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11 comments

Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

Posted November 02, 2011 7:17 AM
User-tagged by 5 users

Nevada has become the first state in the United States to license cars that can operate without a driver. Google has devoted considerable resources to developing such a vehicle. Until now, traffic laws still required a person in the driver's seat, even if the car could go it alone. Where is this technology heading? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Should it be stopped? Can it be stopped? How comfortable are you with the idea of riding in a robot-controlled car? Would you feel safe in one? Would you entrust your family to one? How soon do you expect to see them on the road?

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#1

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/02/2011 8:07 AM

Google paying the liability insurance? How can the owner of the vehicle be held responsible? He is not in control of the vehicle. Computers fail just as we do. Talk about opening a legal can of worms when one of these systems does fail and someone gets hurt.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/02/2011 2:38 PM

You make a good point. Additionally, it would seem no system is secure these days. Mix a bunch of cars at 70mph controlled by computer and mix in anonymous or any other hackers. Scary way to terrorize people. I'm not worried, I think googles system would have a tough time working the clutch and shift knob in my Acura

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#3

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/03/2011 8:36 AM

Put it in a Mac and I see it as a win-win situation. Mac's are much more dependable than the other operating systems.

I like the idea. I am tired of people's knee jerk slam on the brakes response to every little bump in the road. Most people these days don't know how to drive especially when it is raining or icy or snowing. I blame it on lack of education and lack of driver testing on a reoccuring basis (every 10 years or so would be nice). Just last week I almost rearended 4 people because someone slammed on the brakes at 70 mph and brought the speed down to 20 mph. This morning I had to floor the accelerator to pass a woman that slammed on her brakes at the end of the on ramp because she was to scared to merge into traffic and traffic was light and most of it was in the second lane over.

Taking the driver out of these situations would solve a lot of problems and prevent a lot of wrecks, drunk drivers and road rage. It would really help my sanity and reduce my road rage against stupid drivers! We could raise the speed limits on the city interstates because the car would act predictably. Tell the car where to go and it goes. It picks the most appropriate lane based on traffic and which exit the person is taking. Cars could be inches apart on the interstate and that would help with fuel efficiency and reduce the traffic congestion. Traffic lights could be controlled better to improve the flow of traffic.

If the downside is the occasional system gliches, those could have safety back ups engineered into the system. I am sure there would be plenty of redundancies to prevent a major accident from such a system. Another downside would be if the maps are not upgraded on a daily basis for the new streets, road construction zones and interstate changes. My Verizon navigator constantly messes up in these areas.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/03/2011 8:57 AM

You would really trust a computer to navigate a winter storm?

Or trust a system to slow your car down before a puddle an inch deep?

No Way.

I agree there should be better driver education and I also think there should be testing to make sure a driver is fit to drive as they age, not just when they get a license.

I also agree with your point that traffic lights could and should be revamped to improve traffic flow and reduce waste.

There are many stupid drivers who need education, but there are also far too many aggressive drivers who's lack of patience and over confidence cause so many more problems than just taking a deep breath, putting on a cd and taking their time would prevent.

For me the potential for computer failure, hacking and a constantly changing driving environment would prevent me from ever really being comfortable without controlling a vehicle myself.

Plus talk about taking the fun out of a Sunday drive and also bye bye standard transmission.

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/03/2011 12:00 PM

Mac may be more reliable but is it that more enough. Any Linux based OS would be then Microsoft's windows OS.

Still does not solve the problems that you mention unless use is mandated.

Though I would say that the problems you had would if you had it would be a solution for you. The vehicle would not ride the bumper so close that it would rear end a vehicle. Safe following distance would be part of the program. Also the car would have come to a stop on the ramp behind the lady.

Then again there are always people that are impatient to get to where they want to go. They are not satisfied with the road skills of those around them. What's to say they would be satisfied with the programing of these cars. Make modification to suit themselves. Causing more road problems.

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#4

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/03/2011 8:43 AM

You both have good points. I can envision some type of auto pilot which people can travel the same rate of speed the pilot can position cars correctly with safety in mind. We can safer roads with fewer accidents. Traffic would flow smother with less pollutants. Police would not have any officers writing tickets. The system would have to be built with all the concerns you bring in mind. Over the last 80 years we have not done a good job of moving our goods in this country. With our current technology we should be moving ahead with better modes of transportation which would require a current change of thinking and getting away from the old mythology mine set.

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#6

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/03/2011 9:04 AM

Not even parked in a secluded area at night with a good looking girl. However I do trust the autopilots in the aircraft I fly..

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#8

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/03/2011 4:47 PM

Sure. What could possibly go wrong?

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#9

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/03/2011 6:45 PM

You think this is crazy imagine if we trusted computers to prevent nuclear reactors from going Chernobyl. I think we are over complicating a simple issue let the computers drive put in a simple manual override like we have with cruise control and require a human driver present until the technology has been proven to a point that car manufactures and programers will put their name on the line for their systems reliability. The computer can drive all it wants but it is up to the drivers to maintain control of the vehical. If your cruise control is on and your traveling at unsafe speeds for the road conditions no one would hear that it was the cars fault. Remember the most reliable system built in to any peice of technology is the on/off switch, don't be afraid to use it.

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#10

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

11/04/2011 6:11 AM

No, I wouldn't trust it and secondly, what's the point? If you're not going to go somewhere, why would your car need to?

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#11

Re: Would You Feel Safe in a Car with No Driver?

06/03/2013 10:46 PM

Google system owns his own potential. When we feel tired and there is no driver, google systerm is useful at this time. But we may have no security in such a car. It is just because we do not adjust it. Just like we do not adjust lap in the ancient times. I hope we can take such a robot-controlled car in the future.

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