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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: Move on
By lifewatcher on 8/23/2012 12:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it was me, talking about adopting new technology. Cars did/do have their purpose in helping this civilization. But that is not to say that things should always remain the same. A better way is in the works. Be as it may, I have every reason to enjoy this development and the eventual ban on manual-operated machines - from drunk idiots to teenagers with anger management issues and cut macho pipes on their rides.

RE: Move on
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 1:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
Dude that was some EPIC backpedaling right there. Bravo. You're full of it, but still, bravo.

RE: Move on
By BifurcatedBoat on 8/23/2012 1:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
Google's system is assisted by GPS mapping of the roads to know where it is going. It seems feasible for big metro areas to map out all of their roads, and for highways to be mapped all over the country.

There will always be times however when going off those mapped paths will be necessary. I imagine in fact that what will probably happen here is that we'll end up with driverless "zones" coexisting with other areas where manual driving is still required.

I also wonder what will happen when a driverless car does cause an accident. Even if the rate is 100x lower than the rate for human-driven cars, sooner or later it will happen. How will people react to that?

The rate may be 100x or even 1,000x lower, but there is something more acceptable about having your fate be in your own hands vs. feeling powerless over it.

RE: Move on
By JediJeb on 8/23/2012 2:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
Google's system is assisted by GPS mapping of the roads to know where it is going. It seems feasible for big metro areas to map out all of their roads, and for highways to be mapped all over the country.

Seems a lot of GPS updating will need to be done. We have been in our building here at work for 8 years, and still all the mapping sites and GPS will send people to the other side of town if they put in our address. Also where my parents live the roads are not even on the map. They show up on a map made in the 1950s but new ones have many of the roads near them deleted. My friend here at work decided to let his new GPS show him the shortest way home, and ended up on a dirt path with no outlet that the GPS showed as a two lane highway. These things might work in a big city, but get much outside those and there will be problems.

RE: Move on
By sorry dog on 8/25/2012 11:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
I sure it's better now, but a few years ago when I was a on site tech, I used google maps a lot but about 1 out 10 address would not be accurately found.

The liability issue really is a big stumbling block for automated cars. Kalifornia might legislate the liability away, but it really needs to be 50 states approved for car manufacturers to sell it on a big scale. I think it will require a federal initiative to bring enough momentum for all the states to cooperate in a timely manner... That is still probably at least a decade away.

RE: Move on
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 5:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
Be as it may, I have every reason to enjoy this development and the eventual ban on manual-operated machines

For the most part we prevent bad things from happening to us. The manual driving of cars will never be outlawed because the vast majority of people don't want that to happen.

The drunk drivers and teenagers with anger management issues are a problem, but a very very small one in the large scheme of things. For every bad driver that you notice there are thousands that pass by and you never even look twice.

Why would you enjoy taking away a privilege enjoyed by millions of people? There are many things in life that other people enjoy but I don't. Never do I want to take away their enjoyment.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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