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Comment Re:Strangling Innovation Much? (Score 1) 157 157

Also, I believe we should think about it more like a fast-track trial for a terminal disease. Driverless cars would save hundreds per day (even if they're buggy) and cut CO2 emissions to sustainable levels (no range anxiety and a focus on per-mile costs make electric cars the obvious choice).

Fast track for terminal cases? Let's get a little risky.

Comment Re:Strangling Innovation Much? (Score 1) 157 157

Dangerous. You keep using that word. I don't believe it means what you think it means.

You regulate first, then ease off the regulations as safety is demonstrated.
I could not disagree any more strongly. You let people and businesses exercise freedom and intervene if and when there is a problem. Consider that EVERY new innovation has safety implications. Broadly applied, this mentality would seize the works entirely.

Comment Re: "Mimic the act of driving"? (Score 1) 157 157

I agree that such a statute is pretty sensible. But let's explore that a little.

Say Google has 100 cars and wants to move as fast as possible. Humans only want to work first shift and need breaks every few hours. So these prototypes get tested for around 6 hours per day, when the potential is that they can be tested 24 hours per day. With a simple, sensible statute, you've reduced the testing capability by 75%. And for what purpose? Google's cars have never caused an accident or injury, so any problem is by definition imagined.

You just cut the rate of testing by 75% because of an imagined problem. I say that is unjustified.

Comment Re: "Mimic the act of driving"? (Score 1) 157 157

There are lots of reasons to hasten the wide adoption of driverless cars:

1. Climate change: driverless cars mean no range anxiety and focus on per-mile costs: perfect for electric cars
2. Human-caused traffic fatalities: lots. even a rushed and buggy algorithm saves hundreds of lives per day.

Smart regulation, operator licenses, et al make a lot of sense and it's very tempting to say they should be implemented with our best guesses at the moment. But considering that (a) there have been zero algorithm-caused problems, and (b) there are immense and immediate benefits to implementation, why not let things develop hands off and only intervene when there is a real, live, actual, non-imaginary, in-the-field problem?

Comment Re:Strangling Innovation Much? (Score 1) 157 157

I think scaling this one will be painfully slow already. You have cost, technical, safety, and market obstacles all dragging down implementation. The best way to solve those problems is to iterate quickly and not get locked into a solution early by a (temporary or not) regulatory environment.

Comment Re: "Mimic the act of driving"? (Score 1) 157 157

Yes, government can't predict the future. Neither can anyone else.

When a non-gov't predicts wrong, he loses. When a gov't predicts wrong, it holds back tech by a decade. Gov't should know this and approach these things with some caution and humility.

We also can't have unregulated self driving cars on public roads either.

This would be better than wrong regulation. No regulation means that each car company is exposed to civil liabilities and brand damage, which is all the incentive they need to keep things pretty safe. If I were a dictator, I would wait and see and only write laws to stop real live problems that arise or to mandate good practices already in place by some vendors.

You're in tech, I assume. I also assume that your current project has competitors and your solution has some differentiating aspects. What if, one day, your state government decides the competitor's solution is better and proscribes all differentiating aspects. That is exactly what's happening here: no market experimentation is allowed for things like "no steering wheel" or "dashboard footrests". Why? Because, in the imagination of several nontechnical bureaucrats, these things may cause problems some day.

Let me repeat myself, technical innovation for driverless cars in 2025 will be restricted by the imagination of a few nontechnical bureaucrats in 2015.

Let me repeat myself, technical innovation for driverless cars in 2025 will be restricted by the imagination of a few nontechnical bureaucrats in 2015.

Does that sound bad yet?

Comment Re:"Mimic the act of driving"? (Score 1) 157 157

Any time a government gets involved with predicting the future, they get it embarrassingly wrong. Every one of these guides reads like the following: "We support self driving cars, so here is the exact product everyone must release and the one path to market that everyone must take." So the consumer gets the 5 year old scripted vision of non technical bureaucrats on a power trip. Innovation in the sector slows to utility-pace. When an industry manages to escape this yoke (e.g. mobile), the pace of innovation is dizzying expressly because the future is unscripted and the path there is allowed to be messy.

Comment Strangling Innovation Much? (Score 0) 157 157

UK gov't 1910: Ok, you can have a horseless carriage, but you have to keep the horses so as not to confuse other drivers. Also, only mechanics can drive them. Good governance is to wait for problems before applying solutions. Bad governance is to let no nothing bureaucrats exercise their inner petty fascist.

Comment Re:Completely appropriate venue (Score 1) 1007 1007

Science plows fertile high ground when it humbly insists that all of its assertions are up for debate and will be constantly changed to adapt to new knowledge. Don't give that up by crowding out contrary views.

Becoming dogmatic in the face of dogmatism means that real problems with biology won't be addressed honestly, such as the taxonomy mess, the mysteriousness of gene expression, etc.

Comment Re:I have to admit there is some validity to this (Score 1) 208 208

I'm in the same boat. I try to use google now, and >50% of "hands-free" interactions eventually require hands. Many times, voice control requires more looking at the phone because you have to watch it like a hawk to catch all the errors.

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. -- Oscar Wilde