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Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 521

I don't find three pedals confusing either, and if I had a lift or even a slab I would probably drop the money to put a six speed into my Audi in lieu of the five speed slushbox when I liquidate my 300SD. I'm not doing that job in the dirt. The point remains, though; there was no good reason for them not to use pushbuttons.

Also, I'd still rather have a DCT than any of this stuff, and they don't work without computer control either

Comment Re:green? (Score 1) 236

But things like coal, oil, natural gas come from underground.

Most mining is now strip mining, so anything that has to be mined automatically loses. All three of these are also sequestered carbon; when we produce them, and then burn them, we cause ourselves problems related to CO2 release. Natural Gas production is now predicated upon fracking (we otherwise have already hit peak natgas, in terms of just getting it out of the ground as opposed to making it) which has its own severe problems, not least being based on injecting refinery wastes into the ground instead of disposing of them properly. Oil spills are an ongoing rather than regular occurrence; there is basically no time that there is not a serious oil spill going on somewhere in the world. Burning coal puts nuclear material into the atmosphere, including tons of fissile uranium per year.

The environmental cost of solar, especially non-PV systems or modern PV systems which use ever-vanishing quantities of rare earths or even organic materials, is minuscule compared to any fossil fuel.

Comment Re:6178 acres? (Score 1) 236

Wow, you need to disturb a lot of habitat to make that happen. Even in the desert.

The sand fleas will be crushed. No, literally, they will be crushed. Seriously, desert is notable for hosting minimal quantities of biomass. Sure, we could wipe out some inconsequential species. That would even be sad. But I think most of us would trade some obscure lizards and bugs for clean power... which has serious positive ramifications for protecting habitat for many more species.

Ideally we'd mandate if not PV installs then at least proper solar siting for all new construction worldwide, which would lend itself to more distributed solar projects. It's only maybe 15% of the roofs even in California for example which are suitable sites for solar panels because of all the various factors involved. Then there would be less demand for centralized solar. We need more distributed generation anyway.

Comment Re:a way to do this "safely" (Score 1) 201

Phase 1: limit AI driven cars to say 35mph or under "network" control (in either case Hazard Lights GO ON)

No. You are going to need a new signal. Hazard lights already have a meaning, and that meaning is "I am stopped or otherwise below the minimum speed for this roadway which I am in, and thus obstructing it — go around me when/if it is safe".

Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 201

Self-driving-ish cars? Autonom-ish cars? It just seems like everybody is pretending this is a solved issue, and I don't believe it is.

It isn't, but the cars aren't ready to drive themselves 100% of the time anyway. They need a lot more data. So they're going to put the cars with the technology out there, and start collecting it. Then they'll determine how it's going to work as they go along... and by "they" I mean automakers and regulators alike.

Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 201

I'm suggesting if Google is driving, and the passengers are passengers, then why the hell would anybody pay for things like liability insurance for an AI?

You are going to need basic liability insurance no matter what, but it should be a lot cheaper in a car that you're not allowed to drive, because you won't be able to cause an accident.

Could it be because it's still going to have a "fuck it, you drive" mode which passes responsibility to the human so Google can claim they're not responsible?

For the foreseeable future, cars are going to have a human-driven mode, so you're going to need liability insurance for that. If you're willing to let your insurer into your car's data, perhaps they will give you a discount if you don't actually use it.

A self driving car becomes useful when I can have no controls, and be asleep in the back. I don't pay liability insurance on a bus, train or taxi ... why the hell would I pay it when something created by Google is in charge of driving it?

Mechanical failure. Again, your rates should go down if you're not driving, but there will still be opportunities for failure.

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 521

It doesn't matter what you want, the most modern automatic transmissions (e.g. ZF HP9) already don't have a linkage. They are too complex to operate with a hydraulic valve body, even for limp home mode. Consequently, where it is used (which is practically everywhere) there is already no drawback to a pushbutton interface. Pushing P while moving could select N, and apply the EPB (electronic parking brake) automatically when the driver comes to a stop, then shift into park. Pushing N would do the same, sans brake and autoshift.

Comment Re:Jeep? Not so much (Score 1) 521

As for Jeep being a Fiat, so what?

It has completely ruined the brand for serious off-roading by going all unibody. That's fine, that's their prerogative, but the truth is that while the base vehicle is more capable off-road, they have destroyed the modification potential. Hell, it even makes sense, they're trying to sell more vehicles, not less of them. Focusing on a niche market would be stupid. Doesn't change the fact that their original core audience is going to have to go somewhere else now. They're spending their cachet.

Comment Re:The more you jazz it up (Score 1) 521

I always use the PARKING BRAKE when I exit the vehicle, even though I leave it in first gear, even on a flat surface. I don't know, but to me, that's why it is called a PARKING BRAKE. Just a little more safety.

This. People who don't do this are idiots, it's not surprising if their cars are rolling away. If someone hits your car while it's parked this can keep it from rolling away and hitting another car, for which YOU could be found at fault. That alone should be sufficient motivation to set the damned brake.

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