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'Americans are right not to trust self-driving cars'

Yeah I don’t trust those taxi drivers in DC either.

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LOL, or any major city. I think I’d rather trust “Johnny cabs”.

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Ah yes, several NYC taxi rides rate among the more “exciting” moments of my life. LOL

I was describing self-driving cars to my 90-year-old uncle, and he stated that he would never trust a car to drive itself and didn’t like the idea of self-driving cars on the road.

I responded “Cars don’t drink.”

He conceded that point to me.


Note that the tone of the article is an extreme left attitude, where the government must regulate everything possible for our protection. I just thought I’d throw that out there.

I didn’t get that at all, and I resent you injecting partisan politics into this discussion. As a matter of fact, this editorial acknowledges that government bungling has contributed to mistrust of government regulators and their apparent ability to be influenced by industry leaders to put profits ahead of safety.

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You may have noticed that I often defend the government from conservative criticism. I consider this equal opportunity defense since the criticism comes from a liberal newspaper, the Washington Post.

I did not suggest that rear view cameras are a bad thing, I like the camera on my Accord’s trunk. My only point was to highlight that the government can’t please all of the people any of the time. There are also critics that are appalled that NHTSA requires cameras.

The bungling the article refers to seems to be foot dragging by not having enough automotive regulations. That would be a liberal complaint, not a conservative one.

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The technology is NOT ready YET. Operative word there is YET. It’s changing/improving every week. People make uninformed decisions about something 15 years from now based on technology today.

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For a true ‘E-ticket’ ride try the city busses in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. One ‘S’ curve is particularly exciting. I had never imagined a perfect all wheel drift could be executed on cobblestones. The best part is a ticket only costs about 35 cents.

Since when did “I think the government should not allow car companies to endanger people without their knowledge” represent an extreme left attitude? By that logic the government requiring car companies to install seat belts is an extreme-left position, at which point you’re admitting that anything left of anarchy is in your view “extreme,” and therefore the statement can be disregarded as absurdist.

Car companies will happily kill people if it leaves more in their bank accounts than not killing people. Ford literally chose to kill people rather than fix a known defect in the Pinto. GM literally chose to kill people rather than fix their ignition switches. GM also literally chose to kill people by mounting side-saddle tanks outside the frame rails on their trucks because, and this is true, the $23 per vehicle it would have cost to shield the tanks from rupture was $20.80 more than they felt was cost-effective in order not to kill their customers.

Aside from the obvious design flaws, car companies fought tooth and nail basic safety equipment like seat belts and steering columns that don’t spear drivers in the heart because they didn’t want to spend the money.

Car companies have an absolutely miserable record of putting money before safety, and now it’s being suggested that they should be allowed to do whatever they want with autonomous cars and they get to keep the crash data secret? That’s insanity, and thinking so is nowhere close to an “extreme left” viewpoint.


That, my friend, is an excellent point.
And they don’t lose their hearing, reflexes, or eyesight either!

I’m getting old. When self-driving cars are finally ready, I probably will be too!! :flushed::flushed:


I couldn’t really say what I wanted to say without starting a fight again but I just thought it interesting that someone in DC would be qualified to comment on anything about cars. Then again like I said we already have them with taxi cabs. Seeing the daily headlines of the Washington Post though, I think the true purpose of the article was something different than reporting on self-driving cars. They have a certain theme they need to follow in order to get their annual bonus IMHO.

Still I just don’t find it logical yet that self-driving cars will perform so much more efficiently than humans that traffic jams and accidents will be no more. You can yell and scream all you want but I just don’t buy it yet. Trying to jam 70,000 cars onto a highway designed for 50,000 is going to cause a traffic jam regardless of how good the software is.

Then on a long haul drive Monday I had Bloomberg Business on the radio I think and an interview with someone talking about their new service being tried out in London I believe. I don’t know who she was but my guess is she’s a policy wonk in DC, based on her non-british accent and use of DC buzz words. At any rate the idea is to match people for a ride share system so that I could find two or three other people to ride along with me and pay me. Wow, what a unique idea tried before about 25 years ago. Maybe it appeals to some guys in straw hats but I don’t want anyone riding with me and I don’t really care about saving the money. I just want to be left alone and I suspect most other people outside of the big cities feel the same way. OK, I’m going to Lowes in 5 minutes. Anyone want to ride along and pay me?

One would be right not to trust the internet, I would trust a self driving car more than the internet, but I use the internet anyway.


I agree. And I’ll bet the genius who was discussing the idea travels in a limo. Or a Mercedes. And would never dream of sharing her ride.

My guess is that this idea, should it become reality, will be promoted by seriously penalizing those that don’t share rides. Of course legislators will be exempt.

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My first uber ride was in Mercedes.

Not that I’m terribly impressed with many elected officials no matter what letter is next to their name, but I do not believe that you need to be an automotive engineer in order to regulate safety.

“Make sure your car doesn’t drive off a cliff” does not require engineering savvy. It’s going to be up to the engineers to carry the demand out, but the demand itself can come from anyone with half a lick of sense.

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I am already old and would buy a self driving car now if they were ready. My wife is terrified of self driving cars. She is also afraid of cruise control, which I use constantly so I don’t speed fast enough to get a ticket. I know much, much, more about cars and driving than my wife does. She has driven about 25,00o miles , I have driven over 3 million.

Ignorance breeds fear. Unless you have been out there day and night, all seasons of the year and in some of the worst weather in the country, you have no idea of how bad a job people do of driving.


More and likely people in DC are outsourcing to a consulting company(s) to for technical input. They do this with the FAA and defense technology. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) have set standards on autonomous vehicles.

IEEE has weighed in on autonomous cars also.

Neither of these organizations are government owned or controlled.

Has every issue become a partisan conflict?

But how can anyone really dream that totally autonomous automobiles are in the near future when litigation has resulted in warnings on cups of coffee and lawn mowers that shut off when the handle is released? I suspect that autonomous vehicles will be restricted to roadways with electronic pathways painted on the lanes some mutually verifiable method of communication between vehicles and traffic controls. If an autonomous vehicle doesn’t have 100% certainty of all aspect of operation it should signal an emergency and move off the road where it remains until some authority allows it to return to service. If some joker throws out chaff and the shoulder gets filled with out of service vehicles the passengers will consider learning to drive. But eventually autonomous vehicles will be the most common vehicles on the road I guess.