I've driven beside a couple of the Google cars in SF Bay Area in California and so far they don't seem any worse than the other drivers on the road.
Organising the World's information? :(
If it's going to invest money in non-search projects, i'd rather see Google investing its billions in alternative fuel technology. The biggest single challenge mankind faces is to find a cost-effective replacement to oil, imho. Apart from World peace, of course.
Google gets license to operate driverless cars in Nevada
Impact analysis: Driverless cars and how they would change motoring [bbc.co.uk]
It's mildly interesting, including such insights as:
- Safer roads
- A more productive commute
- Fewer traffic jams...
- ...but more cars
- No more school run
- Car as personal train carriage
- Designs will change...
- ...but roads won't
- And VIPs will still need human drivers
But what struck me most was the "expert" drafted in to comment:
|"Your automated car isn't sitting around getting distracted, making a phone call, looking at something it shouldn't be looking at or simply not keeping track of things," says Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of MarketingLand.com |
Deary me, that boy gets around.
It is the beginning of the end for what I do for a living. Will also result in fewer auto injuries/deaths and smaller police departments and fewer/smaller courts. All are good things.
From a purely selfish POV (obviously far less important than the public good)
|Will also result in fewer auto injuries/deaths |
|smaller police departments and fewer/smaller courts |
MUCH lower taxes. Yey!
Insurance wise who is responsible if the car kills someone?
Surely not the passenger who shouldn't even need to pass a driving test or have insurance. I would feel a bit miffed if the car killed someone when I was fast asleep in the back after a couple of sherbets, and I ended up with a criminal record and penal levels of car insurance for the rest of my life.
Is Google responsible, or whoever makes the car for them, or whoever programs the vehicle, or the owners of whatever GPS type system it uses for guidance?
|The biggest single challenge mankind faces is to find a cost-effective replacement to oil, imho |
The biggest challenge is finding a replacement investment for the speculators.
In the 50's GM, Firestone and Standard Oil bought up all the electric street car lines --- to derail them, (pun intended), and force people into gas powered GM buses and cars, riding on Firestone tires, fueled and lubed by Standard's oil products.
It's funny how a 1/2 century later "electric" transportation and more mass transit are touted as planet saving initiatives.
I worked with an inventor friend on technology based on renewable, ultra low cost, zero carbon hydrogen/oxygen based fuel and propulsion systems in the 80's... every submission to the U.S. Federal Government, (for DOE / DOT grants, etc), were rejected as "unfeasible".
The only thing unfeasible was that petro-lobbyist and the politicians in their pockets would not be able to perpetuate the false supply side oil based economy scam they've been running for the past 100 years.
The speculators now want to frac the bedrock beneath the entire country for natural gas --- time to buy stocks in bottled water companies.
The biggest flaw with the Google car will be that it takes people to where Google thinks they want to go rather than where they really want to go. Dear Leader Larry and co would be better of fixing the Panda/Penguin algorithm screwups.
Wonder if you would get a DUI riding home drunk if the car was driving?
Assuming you're in the passenger seat and not behind the wheel you're technically not the driver. However, you still had to start the car and tell it where to go, is just that much considered drunk driving?
This could be a real game changer for the unstoppable alkies out there, court ordered self-driving cars?
FWIW, I'd rather let Google software drive before most of the idiots I see out on the road because anything is an improvement over the cell phone talking, texting, putting on makeup, eating, reading books, and other distractions I see daily as cars weave this way and that, or go way too slow or fast trying to compensate for being distracted.
Bring on the droids, I trust them more than the loons currently on the road.
|Insurance wise who is responsible if the car kills someone? |
Check out the 3 laws of robotics [en.wikipedia.org]!
|The biggest flaw with the Google car will be that it takes people to where Google thinks they want to go rather than where they really want to go. |
|The biggest challenge is finding a replacement investment for the speculators. |
No need to replace them. If we didn't have them we'd be paying less for most commodities, including fuel.
I don't wish to negative about innovation as I know how important it is. I still stand by by view about the need for alternative fuels. What's the point of a driver-less car if we can't afford the fuel to power it.
Au contraire huge impact!
No more erratic driving, no more putting the pedal down to the metal.
Creating a smooth/fluid traffic.
Breaking and starting at the light all in the same motion; this and more will translate in huge at the pump saving.
|I still stand by by view about the need for alternative fuels. What's the point of a driver-less car if we can't afford the fuel to power it. |
Computers driving more efficiently will extend our current fuel source, let alone an alternative fuel source.
Ah yes, gather round for Bill's alternative fuel off topic rant started by engine :)
FWIW, going all electric in California would be trivial and practically free if you could get the cactus huggers out of the picture. They claim the proposed big solar plant that would power most, if not all of the state, would damage the desert.
Damage the desert? Oh Wah!
The problem is batteries - they need to be cheap, fast charging, and high capacity.
Crack that battery nut problem and the oil cartel will be sitting on their thumbs wondering what happened when everyone suddenly pulls out of the middle east and oil is nearly worthless.
Batteries are how you create peace in the Middle East because without oil they can't afford weapons!
...or Google self driving cars LOL
Yes, I agree, it will help that, but overall, we still need to replace the fuel with alternatives.
Batteries are all fine and good, but you have to charge them with something, such as from the main power supply, and that electricity has to be generated. Also, the life cycle analysis of batteries is not too good. Storing energy that way is not efficient, if you take into account the complete life cycle of the battery.
Back on topic.
There are already driver aids to help braking and steering if the driver gets too close to the car in front and veers over the lane markings. There are cars that park for you, too. Adding full control to a car is the next step. I've watched the driver-less cars develop over the years and it's been fascinating.
I'd still be more than a bit wary of letting the car do the driving, just like some of the not so good drivers I know.
@engine, the Google cars already work - they don't appear to be a work in progress. I think I mentioned above I've driven along side more than a couple of them already and the driver is doing whatever, not holding the wheel.
re: "Batteries are all fine and good, but you have to charge them with something" - the answer is clearly solar supplying energy for the grid in many parts of the US anyway. Which makes sense to have an electric car that drives itself :)
|FWIW, going all electric in California would be trivial and practically free if you could get the cactus huggers out of the picture. They claim the proposed big solar plant that would power most, if not all of the state, would damage the desert. |
Solar is not free but rest assured the EPA will make it competitive with the ever increasing regulation on coal such as the recent mercury rules that will raise IQ's an entire 2/1000 of a point, at least that is what EPA estimates suggest.
FYI we can make diesel/jet fuel with coal for the equivalent of about $50 a barrel...... hey but it's coal and with the enormous supplies we have in this country would make absolute sense. There is no private investment because of the volatile oil market.