[ExI] self driving cars

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed May 30 03:49:43 UTC 2012

... On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson
Subject: Re: [ExI] self driving cars

On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 5:46 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> Cool, Volvo has an entry in this game now:
> "Three cars have successfully driven themselves by automatically 
> following a lorry for 125 miles on a public motorway ...

>...And what happens when the lead car drives over a cliff?

>...Volvemmings!  -Kelly

The drivers become Swedish meat balls?

Answer to the problem: make the caravanning feature work only on interstate
highways, where there are no cliffs.  Make it such that if the lead car
drifts over the line, the trailing cars assume the yahoo has dozed, and
immediately brakes all trailing cars to a stop.

This brings up an interesting new problem.  We are not accustomed to having
cars brake to a full stop on the freeway, but they would need to do exactly
that if there is no response from a meat-based control system, which might
not be immediately available, because that particular control system is in
back sleeping, stoned, copulating, or otherwise unresponsive.

So, we now must demand something new of drivers: the ability to deal with
cars coming to a halt on the freeway.  Proposal: make it so that the
caravanning can only be done in the far left lane, and only on freeways that
have barriers.  Then make it such that cars can only use that lane if
equipped with automatic braking systems, which can deal with cars
unexpectedly stopping in the left lane.

On more and more freeways in California, we have carpool lanes and toll
lanes, which are usually over on the far left.  So if we are going to use
that freeway real estate for social engineering, we can use it for
robo-driven cars.  If they are in close formation, all cars would use less
fuel.  We could have it such that if the lead car in a caravan hits the
brakes, it simultaneously applies the same deceleration to all cars in that
train.  That in itself would be cool to watch: a string of 20 cars going at
freeway speed spaced 2 meters apart, then braking all the way to a stop as
the spacing stays right at 2 meters all the way down.


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