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Comment Re:Not all wrecks can be avoided (Score 1) 215

A good driver absolutely would have avoided that collision.

I find this especially ironic because when a Google car caused an accident when a "good driver" didn't yield, the usual suspects were quick to blame Google and NOT the "good driver" who couldn't possibly be expected to be aware of his situation.

Comment Re:Not all wrecks can be avoided (Score 1) 215

You keep saying "not souls", but then fail to come up with whatever it is that makes humans "aware", but self-driving cars not "aware." If you don't want to call this special thing only humans have "souls" then find another name for it, because you are trying and failing to come up with a meaningful distinction.

You're right that self driving cars don't know that that little girl in the middle of the street walking her dog is adorable, and that she is the daughter of the local minister. So what? It is aware that there are obstacles in its path and judges that it should avoid them. Aware, aware, aware. It doesn't need to know any of the details that you seem to think are important. That's another loaded word there, "judgment", that you use to muddle your biased opinion even further.

If you're not religious, to what do you attribute your inflated sense of your special humanness?

Comment Re:Not all wrecks can be avoided (Score 1) 215

Of course you are talking about souls, because you are trying to tease out some semantic subtlety that differentiates what humans do from what self-driving cars do. Even your definitions don't support your position. Self-driving cars are aware, they have knowledge and they use that to make decisions. Just like humans.

Aware = having knowledge

Knowledge = facts, information, skills

Comment Re:Not all wrecks can be avoided (Score 0) 215

A good driver absolutely would have avoided that collision.

Then there are no good drivers. Humans are fallible, even a driver who you might consider "good" will fail sometimes in this situation because of many factors.

The problem with computers is that they don't take into account that people will break the rules and do stupid things, a defensive driver assumes someone will do the dumbest thing possible....

Absolutely not true. Self driving cars are constantly evaluating whether someone is going to break the rules or do something dumb. They do this far better than the average driver, even now. Unlike the vast majority of humans they are indeed keeping an eye on other cars drifting out of their lanes, failing to stop at a stop sign/light, braking abruptly for no apparent reason...

A good driver learns to pick up on these cues.

Sure, but only because you are defining "good driver" as someone who does that. In reality, the number of "good drivers" is very small. Possibly just you and me, and I'm not sure about you.

I don't know of any self-driving software that has deployed such technology, but it's really not as advanced as you think. Detecting whether a car is weaving in its lane and might wander over is not that hard, other cues that every "good driver" might be more difficult, but this is a red herring. Simple defensive driving techniques, e.g. not being right next to another car on the freeway, combined with far superior reaction times make self-driving cars much better in these situations than most drivers are, and the software keeps getting better. Unlike humans.

Comment Re:Not all wrecks can be avoided (Score 1) 215

Wrong, unless you mean that cars don't have souls and thus can't truly be 'aware' of anything. Other than that you're making a ridiculous semantic distinction. Self-driving cars are 'aware' exactly the same way humans are 'aware.' Cars are more 'aware' than humans for some problems and not as 'aware' at others.

Comment Re:That's their job (Score 1) 448

Indeed. How many individuals "do the right thing" and pay extra taxes beyond what they are legally required to pay?


Nonsense. People don't intentionally pay more taxes, they do it out of ignorance or because the time and hassle is not worth the payback. If there were a checkbox that said "set up offshore account and instantly pay 10% less" almost every sane person would do that. EXACTLY the same as most corporations.

See this is why we can't have nice things.

This is a ridiculous game to play. What is the right and fair amount of tax for a corporation? Every company should just decide what they think is fair and add on a little extra to the legal minimum? No, the only sane and fair thing is to pay as little as the law allows.

You could make a case that corporations shouldn't lobby for tax loopholes, but if they exist, they MUST take advantage of them.

Comment Re:Its too early IMO (Score 1) 202

A small autonomous electric vehicle can be loaded with packages for a few blocks or a few miles, depending on the density. The customer is notified by smartphone that a package is available and when the customer is ready to pick up she responds to the message. The package will be in front of the house within a few minutes. Basically it's a mobile post office box (or Amazon locker).

This is just one of many solutions that would be far more efficient and useful for the customer than those of today.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 202

Case in point. You contradict yourself when you say that the best response is "HIT THE BRAKES". Doing that while going through a turn (or on ice or whatever) is often the last thing you want to do. A passenger not paying attention (or only casually) will cause a lot of accidents by such panic braking. Very different than a driving instructor who is supposed to be paying careful attention all the time.

Comment Re:Correct (Score 1) 202

Which means that a well-tested, robust set of driving algorithms should also be quite capable of determining if the advisory speed is too low, or did you miss the point that some roads are actually harder to drive at the posted (advisory or not) speed?

I didn't miss it, I just don't believe it. There is no physics model I can conceive of that makes it harder to drive a turn safely at a lower speed than a faster speed, other than a crazy highly banked turn, which probably doesn't exist on a normal highway. Acceleration is not the same as speed, btw. Care to point out an example of this phenomenon?

If your only point is that self-driving cars can monitor the road and give feedback to other self-driving vehicles and alert the powers that be to incorrect signage, then sure. Nobody is disputing that.

Minimum should be the ability for a human to cause the vehicle to come to a complete stop in an emergency; preferably, this should be a safe complete stop, at a safe spot...and not, for example, partially under a bus.

If your point is that self-driving cars are not ready for every road right now, well, sure. Again, nobody is disputing that. However, mandating that a panic button be installed when these cars are in wide deployment is silly and unnecessary. We don't mandate that for taxis or buses, why would we insist on such a thing in a much safer vehicle? Of course, you will always have the option to instruct the car to pull over to a safe area, just as you can a taxi driver. Big difference between that and a panic button.

Comment Re:Reason I want an automated driving vehicle (Score 1) 202

Absolutely, and modern technology allows us to do this efficiently. A vehicle miles tax, congestion traffic pricing, parking meter fees based on time of day and congestion, ... Every major city will move to this model eventually if they want to stay livable. Or they can be luddites like fluffer and ban uber, ban self driving, etc.

Comment Re:Correct (Score 1) 202

The advisory speeds are set intentionally low. Certainly all the cars I've owned can take the turns much faster in good weather and even rental cars that I've driven were fine at +10 if you know how to drive well. The point is self-driving cars can do so much better than the thousands of humans in that situation. They will know that different kind of cars can handle very differently and will use the advisory signs as just a guideline, basing speed on the characteristics of the road and the data from thousands of cars driven before it.

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