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When Cars Go Driverless, What Happens To the Honking? 267

Posted by timothy
from the beeping-insane dept.
blastboy writes "The potential upside to getting rid of drivers: 'Today car horns are still a leading source of noise pollution in urban centers. India's honking problem is so severe that the response to it—from both activists and government officials—mirrors the response to an actual epidemic. Officials in Peru, meanwhile, began treating honking like a serious crime in 2009, threatening to confiscate the cars of people who honk when they shouldn't.'"
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When Cars Go Driverless, What Happens To the Honking?

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  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Friday January 31, 2014 @09:22PM (#46125351)

    the purpose of the car horn was not to express anger at other drivers but to warn of an emergency. there will still be people dangerously stepping into the street and the cars will honk to warn them that they may get hit. that's not to say it will warn them only when they will be hit but rather when the probability of being hit drastically increases. pedestrians are highly unpredictable and the cars have been programmed to act accordingly. also, if someone in a manually driven car might be in the process of causing an collision (e.g. turning into an occupied lane) the car will honk.

    the real question is if people will give other people the finger in traffic.

  • by plover (150551) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @02:19AM (#46126627) Homepage Journal

    May I suggest you visit India some time, and experience the noise for yourself? The drivers there are completely undisciplined. People honk because everyone else honks. They honk to announce they're tailgating, they honk to announce they are moving left or right (calling it changing lanes would imply they cared about lanes), they honk to announce they're about to enter an intersection, and they honk if someone cuts them off; as it's the only way anyone drives, the honking is almost continuous. When I got back, the silence on Minnesota streets was remarkable. It was almost three weeks before I heard an actual horn honk in traffic.

    People aren't compelled to push the button just because it's in front of them. People push it because they don't know any better.

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon