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Comment Re: Backing down not up? (Score 1) 242

Yeah, I coulda/shoulda been more specific about those factors. Because of their variance you need to be adaptive about how far from the water you stop. It's not about the car it's about having the boat and trailer in the correct depth (and angle) to launch it. Too deep and the trailer gets drowned and the boat and trailer can drift apart. Too shallow and the boat don't float - just gets damaged.

It's not a fixed distance from the edge so it varies between boats, ramps and tides.

At a busy ramp there is immense peer pressure (up to and including threats of violence) if you aren't efficient and tidy with your launch.
The problems (like any) may indeed be broken down and addressed one by one - but the cost of the time and effort to produce a solution for any and every launch seems at a minimum, expensive.

There would be other unique driving experiences where an automated car fails.
For office potatoes commuting on a drizzly day in Seattle it might be a dream come true.
Can't see it being popular with motorists who want to do anything other than drone travel a to b though.

Comment Backing down not up? (Score 1) 242

Give me a call when one of these clever cars can back my boat down a crowded ramp. All ramps have different slope angles and water levels change with the tides so every launch requires a different solution of where to stop.
From what I've seen of self-driving mowers and robot vacuum cleaners in action I'm not enthused about the level of thought that goes into problem solving for these things.
Quite happy to see millions of these things in New York and Los Angeles though, and from Youtube footage, around Moscow would be a hoot too.

Comment Re:Obviously (Score 2) 68

Yes, there were no troops left in Texas, California, Panama, Philipines, Japan, China, Guam, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Japan (again) Guam, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan.......Unless of course the people there really really begged for those troops to stay.

It's all point of view. There's plenty of Russians that think that annexing the Crimea was a just and caring move to guarantee the longer term safety of the people. Peace on Earth and goodwill to all Russian speaking minorities that love freedom etc..

Everybody means well in these things...don't they?

Comment Re:A stalker with billiard skills (Score 1) 244

That's from "Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting" not "Benny and the Jets"

She's got electric boots and mohair suits, you know I read it in a magazine, ohh B B B Bennie and the Jets.

Get about as oiled as a diesel train, Gonna set this dance alight, 'Cause Saturday night's the night I like

Comment Re:Confused Reporter (Score 1) 150

It's probably accurate reporting but not really using the right metric to explain it clearly.

If you think in terms of dynamic pressure on the craft in rising ballistic flight it makes more sense. The lower mach number occurs where the atmosphere is thicker and therefore dynamic pressure is greater. Atmospheric drag slows it. As the craft rises higher (assuming thrust remains constant) dynamic pressure eases in the thinner atmosphere and the mach number increases. The craft accelerates as drag decreases.

If the pilot was monitoring mach number as an analog for dynamic pressure then it makes sense.

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