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California lawmakers want driverless cars legalized within the state

Few will argue with the fact that one of the only ways to eliminate distracted driving is to completely remove the driver from the equation. This is in part what automated, driverless vehicles -- such as the fleet that Google is operating around the country -- promise. The cars are expected to be safer because distracted drivers will no longer be an issue. Google's driverless fleet has racked up 300,000 accident-free miles.
 
Driverless vehicles can also allow those who were unable to drive themselves to get around without having to seek assistance. Other than making the roads safer, driverless cars also promise to decrease congestion and delays on the nation's roadways by eliminating accidents.
 
California is making moves to get these driverless vehicles on its state roads with one California legislator introducing a bill seeking to clarify that driverless cars are street legal. Google continues to be one of the major driving forces behind driverless vehicles, although there are other companies working in the industry.
 
Google believes that it has the computer science knowledge and financial strength to bring driverless cars to reality for Americans. "It's amazing to me that we (even) let humans drive cars," Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said a few years ago.
 
A lot of the technology needed for driverless vehicles is already available, and some vehicles on the streets today have many of the components needed to make this feat possible. Industry Association Auto Alliance represents Toyota, Ford, GM, BMW, and other major automakers. According to Auto Alliance, its members are individually exploring autonomous vehicle technology, and the association says that great strides have been made in the past decade.
 
Ford and GM, for instance, are working on autonomous braking technology that allows the car to bring itself to a complete stop when radar and other sensors the vehicle use sense an impending accident.
 
While some state legislators in California are trying to get the vehicles legalized for road use within the state, other states such as Nevada already allow driverless cars to operate on its roads.

Source: Detroit News



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RE: I drive casue I have to
By Amiga500 on 8/23/2012 10:12:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I applaud you for recognizing that you're a deficient driver!!!


I didn't particularly read that in his post.

I know of racing drivers that hate driving on roads - and who could blame them. Yet, you wouldn't call them deficient drivers!

Anyway - personally I love driving - nothing better than finding some nice twisties and nailing a few apexes - but would also love to be able to hit an autopilot when in a traffic jam or when tired.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Amiga500 on 8/23/2012 10:12:48 AM , Rating: 2
*his -> his/her


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Spuke on 8/23/2012 1:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I didn't particularly read that in his post. I know of racing drivers that hate driving on roads - and who could blame them. Yet, you wouldn't call them deficient drivers!
I did and that wasn't a general statement, it was directed solely at him.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: I drive casue I have to
By Amiga500 on 8/23/2012 12:08:51 PM , Rating: 1
Congratulations - you've managed to completely contradict yourself in one post.

That is some going, even for you!

;-)


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 12:15:12 PM , Rating: 2
How do you figure? There's no contradiction here.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Amiga500 on 8/23/2012 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
"People generally enjoy doing things they are good at. All these people who are saying they don't "like" driving, are obviously very deficient in the skills needed to be a competent driver."

Followed with agreement that racing drivers will not like driving.

Most racing drivers like racing - not driving on roads - doesn't mean they are bad drivers though does it.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: I drive casue I have to
By ArcsinZ on 8/23/2012 1:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But that doesn't mean you were right.


Ok Sheldon.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 12:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People generally enjoy doing things they are good at. All these people who are saying they don't "like" driving, are obviously very deficient in the skills needed to be a competent driver.
So, being a skillful driver helps one enjoy sitting in traffic for a couple hours on a regular basis. I guess I should take some driving lessons... Further, riding a horse down the middle of the interstate might be quite a thrill for some people, but I don't think that's a good basis for making it legal. Just because you like doing something doesn't mean it's the best thing for everyone around you (or even the best thing for you).

Anyway, there may come a point where you will no longer be allowed to "race" or drive on public roads. That doesn't mean you won't be able to drive at all, it just means that you will have to do so in specially designated areas - which is what race car drivers do. And, really, driverless race cars? I'm not even sure what you were trying to say there... You are not a race car driver on a racetrack with other racers, and if you were, that wouldn't be relevant either!


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 1:48:05 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
even there, I doubt self driving cars would make much of a difference
If I could drink or sleep or work while sitting in traffic for two hours, I would not mind sitting in traffic for two hours. That's huge. Plus, depending on the level of coordination between vehicles, a LOT of traffic problems could actually be alleviated altogether.
quote:
Stupid, terrible analogy. Let's just move on,
Sure it's a bit silly, but I think you're ignoring it because it hits the nail on the head: you think something should be legal because you enjoy it regardless of it's impact on other people.
quote:
Ah I see. So because I enjoy driving, I MUST be some type of thrill seeker or rice racer. Wtf?
My mistake, you enjoy driving slowly in a straight line(?). Anyway, you are again saying that you think something should be legal because you enjoy it. Your reason for enjoying it (driving fast, driving Miss Daisy, etc.) isn't important to the discussion.
quote:
I'm paying taxes and road taxes the same as everyone else, etc...
My taxes go to providing for National parks, but I can't go there and start doing something illegal just because it would be fun. I guess I'm not sure what your point about taxes was. You pay taxes so things that are legal now should always be legal in the future? Also, the name calling: no need for a real rebuttal if you're talking to a "liberal" or a "conservative" or "someone-who-doesn't-agree-with-everything-I-say", right?


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 2:24:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think we're off on a bit of a tangent. In case I didn't make it clear: I'm not saying anything about "should" or "good vs. evil". I was speaking from the point of view of a hypothetical future with self driving cars and some of the possible legal ramifications of that future. I am kind of jerk, and I apologize for that :)

Anyway, I don't see "manual driving" becoming illegal anytime soon, especially considering that self driving cars are not truly usable at this point. Honestly, if a car purchased today was still worth keeping on the road by the time something like this happens, I would be surprised. Plus, there would almost certainly be a "phase out" period for manually driven vehicles that would last years if not decades. Your investment in your current vehicle is safe... IMO.
quote:
How am I "impacting" other people by driving?
Even for the 70% or so of people who consider themselves better than average drivers, driving is a dangerous activity, and personal (i.e. other persons) safety would probably be the number one reason why it might be made illegal. Also, I am not getting your reasoning regarding why laws regarding driving should stay the same forever. Things change. Laws need to adapt to the changes.

If you want a more realistic example: would you be able to handle yourself tightly packed on the road with a bunch of self driving cars going 200Mph+? There's probably only a handful of people in the world truly qualified to deal with that situation, but that's exactly the type of thing that could be commonplace on a completely automated roadway. They would literally have to have special "slow lanes" for manual drivers, and at some point that would not be viable in most areas.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 4:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, I am not getting your reasoning regarding why laws regarding driving should stay the same forever. Things change. Laws need to adapt to the changes.


It seems like whenever someone proposes a really bad idea that flies in the face of all reality, proponents of that idea always fall back on the argument that "things change" and that other people need to "adapt to the changes". That reasoning seems to assume that your idea of change is inevitable and that that majority who is against that idea needs to get in line with the minority that wants that change.

Watch me apply that idea:

"In the future people will have to pay extra taxes to ensure that I can live in a castle. While people may not like the idea at first, it's the responsible thing to do and everyone needs to pay their fair share. Things change. You just need to learn to adapt to those changes and move on with your life."


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 5:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
So, which part are you disagreeing with: you think self driving cars will not exist, or that laws will not need to change to take them into account?

My previous statements are based on the assumption that the majority will overwhelmingly be interested in self driving cars; not some minority cabal inflicting self driving cars upon the poor minority, and I'm discussing it from that point of view. This, I think, is a more likely possible future than you getting a castle...


RE: I drive casue I have to
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 4:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you want a more realistic example: would you be able to handle yourself tightly packed on the road with a bunch of self driving cars going 200Mph+? There's probably only a handful of people in the world truly qualified to deal with that situation, but that's exactly the type of thing that could be commonplace on a completely automated roadway.


The 55 mph speed limit was created in order to conserve fuel, not for safety. Since aerodynamic drag squares with speed, speed quickly becomes the #1 cause of decreased fuel economy for any given vehicle. A vehicle that gets 30 mpg at 55 mph will get about 7 mpg at 160 mph. And you want to go 200 mph? You're talking about vehicles that get about 5 mpg or less. How is that an improved future?


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 5:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
The 200mph thing is an example of something we could not do at all, today. That's it. Just like today's cars, a self driving car would most likely be able to travel at varying levels of speed as appropriate. It does seem likely that most of the time that speed would probably be closer to 55 rather than 200.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 4:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure it's a bit silly, but I think you're ignoring it because it hits the nail on the head: you think something should be legal because you enjoy it regardless of it's impact on other people.


I enjoy eating steaks. Eating red meat has been proven to cause heart disease. Heart surgery costs a lot of money, most of which is paid by the member's health insurance, which then passes that cost on to the other subscribers.

Since one person's personal pleasure can lead to others paying more in health premiums, is that ground for making it illegal to consume red meat?


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 4:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since one person's personal pleasure can lead to others paying more in health premiums, is that ground for making it illegal to consume red meat?
Actually, increased group health insurance costs is the penalty for having a bunch of over-eaters in your group health plan.

To make your analogy really work, though, we'd have to first assume everyone was under government health care. At that point, yes, eating steak might become illegal. However, IMO, that's an argument against gov. health care, not steak eating.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By kattanna on 8/23/2012 11:33:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyway - personally I love driving - nothing better than finding some nice twisties and nailing a few apexes - but would also love to be able to hit an autopilot when in a traffic jam or when tired.


same.

put me and my durango out on a mtn road.. and its a lot of fun. the wife always jokes thats its not a sports car.. but I say it is..at least in my hands HAHAHA

sitting in traffic on the 101 during rush hour..um no.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Manch on 8/23/2012 11:51:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'm itching to drive down to Germany right now. Just waiting on two more parts for my car so I can have a little bit more fun when I get there. I love driving but Norway sucks if you do. Top speed on the highways is 90km, and thats if the @$$h0les in front of you aren't driving 10 under. In the city, it's usually 50/60km. I wouldnt mind having a truck with autopilot for long trips that I can tow my car on. Has to be more comfortable than flying coach. The damn airlines are removing leg room so they can cram you in and charge you for teh "extra" inch.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Ammohunt on 8/23/2012 9:06:45 PM , Rating: 2
I have driven from Kiel Germany to Lucerne Switzerland and its stau after stau around the big cities. The only place i got to open up the Audi i rented was on the way back to Frankfurt coming from Neuschwanstein on the A7 220Kph! in a Turbo Diesel no less.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By jeffkro on 8/24/2012 2:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah well I once spent a couple of hours in a German airport


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Ammohunt on 8/24/2012 7:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah? I spent 6 hours in Istanbul (Not Constantinople..nobodies business but the turks)international airport


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Schrag4 on 8/23/2012 1:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I know of racing drivers that hate driving on roads - and who could blame them. Yet, you wouldn't call them deficient drivers!


I wouldn't necessarily call "racing drivers" deficient drivers, but I don't think they're necessarily better at driving, either. Can they drive in circles at high speed better than I can? You bet. Do they know when to yield? How to park? How closely to follow other vehicles? Their racing exprience has nothing to do any of those things, in fact it would work against them in some cases (you probably should leave more than 6 inches between your front bumper and the next guy's back bumper).

About the OP's comment - maybe he or she doesn't like sitting in traffic. But if just normal driving among other drivers is what he/she doesn't like, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest he/she, my mother, and my mother-in-law hate it for the same reason - it scares them because they (mother and in-law) are not particularly good at it. Wouldn't mind some clarification from the OP though.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Rukkian on 8/23/2012 3:56:38 PM , Rating: 2
Just because somebody does not like the mundane parts of driving (I have a 60 Mile commute on a long, flat, straight boring interstate). I could almost do it in my sleep at this point. While it will not last forever (job is temporary), it is still boring. For commuting to work and back, I would love to sit back and either sleep, watch movies, play video games, etc.

For other times, I actually enjoy driving. There are different situations, and generalizing about somebody's skill is not a great way to start a discussion.

I would love to see some automated cars come out, both for me, and to hopefully remove some of the other idiots on the road that like to do anything but drive (read the newspaper, put on make up, txt, etc). I do not see anybody even trying to make manual driving illegal in my lifetime at least, and any automated car would have to have a self driving feature (ala demolition man, irobot).


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 4:05:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
For commuting to work and back, I would love to sit back and either sleep, watch movies, play video games, etc.


That's what public transportation is for. Sleeping in your vehicle is reckless, plain and simple. Regardless if it's driving itself or not, it cannot possibly be 100% reliable or able to handle every situation that could come up.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Rukkian on 8/23/2012 4:35:53 PM , Rating: 2
If there was public transporation (other than cabs) I would use it.

While the techology is not there at the moment, in my mind within 10 years computers will be able to handle pretty much any situation better than most drivers.

While some people never loose focus, never take their eyes off the wheel, never get tired at the end of the day, I think that they are the exception as opposed to the rule. There are way too many idiots out there. Just takes some great minds working on a big budget (Which google has both of) and I think it can be figured out.

I respect everybody's right to safely operation their car the way they see fit, and would not want it legislated that you have to use a self drive car, the potential for benefits to everybody is out there.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Amiga500 on 8/23/2012 6:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes... 'cos public transport will take you door to door when you want.

Seriously man. Your like a Neanderthal in this this story/thread.

Reclaimer like car. Reclaimer no like people who not like car.

You are all about free choice and options - well, there are a lot of people here would like the option of an autopilot that they can choose to use for the more mundane parts of driving - or because they flat out don't like driving or could better use the time.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 8:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are all about free choice and options - well, there are a lot of people here would like the option of an autopilot that they can choose to use for the more mundane parts of driving - or because they flat out don't like driving or could better use the time.


If that's all they wanted, I wouldn't mind. But look a little closer at what people are actually saying.

If you want a self driving car, fine. But here are my terms.

1. I will not pay ANY extra fees or penalties or taxes for choosing to drive my own vehicle.

2. I will not be forced into "special" areas or have my freedom of movement limited based on vehicle choice.

I could care less what you people want to do. Just drop all this nonsense about safety and how I should no longer be able to drive my own vehicle, or somehow be marginalized in some way.

YOUR side is politicizing this, not me.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Amiga500 on 8/24/2012 12:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If that's all they wanted, I wouldn't mind. But look a little closer at what people are actually saying.


The sub-heading of the article:
"California lawmakers want driverless cars legalized within the state"

quote:
YOUR side is politicizing this, not me.

Lawmakers are politicians - therefore the issue has to be politicized to make it legal.

Unless you are advocating a change to the US constitution where the President be allowed to change any law as he/she sees fit?


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