Print 47 comment(s) - last by HrilL.. on Aug 14 at 1:25 PM

*While under computer control at least

Ever since Google launched its self-driving project back in 2010, the company has been working out the kinks with self-driving cars. The ultimate goal is to create technology that allows vehicles to drive passengers to any location without driver input. Google is testing fleet of these vehicles in Nevada and California, and has recently announced that its self-driving vehicles have accrued over 300,000 miles.
During those 300,000 miles, not one of the vehicles has been in an accident, at least not when under computer control (one Google self-driving automobile was involved in an accident while under human control).
When the project was initially launched two years ago, Google noted that 1.2 million lives were lost each year in traffic accidents and the search giant hoped to develop technologies to help reduce the number of traffic fatalities. The national average accident rate in 2009 within the United States worked out to about .366 per 100,000 vehicle miles driven.
Google has given its cars an edge on the accident front by operating them in environments that are easy to tackle. For instance, Google's automated fleet drives on mostly dry roads in moderate conditions. Google does want to begin testing its vehicles in harsher conditions, such as snow in the future.

Analyst Brian Walker Smith from Stanford Law School says that it is still much too early to say unequivocally that automated vehicles are safer than human driven vehicles. "Google's cars would need to drive themselves (by themselves) more than 725,000 representative miles without incident for us to say with 99 percent confidence that they crash less frequently than conventional cars,” Smith concluded. “If we look only at fatal crashes, this minimum skyrockets to 300 million miles."
Automated vehicle technology still has a long way to go to win approval with drivers and state and local authorities. So far, Utah is one of the few states to allow automated vehicles to drive on public roads.
While fully automated vehicles may be a long way away, many automakers are starting to integrate technologies that will automatically stop a vehicle when an impending accident is sensed. Cadillac has also unveiled technology that will steer a vehicle and operate the brakes and throttle in traffic.

Source: The Atlantic

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RE: I hope they make it
By Helbore on 8/13/2012 2:24:08 PM , Rating: 3
Well maybe if you explained first computers and GPS and modern avionics, he would have a more firm grasp on the autopilot concept. Also explain to him that it just holds a speed and course, not actually "flies" the plane. But I digress, this is another stupid analogy. The idea of a self-driving car isn't some super futuristic mind-blowing idea!

I think you missed the point entirely, which is why you think its a stupid analogy. I'm not suggesting someone from the future goes back to speak to a WW1 pilot. I'm suggesting someone of that era had the "crazy idea," of a plane that could fly itself.

Perhaps if someone came back from the future and explained the advancements in computer technology, then you would have a more firm grasp on the autocar concept.

But then actually suggesting that might happen really would be silly! The point is, none of us know what technology will definitively be able to do in the future. That's why we research new ideas.

Well yes, that's generally step #1 of any discussion I enter :) Divide and conquer!

Again, you seem to be spectacularly missing the point. You cannot make this "pro. vs. anti," because I am not picking a side and defending it as a definite, unalterable position. I am not pro or anti. I am interested in the possibilities of the technology.

All you are doing is fighting an enemy that isn't there.

I already did that though. The difference is I applied realism, logic, and common sense. It's a radical concept called "critical thinking".

But you don't have all the variables. None of us do. This is an emerging technology. You are dismissing it based on current limitations. That's not "critical thinking," that is jumping to conclusions and stubbornly sticking to an opinion.

Can you honestly say you can see no positive possibilities to an automated car? I'm not saying that they outweigh the negatives or that there aren't any negatives - only "can you see that there are positive points?"

RE: I hope they make it
By Ammohunt on 8/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: I hope they make it
By Helbore on 8/13/2012 4:23:21 PM , Rating: 3
Considering most of the other points you bring up seem to be in relation to "pro-choice," then assumedly you are not against the development of automated cars? Fair enough if you don't want to use one - but I assume you are not against other peoples' rights to buy and use them.

RE: I hope they make it
By Ammohunt on 8/13/2012 10:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
develope all you want until it becomes a government mandate.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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