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Opinion: Autonomous driving raises questions about security

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re: Opinion: Autonomous driving raises questions about security
AlexKovnat   10/27/2009 1:41:09 PM
I've been interested in the idea of cars driving themselves for years. But I don't believe we should ever expect even the most sophisticated system to enable the driver to fall asleep. The way I see it, the proper relationship between even the most sophisticated throttle and steering control system and the driver, should be similar to the relationship between the human pilot of an aircraft and the autopilot. Or, the captain of a ship and the harbor pilot. On an aircraft, we take it for a given that the Captain shouldn't fall asleep, no matter how sophisticated the autopilot (Unfortunately, there have been cases of pilots doing that). And its been the longstanding tradition of the sea that, although the harbor pilot possesses intensive knowledge of the waters in and around a particular harbor, the captain is still in full charge of the ship. Now once we accept this idea and apply it to cars, there is a lot that sophisticated systems can do for us to get more miles per gallon, and provide smoother performance. Like a skilled harbor pilot, highly sophisticated systems using radar, precision GPS navigation and car-to-car signalling can control throttle and brakes to maximize the efficiency of getting from A to B. Steering systems can reduce driver fatigue, by keeping a vehicle within lane markings. But should the driver fall asleep? No way. Too many unpredictable things can happen.

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