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Comment Re: Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 237

What if I refuse to purchase 'autopilot' insurance from the dealership, but then use the feature anyway. They can't force you to purchase and keep paying the monthly fee, and at this point, who knows if they lock out that feature remotely.

It is an absolute certainty that all self-driving cars (level 4 or 5) are going to be phoning home for the foreseeable future.

If I get in a crash with autopilot on, and I claim I wasn't driving so I'm not responsible, but the insurance fee to the dealer has not been paid, who foots the bill.

Under that model, obviously you would be liable, but injured parties would certainly also tend to sue the automaker.

If you say the owner would foot the bill, then you are making the claim that in the end, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for autopilot, not the manufacturer.
That's why tacking on a 'lifetime' insurance premium to the price of a new car is the only real way that makes sense

Agreed.

They're not going to do this until their accident rates are way lower than humans, because of the liability issues involved. So that's going to keep the truly autonomous vehicles pushed out into the future for some time. In the meantime, we will get more driver assistance features added into the vehicles. Many of these features are useful to the self-driving system anyway, so refining them before using them for full autonomy is a pretty darned good idea.

Comment Re:The owner should be liable (Score 1) 237

So whether that can still be considered a taxi company is debatable.

I think that if Uber is a taxi company (and let's face it, that's what it is) then it will still be a taxi company when there's no driver in the cab. I think that it will largely be a function of how you're paying. If you have better credit, you'll be able to get into a better network and you'll pay less per mile for a decent vehicle. If you have no credit, you'll have to settle for one with econoboxes or something. If you have bad credit, you might not be able to get into a ridesharing network at all, and you'll have to pay more because of the inherent risk in supporting that class of rider. Ah, capitalism. The rich get things for free, and the poor pay the most.

Of course, presumably there will be self-driving public transit. It can use smaller vehicles than buses because the reason we use buses is that human drivers are expensive and buses let us minimize the number of people one human can tote around. You'll fire up the public transit app (or log in at a public transit kiosk, or make a phone call to an automated system) and request a pickup, and it will tell you when you can have one based on when a unit can reasonably be diverted through your area. People who need wheelchair access can be grouped together (with any accompanying traffic) on vehicles with support for them, but all of them don't have to have it, so they don't all have to carry it around. Of course, they will probably still smell like bodily fluids...

Comment Re:BeauHD (Score 3, Informative) 61

And yet you are here.

That was supposed to be the punchline. I hate to be the guy who has to explain his own jokes, but every BeauHD article comment section seems to have one knucklehead who's complaining about SJWs or some such and the comment is always, "What does Grace Hopper have to do with tech? Slashdot has really gone downhill. That's why I don't come here any more."

Irony is hard enough to pull off in plain text, and I've been drinking since 10:30am, so I apologize.

Comment Re:You do not get to define innovation for anyone (Score 1) 55

When Google first launched their search engine, they didn't have ads in the way they and many other free-to-use online services do today. They were one of the pioneers of the modern online world where everything is expected to be "free", privacy is invaded routinely, advertising of questionable value to almost everyone other than the ad networks dominates, and web pages are so full of tracking and advertising junk that an entire ecosystem of tools had to be invented just to make the web not suck more than it did 20 years ago. Whatever benefits any of Google's services might have offered relative to the alternatives we had before, I'm still not sure it was worth the trade-off.

Comment Re:Why stop at $50? (Score 1) 165

I would gladly pay $50 for a dozen or so movies per year so I don't need to spend $50+ per night on a babysitter.

Jesus man, take your wife out once in a while, will you? She probably loves the fact that you can hire a babysitter and get a night out without the kids. At least that was my experience when my kid was young enough to need a babysitter.

Comment Re:Why stop at $50? (Score 1) 165

You have to have 5 people watching the movie to get any value out of this service. Many theaters are less than that, around $8-9/ticket - now you have to bring over more than 6 people to get the value. I'm sure some people find comfort and possibly value in the possibility of sitting in their underwear while lounging and watching the latest movies

If you're lounging with 6 people in your underwear, you're probably not paying that much attention to the movie.

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