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State Sen. wants California to develop automated vehicle rules

California State Sen. Alex Padilla wants to see California follow the path of Nevada and set guidelines that outline when and how autonomous vehicles can be tested within the state. Nevada has such guidelines in place, and Google has been actively testing its autonomous vehicles within the state. Google isn't alone on the push to autonomous vehicles with several universities and organizations working on the technology. 
Padilla recently took a ride in a Google autonomous vehicle and figures that such technology will help reduce the incidence of accidents on highways. He also believes the computer-controlled cars will eventually drive more safely than humans are capable of.
"The vast majority of accidents are due to human error. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities and improve safety on our roads and highways,” Padilla remarked. “California is uniquely positioned to be the leader in the deployment of autonomous technology."
If the proposed legislation is approved, the California Highway Patrol would be responsible for developing standards and performance requirements for autonomous vehicle testing and operation on state highways.

Google's autonomous Prius
Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and Oklahoma are also considering similar legislation.
Drivers [or rather passengers] of these vehicles would be able to read, chat with passengers, or play games without needing to focus on the road. The safety aspects of autonomous vehicles are appealing in that computer-controlled cars would presumably be less accident-prone than human drivers.  
Computer-controlled cars could also help avoid traffic congestion the plagues the highways in many cities around the country. In addition, some scientists believe that future intersections won't need stoplights thanks to automated vehicles.

Source: Detroit News

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Acceptable error.
By drycrust3 on 3/5/2012 1:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
"The vast majority of accidents are due to human error. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities and improve safety on our roads and highways,”

Deeming, the guy that was a major influence in car reliability, believed that the primary cause of car unreliability was poor quality components, and that by improving the quality of the components you improved the reliability of the car.
The same attitude applies to motor vehicle crashes: poor quality driving is the primary cause of crashes. It doesn't matter whether a person or a computer drives the car, what matters is quality of the driving.
And just as breakdowns are a sign of poor build or poor maintenance on a vehicle, so road deaths and vehicle crashes are a sign of poor driving quality.
We all think that it's ok to drive a little bit over the speed limit (or alcohol limit) but this is the same as building a car where a few thousandths of an inch tolerance on every component is ok. If the car manufacturers can build cars with tolerances that are invisible to the naked eye, then getting everyone to drive within the road rules is also not impossible.
I believe the reason autonomous cars (or whatever you call them) have had such a good safety record is because the programmers have been very strict in the way they have told the cars to follow all the road rules.
The error with the guys statement is he thinks only computers can drive with precision. Most drivers, with the right "encouragement", can also drive with precision. In an area where I occasionally drive there used to be a very strong speed camera presence, and it was apparent that everyone drove at exactly the speed limit. The reason people don't drive with precision is because they can get away with lax driving.

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