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Comment: Re:Income taxes are paid automatically (Score 1) 109

by Yosho (#49514961) Attached to: For the most recent tax year ...

If you get money back from the state (assuming you live in the USA), what that means is that your employer withheld more than you actually owed in taxes. In other words, that money was already yours, but the government got to hold on to it as an interest-free loan from you until you filled out the paperwork to get it back.

You'll be better off of your have your employer adjust your withholdings so that they don't take as much and you end up owing a little bit at tax time. I know it doesn't provide the same instantaneous gratification as getting a sudden windfall from your return, but realize that that's money you should've had all along for the last year.

Comment: Re:Start with an erroneous *world view* ... (Score 1) 181

by Yosho (#49457103) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

Really nothing is 'static' to a moving vehicle.

"Static" in autonomous vehicle terms means that an object is not moving with respect to the world around it: trees, rocks, barriers, and so on. That is as opposed to "dynamic" obstacles that move with respect to the world, like cars and pedestrians.

So you can try to quibble over semantics if you want, but the fact is that the former class of objects are far easier to plan around than the latter.

Comment: Re:The timing is off (Score 1) 181

by Yosho (#49457047) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

But society and business depend on the mass NOT obeying the law. We get to work on time because we cheat.

No, we get to work on time because we leave with enough time to get there. Maybe if you have to speed and drive recklessly to make it to work, you should just leave five minutes earlier?

How long would it take you to do anything if you could not depend on the timing from route selection and speed? You would not be able to project the future.

The irony here is that autonomous cars will be able to tell you fairly accurately how long it will take to get anywhere based on the possible routes and current traffic conditions. So, if your car says it'll take 27 minutes to get to work but you don't leave until you only have 15 minutes left because you're sure you can make it... that's your own fault.

Do you really want to sit staring out the window for the entire trip? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

At this point I'm not sure if you're trolling or not. That's what people currently do -- just stare out of the window in front of them for hours every day, trying not to run into another person. Can you not think of anything else you could do with that time if you didn't have to keep your eyes on the road? Maybe read a book, catch up on the news, or play a video game?

Comment: Re:Never (Score 2) 181

by Yosho (#49455421) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

What's even more dangerous is 3000 lbs of metal controlled by a computer programmed by ego maniacs with the arrogance to assume their heuristic model accurately interprets the reality of free-range driving. A human is slow compared to a computer, but is far better at preemption and situational awareness.

The irony here, of course, is that you're the one assuming the programmers making these systems are egomaniacs who don't take any exceptional cases into account and never test for them.

What does being "far better at preemption" even mean? If a human can interpret a cue to react in a particular way, a computer can be programmed to recognize that cue, too. And suggesting that humans are better at situation awareness? Crazy talk. A car with a couple of LIDAR units knows exactly how far it is from everything in a hundred meter radius (or more) around it, within a cm or two. It has no blind spots, it doesn't care about lighting conditions, it's not fooled by optical illusions, and it's not limited to the visible spectrum.

Then we have deliberate attacks on the network they'll use. Finally, we have deliberate kill switches/overrides/tracking demanded by authorities, public and private

They don't need to use networks, and they're as likely to have kill switches/overrides/tracking demanded by the authorities as your current car does. In other words, because of the mass push back there would be against it, not likely at all. Because of the extreme expense, the only reason auto manufactures would do that is if they were legally required -- and if somehow it gets pushed into legislation, have no fear that every car will be required to have it, not just the autonomous ones.

Comment: Re:Nobody dresses the gorilla in the room? (Score 1) 181

by Yosho (#49455337) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

That's a bit of a contrived example that is rather light on details. The vast majority of cars today don't even come with a drive-by-wire system installed, let alone one that's remotely accessible, and if you install your own, well, that's all on you.

I suppose it's theoretically possible that autonomous car manufacturers will be naive enough to make their drive-by-wire systems remotely accessible, but right now I don't see any reason to assume they will.

Comment: Re:Start with an erroneous *world view* ... (Score 4, Insightful) 181

by Yosho (#49454995) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

Why do you think that a vehicle that can see in 360 degrees around it in the visible spectrum, infrared spectrum, and LIDAR -- including underneath itself -- and knows exactly where it is within a few millimeters would be worse at navigating between obstacles than you are?

If anything, static obstacles are the easy part. Predicting what crazy human drivers are going to do is hard.

Comment: Re:Never (Score 2) 181

by Yosho (#49454869) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

1. Too expensive

At the moment, yes, but the hardware necessary for autonomy isn't really that expensive compared to the car itself. Especially in the future when we can sell cars that are fully automated and do not need any of the controls that humans use to drive a car -- the steering wheel, pedals, switches, etc. -- I expect they will actually be cheaper than non-autonomous cars.

2. No fun

A matter of opinion, but if you think driving is "fun", you're probably one of the people making roads dangerous. I think it will be more fun to be able to read web sites or play video games while my car is driving me around.

3. Dangerous

Flat-out wrong. Autonomous cars can react much more quickly, precisely, and safely than any human can when confronted with a dangerous situation. The dangerous part will be stupid human drivers who think they can drive recklessly because autonomous cars will react quickly and move out of their way.

4. No one controls when and where I go

This doesn't even make any sense. An autonomous car is not necessarily public transportation (although they will be used for that). You'll still be able to get in your car and go wherever you want, whenever you want.

You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford

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