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AI Transportation

Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom 662

Lucas123 writes "Opinions in the blogosphere are building and run the gamut on self-driving automobile technology, but a survey supports the trend that most don't want their driving independence usurped by cameras, sensors and an onboard computer. The survey of British drivers last year commissioned by Bosch, a Germany-based supplier of automotive components, found that most would not buy a self-driving car. Only 29% of respondents said thay would consider buying a driverless car and only 21% said they would feel safe as a passenger in a self-driving car. David Alexander, an analyst at Navigant Research, pointed out that while driving yourself is often preferable, there's a lot of "grunt" driving that would be better handled by a computer. Navigant recently released a report stating that by 2035, 95 million autonomous cars will be sold every year."
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Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom

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  • I'm in.

    I would pay a lot of money to be able to drive distracted, asleep, or inebriated legally. Right now none of those are legal and one isn't even possible.

  • Amusing scenario... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhantomHarlock ( 189617 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @04:48PM (#44647275)

    Driving a manually operated car through a hoard of autonomous cars. Splitting two lanes, step on the gas. The autonomous cars detect your car impinging on their lane, so they move out of the way, and the sea of autonomous cars parts like a wave in front of you.

    They'll need a lot of algorithms to deal with the unexpected, and people who deliberately want to mess with them, heh.

  • Freedom? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @04:49PM (#44647295) Homepage Journal

    Freedom has become a nonsense word. It means whatever you want it to mean apparently. Might as well say shamalalalalala ding dong.

    another thing to thank the knownothings for.

  • by babymac ( 312364 ) <ph33d@nospaM.charter.net> on Thursday August 22, 2013 @04:53PM (#44647347) Homepage
    Just wait until insurance companies start requiring automated driving. That is likely to be decades away, but I think they will be a big factor in the push toward driverless vehicles. The irony of this is that ultimately the need for auto insurance will decline dramatically once accident rates plummet. At that point I think we're likely to see auto insurance become the domain of the auto manufacturers rather than the auto owners.
  • by dj245 ( 732906 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @04:55PM (#44647357) Homepage
    If I had a truly self-driving car, I would rent it out 23/7. My own personal taxi company. After all, I only need my car for about an hour a day on average. Maybe RelayRides will expand to accommodate this business model- I block out times when I need my car, and when someone books it for a ride, it drives off, takes them where they want to go, then comes back and parks in my spot. Or maybe I decide that since I only need a car for an hour a day, I personally don't need a car at all, and can rent one from the pool of public cars if I need to go somewhere.

    We might not have flying cars, but the driverless car is now a legal problem, not a problem of unreasonable expense or technological ability. We have the technology to build them now, and mass-produced, probably for less than $60,000 a piece. We also have systems for issuing commands remotely over the internet ("car, come here") and systems for renting of personal vehicles (Relayrides, GetAround, Lyft). It is only a matter of time before someone ties them all together and forces the law to change, or the law changes and the floodgates open.
  • by DutchUncle ( 826473 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @04:59PM (#44647409)
    ... and while incapable (my wife had a cast on her right ankle for multiple months), and while incapacitated (elder relatives are OK in sunlight but not in rain or darkness).

    As another poster noted: As long as I can take manual control when I want to. But for law enforcement: It needs a mode that is PROVABLY un-take-controllable so that we can show we KNEW we were sleepy, inebriated, incapable, etc. and "handed over the keys".
  • by CmdrPorno ( 115048 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:08PM (#44647565)

    You wouldn't believe how many people I know were dead set against satellite navigation systems, how they would be forced on us, etc. Every one of those people now owns one, by their own choice.

    I think people have a similar visceral reaction to autonomous vehicles, but once they experience not having to deal with the stress of everyday driving, will change their opinion.

  • by EmperorArthur ( 1113223 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:13PM (#44647661)

    You win all the US internets for today.

    Now please assume the party escort submission position. The GlaDos (definitely not the NSA) is warming up the.... I mean is baking you a cake.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:37PM (#44647983)

    Count me in as well. I do not actually like driving. That's a lot of wasted time for me. I'd rather do so many more things during that driving time. I could read all my commute time. Or even play need for speed! :)

    As long as it has a manual mode, I'd be fine with having autonomous mode available.
    As I progress more in my geezerhood I will probably yearn more for autonomous mode and less for manual.

    I like driving, but I like it least in the places I would also distrust an automated car, so I'm conflicted
    right there. (Traffic jams) Call me when autonomous cars can totally de-snarl bumper to bumper stop and
    go traffic, such that when the light changes every single car in the queue moves forward in unison.

    Till then, there are some roads that just beg to be driven, and they are not that uncommon.

  • by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:52PM (#44648159) Journal

    That isn't how statistics work. The one accident in 250k is an aggregate of a lot of data. It doesn't mean that it is expected that after you get to 250k and beyond you're more likely to get into an accident.

    To demonstrate if I threw a perfectly balanced die 600 times, statistically I should roll a one 100 times. However if I have actually rolled the die 500 times and have not gotten a 1 (highly unlikely but possible) it would be absurd for me to believe that I would likely get a one the next 100 time. No, for the next 100 rolls I should expect to get about 16 or 17 ones.

    For more information, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler's_fallacy [wikipedia.org]

  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:57PM (#44648901)

    I really don't consider a simple hypothetical scenario that closely matches very recent events "hysterical".

  • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @07:49PM (#44649433)

    The car made especially for you should also come with manual ignition advance, manual choke/mixture ratio adjustment, a manual fuel flow valve with a dial pressure readout and, let's not forget a rheostat to regulate the alternator output. Probably also the manual braking force distribution lever. And an SRS button, of course.

    What is so hard is that if you actually do measurements, humans are nominally piss poor at a whole lot of of manual things that relate to driving cars. The feeling of being in control and the car doing "what they want" trumps the reality that we're really bad at all that.

    Just so that you know, it's quite possible to fly a statically unstable plane. I've had the opportunity on a simulator to deal with a pitch-and-yaw-unstable flying wing. It was done in a preliminary study of biofeedback for training "hard" control scenarios. The biofeedback was auditory, generated digitally in real time with a very small latency (1ms). After about a dozen hours I could actually take off and fly somewhat straight in it. Others who logged a couple man months could pretty much fly it like one would fly a regular plane - looking at the recording of the flight path, it looked "normal". Then you'd look at the stick deflections and you'd go "what the fuck?". The question is: do we really want to do what a hundred dollars worth of high-rel controller hardware, running about 10^5x more expensive software, can do for you?

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein