadcasting state (and capability) to
surrounding cars to create ad-hoc traffic streams (each car is a
router too, right?)  The driver's profile may include more than the
preference of seat and mirror positions; a heuristic on past behavior
as well as time of day, present location, etc. and the car will
probably know your mood well enough to predict your likelihood of
stomping on the accelerator.  If the traffic system approves the
human-initiated action, the car will allow it.  Those who avail
themselves the luxury of dedicated personal vehicles can pay extra for
prioritization of their desire over others - much as it is now, only
it'll be a software feature rather than social/pack order.  (pull up
to a 4-way intersection in an old beater vs newest luxury car - see
who gets the right of way)

> The fate of the average prole has never been all that super, in
> comparison to the successful... I see no reason for that to change in
> the future. So when you say feed-lot, are you thinking soilient green
> or something less horrid than that?

I wasn't in that literal a mind.  Continuing with your economic value
proposal... The average consumer is groomed via commercial
advertising, memes, etc to support corporate product lines.  Soylent
green isn't likely to be as valuable as a lifetime of purchase power
each forced-fed consumer represents.  'depends on your perspective
which is less horrid.

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