... and I question the premise
And I would agree with that. As you point out, the situation is not analogous. My own thought is the OP is kind of getting ahead of him/herself. For autonomous cars to make an impact on insurance rates, you would have to have a significant portion of the vehicles be autonomous. Frankly, I can't see that happening for many years, as only a small portion of drivers can afford to go out and buy a brand new car. For buyers of used cars, it will be a long time before they can get their hands on an autonomous car. Doing a quick google for just the US, 2014 new car sales were on the order of 16 million cars. Used car sales were on the order of 41 million, about 2.5 times as many a year. Say new car owners kept their cars three years (arbitrary number) - it would be almost six years before enough cars were traded in for one year of used car sales. According to google, there are 254 million used cars in the US. Assuming six years before used cars start getting replaced, six years of new cars would be 96 million cars replaced, leaving 158 million to be replaced still. From that point figure 57 million get replaced every year, it would be another almost 5 years until all the cars are replaced. That's 9 years for what I would call a best case. I think it will likely be much longer than that, since a large number of used car buyers are buying cars more than three years old (so they'd have to wait that much longer before getting their hands on an autonomous car).
1. Dash cams are fixed and (usually) only see what is happening in front of the police car, which is normally on a public right-of-way and therefore where the public could also observe and record*. What happens elsewhere, like when an officer goes inside a private residence, isn't captured by dash cams. A body cam on the other hand would frequently be recording events that are not occurring where the public can see, and this is a significant difference for accountability.
This is the aspect that worries me. Privacy goes out the window with body cams. Anyone close to the "suspect" can get caught up in the same video, whether they have anything to do with it or not. As the parent points out, dash cams are used in public places; but body cams would be able to go into private places.
We know how well governmental bodies do with protecting private data (that is to say: poorly); imagine someone stealing a video about a controversial event, and there's your face in the video. You can get implicated by association, even though you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do you think your boss would be happy? Or your spouse?
This is even worse if you are a public person, where there would be even more of an incentive to steal the videos.
Actually my granddaughter loves legos, and includes things she builds out of legos in her plays. But legos can be clunky and time consuming to put together (especially if you are trying to follow a complicated layout).
I think she would prefer to build it virtually first, and hit a key and have what she built come out.
You are right however - I have no idea about the general public. I do think that if a kid is already into minecraft (and it is pretty popular among my granddaughter's friends), they would be a good candidate for 3d printing from that kind of approach.
I think this is a key question for any 3d printer / software setup. Most of the posts on Slashdot seem to center around "designing something for real" (prototyping, replacing a part, etc.)
But I think a recreational version would take off if done right. For example, my 7 year old granddaughter loves minecraft, and spends hours building things there. I think she would love the ability to print out stuff she has built there. She also likes to make her own videos. She will arrange her dollhouses and stuff animals and make up a story involving them, and record it. I think she would love the ability to design her own dollhouses, sets, etc.
For her, a minecraft approach of dropping and destroying pre-made blocks, etc., would work very well. Especially if she can paint and color her model of whatever after it is printed. She won't care about the exact dimensions, etc., as long as it fits together. Let the software handle that.
So the problem becomes, I think, "know the audience" and design appropriately for that audience.
... I am sick and tired of the overreaction to these random events whether it be aircraft crashing into a building, a workplace shooting, a bomb detonation at a public event, etc...
Yeah, me too. To tell the honest truth, when I heard about the shooting at the LA airport my thought was "Oh, this is California, where they shoot at each other on the highway. Sounds like one of those people made it into the airport". While that was probably unjust (sorry, California), the point remains. We have plenty of nuts in America that will do stupid things. Let's not overreact and swat a fly with a Buick, so to speak.
... I do not feel safe with roaming machine-gun-toting police officers or military in any venue
Me either, but that's a little extreme. I'm perfectly fine with armed police officers doing crowd control at events, etc. I guess it's a matter of degree of arming for me. When police officers, etc. start carrying RPGs or the like, that's when I start staying home
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire