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Many People Still Don't Want To Ride in Self-driving Cars, Survey Finds (cnbc.com) 222

A lot of people may still have serious reservations about riding in fully autonomous vehicles, a new survey from Gartner indicates. From a report: The Gartner Consumer Trends in Automotive people surveyed about 1,500 people in the United States and Germany from April through May, and found that 55 percent of the people they spoke to would not ride in a fully autonomous car. However, just over 70 percent would ride in a car that was partially autonomous. Gartner defined partially autonomous vehicles as those that could drive autonomously, but allow a driver to retake control of the car if needed. Advocates of autonomous driving have said the technology will actually make driving safer, since statistics indicate human behavior is the major cause of most auto crashes. But many consumers familiar with the tendency of other electronic devices to sometimes malfunction or perform erratically still seem to have trouble accepting the idea of being held in a vehicle that could fail.
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Many People Still Don't Want To Ride in Self-driving Cars, Survey Finds

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  • Reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:43PM (#55078027) Homepage Journal

    It's not just about safety, but expediency and what happens if something goes wrong. Do you want to risk being stuck for hours because there's no driver that can drive you around the branch in the road? Do you want to be delayed to a meeting because it will put safety above all other concerns and stop or slow down whenever in doubt?

    • Overthinking it. Pull the parachute.
    • Re:Reasons (Score:5, Interesting)

      by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:54PM (#55078105)

      [...] and what happens if something goes wrong.

      The self-driving car pulls to the side of the road, comes to a complete stop, request your AAA membership to call for a tow, and then calls Uber or Lyft to pick you up.

      • Re:Reasons (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:26PM (#55078367)

        The automated Uber of Lyft car shows up, running the same software. It senses the same condition that made the previous vehicle wig-out, pulls to the side of the road, comes to a complete stop, requests the owner's AAA membership to call for a tow, and then calls Uber or Lyft to pick you up.

        • Well, eventually the fact that all of Uber's cars are stuck at one spot will assure someone comes to do something about the branch.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            No, each car keeps getting towed away so there's only 1-3 Uber cars there at any given time. I think it's time to start investing in towing companies! Actually, I'll make an app that lets anyone with a hitch on their car sign up to be a potential tower. While you're driving along, it'll alert you to anyone nearby who needs to be towed. If you're in an area with towing companies than the service is free. Once those are gone, I'll charge you a monthly subscriptions and a per use fee.

    • I would trust autonomous driving in a setting if most if not all other cars are autonomous, there are no stray animals or people or weather conditions on the road. In other words the domain is much more constrained.

      And in fact I do, think of those trains in airport concourses or the Las Vegas strip.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        I would trust autonomous driving in a setting if most if not all other cars are autonomous

        That is specious reasoning. As a nerd you should use the scientific method: Instead of going with your gut feeling, you should trust SDCs when the evidence shows they are safer than HDCs. Until that evidence exists, it is highly unlikely that they will be available to the general public.

        • Not sure if you're joking but I'll bite and say nerd though I am, I use the scientific method for calculating the eclipse or building/tweaking my hobby electronic device that if fails no lives are lost. When it comes to supercomplexity such as diet, exercise, trans fats or self driving cars, I'll give that evidence, as often produced by people with vested interests, maybe a 0.3 weight factor, depending on what the risk and reward is. The rest will go to gut feeling, logic, and observation of historical heur

        • That is specious reasoning. As a nerd you should use the scientific method: Instead of going with your gut feeling, you should trust SDCs when the evidence shows they are safer than HDCs.

          The evidence has not yet shown that.

          In fact, the evidence shows otherwise. AVs will have computers in them. The computers I have access to crash much more often than I ever have while driving, giving a significant and un-ignorable new meaning to "the blue screen of death". And the places I have had accidents are places where AVs would not be driving in the first place, so they wouldn't have prevented the problem.

          "Science" is a two-edged sword. When there is no actual data, it is a bit odd to ask that peo

    • Re:Reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:34PM (#55078417)

      Do you want to risk being stuck for hours because there's no driver that can drive you around the branch in the road?

      Even as old and feeble as I am, I can get out and move the branch myself, if need be. And if the branch is too big for me to move manually, it's probably not something I'm going to be driving around if I'm in a normal car.

      Do you want to be delayed to a meeting because it will put safety above all other concerns and stop or slow down whenever in doubt?

      Yes, I think I do. MY safety is way more important to me than your meeting is....

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        Even as old and feeble as I am, I can get out and move the branch myself, if need be.

        But can you run fast enough to catch the car after the object obstructing its path has been removed?

        • But can you run fast enough to catch the car after the object obstructing its path has been removed?

          Ahh, you're one of the idiots who doesn't turn the car off before you get out, eh?

          Frankly, I've always believed that you don't leave the car running when you get out of the "driver's seat". But, hey, maybe I'm just weird that way....

          • Frankly, I've always believed that you don't leave the car running when you get out of the "driver's seat". But, hey, maybe I'm just weird that way....

            That is weird. There's lots of situations where one leaves the car running when getting out. But one should probably be sure not to leave the vehicle without putting it in park (or neutral for a stick) and setting the parking brake.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        Do you want to be delayed to a meeting because it will put safety above all other concerns and stop or slow down whenever in doubt?

        Yes, I think I do. MY safety is way more important to me than your meeting is....

        Let's put this into some perspective. The risk of dying as a driver or passenger of a car is between 1:645 to 1:20,000 depending on location and current age. An average driver will make around 30,000 car trips.
        You're saying that reducing the odds from 1 in 19-600 million to something lower is a priority for you?

        Vehicle deaths and injuries are a problem for society. Not for the individual, where the risk is incredibly low. I

        • Vehicle deaths and injuries are a problem for society. Not for the individual, where the risk is incredibly low. It's a problem for the individual if it happens, but the risk of it happening to any given individual is incredibly low. The risk of being assaulted with a firearm and shot to death is several times higher, but I don't see you walking around in a kevlar vest.

          Interesting that you place the risk of being shot to death at several time higher than dying in an auto accident even though the number of p

      • Even as old and feeble as I am, I can get out and move the branch myself, if need be. And if the branch is too big for me to move manually, it's probably not something I'm going to be driving around if I'm in a normal car.

        I've actually been in an accident on the CA 1 through Santa Cruz where a tree came down during a rain storm, and the only part of the vehicle which was damaged was the upper left corner of the cockpit, including some relatively minor windshield damage. It had to do with the way the tree was shaped. We were actually able to drive under it and get out of there, which was fortunate for us because it turned into a pileup behind us. (We didn't have flares, and nothing else would have been of any practical value

    • Well, you could just get out and hail an Uber. But that is the least of my worries being in an autonomous vehicle. I'm more worried about something like this [imgur.com] happening.

      With the recent firing of James Demore I'm terrified of any technology developed by Silicon Valley based tech companies [youtu.be]

    • It's not just about safety, but

      .. what the chicks think when they see you being driven around by a computer. They know you can't drop the clutch and burn out in a cloud of tyre smoke, and they will all laugh behind their hands and go off with the guy whose car ISN'T controlled by a computer.

      Seriously. How many males between the ages of 18 and 28 did they survey?

    • Clearly I want to be in an autonomous car that has a chainsaw in the trunk - and maybe a Saiga 12. That should cover most of the videogame reasons why my car wouldn't manage to get me to my destination. Who wants to share the road with any vehicle regardless of how driven that does not prioritize safety?
    • Do you want to be delayed to a meeting because it will put safety above all other concerns

      To be clear are you putting some worthless meeting above road safety? If so please hand back your license to the issuing agency. Tell them you're too stupid to be on the road and are likely to get someone killed.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        Two words: acceptable risk.

        We all take them every day. You don't walk around with a kevlar vest even though the risk of getting shot exceeds the risk of dying in a car crash. You don't wipe every door handle with antibacterial wipe before touching them. You probably even have swam in the ocean or a lake without flotation gear. Perhaps even used a step stool without handlebars.
        Driving is what most people consider an acceptable risk.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      That is why I don't use escalators. Can you imagine being stuck on those for hours?

  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:45PM (#55078039)

    Aircraft have well-defined places to take off and land, with very strictly enforced rules. In transit there is nothing like trying to weave through unmarked construction with cyclists and pedestrians trying to cross your path without warning.

    There's more to worry about with the craft control itself, but that's where computers excel.

    I'd get in a pilotless plane long before I'd be a passenger in a driverless car.

    • Not to mention the big issue - these solutions are being driven by the same software vendors tell me on the phone with their other products that the bug I've reported has been deferred yet again to an unforeseen version (which is a polite way of telling me never to be fixed).

    • slashdot is populated by pitecanthrops in terms of seld driving cars.

  • Totally irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MSBob ( 307239 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:50PM (#55078075)
    The world will change whether people who enjoy driving like it or not. Just like nobody today insists on riding in an assisted elevator those people will have to adapt. Over time the pressures of technology will make human driven cars more expensive to own because of the higher insurance rates, having to add more mechanical steering components etc. Even just individual vehicle ownership may become very expensive because car sharing services will likely become extremely prevalent and efficient. Owning a vehicle outright will make very little economic sense. There will always be a market for manually operated cars but those cars are likely going to get relegated to race tracks and that market will probably be as big as the market for chariots today. And yes, chariots are still a thing and there is a chariot racing track not far from my place. And it's being used daily. But needless to say the people who go there don't ride chariots to the office in the morning.
    • Elevators are a completely different scenario. It goes up or down, it's alone in its shaft, there's nothing to avoid while moving, there's specific places to stop and if repairs are to be made then it's powered down.

      Driving a car on the road is probably one of the worst case scenario for A.I. and we're trying to achieve that in the first dozen tasks given to A.I.

      • by MSBob ( 307239 )
        Correct. And the fact that we are technologically on the cusp of cracking this means we have AI that is on the cusp of automating a shit ton of other stuff. The future I'm painting may not materialize for another two, three decades what with the red tape and the cultural shifts. But it WILL come. Probably within my lifetime and I'm not spring chicken.
    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      The road system is much more than just the city. I just got back from a road trip to watch the eclipse, and sure, an automated vehicle probably could have done the majority of the driving, the last 35 miles into our selected spot was over rough forest service roads, and the last 500 feet over nothing more than a slightly mowed track in the sage brush. Yes, stuff like this is an edge case, but it's also not uncommon.

      I work with a charity that runs a camp in an isolated location. We're mostly staffed by volun

      • The road system is much more than just the city. I just got back from a road trip to watch the eclipse, and sure, an automated vehicle probably could have done the majority of the driving, the last 35 miles into our selected spot was over rough forest service roads, and the last 500 feet over nothing more than a slightly mowed track in the sage brush. Yes, stuff like this is an edge case, but it's also not uncommon.

        Edge case my ass, that's a daily drive for millions of rural Americans.

        "Flyover country" is still part of the country, and those who live here still have valid opinions.

        • by Strider- ( 39683 )

          Edge case my ass, that's a daily drive for millions of rural Americans.

          That doesn't change the fact that it's an edge case. However of those millions of rural Americans, how many are actually living in truly rugged/dirt/rough road conditions? I've driven a lot through rural areas over the years, and if anything the road system there is almost probably ideal for automation. Long straight roads, few other vehicles, the most you need to deal with is an errant cow. The number of people living at the end of a rough, winding, hilly unmarked gravel road can't be that high. That's pre

    • Owning a vehicle outright will make very little economic sense.

      I've been watching industry insiders talk about AVs more over the last few years and one of the things that almost nobody believes is that everyone is going to want to give up vehicle ownership. There is a great deal of uncertainty in the automobile industry about how many people will choose to give up ownership, and what that means to the total number of vehicles produced yearly, but one thing that almost no one believes is that families with multiple children are going to want to give up owning their own

  • At least until we have more data on the safety of self-driving cars.

    But I would like to be able to drop myself off at the entrance of wherever I'm going and tell the car to go park itself.

    • Well, yeah. The headline is bizarre. "Still"??? I don't think there are any on the consumer market - I don't think we're ready for "still" yet! :)

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:52PM (#55078085) Homepage

    You'll be totally okay with self-driving cars. We have some of the highest insurance rates in the nation because of the number of old people, functional alcoholics, and drug users behind the wheel. I will totally trust AI over my fellow drivers here.

    • I thought Florida was a no-fault state?

      A guy I know found out the hard way when he left his door open at the Orlando Airport loading zone.. Ca-runch.

      • That just means everybody gets to pay for the terrible drivers. The theory is lower 'shyster tax' makes it cheaper, so fuck the justice of it.

        They are the worst drivers in the USA, except Boston. But massholes aren't accidental bad drivers, they're just massholes.

        The very worst are senile masshole snowbirds in Florida.

  • New technology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:52PM (#55078093) Homepage

    I would bet that this is common for new technologies. I remember the early 1990s when a lot of people didn't like the idea of carrying a cell phone. I remember in the 2000s, few people saw the value of smartphones. I knew several people who weren't sure about Netflix streaming, and thought the idea of cord-cutting was absurd. A lot of those people have now cancelled their cable.

    Of course people are unsure about self-driving cars. Give it enough time for them to be common, and to have a proven safety record. The results of that survey will change.

    • Re:New technology (Score:4, Informative)

      by MSBob ( 307239 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:18PM (#55078297)
      Yep, I once built an unsupervised learning algorithm for discovering vulnerabilities in a network topology. It was always over 95% accurate with most errors being false positives. When I wrote it ten years ago nobody wanted it. Now they are all over it and very little of that code has changed since. The security admins just came around.
    • Re:New technology (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:33PM (#55078407) Homepage

      I would bet that this is common for new technologies. I remember the early 1990s when a lot of people didn't like the idea of carrying a cell phone. I remember in the 2000s, few people saw the value of smartphones. I knew several people who weren't sure about Netflix streaming, and thought the idea of cord-cutting was absurd. A lot of those people have now cancelled their cable. Of course people are unsure about self-driving cars. Give it enough time for them to be common, and to have a proven safety record. The results of that survey will change.

      I just remember that video from the first pre-alpha test with non-project Google employees where the guy goes rummaging through his backpack for a charger or something for the longest time while the car is speeding down the highway. That's when they figured the path to full autonomy is not through taking away more and more responsibilities, either the car is driving or you are. Presumably it was a huge fan of the project to volunteer but it took only hours or possibly even less from being handed an extremely experimental system to blindly trusting it with his life.

      To be honest, in low speed driving I'm more concerned about liability and hurting soft targets than personal danger. With all the crumble zones, airbags, seat belt and so on a crash could get expensive and pedestrians, cyclists, bikers etc. might get hurt but I'm unlikely to sustain any major injury to myself. I know a friend of mine who "only" cracked a rib in a pretty solid crash but the car was a wreck. Also traffic tickets of various kinds. So daily commute that is mostly trickling my way through 20-30 mph zones with traffic slowing it down further? No doubt the car is driving the moment I can let it.

    • Re:New technology (Score:5, Informative)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:43PM (#55078475) Journal
      Most people who answered this question have no knowledge allowing them to make an informed decision on this question. A good portion of them have never even thought about the question. Some of them weren't even sure what an autonomous vehicle is.

      All of these people came up with an opinion, because it was asked of them on the spot. This is the kind of opinion that will change when the wind changes.
    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      It's a lot harder for a cell phone or cloud-based content delivery service to kill you or strand you somewhere you don't want to be.

  • Arguing about the safety of fully autonomous vehicles is an exercise is futile theoretics. We know that if they work exactly as we imagine how they should work, it would be safer. But the question is *can* they be perfect? Or *will* they be perfect? Or even *when* will they be perfect?

    Arguing about how safe 100% autonomous vehicles are is like debating if a Pegasus can fly faster than Griffin.

    How about we stop reporting on how people feel about non-existent/unproven technology and just report the test
    • We know that if they work exactly as we imagine how they should work, it would be safer.

      ... and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

      FWIW, in practice almost nothing ever works exactly the way we imagined it would. At least, not without a lot of painful experimentation and discovery.

      You feel free to volunteer for the aforementioned pain. Just don't try and volunteer me.

    • But the question is *can* they be perfect? Or *will* they be perfect? Or even *when* will they be perfect?

      The question isn't if/when they can be perfect. The question is if/when they can be less flawed than humans are at the task.

    • Obviously a Pegasus can not fly faster than a Griffin.
      At least not faster than my Griffin :)
      But when you come up with a faster Pegasus, we can have a race!

      Regaring self driving cars: before one gets clearing on the road they have literally millions of miles of test runs under supervision.

      • Hasn't been the history. Particularly the 'supervision' part. See the marketing type claims made by Tesla and Google about their testing programs. Pure marketing bullshit.

        • Well,
          I have no idea about the USA.
          However the car manufactures I was involved with have millions of miles of test runs and as far as I understood the colleagues doing them: it is required by law to get certification to get the cars on the road.
          And that is not only for self driving but for any "autonomous" thing on the car like lane detection, collision avoidance, pedestrian detection, sign detection etc. p.p.

          Even simple things like anti blocking brakes need hundred thousands of miles of test runs.

    • Arguing about the safety of fully autonomous vehicles is an exercise is futile theoretics. We know that if they work exactly as we imagine how they should work, it would be safer. But the question is *can* they be perfect? Or *will* they be perfect? Or even *when* will they be perfect?

      Arguing about how safe 100% autonomous vehicles are is like debating if a Pegasus can fly faster than Griffin.

      How about we stop reporting on how people feel about non-existent/unproven technology and just report the testable advancements in said technology until they're at the point to where the technology is ready for the market... and then report on adoption and experience?

      Yep. I will not accept a a ride in self-driving car, for the same reasons I wouldn't accept a ride on a dragon to commute to work. Because neither of those exist.

  • People are starting to realize what the real implications of this are, and they're having the perfectly reasonable, rational, and logical reaction to it: You're either in control of the vehicle that your safety and life depends on, or you are NOT, and if you're not in control, you can't cope with that -- and when you can't reason with, or even communicate in a meaningful way (i.e., talk to/have a conversation with) the machine that your life depends on? Then that's a dealbreaker. I'm sure this technology wi
    • by slew ( 2918 )

      People are starting to realize what the real implications of this are, and they're having the perfectly reasonable, rational, and logical reaction to it: You're either in control of the vehicle that your safety and life depends on, or you are NOT, and if you're not in control, you can't cope with that -- and when you can't reason with, or even communicate in a meaningful way (i.e., talk to/have a conversation with) the machine that your life depends on? Then that's a dealbreaker. I'm sure this technology will be very useful to public safety in the future -- as a sophisticated 'cruise control' feature, and as a fail-safe collision-avoidance system, and perhaps maybe preventing you from going off the road if you fall asleep at the wheel or are otherwise incapacitated suddenly. But people WANT to drive themselves, even if they say they don't sometimes, because we need to be in control of the tool (vehicle), not the other way around. Human nature. So you can forget 'Level 5' autonomous vehicles, no one will accept them in the end.

      But people ride horses... Probably because they believe that the horse will look out for itself and they will be relatively safe because of that (and they feel they have some sway over where the horse will take them). At some point in time, I suspect people will "feel" that way about autonomous vehicles, but of course there will be hold-outs (just like some folks that *won't* ever ride a horse).

      • A horse is smarter than so-called 'autonomous cars' in significant ways, and a properly trained horse, with a properly trained rider, act as a team; the rider and the horse have ways of communicating with each other, and the rider always has controls (reins, ankles, voice, etc). Not at all the same thing. I'd trust a horse before I'd trust a so-called 'self driving car' with no steering wheel/brake/accelerator pedal/etc. for me to use to control it.
        • Yes, horses are _much_ smarter than current AIs.

          Much of learning to ride is learning how horses (and your particular horse) act and react. It's still much more dangerous (per passenger mile) than driving a car.

          Granting there's not much 'riding for transport' being done, so the 'passenger mile' metric is suspect. Compare riding horses to riding dirt bikes instead.

  • by denisbergeron ( 197036 ) <DenisBergeron@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday August 24, 2017 @03:57PM (#55078131)

    even want to drive a car with an automatic transmission... don't tallk about self driving !

    • Damn straight, brother. Gimme a stick and at least 300HP. The other geeks of the world can hang out and wait for flying cars, self-driving cars, the next Amiga, and a cure for cancer. I'll be driving to Vegas with their sister.
      • 300HP wasn't hot shit since the last Amiga. (With that said, my car has 300HP, and I am recently tinkering with an Amiga 1200...)

    • I used to strongly feel that way. Then automatic transmissions improved to the point where they really can do it better than me.

  • When it comes to the feeling (perception) of safety, i'm usually more worried about other people's errors than my own errors. And i'm well aware i'm imperfect either, but the 'type' of collision seriously affects how much damage a human would get, as in - a side impact is way more dangerous than a head-tail collision. I rather be on the safe side and reduce risk, than assume everyone will drive perfectly and according the rules, which is a very flawed assumption.

    On-topic. If the car gets confused, and i'm s

  • by cgfsd ( 1238866 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:05PM (#55078201)
    I would love to see a mixed mode of self driving cars. When you enter the Interstate the computer takes over. This would make the Interstate much quicker and safer. When you exit the Interstate you have the option of taking back control or using automated mode. Interstate driving in large cities sucks. People are freaking idiots cutting in an out, no turn signals, looky looes., etc. I would gladly trust a computer over the idiot next to me on the Interstate.
  • by Mozai ( 3547 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:11PM (#55078251) Homepage

    > statistics indicate human behavior is the major cause of most auto crashes

    Ah, but is OTHER humans that are the cause of accidents, not me. That's why it's better if OTHER humans use self-driving cars, but I'm better off in control because I'm better than OTHER humans. [wikipedia.org]

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Ah, but is OTHER humans that are the cause of accidents, not me. That's why it's better if OTHER humans use self-driving cars, but I'm better off in control because I'm better than OTHER humans.

      Most days I'm a lot better driver than my worst days, if you ask people what's the worst condition you've been in and still driven then you'll usually get that "uhm there was this one time (because it's not a habit) that I was really tired/angry/excited/sick/tilted (like, before you got into the car) but I had something important to do (justification) but luckily it went well (post-hoc rationalization)" where you'll probably get them to admit they were well below an average driver at the time.

      So I think we

  • Order from Wal-Mart, or Whole-Amazon Foods, and have an autonomous vehicle deliver my groceries to me.

    I don't even trust myself when I'm driving, I constantly monitor all the traffic around me for the impending stupidity of drunk/unlicensed/douche drivers.

  • by ffkom ( 3519199 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:35PM (#55078423)
    What I certainly won't do is becoming passenger in a car that is not really self-driving, but totally dependent on permanent online transmissions, hyper-accurate maps (which of course will never really be up-to-date) and other weird external influences.

    If the industry can sell me a car that it really autonomous, as in: "Has sensors to look around and that is all it needs", then I'm buying.

    Oh, and sure, I totally don't want a car that any half-competent script-kid-hacker can manipulate to drive into the next tree - which is equivalent to "I don't want a car that is "online", ever.
  • by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:38PM (#55078437)
    For a long time, i've contemplated my comfort level with riding in an autonomous car. I turned it over and over in my head wondering if i could ever be truly comfortable.

    Recently, I found myself riding down the San Francisco highways in a coworker's model X on autopilot. I found i quickly became comfortable with my coworker answering emails while the car navigated the roads. It took me all of 10 minutes to just accept it as normal.

    then the car lurched suddenly and veered wildly into the next lane. the driver quickly grabbed the wheel and put it back on course. He gave some explanations about the car losing sight of the vehicle it was tailing and deciding to pick up tailing the car in the next lane. We were totally safe he assured us. Maybe, but i realized something important.

    These cars are already all around me. I don't really have a choice anymore on if i trust my safety to them. They are next to me on the highways. They are next to me in the city streets. It doesn't matter if i'm ready or not. I've been taking the risk the whole time they've existed.
  • .. the people who text and drive were too distracted to answer the survey.

    The fact that people are more engrossed by their phones show they do not want to drive, period. Driving is a chore, and they're distracting themselves because really, they want to do anything but drive.

    Of course in a lot of places if you don't want to drive, you don't. You simply take public transit and diddle on your phone the whole way

    And those who love to drive, won't let the phone interrupt their pleasure. (And I'm sure those that

  • by Slugster ( 635830 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @04:43PM (#55078477)
    I am wondering how long will it be until police have the ability to remotely shut off cars?... While the cars are underway?

    Obligatory existing movie reference--Idiocracy: "Why are we slowing down?" ,,, "They turned off my battery!"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    (and it's even an electric car too. Mike Judge is psychic)

    Without trying too hard, I can imagine a few instances where an automatic-driving car could end up rolling down the road on its way to (somewhere) with nobody alive in it, or nobody old enough in it to possibly intervene if necessary.
    It only stands to reason that the police will need to have a way to instantly and quickly shut the vehicle's motive power off, in some safe fashion.

    And while the police having that ability doesn't worry me much, hackers learning how to do it will be able to cause quite a worry.
    Any hardware or software process that is quick and simple (that can literally be done at the press of a button) won't be difficult to hack...
    • I would assume a self-driving car could just recognize the lights and sirens that emergency vehicles would already have, and could pull over autonomously.

      Also, considering that even 15+ year old cars know if someone is in them (to remind everyone to put a seatbelt on), I don't think an empty car would be much of an issue either. Incapacitated drivers could maybe be an issue, but many cars already know if the driver is distracted/fatigued/etc.
  • New ideas/developments take hold when the dinosaurs that oppose them die. Our children and grand-children will smile just as we do when we learn about those 19th century proposals to limit the speeds of trains on the grounds that air might be sucked out of them, thus smothering the passengers.
  • Self-driving cars are still a long way from being good enough to put into widespread use. I imagine that people are judging based on the state of the tech as it is right now.

    If that's the case, then I'm one of them -- I don't want to ride in a self-driving car as they currently exist. But once they get better, I won't have an issue.

    And I hope they get better! My dream is that one day I'll be able to avoid owning a car entirely, but still have access to one on demand. Uber and taxis don't do it for me, but s

  • Self-driving brings with it many, many forms of disruption that will add up to one thing, year-over-year-over-year reductions in the cost of daily transportation. Everyone not participating will see nothing but increases as their support structure gradually collapses.

    The switch to fleets owned by the manufacturers has many potential benefits centered around a reversal in historic incentives to create planned obsolescence and the usage efficiencies that can be gained via fleet operations planning:

    • drivetrain
  • They can't drive into the sun, can't detect deer in the road out as far as I can with just my eyes, can't drive on snow, can't always drive in the rain, and they most certainly can't stop at the correct address because they can't read signs or residence addresses. How do you solve any single one of those? We're 30 years out minimum from that level of AI.
  • I'm much more willing to ride in a fully self-driving car, assuming the maker is confident enough to accept full liability, than a semi-autonomous system whose designers think they can rely on a human driver to retake control at a moment's notice. Either the driver is in control or the computer is in control. Sharing is a recipe for disaster.

  • ... if it is stable and rad(ical) as KITT [wikipedia.org].

  • First I don't trust any software (I'm a software engineer for 22 years now). Especially if they are remotely controllable (which will be the case for sure for these cars).

    Second I really like driving.

  • For me, car travel time is wasted time. Even when I'm stuck in traffic, I still have to be paying attention.

    Bring on the automated cars, I say. I'd much rather be able to read a book, take a nap, or do some actual work while in the act of traveling.

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss

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