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why looking so stiff?
junko.yoshida   10/3/2013 12:43:25 PM
The thing that made me laugh about this picture is that this driver just looks horribly stiff!

Here's what he is thinking:

"Where am I supposed to put my hands on???"

Caleb Kraft
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is this a joke?
Caleb Kraft   10/3/2013 1:28:12 PM
Are they kidding with that question? Man, lets just jump to a future where you can completely avoid the driver's seat and look around for a second.

how about a nice reclining chair with your favorite media in front of you? To introverted? How about being able to relax and enjoy the view without worrying about rear-ending someone? What about being able to have a nice dinner with the family during your morning commute (I drive a van, I can imagine it!).

Yes, I would absolutely pay the same for a personal chauffeur as I would a mid range sports car. I'm not wealthy though, so $100k sounds unattainable for anything.

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Ye gods, this seat is uncomfortable
betajet   10/3/2013 1:45:46 PM
From his "body language", I'd say he's thinking "Ye gods, this seat is uncomfortable.  My legs are starting to cramp up."  The only thing that makes a driver's seat bearable is that you have the task of driving to distract yourself from the discomfort of sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours on end -- or even tens of minutes.  Most rail seats are much more comfortable -- if you can score one.


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Re: is this a joke?
Sheetal.Pandey   10/3/2013 2:00:00 PM
Its nice tohave a self driving car. Imagine you are tire and can let your car goand pick up food from your favorite restarant. Imagine there is emergency no on is around and your car can take you to the hospital. Alsoon lng drive say from sfo to LA you can let he car self drive while you relax. These self driving cars are possibility in countries with good infrastructure, not forcountries like India where none follows any traffic rules and there are big potholes on every possible road.

Paul A. Clayton
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The *driver* has no hands!
Paul A. Clayton   10/3/2013 3:11:35 PM
The driver in this self-driving car has no hands and no thighs. Presumably the driver is "thinking" about how to drive the vehicle. :-)

The human passenger/backup driver appears to be concentrating intently on something directly ahead of the car, perhaps to explode the brain (as in the movie Scanners) of a passenger in a car that is being chased.

More seriously, even some people who buy a car for the experience of driving may use the same car merely for transportation or find some parts of driving less enjoyable. Even BMW buyers are not all interested in actually driving; part of what is being sold is image and the *potential* of an excellent experience. Some people will buy a car for its maximum speed even though there can be no realistic expectation that it will ever be driven near that speed.

Presumably self-driving will be sold somewhat like power-steering, automatic transmission, and (more recently) self-parking is being sold. In some urban environments (or large busy malls), even just providing a kind of valet service might have significant value (there are probably few people who enjoy driving around looking for a parking space and walking from and to the parking space).

It is also possible that in the future incentives would be provided for the use of true automobiles. Such vehicles might increase safety (a benefit to insurance companies and governments that provide emergency services)--earning a payment not unlike insurance rebates from good driving established by monitoring behavior--and improve traffic flow (reducing the need for additional road construction).

User Rank
Re: why looking so stiff?
Bert22306   10/3/2013 3:39:21 PM
He's so stiff because he's cringing constantly. "Oooooh, man that was close!" Or, "What the ... I would never have done that!"

But I don't see this change to self driving cars, which will no doubt be very gradual at best, to be all that new of a phenomenon. Luddites have always sounded the same -- unimaginative.

Does anyone doubt that when cars first came on the scene, there were some luddites who were asking how a car could ever match the majesty of a great horse?

I think that ludditedness (is that a word, Junko? You're the writer) is antithetical to engineering. 

User Rank
Anti, antisocial behavior
Les_Slater   10/3/2013 5:26:22 PM
I enjoy driving... to a point. I drive from Chicago to Boston... and back, four times a year. Sometimes drive straigt through and sometimes stay one night at a hotel. Either case it can get monotonous and sometimes dangerous.

When traffic gets congested around rush hours drivers can get aggressive and piss other drivers off... and sometimes they respond, in kind. Driving under these conditions is tense. I would love a vehicle that could respond rationally, being much more aware of surroundings... and being able to appropriately respond in a few miliseconds instead of tenths of seconds, at best if driver is optimally alert.

Even if only one vehicle along a significant stretch of road had this capability it would help.

If all vehicles had this capability the capacity of highways would more than double, and with greater safety too. All it would take is dedicating one lane, of three lanes, exclusively to such vehicals to double the trafic capacity.

The later scenerio would require V2V and V2I and a high performace vehicle, in addition to whatever sensors and controls were on board.

As to being a boon to insurance companise, it would really undermine the 'neccessity' for them.

User Rank
Why driver looks in front and not sleepnig?
_hm   10/3/2013 7:00:33 PM
Why is he looking in front? Driver can as well sleep or do some other productive work. Also, car may not need big windows, it can be fully covered to rest better.


User Rank
Re: why looking so stiff?
junko.yoshida   10/4/2013 12:05:01 AM
@Bert, you wrote:

"Oooooh, man that was close!" Or, "What the ... I would never have done that!"

That is soooo right! I love that!

User Rank
Re: Why driver looks in front and not sleepnig?
junko.yoshida   10/4/2013 12:08:17 AM
@_hm, you'd think that of course.

But Geneva Convetion treaty requires that drivers "shall at all times be able to control their vehicles," and provisions against reckless driving usually require "the conscious and intentional operation of a motor vehicle."

Hence, no reading, no having breakfast with a family (like Caleb suggested), no watching a movie for the driver...

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