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


I admit I’m becoming annoyed at the false equivalencies. I want driving to become safer, and in one morning I’ve been accused of both supporting fascism and having Orwellian ambitions.

Quite bluntly, that’s a load of crap and anyone actually reading what I said who is not trying to push their agenda will see that.


I might have misunderstood but it seems like the message was the public is incompetent and we will save 10,000 lives a year by turning driving over to computers instead of people. Maybe just eliminate the people altogether in favor of computers.


a) The likelihood that auto-drive cars will kill anywhere close to 20,000 people per year is pretty small, so real world we’re talking about a much greater drop in vehicle deaths.

b) Exactly what does pointing out that computers can and most likely will be safer drivers than humans have to do with 1984?


Oh boy, everything controlled and watched by the state.

The thing that is missing from the analysis and the constant haranguing of the way the public drives, is the fact that every day, millions of Americans drive their cars millions of miles without killing themselves. So we look at the small number of injury accidents and the even smaller number of auto deaths (300-500 per year per state) and conclude that drivers are terrible. Yes, in my million and a half mile sample, I have seen some stupid moves and we concentrate on that. What we forget is that for mile after mile on a normal day, everyone seems to drive pretty good. Don’t judge the rest of the country by what happens in Boston or Los Angeles.


There are dopes everywhere, Bing. My daughter went to college is a small southern town. I was visiting and stopped at a red light. The folks driving the opposite direction got a green arrow, and turned just as they should. Then I got a green light, and they kept turning and turning and turning. There were at least five cars that turned on a solid red light. I told my daughter about it and she said they call it driving Southern. Stuff like that happens so often that they gave it a name.


I think I see where the confusion lies. Let’s clear that up right now. Computers are not the state.

Try 700-800.

Now I happen to know what state you live in, because it’s the same state I live in, and therefore I know what kind of driving you see when you’re out on the roads, and you cannot seriously expect me to believe that you think “everyone” drives “pretty good.”

As far as the death statistics, those are bad enough but we must temper our understanding of them with the realization that cars have become incredibly good at keeping their occupants from dying in wrecks.

If you look at the statistics of people injured in wrecks, that jumps to 3.21 million which, if you’re keeping track, is 64,200 per state, or 176 people in each state getting hurt in car wrecks every day.

So, it’s pretty obvious that the accident rate is high. These are not all unpreventable wrecks. The majority are caused by poor maintenance and bad driving.

And then if you look at crash statistics in general, whether people are injured/killed or not, it jumps again to 6,296,000 in 2015, up 232,000 from 2014 - I suspect that’s attributable to the constant rise in playing on phones behind the wheel.

At any rate, that’s 126,000 wrecks per state per year, or 344 wrecks per day in every state.

Still think there’s not a problem?


I haven’t had an accident in 17 years and haven’t had an “at-fault” accident in over 30. I CAN drive safely. You would take the freedom to control my own vehicle out of my hands, by the force of law, because 30,000 people can’t “handle it like a grownup”. Punish the many for the sins of the few, in other words. Who are you, or your like, to decide that?

Using your own logic, it isn’t a stretch to suggest that since 3500 people a year die in swimming related accidents that swimming should be outlawed. Or walking, since 70,000 walkers are injured every year. Or eating donuts because they contribute to heart disease, the #1 killer. How many examples do I need to suggest before I hit on something you enjoy?

BTW, I baited you with that question because I knew the answer you’d give. You did not disappoint.


See, that’s where you’re wrong. No, I would not. I simply acknowledge the inevitability that it will happen. As I’ve said many times over the years on this forum, including in this thread, I support stricter driver training and licensing requirements, not outlawing manual driving.

But realistically, stricter training and licensing requirements isn’t gonna happen because most people view driving as a necessity at best, an annoyance at worst, and only do it because they need to go places. They don’t want to invest more time and effort into driving and any politician who proposes it will have them flocking to the polls to vote him out.

By the same token those people who only drive because they have to drive will be more than happy to let the computer drive them around, which means their skills will atrophy further, and eventually someone’s gonna come up with the great idea of just letting the computers drive because we can eliminate all the inconvenience of getting a license and wouldn’t that be great – but to make that work safely laws will have to be passed banning driving.

That, again, is not what I want. It’s just what’s going to happen because drivers don’t care to be proactive enough to stop it.


Another one of your conspiracy theories Bing??


There is a workable situation somewhere between Totalitarianism and Anarchy that we can hopefully find leaders to carry us and keep us somewhat contented. The bedlam on the roads of India is no more appealing than the gridlock of D.C. at rush hour.


@shadowfax Try 700-800.

Minnesota at any rate was 401 for 2015, 392 for 2016, and 255 YTD for 2017, although two more were killed last night by a wrong way drunk driver, so not sure where the 800 comes from. Maybe 1955?


Another one of your conspiracy theories Bing??

Naw, I’m not the one who predicted no more accidents and no more stop lights needed when the computer takes over driving.

Comrade Bing out


Average. It’s called math.


OK, now I understand. So 401 + 392= 793 divided by 2 = 397. Is that how you get average? I still didn’t get 800 though so maybe I did something wrong. Back to class.


HUH…grasping at straws again. Weak…very weak.


Just using your own paraphrased words. But back to work but I’m picturing your chair breaking.

"It surely has the potential to. If all cars are autonomous - they can easily be linked together and sending digital messages to each other. If one of the vehicles gets a flat it will then notify all other cars in a x-mile radius and then traffic can be diverted around it.

Some engineers and scientists looking at the long term use of this technology foresee that there won’t be a need for traffic lights or stop-signs. Cars will be talking to each other and maneuver intersections seamlessly."

Wow what a world. No stop lights and all these little cars talking to each other while the drivers text or sleep.


OK @shadowfax after insulting my math abilities I pulled out my college statistics book to review how to compute averages, and referred to Minnesota Public Safety statistics. Table 1 on page 4.


Warning: Boring statistics ahead.

1910 to 1926 176 average deaths
1927 to 1943 536 average deaths
1944 to 1960 585 average deaths
1961 to 1977 898 average deaths (Bingo, there are your 800)
1978 to 1994 647 average deaths
1995 to 2010 560 average deaths

Now the range is a low of 23 in 1910 to a high of 1031 in 1972
But a range of a high of 5.33 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in 1968
to a low of 0.72 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in 2010

So to conclude, you have to go back in time pretty far to get 800 average and wow we are down to a mere 0.72 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. Maybe those idiot drivers are not such idiots after all that need saving from themselves or maybe cars and roads just got safer while the public got stupider and more irresponsible. Whatever, things are quite a bit better than they used to be considering the war years, no seat belts, returning the speed limit to 70 and so on.

Then there is that pesky law of diminishing returns. We already have gone from 5.33 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled to 0.72. So not against technology but lets get real about the costs and benefits.

PS, Only Minnesota and might have made a couple mistakes but that’s the general consensus.

Comrade Bing signing off


You obviously have no idea behind the meaning Conspiracy Theory. Look it up.

How in any way shape or form is what I said a conspiracy theory? Geez. That’s just absurd. What conspiracies? All I was stating was a possible scenario based on the technology…and you think that’s a conspiracy.

But keep trying…this is fun.


My old stats prof used to like to say that figures don’t lie, but liars figure. I’m getting tired of entertaining someone who thinks I’m Orwellian and apparently thinks I want the government to control our entire lives, but I’ll say this since you’re blatantly mischaracterizing me. Again.

How about we look at the actual national year data, since the average I was referring to was very clearly the average number of deaths per state based on the national figures, rather than an average from one state:

1995 41,817
1996 42,065
1997 42,013
1998 41,501
1999 41,717
2000 41,945
2001 42,196
2002 43,005
2003 42,884
2004 42,836
2005 43,510

Divide those by 50 and you get a range of 830.02 to 870.2, which is higher than what I claimed because I was going on more recent statistics which show the average per state to be in the neighborhood of 760.

Obviously, some states are going to be lower than those numbers, and some states are going to be higher than those numbers, which is why when someone says “the average per state is X,” it is improper, not to mention transparent, to pick a state on the low end of the curve and say “See! You’re wrong! This number is smaller than the number you said!”

And of course, it further goes without saying that these numbers are minuscule, because they only talk about people who died. The number of actual wrecks is vastly higher, and if you add the number of near misses the number will clearly be even higher, all of which points to the idea that people are not driving as well as they could, and if they don’t start taking an interest in learning how to drive properly, and then abstaining from distracting themselves with text messages and the like, then when cars are able to drive themselves eventually we will get to the point where, whether via legislation or simply because no one will know how anymore, no one will be allowed to drive.


I travel for business about a total of 2 months every year. Most of my travels are east of the Mississippi, but in the past 8 years I’ve hit every state in continental US.

Yes Boston and NYC are extremely rude drivers…but that doesn’t mean drivers everywhere else are perfect. There are enough rude/obnoxious drivers in each state. And while MA and NY may have a reputation for the worse drivers…they don’t even make the list for top 10 DUI driver states.


Mike I think you are confusing who said who was a conspiracy theorist. I never said anything about a conspiracy except the fact that there are those people who wish to control the lives of others. That’s a fact not a theory. You on the other hand see lots of corporate conspiracies most recently for gas pricing after a hurricane. You also seemed to think I had communist tendencies. I think you might have hit your head when your chair broke. I think you’re a nice guy though but just a little excitable.