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Google Transportation Idle

Google Car Pulled Over For Driving Too Slow, Doesn't Get a Ticket (thenextweb.com) 350

New submitter slickwillie writes: A Google self-driving car was pulled over for going too slow. A photo uploaded to Facebook by Zandr Milewski shows one of Google's self-driving cars being pulled over by a Mountain View, California police officer. On on its Self-Driving Car Project page on Google+ the team wrote: "We’ve capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25mph for safety reasons. We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets. The Mountain View Police Department also commented on the traffic stop in a blog post saying in part: "...The officer stopped the car and made contact with the operators to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and to educate the operators about impeding traffic per 22400(a) of the California Vehicle Code. The Google self-driving cars operate under the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Definition per 385.5 of the California Vehicle Code and can only be operated on roadways with speed limits at or under 35 mph. In this case, it was lawful for the car to be traveling on the street as El Camino Real is rated at 35 mph."
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Google Car Pulled Over For Driving Too Slow, Doesn't Get a Ticket

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  • Mixed (Score:5, Funny)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @01:03AM (#50919651)

    >"Google Car Pulled Over For Driving Too Slow, Doesn't Get a Ticket "

    I think you mean "slowly" (echos of my HS English teacher are in my mind).

    I can think of many times I am driving I wish others would get pulled over for driving too slowly :)

    I do not look forward to the day of mixed autonomous vs. non-autonomous conflict on the road! At least I hope the autonomous vehicles are predictable..... somehow I doubt my motorcycle will be self-driving.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      or they'll illustrate all the conflicts the law has with itself and reality..with bloody results.

      • There will be no blood, because nothing on a car ever fails - especially computers.

        (frankly, I will be terrified when there are people texting while their 6 year old car is driving for them - my parents have a 2014 Cherokee latitude that's had 8 recalls)

      • or they'll illustrate all the conflicts the law has with itself and reality.

        That's exactly why these 'impeding traffic' laws are written. In most cases, it's perfectly legal to drive 10 mph below the speed limit, even though "everyone" will drive 10 mph faster than the limit. So here you've got this self-driving car, going at bicycle speed on a busy road with everyone else trying to go 45. They can't put the self-driving car in the bicycle lane, so traffic backs up. Add in some gawking by drivers passing by, and the car sounds like a major hazard, even if it's behaving entirely

        • or they'll illustrate all the conflicts the law has with itself and reality.

          That's exactly why these 'impeding traffic' laws are written. In most cases, it's perfectly legal to drive 10 mph below the speed limit, even though "everyone" will drive 10 mph faster than the limit. So here you've got this self-driving car, going at bicycle speed on a busy road with everyone else trying to go 45. They can't put the self-driving car in the bicycle lane, so traffic backs up. Add in some gawking by drivers passing by, and the car sounds like a major hazard, even if it's behaving entirely by the letter.

          Do you ticket the 10,000 people going 45 or the one going 25?

          Impeding traffic laws should be illegal. They are a catch-22 that it's impossible to win. Minimum speed limits are fine. Saying you must be with 10 miles of the speed limit when not starting or stopping is fine. Saying that it's illegal to go the speed limit or worse saying you must break one law by speeding to not violate a different law of impeding traffic puts you in an impossible situation where a cop can pull you over depending on the time of the day and/or no matter what you do. If everyone is br

    • Re:Mixed (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jimtheowl ( 4200185 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @03:17AM (#50920043)
      I can think of many times I wish others would get pulled over for tailgating.
      • by l3v1 ( 787564 )
        "I can think of many times I wish others would get pulled over for tailgating."

        While I also hate tailgaters, as a European who spends many months each year in the U.S. I have to say average American driving habits sometimes make me pull my hair out. I know driving rules and habits are different, still, if most drivers would at least try to keep to the right, to at least try to drive fast enough to be close to the speed limit on highways (not forcing 65-goers to constantly change lanes), to signal lane cha
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "I can think of many times I wish others would get pulled over for tailgating." While I also hate tailgaters, as a European who spends many months each year in the U.S. I have to say average American driving habits sometimes make me pull my hair out. I know driving rules and habits are different, still, if most drivers would at least try to keep to the right, to at least try to drive fast enough to be close to the speed limit on highways (not forcing 65-goers to constantly change lanes), to signal lane changes (left and right, yes, both), and not to break randomly on the open road (i.e., even when there's nobody ahead for hundreds of yards), well then maybe I wouldn't curse so much while driving. Oh, and for f* sake, if you enter the freeway and don't plan to leave at the next exit then you might sometimes consider shifting left 1-2 lanes. Well, going back to going "slow", that can be really annoying, however, speed limits are upper bounds and I don't think going 25 instead of 35 would warrant a fine in any circumstance.

          If you find people randomly braking on the open road in front of you... you are tailgating. Or, possibly completely oblivious to hazards on the road. Or, in Florida.

          In any case, you should figure out which it is, as if someone brakes because you are tailgating they are pissed at you. Another fun fact, lots of Americans carry guns, either just in the car or on their person. Especially in Florida.

          So you should figure out why this is happening to you and fix it.

          • Re:Mixed (Score:5, Insightful)

            by danbert8 ( 1024253 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @09:06AM (#50920923)

            No. You must have never been on the road before. You can ask my wife what I am most likely to yell at other drivers: "WHY ARE YOU BRAKING?!?!?" For some reason many people drive with their foot hovering over the brake pedal and will tap it repeatedly for no reason at all.

            • Probably they are tapping the brakes because you are following too closely and they want to politely alert you. Slow down and maintain a safer following distance and you won't see that anymore.
              • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

                No. I watch very carefully when I'm driving, "l3v1" and "danbert8" are right.... I see it constantly here, people in other lanes with NOBODY behind them... it seems like people don't know how to even coast a bit, if they're not stepping on the gas, they have to be stepping on the break.... or something, I don't know, but when I see people speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down, in the lane next to me, with NOBODY behind them, I have to conclude the world has far too many idiots. I've also been far behi

                • No, the right lane is for driving. The remaining lanes are for passing. I might let you off the hook in Atlanta or another urban area where there are 5+ lanes and left exits. If people are getting on the highway, sure move over a lane to let them in and then get back right when there is space. If there isn't space to move over and if you don't want to get slowed down by entering traffic, speed up and pass the cars in the right lane.

                  Of course all this is theoretical in the US. In real Atlanta traffic, semi-t

          • Re:Mixed (Score:5, Insightful)

            by therealkevinkretz ( 1585825 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @09:44AM (#50921121)

            Gotta love the oblivious jackass in the left lane who, after the sixth car has passed him on the right as there's nobody in front of him, hits his brakes to annoy the guy behind him who's about to be number seven. Because everyone else is the problem, and not him.

            • Why the fuck are people doing extremely dangerous things just to "annoy" someone else? That's incredibly stupid and beyond irresponsible.

        • Re:Mixed (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @10:29AM (#50921487) Journal

          While I also hate tailgaters, as a European who spends many months each year in the U.S. I have to say average American driving habits sometimes make me pull my hair out. I know driving rules and habits are different, still, if most drivers would at least try to keep to the right, to at least try to drive fast enough to be close to the speed limit on highways (not forcing 65-goers to constantly change lanes), to signal lane changes (left and right, yes, both), and not to break randomly on the open road (i.e., even when there's nobody ahead for hundreds of yards), well then maybe I wouldn't curse so much while driving. Oh, and for f* sake, if you enter the freeway and don't plan to leave at the next exit then you might sometimes consider shifting left 1-2 lanes.

          You know, it's interesting--I would say there are even huge changes in driving habits between different parts of the country. This is obviously all anecdotal, but my experiences in parts of the midwest have been that people are very good about staying out of the left lane and allowing people to pass them as necessary. OTOH, in North Carolina, people are very bad about that. There are big differences in tailgating, use of the horn, passing on the right, etc. It seems to b e a fairly "southern" driving trait (I've heard northeasterners comment about this) to swing widely in the opposite direction before turning.

          I just wish people would freaking pay attention at stop lights and watch for the light to change to green. It's almost always this excruciating ballet of watching the cars ahead of me "Oh, the light changed? *2 seconds to process before starting to accelerate" followed by the car behind them seeming to only realize it's time to go after their own two second pause. I'm hoping for network aware (or just aware!) autonomous cars that can all start rolling at the same time after a light change.

          • I'm hoping for network aware (or just aware!) autonomous cars that can all start rolling at the same time after a light change.

            It will work better than people, but the physics of it require that the car in back not start until the car in front has traveled a safe distance before the car in back starts moving. It will still be the slinky effect, but not as bad as now.

        • In many states, the left lane is not a passing lane, but a driving lane. http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.... [mit.edu]

          I wish that the federal government would make an effort to normalize the traffic laws between states, but it isn't a priority. In my experience visiting Massachusetts, they take turn signals as a threat that must be dealt with, so be careful with your signals there as they will floor the gas pedal to prevent your lane change.

          • In many states, the left lane is not a passing lane, but a driving lane. http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/right [mit.edu]....

            Your statement contains two orthogonal concepts. Yes, in most states the left lane IS the passing lane, and passing on the right is illegal. (Every state I've driven in it is that way.) This is born out by the number of states where the right lane is "slower" or "<SL" or however the chart you referenced marks it. If there are a number of cars slower in the right lane, driving in the left is perfectly legal and appropriate.

            Whether you can also drive normally in the left lane is a different matter. It wo

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        A hard tap on the brake can often cure a tailgater.

        • Re:Mixed (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jeremyp ( 130771 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @07:59AM (#50920679) Homepage Journal

          Not a good idea. The last time I had to do a hard tap on the brakes (enforced, not voluntary because the car in front stopped), with a tailgater behind me he nearly lost control and only just avoided veering into the next lane.

          The best thing to do with a tailgater is to gently allow the gap between you and the car in front increase to give yourself a margin of error so you don't have to hit the brakes hard and then let the tailgater past at the first opportunity. It's better to have such idiots in front of you than behind.

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            Not a good idea. The last time I had to do a hard tap on the brakes (enforced, not voluntary because the car in front stopped), with a tailgater behind me he nearly lost control and only just avoided veering into the next lane.

            That sounds like more than what I would consider a tap.

          • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

            That's why they tailgate, to put pressure on you to move out of their way... If you let them past, you are encouraging that behaviour by demonstrating that it works.

            • If you are in the left lane, then you SHOULD move out of their way unless it is impossible to do so. But also under zero circumstances should anyone ever tailgate. One of the places I am frequently tailgated is coming up to an exchange in my town where the exit ramp is on the left. I like to be prepared for my exit so I am usually in the lane by 1 mile to two miles back. Also, I am usually traveling at about 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit. This frustrates the heck out of the people that I have the audacit
        • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

          A hard tap on the brake can often cure a tailgater.

          And if you cause an accident (yes, you would be found at fault) then what?

          • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

            No, you would not be found at fault. There are no laws against braking. There are laws against following too closely. Unless the person in front did something illegal, like an unsafe lane change, the person in back is always at fault.

            • by Aczlan ( 636310 )
              Not always. If you stomp on the brakes for no reason (ie: "brake checking" someone) and they can prove it (ie: they have a dash cam), you can be ticketed and found to be at fault for causing the accident. Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] Aaron Z
              • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

                That was an unsafe lane change, which I already said was an exception. The guy with the dash cam wasn't following too closely (tailgating), he was cut off by the idiot in the truck.

    • Yes, could Americans please learn the lost art of adverbs?

      Are they really that hard? Mostly it is a case of just adding "ly".

      It sounds so jarring when they use adjectives in place of the adverbs.

      "Come quick(ly)!"

      "He is walking too slow(ly)"

      "I have fresh(ly) made cookies!"

      Give it your best, reach for an A+!

      • You know what is meant. This is not English class. Stop correcting people - especially for minor mistakes.

      • Only if all of you non-American English speakers stop adding "u"'s to every damn thing you can fit them in...

        That said, this is the name of a law. Laws seem to have a few quirks in naming conventions, possibly stemming from the date they have been first written.

    • As long as they go slowly in the proper lane (the right one) it will be a huge improvement over the asshats who drive 15-20mph under the speed limit in the leftmost lane on a mutli-lane highway.

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @01:04AM (#50919653)
    Basically what I take away from this is that the cars are not ready for prime-time if they're limited to NEV speeds and have been mostly used in suburban neighborhoods.

    I actually want autonomous vehicles. I want them to be capable of driving entirely without occupant involvement beyond stating a destination. I do want honest disclosure of how development is going though, and most of the discussion to this point has made it sound like they were further along and further tested than this article describes.
    • by andymadigan ( 792996 ) <amadigan@gmaiCOLAl.com minus caffeine> on Friday November 13, 2015 @01:18AM (#50919703)
      These prototypes may not be ready for prime time. Personally, I wouldn't buy a car that can't cross the Bay Bridge.

      However, other "Google Cars" (like the modified Lexus) are capable of full highway speed. There are several autonomous vehicles that are being tested at highway speed.
    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @01:22AM (#50919713)

      Basically what I take away from this is that the cars are not ready for prime-time if they're limited to NEV speeds

      My wife's Telsa got an autopilot upgrade last week. It can now mostly drive itself. It stays in its lane, changes lanes when necessary, and can brake and/or accelerate to maintain distance. It works fine at full highway speed. It is clearly labeled as "beta" software, so you aren't allowed to take a nap or read a magazine, but The only time the human needs to take control is to turn at intersections.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13, 2015 @01:30AM (#50919743)

        Errr... I don't think it changes lanes "when necessary". It'll only change lanes when the driver uses the turn signal while autopilot is in operation (and when it has latched onto the proper lane markings).
        (yes, I have received the AP update too, but that was quite a while ago)

        It's very cool technology, but it requires much more attention than just at intersections. There's no need to overstate its abilities: it's already very impressive as it is.

        • Errr... I don't think it changes lanes "when necessary". It'll only change lanes when the driver uses the turn signal while autopilot is in operation

          Sorry for the inaccuracy. I haven't actually used Autopilot myself, because my wife won't let me drive her Tesla. But I did watch her use it from the passenger seat. It is very impressive.

          • Sorry for the inaccuracy. I haven't actually used Autopilot myself, because my wife won't let me drive her Tesla. But I did watch her use it from the passenger seat. It is very impressive.

            It doesn't sound like she's exactly 'driving' it either, at least not since the Autopilot update.

      • My wife's Telsa got an autopilot upgrade last week. It can now mostly drive itself.

        Here is a video [cnet.com] of some idiot that got out of the driver's seat, and got into the backseat, while his Tesla was on autopilot and driving 80+ km/hr.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        it's never going to be autonomous driving autopilot. you're pretty much not allowed to take your eyes off the road.

        how they can get away with selling something like this with BETA label is a joke though. sell an expensive car and then sell an expensive DLC that you label as BETA that you market to douchebags with the label autopilot and tell them that it's self driving. it's a driver assist system and not the only one in the world at that, other manufacturers aren't just stupid enough to call it BETA autopi

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Etherwalk ( 681268 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @01:04AM (#50919657)

    Cops pull people over for "driving too slowly" regardless of safety reasons all the time. And if you're from out of town they fine you. They didn't ticket the google car because it would have brought scrutiny, not because it was legal to drive that slowly on the road.

    • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @01:26AM (#50919727)

      They didn't ticket the google car because it would have brought scrutiny, not because it was legal to drive that slowly on the road.

      It may have also been because Google is Mountain View's biggest taxpayer and biggest employer. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

      • It may have also been because Google is Mountain View's biggest taxpayer and biggest employer. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

        Do you think that the King cares about that? The car was on "the King's Road", or perhaps "the royal road".

        • It may have also been because Google is Mountain View's biggest taxpayer and biggest employer. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

          Do you think that the King cares about that? The car was on "the King's Road", or perhaps "the royal road".

          No, Phil [casareal.es] probably doesn't care all that much. (Then again, it stopped being the King's road, except by name, back in 1821.)

      • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Funny)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.LAPLACEnet minus math_god> on Friday November 13, 2015 @06:19AM (#50920467) Homepage

        You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

        Someone should tell my cat.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ed Tice ( 3732157 )
        Guess I just have to copy and paste my comment in response to everybody who got modded up without reading the article... oh nevermind. They didn't ticket the car because the cop was wrong to stop it. NEV vehicles are required to travel at 25mph or less (If they can go faster, they're not a NEV at least in FL where I live and also in NJ where I used to live) and they are allowed on roads with limits up to 35mph. Yes this means you will have a 25mph NEV on a 35mph road. It's how the law is written. The p
    • Re:Bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @02:08AM (#50919863) Homepage

      Cops pull people over for "driving too slowly" regardless of safety reasons all the time. And if you're from out of town they fine you. They didn't ticket the google car because it would have brought scrutiny, not because it was legal to drive that slowly on the road.

      Partly true; the cops don't know the law, so it is only because the cop decided not to write a ticket that the department didn't have to drop it. ;)

      But there is no question at all that it is legal for a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle to drive 24 in a 35. Absolutely legal. The traffic stop was improper, caused entirely by the cop not knowing the laws related to the type of vehicle he was stopping.

      • Re: Bullshit (Score:2, Interesting)

        by oobayly ( 1056050 )

        You're probably right in this case, if Google cars are clearly sign written as being a driverless car.

        However, I have no problem with the police stopping a slow driver. It's often an indicator of drink driving, or could be an indicator that the driver's sight is impaired.

        I followed somebody home last night - at 11 - and they were doing 30-35 in a 50mph. I contemplated overtaking and then decided against it - mainly because I didn't trust them not to do something stupid. I then watched the car swerve as it c

  • I believe there's a CA law that says if you are holding up 3 or more cars, you must pull over at the earliest safe turn-out and let them pass. However, I cannot find the text of that law at the moment.

    It may be tricky to detect 3 or more cars computationally, as the view of those further back is often blocked.

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @02:55AM (#50919987) Homepage Journal

      I believe there's a CA law that says if you are holding up 3 or more cars, you must pull over at the earliest safe turn-out and let them pass. However, I cannot find the text of that law at the moment.

      That's CVC 21656 [ca.gov], but it's 5 or more vehicles, and it's only applicable on 2-lane highways.

      Related laws are CVC 22400 [ca.gov] and CVC 21654 [ca.gov].

      It may be tricky to detect 3 or more cars computationally, as the view of those further back is often blocked.

      And on freeway onramps where 2 vehicles are permitted for each green light.

  • auto drive car better be able to go over the limit on some roads. Like in Chicagoland interstates

    • If you read slashdot more often, you'd already know that in California they let the self-driving cars be programmed to go +10mph over the "limit." But the ones they are actually using that way are the ones that drive on regular roads. This kind is a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, not a general purpose car.

  • Defeat (Score:4, Funny)

    by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @01:16AM (#50919691)

    There is a simple explanation for this. After being lost on El Camino Real for hours and hundreds of miles, the car simply lost its will to live and was looking for a safe-ish place to park for the night.

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      You've obviously never driven on El Camino Real through Mountain View in rush hour. Let me fix that for you.

      After being lost on El Camino Real for hours and hundreds of yards, the car simply lost its will to live and was looking for a safe-ish place to park for the night.

  • Mountview cops have been known to pull drivers over who are going too slow because they suspect they are drunk drivers who are being extra careful to avoid being pulled over by the cops. If you are in a bar late at night in Mountview someone will often warn you don't drive too slow when you drive home.

    • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

      Mountview cops have been known to pull drivers over who are going too slow because they suspect they are drunk drivers who are being extra careful to avoid being pulled over by the cops. If you are in a bar late at night in Mountview someone will often warn you don't drive too slow when you drive home.

      And for those of you who don't get out of Mountain View very often, the police do this everywhere in the world.

      They'll often pull you over for speeding with the intent letting you off with a warning if you don't qualify for a for a larger infraction (drinking, drugs, warrants).

      It lets you know that they're out there, doesn't alienate the public as much as giving frivolous speeding tickets does, and gives them an opportunity to catch people that are doing things more egregious than speeding.

    • This is GREAT! I can just imagine some drunk fool getting in a Google self-driving car to get home from the bar, and the car getting pulled over by the cops. The drunk idiot could mouth off to the police all he wanted, but since he wasn't driving, no ticket!
  • by The Cisco Kid ( 31490 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @02:47AM (#50919953)

    or did the engineers have to take manual control of it and do so?

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      I think the answer to that is obvious. I bet the engineers have to take over a lot because the car is acting stupid, or ignoring hazards or signs that a human would easily recognize.
    • I believe self-driving cars in all states are still required to have manual controls in order to be licensed. It's not how Google would like the cars to be operated, but it's currently the law.

  • to remain silent.

  • Gosh they're really putting the system through its paces then. It really shows how immature this tech is and will be for the foreseeable future.
  • Wow! So Google cars recognize every single law enforcement uniform and every hand-signs they use to stop cars and direct them to the desired stopping point?

    Also, can any idiot stop them with a sexy Halloween police uniform?

    But seriously, IMO it's just a publicity stunt from Google.

  • If I were behind that car, I'd be leaning on my horn while smoke poured form my ears. 10 mph under the limit? Shoot the car and burn the engineer. Or is that the other way 'round? Whatever, do it.
  • by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Friday November 13, 2015 @08:33AM (#50920781)

    Reposting under my name. /. forgets my login in some browsers

    One of the most dangerous things you can do on a road is to be stopped dead at a long-been-green stoplight, say playing with your phone. That's because *no one sees you as stopped*, specifically the car coming up to the light going 50. No one looks for it. People glance at the light, it's green, keep going at speed. What sort of idiot is stopped at a green light, your big chance to go? It's in the same category as saying "no" to free money. Being stopped at a green light is a nearly invisible event.

    So let's talk about how dangerous going too slow is because your algorithm encountered a novel traffic situation (aren't a majority of them novel, really?) and urged caution to the accelerator. It's nearly as bad as being stopped at a green light, especially if you're the only one *reasoning* the way you reason about things, rightly or wrongly. In fact, this may be their fallback tactic- when confused, slow down. That way Google doesn't have any high-speed accidents that actually kill people. That would be bad, and bad press, too.

    This is another thing about Google cars and self driving cars generally. They're safer *if they're in the majority*. They all know what each other is likely to do and can take account of it in their own behavior. They can coordinate. It's sort of the opposite effect of the Wall Street bots. They all know do the same thing, and then crater the market on account of it.

    So here is a thing to think about. Self driving cars may have real trouble as an incremental approach. I have to think that it's a self conscious part of Google's game plan to reach a tipping point of self-driving cars where they are a significant minority. Until then, the project is a financial loss. Past that point, and working in tandem with insurance companies, expect to pay a first a little then a LOT more for insurance to drive regular cars. This will force the market (that means you) towards self-driving cars, if only for economic reasons. Somewhere along the way to this tipping point, the government will subsidize the purchase of self driving cars using the argument that that money comes back to them and more in the cost savings realized by fewer accidents, less healthcare costs associated with accidents, less police and emergency costs etc etc.

    It's interesting to think that owning a car with self driving features is a status symbol now, reflecting wealth and prestige but in the future, driving a regular car will be the status symbol, signalling wealth and the freedom and autonomy it brings.

    Google must be reasoning all this through even as they try to get self-driving car technology working. The players- insurance companies, the government the regulators, are all talking about these kinds of things- how they can economically *flip* everyone onto self-driving cars. They also have to be thinking about the popular perception and possible resistance to the technology. Obviously, cars are a form of individual autonomy. The government can't remotely pull the plug on your driving or automatically track your whereabouts. But with self-driving cars, expect to see them demand these *features* and Google *begrudgingly* go along with it.

    When we switched from horses to cars, there were obviously numerous social issues that got dragged along. There was a large popular resistance because with a horse, you went where you wanted, the way you wanted. With a car, you could only go where what roads there were were. One of the things that made cars popular was amusingly enough, sex. A car was a kind of rolling bed, a possibly subversive dual purpose technology with a respectable side. The very first porn movie features a man and two women driving in an car in the country. The woman says she has to get out and pee. The car stops and woman gets out and after a little while the man follows. Pants-down embarrassment is followed by flirting which leads to fucking, of course. The other woman follows onto the scene and the gates o

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