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RightNation.US: Robot Cars, Yes or No? - RightNation.US

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Poll: Robot Cars, Yes or No? (4 member(s) have cast votes)

Robot Cars, Yes or No?

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USA Today has a piece about the way cars and computers will continue to merge:

Quote

By 2030, city streets will teem with small, driverless cars whose wireless capabilities direct traffic flow smoothly, rendering traffic lights unnecessary, car designers and automotive visionaries say. The cars themselves will be made of collapsible, lightweight material, allowing them to be tucked into the tiniest parking crevices.

Cloud computing will enable riders to work or play games during their commutes while listening to their favorite music as chosen by the car, says Kevin Dallas, general manager of Microsoft Windows Embedded. The software giant is working with Ford, BMW and others to make vehicles more connected.


And CNN touts the life saving potential of robot cars...

Quote

Google's self-driving car got its license this week as the state of Nevada became the first in the nation to license the company's vehicles. And while a computer-driven car may seem unsettling, the technology represents a potential leap forward in auto safety.

More than 30,000 people are killed each year in crashes despite huge advances in auto safety. The overwhelming majority of those crashes are caused by human-driver error.
Computer driven cars could reduce traffic deaths by a very significant degree, said David Champion, head of auto testing at Consumer Reports, but only if all cars are computer-driven.


When I don't think about it too deeply, I kinda get excited about the robot car. But it's that last clause there that wakes me up.

Robot cars is how they're going to get us.

Hannity had a story last night about the stupid high speed train they want to build from "LA" to Las Vegas. Problem is, there's no cost effective way to start in LA, so they're going to have to start where I live--Victorville, CA. If you saw the show last night, one of Fox News blondes was reporting right down the street from us. And you saw how that thing ain't never gonna work. $100 for tix to Vegas? No. Not in a million years.

So when that fails spectacularly, expect the Utopians to turn their attentions to robot cars.

See, the train and the car are perfect metaphors for the competing ideologies of stupidity and conservatism. Trains have everyone on one track going to the same place. No getting off where you want. No choice other than what you're given. Trains assume everyone is mentally challenged. Cars, on the other hand, represent freedom and individual choice. People can go where they want even though it means less control and more risk.

Well, robot cars will mean an end to both the symbol and the real freedom cars represent, if what the article says is true. If all cars have to be self-driven, then say goodbye to the kind of freedom we have in today's cars.

I'm not saying it won't be kinda awesome to ride around without a care in the world with relatively little risk to life and limb. But I'm afraid of what it'll do to us. We're already just about helpless as it is.

Am I just being a Luddite?

My Mind is Clean
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12 Comments On This Entry

"...but only if all cars are computer-driven."

Sounds like they forgot about the existence of motorcycles - like all non-motorcyclists often do, especially while driving.
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Censport, on 11 May 2012 - 10:44 PM, said:

"...but only if all cars are computer-driven."Sounds like they forgot about the existence of motorcycles - like all non-motorcyclists often do, especially while driving.

They'll be robot-cycles. Yikes.
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No robot-cycles. And if robot cars don't see motorcycles, then no robot cars.
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I, being a researcher in fields that lead to automation that can be used in Robot Cars, like the idea... but I think it has to be a pairing... the car should not totally drive itself, but be able to watch all sides and handle dangerous conditions. It will also be interesting if the cars are open to hacking... open source driving software?
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Censport, on 12 May 2012 - 07:39 AM, said:

No robot-cycles. And if robot cars don't see motorcycles, then no robot cars.

I think robot cars will actually be better at spotting motorcycles than people. Especially if the motorcycles are at least plugged into some kind of network.

But I imagine this will probably be how they finally get rid of the crotch rocket for good.
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cdkorzen, on 12 May 2012 - 01:16 PM, said:

I, being a researcher in fields that lead to automation that can be used in Robot Cars, like the idea... but I think it has to be a pairing... the car should not totally drive itself, but be able to watch all sides and handle dangerous conditions. It will also be interesting if the cars are open to hacking... open source driving software?

Hacking will be a big issue. With my luck, I'll have McAfee instilled in my car and get crushed by a truck because it shuts everything down while it scans.
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cdkorzen, on 12 May 2012 - 01:16 PM, said:

It will also be interesting if the cars are open to hacking... open source driving software?



My thoughts exactly. Anyone who ever watched "Bait Car" knows about the dangers of having your vehicle suddenly come under the control of someone else, and that was just the ignition, and, I believe, the brakes. With the entire car on an automated drive-by-wire system, frightening possibilities open up.

Now, I have little sympathy when it's a car thief having his new ride shut down. But what if someone turned the tables and stopped a police car in mid-chase, or sent it careening the wrong way down a one-way street? Or stalled out a fire engine to prevent them from putting out a fire? Even if emergency vehicles are not automated, but private vehicles are, imagine suddenly being locked in your own car and being sent on a wild joy ride to God knows where? Or looking outside to see it start up on its own and sent smashing into your house?
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JimNEPA, on 14 May 2012 - 11:00 AM, said:

cdkorzen, on 12 May 2012 - 01:16 PM, said:

It will also be interesting if the cars are open to hacking... open source driving software?
My thoughts exactly. Anyone who ever watched "Bait Car" knows about the dangers of having your vehicle suddenly come under the control of someone else, and that was just the ignition, and, I believe, the brakes. With the entire car on an automated drive-by-wire system, frightening possibilities open up. Now, I have little sympathy when it's a car thief having his new ride shut down. But what if someone turned the tables and stopped a police car in mid-chase, or sent it careening the wrong way down a one-way street? Or stalled out a fire engine to prevent them from putting out a fire? Even if emergency vehicles are not automated, but private vehicles are, imagine suddenly being locked in your own car and being sent on a wild joy ride to God knows where? Or looking outside to see it start up on its own and sent smashing into your house?

Then it comes down to costs vs. risk. If, let's say, fatal accidents were cut in half because of robot cars, then I'd say the risks of hacking are easily worth it. Anyone caught hacking would have to be prosecuted for attempted murder.
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Mr. Naron, on 14 May 2012 - 11:50 AM, said:

Anyone caught hacking would have to be prosecuted for attempted murder.


And if the hacker is sitting at a government-owned computer in the middle of downtown Tehran? Or Kabul? Or Beijing? Or Havana?
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JimNEPA, on 14 May 2012 - 02:07 PM, said:

Mr. Naron, on 14 May 2012 - 11:50 AM, said:

Anyone caught hacking would have to be prosecuted for attempted murder.
And if the hacker is sitting at a government-owned computer in the middle of downtown Tehran? Or Kabul? Or Beijing? Or Havana?

Revolution? The end of the world? Dogs and cats living together? Look, I'm just saying if it cuts down on fatalities like they say, the risks of hacking are going to weigh little agaisnt it. I, like you obviously, don't like the implications it has for total control over our freedom of movement.
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Personal individualized transportation that hands-off shuttles you to work and back?! And you can text, smoke, blog and masturbate (redundant, that) and do basically anything you want rather than paying attention to driving?! It even parks itself?! It’s wonderful! It’s fantastic! Everybody needs that!



Well… everybody else.



To take my automotive autonomy away from me they’ll have to pry the steering wheel out of my cold dead hands… and then somehow separate the accelerator from my cold dead foot… and the floorboards.



:coolshades:



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