Breaking News
Comments
Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Reactions
Bert22306   7/22/2014 9:45:27 PM
NO RATINGS
Very interesting article. My first reaction would be, Junko married to a luddite? How is that even possible?

Second, people should take a look at this video, to see just how "in control" they really are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbiYmNmmYck

And in viewing it, imagine a vehicle with sensors all around, not to mention V2V comms at work, either automatically determining the best path to take, or at least nudging the driver in that direction.

My third point might be that it probably won't be a question of whether people are willing to pay extra for some of these new features. They will become mandatory. I'm sure that if you asked people, back in the 1960s and 1970s, whether they would pay extra for seat belts, airbags, and catalytic converters, they'd predominantly say no.

I think we're far from truly autonomous vehicles, but I can see that some heavily congested roads, in the future, could mandate autonomous driving. Simply because, if we want to avoid having to build more roads, autonomous driving can make a lot more effective use of roads that are properly equipped.

We've given up a whole host of tasks to automation, over the decades. And just about all of them are accomplished far better this way. Like, elevators (lifts), traffic cops, telephone switches, HVAC systems, the majority of car controls, the majority of aircraft controls, and on and on.

Some luddites complain that when we give up manual tasks, we lose the ability to do them. Okay. So, just how many of us care that there aren't any experts at manually setting the fuel/air ratio and spark advance in their cars? On the contrary, we don't want people doing that job, because they would pollute the air and waste lots of fuel.

That's the way these things evolve. Same will probably be said for manual, unassisted driving. See that video above.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Reactions
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 10:08:42 AM
NO RATINGS
@Bert, as to your first point, ha ha, indeed. But i love having a skeptic built into our household so that I often get tough questions, challenging the very premise we take for granted in the tech world.

As to your second point, boy, that youtube clip you referred to scared hell out of me. It's a good one. I mean, it's a good reminder how badly things could go wrong when humans are in control of driving. 

As to your third point, you wrote:

My third point might be that it probably won't be a question of whether people are willing to pay extra for some of these new features. They will become mandatory. I'm sure that if you asked people, back in the 1960s and 1970s, whether they would pay extra for seat belts, airbags, and catalytic converters, they'd predominantly say no.


I actually agree with your point here. But as to where I put in bold "becoming mandatory," now, I wonder if this might become a political issue in the future.

We may be currenly underestimating the sentiment shared among so many people, particularly in the United States,  who would oppose to any type of regulations, mandates, or controls, no matter how reasonable they may be. Look no further than gun control issues. The government is NOT taking your guys away, and yet, that has become a single talking point for anyone opposing to the idea of imposing background checks.  

sh78
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Reactions
sh78   7/23/2014 12:23:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Oh, in fact, they are taking guns away.  Look no further than California, where a series of "common sense" gun control measures have made it impossible for anyone to purchase a new semi-automatic pistol.  This is really not the venue to air your uninformed political views. 

jackOfManyTrades
User Rank
Manager
Re: Reactions
jackOfManyTrades   7/23/2014 1:23:54 PM
NO RATINGS
The figures speak for themselves -  compare the UK gun homicide rate with the US (conveniently in adjacent rows):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

Opponents of gun-control often argue that criminals don't respect gun laws. Criminals may often be stupid, but they don't usually just break any law they want just for the hell of it. In the UK, the vast majority of criminals will not be armed; they don't carry guns for the same reason that they don't carry heat-seaking missles: they are expensive and cumbersome and unnecessary (because they know I won't have one) and the consequences of being caught with them are dire. In the UK, the sort of criminal that is armed will be generally the type you don't mess with, whether you're armed or not.

Why are you so keen to have your criminals armed? If prefer them to be unarmed.

Etmax
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Reactions
Etmax   7/26/2014 1:52:08 AM
NO RATINGS
@junko, as a person who paid to have proper neck rests fitted in a car that was manufactured without them and so didn't require them, I have to say that people are in general too infantile to accept what's good for them. That's a bit harsh I know, but the status Quo flies in the face of the world wide experience. The the one exception is Switzerland where a set of unique parameters exist.

So many wail about the number of gun deaths per year but want everyone to carry one because then less people will get shot than if nobody has them (yeah right) and likewise if autonomous cars become good enough to reduce accidents the same people will again rather die than be saved by a machine. It's just the rebelious nature of people.

Personally I think fully autonomous driving may not be viable until all cars are fitted with at least M2M comms because human drivers are just so unpredictable, but when it is proven to be the better altrenative I'll take it up.

Wnderer
User Rank
CEO
Cruise Control
Wnderer   7/23/2014 2:57:03 AM
NO RATINGS
What percentage of cars have cruise control these days? People use cruise control. An autonomous vehicle is like cruise control for sitting in traffic. If the car is driven from a heads up display computer type deal and you have to switch on the autonomous drive feature to be able to use the computer for surfing the web or texting your friends, people will use the autonomous drive. Or how about a breathilizer that turns on the autonomous drive when you're coming home from the bar.

HardwIntr
User Rank
Freelancer
i already did,
HardwIntr   7/23/2014 3:44:44 AM
NO RATINGS
I ditched my car and my motorbike; i'm riding a bike ... you can count me as an early adopter! Riding a bike, is  REAL freedom. 

As for electronics and bikes, for your information, Samsung has struck a deal with Trek to enhance the "riding experience". So, all won't be lost for electronic manufacturers when energy will dry up like water in the desert.

http://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-partners-with-trek-to-enhance-cyclist-experiences/ 

The profit
User Rank
Rookie
Re: i already did,
The profit   7/29/2014 11:46:12 AM
NO RATINGS
Real freedom by giving up, that's a new one.


I tried to bicycle commute for health reasons but I determined that I would be much more healthy if I was out of shape instead of dead.


That was about 14 years ago and it was asian ladies making right hand turns in SUVs that did it (sorry Junko).  I've never heard if autonomous cars are bicycle and pedestrian aware.


There are plenty of good reasons for autonomous cars but in the beginning most will be ignored.  Drunks getting home from the bar seems like the perfect application but existing programs require a licensed driver at the wheel.  Old people would freak out and take over when they see their speedometer move past 20 mph.  One friend said he wouldn't get an autonomous vehicle until the front seats faced backward.


If every car on the road was autonomous (and properly programmed), we would certainly have safer and faster commutes but until then there are going to be drivers hitting autonomous vehicles and other problems.

Myself, I enojy driving and I'm good at it (I race a little).  I won't be giving up soon.  I don't plan on getting a new car any time soon either and I will not retrofit my current car.


Getting to the guns and cars analogy, cars are clearly just as deadly as guns but you wouldn't willingly let a computer point a loaded gun at you no matter what kind of safeguards it has.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: i already did,
krisi   7/29/2014 11:59:30 AM
NO RATINGS
Good point "The profit"...Biking can be dangorous due to careless drivers, we have plenty of that in Vancouver...most of my biking friends had accidents due to careless driving of others...I wonder how the Google car behaves with respect to bikers

?-??>
User Rank
Rookie
The feeling of safety
?-??>   7/23/2014 4:51:36 AM
NO RATINGS
Great article Junko and I think it's more than about automated cars,

You mentionned trust issues concerning machines and automation, why there's so much "no". One more reason is people want to be in control of their own safety. Even if it is be more secure with self-driving cars (way more likely), they will still feel less safe. Planes can auto-land when there's really bad weather so that's not really a technology issue.

I'm waiting for the first accident including a self-driving car for the debate to really begin, during that time hundreds people will be dead in "regular" controlled accidents.

 

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The feeling of safety
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 10:12:57 AM
NO RATINGS
You ae absolutely right about the first accident involving a self-driving car. I am sure Google is dreading it, although as you mentioned, all the while, thousands of people continue to get killed by "ordinary" traffic accidents. 

KeesM
User Rank
Rookie
Happy to give up 90% of the time
KeesM   7/23/2014 5:06:46 AM
NO RATINGS
Would be happy to give up driving most of the time, as long as I have some freedom to drive myself when I want to (e.g. in holidays). I know that after a long working day on a boring stretch of road, I am not the safest driver around... Not really interested in driving. So if public transportation or by bicycle is not an option, why not? As others already commented, it might actually be more safe than driving yourself. Yes, it will still take some time to get the systems reliable, and to get trust in it. Though for the moment, for everyones safety, I'll stick to my bike for the daily commute.

Pablo Valerio
User Rank
Blogger
Happy not to have a car
Pablo Valerio   7/23/2014 7:44:23 AM
NO RATINGS
Moving from Boston to Barcelona we have discovered the joy of being carless!

But you need to live in the city and have good public transport (Barcelona is one of the top 10). When we need a car for holidays, long weekends, etc. we just rent one.

The thing about European cities is they are not suitable for driving, unless you have your own parking everywhere you go.

If we decide to have a car we'll probably get an electric one. They are a bit more expensive but you get free parking, reduced toll rates and free charging around the city. And, with gas at $7.85 per gallon, electricity is cheap.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Happy to give up 90% of the time
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 10:15:20 AM
NO RATINGS
@KeesM, I agree. Unless you are a real car guy (which I am not), there are, I suspect, many people joining you. 

AZskibum
User Rank
CEO
Re: Happy to give up 90% of the time
AZskibum   7/24/2014 1:19:58 PM
NO RATINGS
I think many drivers would agree with you, perhaps not on the exact percentage, but on the general concept that we don't always want to have to drive, we often just want to get from A to B and would prefer being able to do other things while in transit. But there is a huge difference between being able to choose whether to drive or to just let the computer do it, versus having a car that cannot be manually driven, or having government mandates prohibiting manual driving.

I agree with Bert that the survey was flawed in asking whether drivers would be willing to pay for certain ADAS features -- of course they aren't, just as they/we weren't willing to voluntarily pay for airbags, emissions controls, etc. But when certain ADAS features become standard, and possibly mandated, drivers will welcome the benefits they bring -- right up to the point where you take away their ability to go manual and to be in control of the vehicle. That last step to fully autonomous cars with no possibility of human control is going to be met with a great deal of resistance.

 

MWagner_MA
User Rank
Manager
Learning from Aviation business
MWagner_MA   7/23/2014 7:40:11 AM
The more you decouple the driver from the task of operating a motor vehicle, you are giving up (potentially) one of the best vision systems in the world (the human eyes and brain).  With all the cockpit automation it is easy for the pilots to lose track of the task at hand and hand over the trip to the auto pilot.  Recall the recent landings at wrong airports?  As a pilot, I like just "enough" automation to help me but still keep me engaged in the process.  I think blind side dection is an awesome technology, but not convinced a completely automated car is a good answer (unless it is at disney on a monorail :-))

Some Guy
User Rank
Manager
Re: Learning from Aviation business
Some Guy   7/23/2014 2:24:05 PM
NO RATINGS
What good is the Mark 1 Mod 0 Eyeball at driving when it is glued to the smartphone texting?

And aviation has little to recommend it as a model when the visual flight rules policy is see-and-avoid and mostly only works because of probablility: big sky, little planes. If it actually worked there wouldn't be *any* mid-air collisions. An F-16 has about 2 seconds to see a radar invisible fiberglass glider (which doesn't include any time for doing anything). How does that help when the see-and-avoid algorithm is 4 seconds looking inside the cockpit for every 16 seconds looking out (which planes under instrument rules -- commercial and military -- rarely do).

MWagner_MA
User Rank
Manager
Re: Learning from Aviation business
MWagner_MA   7/23/2014 2:55:48 PM
NO RATINGS
Do you really expect ANY technology to be 100% safe?  To say that NOTHING can be learned from aviation is a pretty ignorant comment.  Are you a pilot?

Some Guy
User Rank
Manager
Re: Learning from Aviation business
Some Guy   7/23/2014 3:34:45 PM
NO RATINGS
We all expect technology to be reliable to an acceptable level and fail safely. We expect the same from our processes, procedures and behaviors. I agree that it would be ignorant to claim nothing can be learned from aviation; can't see where anyone said that, but maybe it's my eyes playing tricks on me :). I merely stated that it's a bad example in this case. And, yes, I'm a pilot and transponders and FLARMS seem a lot more reliable than see-and-avoid, which should be amply demonstrated everytime the FLARM surprises one.

prabhakar_deosthali
User Rank
CEO
Call it a generation gap
prabhakar_deosthali   7/23/2014 7:46:46 AM
NO RATINGS
The survey results are no surprise to me.

 

About 50 years back, if a survey would have been taken , asking people whether they trust the on line transactions , the result would have been 100 % no.

In the early days of computers' adoption in the daily office use , many a people still preferred the manual typwriters . I have seen people hesitating to even touch any key on the keyboard fearing that the computer may explode or something "Fatal"

( Remember "Fatal Error" =those days computers used to flash for any kind of silly mistake you would make while typing a comand?)

In the early days of email - people would not be sure whether the email will reach the detsination in time reliably, so they used to phone the person after sending the email to make sure he recived it.

 

So it takes time for a generation used to haing some technology to adopt new technology - the fear of unknown!

 

So just wait for today's kids to grow up and be happy sitting in those self driving cars  without any hesitation and worry about its realiability and their safety.

 

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Call it a generation gap
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 10:23:15 AM
NO RATINGS
@prabhakar, these are all great points. I agree. These things will take time.

That said, the question, though, for carmakers is that how much resources they should spend on building a perfectly safe autnomous car (enough sensors, lidars, redundancies, etc.) and at what price they should sell it. How many early adopters will be out there  so that the automotive industry can justify their investment...

If you build it, they will come? 


jimwilliams57
User Rank
Manager
You brought it up...
jimwilliams57   7/23/2014 12:13:29 PM
NO RATINGS
I don't normally mention my position on political issues in forums like this, but it was already mentioned in the article and is a good analogy.  So, at the risk of bringing up an uncomfortable position, here goes...

As a firm supporter of the second amendment (a.k.a. against all forms of gun control by the government) I must state that I don't trust the government to stay out of my business.  That includes controlling my driving.  I already have plans to stop buying new cars as soon as OBD-III is introduced in cars.  OBD-III is expected to have wireless communications with law enforcement, among other things. With OBD-III, my current location and speed could be available to law enforcement at all times. A corrupt police force could use this information in ways that it wasn't meant to be used and cause me a lot of problems.

Now, if I were in a self driving car that same corrupt agency might just tell my car to drive me to the police station because they "think" I might be a problem.

As you can tell, I'm in the 40% and plan to remain in that group.

 

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: You brought it up...
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 4:06:20 PM
NO RATINGS
I am glad you spoke up, @jimwilliams57. 

I believe there are many out there who are also thinking along the same line. I don't blame you for that. In fact, this is precisely one of the issues missing from today's debate about autonomous cars. 

Some Guy
User Rank
Manager
Re: Call it a generation gap
Some Guy   7/23/2014 4:00:15 PM
NO RATINGS
The answer to the question of how much safety has to be built in is pretty much like the old joke about the two guys in bear country and one puts on his running shoes because he doesn't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than his buddy. The autonomous vehicle doesn't have to be 100% infallible, just safer than the humans.

alex_m1
User Rank
CEO
better question
alex_m1   7/23/2014 7:57:40 AM
NO RATINGS
The question to ask is : "if i offered you a cheap, automated taxi, to take to/from work at your convenience , would you agree " ?

For that scenario most won't care about emotional ties to cars. 


And even getting 10% of people to say yes is great -those are the early adopters. In every market you first need to sell to some part of the early adopters before everybody starts to be interested. And for such a potentially risky tech 10% is a very good number.

DrQuine
User Rank
CEO
Remember ubiquitous autonomous monorails
DrQuine   7/23/2014 10:24:56 AM
NO RATINGS
Surveys often fail to correctly predict responses to technology. Remember when driverless monorails first appeared at Disneyworld, Atlanta, DFW and JFK airports? It wasn't long before we completely forgot that we were "riding" in autonomous vehicles.  Maybe the Google cars will start in dedicated lanes where they are spared the unpredictability and irrational road rage of human drivers. I'll prediuct that few people will complain when they have rapid access to an automated device that will take them where they want to go without the added cost of supporting a home garage, parking place, car payments, insurance, and license fees. Like taxis in New York City, autonomous vehicles will be able to operate with high occupancy rates and therefore (without the cost of a human driver) drive down the incremental cost of each ride.

jonpeddie
User Rank
Manager
Giving it up
jonpeddie   7/23/2014 12:28:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Did you know San Franscisco's BART is a totally atonomus vehicle. An attendent was installed in the 80s whose sole job is to stick his/her head out the window and be see, becausee riders were afriad of an automated train. 

And, for those 40% I ask - do you ever ride in a taxi? How much control do you have over it? How about an airplane? An elevator? 

Magic thinking and suspcious or consipotory thinking will always exist in this great land, and its often the believers in supertious beliefs who respond to surveys - what was the last survey you particiapted in? 

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: Giving it up
betajet   7/23/2014 2:19:19 PM
NO RATINGS
jon asked: Did you know San Franscisco's BART is a totally autonomous vehicle?

BART trains are totally automated... except when they're not:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Bay_Area_Rapid_Transit#Automation

 

docdivakar
User Rank
Manager
Re: Giving it up
docdivakar   7/23/2014 2:43:49 PM
NO RATINGS
@betajet you are correct, BART trains are automated to some extent BUT not fully autonomous and do rely on manual intervention at various instances. There are fully aunomouos train systems at many airports (AirTrains as in Singapore airport) but they do travel at much lower speed.

MP Divakar

RichQ
User Rank
Staff
Slightly different question
RichQ   7/23/2014 12:37:56 PM
NO RATINGS
I think the question about interest in an autonomous car needs to be shifted slightly to learn people's interest. The question to ask is "would you be willing to pay $xxx one time to have a dedicated chauffeur always drive the car for you?" That would separate the desire to be in  the driver's seat from the distrust of the technology. I think that you would get a much higher percentage of people willing to have a pre-paid, dedicated driver to take them wherever they wanted to go than the survey shows.

jimwilliams57
User Rank
Manager
Re: Slightly different question
jimwilliams57   7/23/2014 1:43:15 PM
NO RATINGS
@RichQ: The question to ask is "would you be willing to pay $xxx one time to have a dedicated chauffeur always drive the car for you?"

Thank you, and I agree that this should stay on topic. My reason was merely to point out the motivation behind my decision, not to start a debate.

From a merely technological standpoint, I have no problem with driverless automobiles.  Would I be willing to pay extra for it? No, I would not.

My current vehicle has self parking, which I tried once, was impressed, and have never used it again.  I think a vehicle with the option of self-driving would be the same.  I would try it once or twice and then revert to my usual behavior of driving myself.  To me driving is relaxing, but being a passenger is not.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Slightly different question
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 2:25:07 PM
NO RATINGS
@RichQ, that's a good way to frame the question. But if carmakers are as serious as they say they are about developing self-driving cars, such cars won't be for consumers to "own" but they are to be used as a semi-public transportation, in my opinion.

RichQ
User Rank
Staff
Re: Slightly different question
RichQ   7/23/2014 3:07:25 PM
NO RATINGS
I think that semi-public transportation in a constrained environment (such as within a gated community or a designated downtown area) will be the way things need to go at first to build consumer confidence in the autonomous vehicle (by which I mean no user driving option). But ultimately I think that private ownership of such a vehicle to be used in a global environment will be desirable because of the added convenience of not needing to wait for a vehicle in periods of high demand or areas of low availability. Although, by that time such ownership may be like limos or corporate jets are today, only for those willing to pay extra for the exclusivity.

jackOfManyTrades
User Rank
Manager
Cheaper Motor Insurance
jackOfManyTrades   7/23/2014 1:10:22 PM
NO RATINGS
If driverless cars prove to be significantly safer, then the motor insurance will be cheaper. Perhaps the question ought to be asked: "how much extra on your motor insurance are you prepared to pay to be allowed to drive youself?"

Some Guy
User Rank
Manager
Re: Cheaper Motor Insurance
Some Guy   7/23/2014 2:48:15 PM
NO RATINGS
It's interesting that you mention this. I noticed the other day that Farmers appears to see this as a direct threat to their cash flow, and business. Have you seen their ad where the robot crashes into the car and runs away? It's subtle, but unmistakable in retrospect.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cheaper Motor Insurance
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 3:09:03 PM
NO RATINGS
I don't know where exactly insurance companies stand in terms of their plans to adjust the auto insurance rate in accordance with the advancement of automotive technologies. I just placed a call to AllState Insurance company's media team. I am waiting to hearing back from the guy who seems to know something about this.  Will keep you posted.

Some Guy
User Rank
Manager
BAD SCIENCE. NO BISCUIT
Some Guy   7/23/2014 2:33:40 PM
NO RATINGS
It's not 40% that are uninterested. The survey was highly qualified in that it asked about auto driving compared to a list of other features, AND if you would pay more for that feature (which leaves HOW MUCH to the participants imagination while implying a purchase decision NOW).

It's sad to see my parents and in-laws lose their mobility, and I would gladdly pay $10,000 additional for them to have a car that drove for them. As Boomers age, there is a growing demographic (equal in rough order of magnitude to the 40% ghosted above) with disposible assets and income that represents a huge incremental market opportunity. And bad science and uncritical science reporting is only working to deny the greatest generation technology just when it needs it most.

docdivakar
User Rank
Manager
Re: BAD SCIENCE. NO BISCUIT
docdivakar   7/23/2014 2:51:46 PM
NO RATINGS
@Some Guy good point, that is a great use case for fully autonomous vehicles, serving those deemed 'too old' to drive. Existing intelligent infrastructures have to be expanded nationwide to provide the backup / redundancies for autonomous navigation.

MP Divakar

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: BAD SCIENCE. NO BISCUIT
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 3:34:22 PM
NO RATINGS
@Some Guy. I am with you on that point...I, too, have an in-law that I think shouldn't drive. Something like a self-driving car would be worth every penny for her to keep all of her doc's appointments. 

But then, framing autonomous cars for "boomers" will create a distinct marketing problems for car OEMs. Sure, those boomers are the ones who could afford one, and yet, no product marketing has succeeded when some new products are pitched for "old people" or "women and children." 

You need an aspirational slogan that tickles consumers' fancy for autonomous cars!

Some Guy
User Rank
Manager
Re: BAD SCIENCE. NO BISCUIT
Some Guy   7/23/2014 3:50:23 PM
NO RATINGS
They aren't explicitly marketed for "old people". They market them as Cadillacs, 7-series Beemers, Mercedes S-class, etc. And then call them Luxury cars because of the price point. Make no mistake there are definitely cars marketed to specific demographics, just not so explicitly as to be exclusionary. Case in point, the new Ford Escape is definitely targeting women.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Guns and Cars
junko.yoshida   7/23/2014 3:19:39 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree with many of you, who pretty much pointed out that consumer surveys don't necessarily predict, accurately, what the future holds -- especially 5 or 10 years from now.

That said, I find it interesting that nobody wants to talk about the emotional (and political) issues attached to the freedom and the ownership of cars (and guns).

Am I the only one seeing a parallel between guns and cars, worried about the future in which someone like Heston holding up a steering wheel, defying Gov to rip it "from my cold, dead hands"?

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Re: Guns and Cars
Bert22306   7/23/2014 4:13:30 PM
NO RATINGS
Am I the only one seeing a parallel between guns and cars, worried about the future in which someone like Heston holding up a steering wheel, defying Gov to rip it "from my cold, dead hands"?

I don't think it's the same, Junko. I'll show my own bias here to make the point.

Supporters of lax gun laws traditionally jut their jaw and quote the Constitution, claiming their hobby is protected by a higher power (or maybe even Higher Power). But many, or probably most, of this mindset will similarly jut jaw to point out that driving a car is just "a privilege."

I'm perfectly willing to go on at length to explain why driving a car is no more "a privilege" than was riding a horse a couple of centuries ago, but that's tangential. Ditto for the Higher Power excuse for gun ownership. Attempting to rationalize one's car driving preference and one's gun owning hobby, with anything more than "I just like it," involves different mindset and/or political tactics.

C VanDorne
User Rank
CEO
Re: Guns and Cars
C VanDorne   7/24/2014 2:01:52 PM
NO RATINGS
Okay Junko, I'll bite: I think that the reason that guns-cars angle isn't a hotter debate here is that the comparison has been played out.  In fact the whole discussion of guns in America is pretty well worn: John Lott 1, gun grabbers 0.  That's why I didn't respond directly to @jackofmany above because trying to convince a subject of another person (the Queen in this case) why owning arms is important to a free citizenry is an exercise in futility.  Just as convincing Bert that gun ownership isn't a hobby so much as it is a civic responsibility is in the same vein.

And that pains me becuase I don't often dissagree with Wise One of this forum. :)

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Guns and Cars
junko.yoshida   7/24/2014 2:13:46 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, C VanDome. You are quite right that the discussions on guns in America appear to have -- perhaps -- reached the point that nobody wants to talk about it any more.

 

We seem to have lost the way to reach out to one another.

That said, I am still sticking to the point that any regulations on (autonomous) car ownerships will have some negative repercussions among those who want to have nothing to do with the government. The automotive industry is underestimating the driver's emotional attachment to "freedom" and "ownership."

 

C VanDorne
User Rank
CEO
Re: Guns and Cars
C VanDorne   7/24/2014 2:53:53 PM
NO RATINGS
Junko,

"We seem to have lost the way to reach out to one another."  I think the avenues of communication are doing fine - this forum is proof, and more than ever.



"The automotive industry is underestimating the driver's emotional attachment to "freedom" and "ownership.""

Two takes:

One: Frankly, I was rather surprised to see the Euopean numbers on this.  I fully expected that people who are more acclimated to public transportation would be more receptive to automated driving.  But I was happy to see it.

Take two: I can understand this forums interest - we'd be designing the stuff, but it intregues me, what's driving this question in the first place?  (No pun intended.)  Because I think that automobile marketers have always know full well, and have literally banked on the fact, that "freedom and ownership" are key to why people buy vehicles.  Otherwise why would motorcycles even be allowed on the road?

If someone were to ask me what kind of rat I smell it would be that I suspect that someone in one of those un-Godly departments of government that make Jim Williams batty, or a like minded person/group now firmly infecting the automobile industry, is trying to find out how much public push back they're going to get when they forcibly implement, or are forced to implement, something that takes away the afformentioned freedom and ownership, like OBD-III.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Guns and Cars
junko.yoshida   7/24/2014 3:03:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Thank you for your thoughtful comments, C VanDorne. 

You wrote:

... "freedom and ownership" are key to why people buy vehicles.  Otherwise why would motorcycles even be allowed on the road?


Exactly. And yet, the way I see self-driving cars is that fully autonomous cars are not necessarily for individual consumptions, but more suited for a community ownership, so that people can be carried from one place to another -- much like the public transportation offers us services. 

If my assumptin is correct (of course, I could be totally off-bsse here), people will have less pleasure in driving their own cars. Rather than driving their own cars as the way they want to drive, a self-driving car dictates your driving behavior and it could rob your pleasure. 

Denis.Giri
User Rank
Manager
Re: Guns and Cars
Denis.Giri   7/28/2014 4:30:19 AM
NO RATINGS
Rob you of your pleasure? What the hell! Driving is dangerous to other people and drivers worry about their "pleasure" at the risk of killing innocent by-standers? If you want to "enjoy" driving, do it in a game, not on the road.

The same thing goes for the "380 horses": power fantasies should remain in the virtual world.

 

Will the 1st autonomous car be less dangerous than a good driver? Probably not.

Will it be less dangerous than most drivers? maybe.

Will the N-th generation of autonomous car be less dangerous than the best human driver? hell yes! Software is improved over time. Humans, however, don't change: they're reckless and are subject to fatigue.

 

Will the initial generations of autonomous cars "rob" you of your "pleasure"? Certainly not, as they would not be able to drive "everywhere' (only in known places, where the car's maps are up to date), they would need to have some kind of manual fallback (think of the autonomous cars in "I robot")

 

How will autonomous cars be introduced in our lives and our way of life?
 Like most things, start small... Probably with taxi companies (they're already "autonomous cars" anyway), make them cheap enough (they can bring in money with almost no maintenance & salary costs, assuming no or little vandalism) to encourage people to stop buying their own cars, and you'll be on your way to changing mentalities.

Once safety statistics come in, end-consumers will start buying them in order to  be able to make a phone call while driving to work, in order to "drink and drive", in order to send the car autonomously to the auto-shop for maintenance, or even send their kids to school by themselves (yes, that last one could be pretty bad, but you can expect it will happen). And they'll buy them instead of using an "auto-taxi" mostly because they won't have to wait for it to arrive.

HardwIntr
User Rank
Freelancer
just recently,
HardwIntr   7/24/2014 10:00:50 AM
NO RATINGS
the most deadly ever airplane accident has been avoided at the Barcelona airport; the Russian pilots had the right attitude and did their best making an impressive and close go around. My question is : what would an automatic pilot do in exactly the same situation ?


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2683019/Dramatic-moment-two-planes-collide-runway-Barcelona-airport-caught-video.html

Measurement.Blues
User Rank
CEO
Re: just recently,
Measurement.Blues   7/25/2014 3:01:13 PM
NO RATINGS
I wanted to watch the video, but gave up because of the ads.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2683019/Dramatic-moment-two-planes-collide-runway-Barcelona-airport-caught-video.html

HardwIntr
User Rank
Freelancer
Eye contact
HardwIntr   7/24/2014 11:02:29 AM
NO RATINGS
As a former motorbiker  and now bike rider i know that eye contact with other road users is so much vital; i have to make sure i'm seen by others before taking some decisions. How can i make eye contact with a robot? and worse, with a driver in an autonomous car ...  

Secondly, i suppose that autonomous cars play by the rules; but everybody knows that more than often, road users do some mutual agreements not necessary within those rules for whatever reason.

As i've said before, cars are THE problem and autonomous cars won't be any solution.

 

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eye contact
junko.yoshida   7/24/2014 10:45:25 PM
NO RATINGS
@Hardwlntr, I do agree that between drivers, or between a driver and a pedestrian, eye contacts do play important roles.

As a human driver, we would definitely lose the opportunity for "a room for negotiation" when we are up against a self-driving car. 

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eye contact
kfield   7/25/2014 9:47:37 AM
NO RATINGS
@junko.yoshida: @Hardwlntr, I do agree that between drivers, or between a driver and a pedestrian, eye contacts do play important roles.

You do know it's a time-honored tradition here in Boston to never make eye contact with another driver, particularlly when you are planning on cutting in ahead!!

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: Eye contact
krisi   7/25/2014 10:14:33 AM
NO RATINGS
I wonder whether Boston has more accidents due to this...most of the world uses visual contact

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eye contact
kfield   7/25/2014 10:23:13 AM
NO RATINGS
@krisi "I wonder whether Boston has more accidents due to this...most of the world uses visual contact"

I am not sure about that, some of the other rules of Massachusetts driving seem even more likely to cause an accident!  http://www.worcestermass.com/driving.shtml

Why do people not seek eye contact? It's obvious! "Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right of way, except in Boston where it acts as an invitation to duel or play chicken."

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: Eye contact
krisi   7/25/2014 10:25:46 AM
NO RATINGS
thank you @kfield...great link, I had a good chuckle

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eye contact
kfield   7/25/2014 10:38:13 AM
NO RATINGS
@krisi And where do you live and what are the idiosyncracies of the drivers there?

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: Eye contact
krisi   7/25/2014 10:41:55 AM
NO RATINGS
I live in Vancouver, Canada...driving is terrible here as well for different reasons though...one of my pet peeves is driving on a left lane slowly...another stopping at the intersection to make a visual contact with another driver to decide who should go first (regardless of what the signs say)...therefore I prefer to bike and use public transportation

docdivakar
User Rank
Manager
Re: Eye contact
docdivakar   7/25/2014 10:51:34 AM
NO RATINGS
@Kris: I think you will live longer taking public transport, so much reduction in stress levels! Silicon Valley highways are a zoo at rush hours. One would think public transport is ideal for this place but vested interests have made sure it ain't so (except for San Francisco).

MP Divakar

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: Eye contact
krisi   7/25/2014 11:53:27 AM
NO RATINGS
@docdivakar...I remain puzzled deeply about luck of public transportation in densely populated areas in North America...I just spent a month in Europe, no need for car at all (I used planes, trains, boats, bikes, walks and yes, taxi but with the driver that knew where to go instead of my silly navigation system at home that gets lost in all critical situations)

kfield
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Eye contact
kfield   7/25/2014 2:59:13 PM
NO RATINGS
@docdivakar... I am almost car-free here in Cambridge, MA. I live two blocks from the T, walk most places, and only use the car for grocery shopping with lots of bags to carry and a yoga place across town. We might be able to get rid of the car completely and just use something like Zip car (rent it when we need it). I am such a better, happier person now that I drive less than a tank of gas per week.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: Eye contact
krisi   7/25/2014 4:07:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Glad to see the silly car culture in North America is slowly starting to turn around...BTW, why Zip, why not taxi? with Uber service perhaps...that seems to eb working fine across Europe

Measurement.Blues
User Rank
CEO
Re: Eye contact
Measurement.Blues   7/25/2014 2:56:30 PM
NO RATINGS
It's also a tradition in Boston never to use turn signals. When you do, you lose the element of surprise, especially when cutting people off.

sw guy
User Rank
Manager
Re: Eye contact
sw guy   7/25/2014 8:27:08 AM
NO RATINGS
Eye contact is not always possible, and the lack of automation not necessarily the right answer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenerife_airport_disaster



Flash Poll
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Max Maxfield

Energizing the Young Engineers of Tomorrow
Max Maxfield
12 comments
It doesn't seem all that long ago when I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed young engineer. Now I feel like an old fool, but where are we going to find one at this time of the day (LOL)?

Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock

Jolt Awards: The Best Books
Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock
1 Comment
As we do every year, Dr. Dobb's recognizes the best books of the last 12 months via the Jolt Awards -- our cycle of product awards given out every two months in each of six categories. No ...

Engineering Investigations

Air Conditioner Falls From Window, Still Works
Engineering Investigations
2 comments
It's autumn in New England. The leaves are turning to red, orange, and gold, my roses are in their second bloom, and it's time to remove the air conditioner from the window. On September ...

David Blaza

The Other Tesla
David Blaza
5 comments
I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...