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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 tng on 8/23/2012 10:14:44 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I can see LA TRY to ban cars (except those owned by illegal immigrants)
Yeah, what is with that? I noticed that in the Inland Empire and greater LA area that there are more cars with expired tags (sometimes over 3 years expired) than anyplace that I have seen, most driven by probably illegals. Up here they don't let you even go a month into the new year without pulling you over for that.

quote:
"It's amazing to me that we (even) let humans drive cars,"
Maybe I am paranoid, but this attitude makes me uneasy. I can see this getting to the point where they will legislate all cars are automated citing accidents, highway fatalities and the like.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 11:00:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can see this getting to the point where they will legislate all cars are automated citing accidents, highway fatalities and the like.
I'm having trouble seeing why this by itself would be a problem...

With an automated vehicle, you're still in control of what the car ultimately does. You just have a level of abstraction between yourself and the mundane specifics of driving.

There will almost certainly still be places to drive manually as well, it just might not be on public roads.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 4:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With an automated vehicle, you're still in control of what the car ultimately does. You just have a level of abstraction between yourself and the mundane specifics of driving. There will almost certainly still be places to drive manually as well, it just might not be on public roads.


While you're taking away his ability to drive his car, can I take away his ability to play sports? There are numerous other ways to stay in shape and I don't want his irresponsible love for playing sports to affect the health insurance premiums of everyone else. If he breaks his ankle or suffers emotional pain while playing one of his sports then everyone else has to pay for it, raising their rates. I, for one don't want the irresponsible acts of the few to impact the needs of the many, even if that does mean taking away his rights.

PS- I don't want you eating meat, either.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By tayb on 8/23/2012 5:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
I loved that you picked sports to support this argument as sports is something that you cannot do whenever and wherever you like. There are designated areas and places where it would be illegal or impossible to start a game of softball. Likewise, there will be plenty of places for you to vroom vroom in your car but it won't be on a public highways where robots are driving. Robots cannot possibly account for the infinite stupidity of human beings.

Further, you don't have a right to drive, it's a privilege. We restrict that privilege for all sorts of mundane reasons but simultaneously decongesting highways, reducing fuel expenditures, and reducing traffic related injuries and fatalities is an outrageous affront to your personal liberties? Give me a break. You guys are silly.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By sorry dog on 8/25/2012 12:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Further, you don't have a right to drive, it's a privilege.


We have that statement beat into us from day one at the DMV, but I really have to call BS on that.

The fact is that vast majority of us would find not being able to drive more than an inconvenience. I would be out of job and I bet that more than 50% of America would be in the same situation if survey was given. I don't doubt that at point in time many many years ago, that wasn't true, however given that my livelyhood and "pursuit of happiness" is at stake, then I would call it a right.
Our lawmaking overlords would rather it be called a privilege, so that you have no ground to stand on if you get caught going 8 over and they want your contribution to state police retirement fund. Bottom line is our society in vast majority of America has been reshaped over the last 50 years to require a car pursue a productive life. Anything less is a severe handicap.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 5:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not that concerned regarding your opinion of what I eat.

As far as the rest of your rambling: I guess I wouldn't want to be a small business owner that pays for a group health plan and has an employee that's constantly breaking his leg. That would suck. It would also suck for the other employees because their costs would go up. Again, not generally going to be a legal issue. If you do something sufficiently negligent, I think there are provisions in some health care plans to not cover you at all. Beyond that... keep pounding away with the obtuse sports and health analogies.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 11:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe I am paranoid, but this attitude makes me uneasy.


I like Google as a company, but yes, frankly I would prefer to not hear statements like that from their CEO. Who is he, or anyone for that matter, to say what we "let" people do?

I hate when people who's goal is to clearly make money, pretend they're trying to save the world. Google is only doing this to increase their profits. Which I have NO problem with. But don't hand me this "people shouldn't drive, I'm saving the world" crap, Eric.

quote:
I can see this getting to the point where they will legislate all cars are automated citing accidents, highway fatalities and the like.


Exactly, which is why I don't support self-driving cars. They represent the beginning of the end for car enthusiasts and people who enjoy driving. The car is one of the last bastions of freedom in this country, and even that's being eroded.

And all these pussies who say they don't like driving or whatever...man I REALLY don't understand that. Is there some sort of Testosterone shortage in the last two generations or what?


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 12:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hate when people who's goal is to clearly make money, pretend they're trying to save the world.
Which is why the phrase "actions speak louder than words" came about. In this case, their actions are creating some awesome stuff to advance the state of the art. It's fine with me if they make money at it.
quote:
The car is one of the last bastions of freedom in this country, and even that's being eroded.
I think I can hear a bald Eagle crying... Anyway, how will self driving cars limit your freedom? Is breaking traffic regulations important to you?


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 1:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
I thought you were being dramatic when you used the phrase "last bastion of freedom" and I was just keeping the drama high :) You have to admit that is a little over the top dramatic... Sorry if I offended your sense of patriotism or something.

Real question, though, and not being snarky: how would that really affect your freedom? The only thing I can come up with is that it would be harder to break traffic laws and generally engage in activities that endanger people around you. You'd still retain complete freedom of movement, and you'd almost certainly still be able to drive manually in designated areas.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Spuke on 8/23/2012 2:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Real question, though, and not being snarky: how would that really affect your freedom?
How would that affect my freedom? You really have to ask that? Well, I wouldn't be able to get into MY car that I paid for and drive it wherever I want, however I want (within the law, of course). Like I said earlier, I don't mind self-driving cars, might even own one but NOT at the expense of losing my freedom to DRIVE MY CAR! I'll even go out on a limb and say I wouldn't necessarily care if certain portions of freeways were auto only (maybe high death rate areas or high congestion areas). BUT like Rec77, I don't want this being used to erode personal liberties I had previously.

PS - Personally I think you're just being a troll and trying to get Rec's dandruff up so this will be the only time I'll address you.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 4:29:03 PM , Rating: 2
You called me a troll, but then agreed that the only freedom you'd lose is the freedom to drive... I get it that driving is an enjoyable activity for many people. HOWEVER, my point was that driving a vehicle is also a dangerous activity that, in the future, may not be necessary at all for any reason other than "I like it". I'm not saying it SHOULD be outlawed, I'm saying that if it is the only real loss would be the driving itself, not the things that driving lets you do. In other words, you would be losing something dangerous to others that you enjoy doing, not something necessary or essential for your personal freedom (at least not anything I can think of).

As an aside:
"Wherever" restrictions are a separate issue, from self driving vehicles. There's no inherent reason for self driving cars to be more restrictive in where they can go than manually driven vehicles. I agree that travel restrictions would be VERY bad. Restricting movement is something that governments seem inclined to attempt every so often, and an attempt to do so may happen with self driving cars. However, this could and has happened with current transportation modes, too: look up travel restrictions in Russia during most of the Cold War or air travel in the US, NOW. I would say that is something we'll have to fight against if it starts happening, but not really an argument against self driving cars.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 4:34:15 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
HOWEVER, my point was that driving a vehicle is also a dangerous activity tha


LOL there we go. Right back to your standby nanny state crutch argument.

Shall I list all the "dangerous" activities we do every day, which are perfectly legal?


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 5:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Shall I list all the "dangerous" activities we do every day, which are perfectly legal?
You're not the guy that tests bullet proof vests are you? :)

Seriously, though, there's probably nothing else you do on a given day that has even a small chance of killing someone other than driving a car. If I'm wrong though, I'd be interested in hearing your list! Sounds awesome!


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Spuke on 8/23/2012 5:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seriously, though, there's probably nothing else you do on a given day that has even a small chance of killing someone other than driving a car.
There's nothing else YOU do on a given day that has even a small chance of killing someone other than driving a car. LOL! Fixed that for you.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/24/2012 10:17:55 AM , Rating: 2
It's true!


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 8:47:46 PM , Rating: 1
Nafhan did you know more deaths occur from high school sports than gun shootings per year in the US?

By your logic, kids should stop playing sports. It's just too dangerous! What right does your kid have to potentially kill my kid from a bad tackle? What right does a coach have to push my kid into a fatal heat stroke?

I think we should start phasing out all athletic activities. Sorry kids, Nafhan Logic dictates that just because you "like" something, doesn't give you the right to do it.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/24/2012 10:15:43 AM , Rating: 2
Not really a great analogy. The cause of a death due to heatstroke, for instance, is probably not due to negligence on the part of another person. If there is reason to believe that it is, then it should probably be looked into, though.
quote:
Nafhan Logic dictates that just because you "like" something, doesn't give you the right to do it.
Yep. I generally take consideration beyond whether or not I "like it" in my decision making process. You got me.

As far as actual "rights" go... I don't consider either playing high school sports or driving to be an inalienable right or an essential pillar of society and culture. They're nice things that we like, and that's it.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By Spuke on 8/23/2012 5:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You called me a troll, but then agreed that the only freedom you'd lose is the freedom to drive
Just because I think you're a troll doesn't mean a disagree with EVERYTHING you said. :) Ok, dangerous is not enough to outlaw something or restrict its usage. Like Rec said, there are a butt ton of things we do daily that are dangerous yet perfectly acceptable nevermind legal. And, yes, "I like it" is enough for me and many other people. We don't live in a totalitarian state and that whole "pursuit of happiness" thing kind of implies "I like it", don't you think?


RE: I drive casue I have to
By tng on 8/23/2012 1:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyway, how will self driving cars limit your freedom? Is breaking traffic regulations important to you?
Is that the only thing you can think of, speeding or running a stop sign?

I have to agree with RC77 on this, it makes me uneasy because it is just an incremental step into control of our lives in general. An self driving vehicle would have to be registered everytime it went onto a road, leading to what amounts to being able to track you every where you go.

Not that I have anything to hide, but I would take offense at someone being able to do that...


RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 1:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
If you carry a cell phone with you or have OnStar (or similar tech), this is already happening. Further, with license plate scanning cameras getting more common, unless some legislation comes along and kills them SOON, you will not even need to get a new car for the feds to track everywhere your current car goes.

Basically, I'm not saying your concerns about privacy and "freedom" are invalid (they are very valid and concerning!). I'm saying those concerns are not specific to self driving cars.


RE: I drive casue I have to
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 4:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote: "It's amazing to me that we (even) let humans drive cars," Maybe I am paranoid, but this attitude makes me uneasy. I can see this getting to the point where they will legislate all cars are automated citing accidents, highway fatalities and the like.


What he means is:

"It's amazing to me that we (even) let humans drive cars, as opposed to making them pay Google a fee for our Driving As A Service product."

It's a great way to enslave people by legislating that they use a company's proprietary product.


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