The future

He should have quit in 1968.

Where I live, there’s a lot of older residential roads without any road markings. Cars are allowed to park on either side, and when both sides are occupied, the remaining roadway is roughly 1.5 cars wide.

When you happen to encounter oncoming traffic in an area with cars parked on both sides, there’s a certain “negotiation” that occurs–one or the other driver pulls over into a vacant space, lets the other car go by, then goes on their way. This requires a good “read” on the other driver, based on how they manuever the car, eye contact, etc…and some understanding of human psychology.

I can see how two humans handle this; I can kind of see how two robots could; I DON’T see how a human and robot car accomplish this!

I agree completely with that situation @meanjoe75fan I don’t see how there is any possibility of a human-robot encounter solving it in the same way.

I talked with a company that invented some small robots that carried tires from manufacturing station to station. They solved that problem by giving the robots serial numbers of which they were aware. The robot with a lower number always had the right of way. If robot #101 met robot #356 at a crossing, #356 had to yield, always to #101.

Maybe the rule is; Always yield to humans. Isaac Asimov would agree.

If self-driving cars will let people get themselves home from bars without resorting to driving drunk, I think it’s a great idea.

^Wouldn’t that still be illegal? I mean, everybody rags on Cap Hazelwood for (likely) being intoxicated when the Valdez crashed…despite the fact that the Third Mate was the one on the bridge at the time. I thought “hand off control, but retain responsibility of command” was operative when delegating tasks to subordinates, autopilots, and “autopilot-like” things.

I also think, that if “sitting in the driver’s seat of a car turned off, with access to the car keys” = “DWI,” then “letting the car drive your drunk butt home” = “DWI” too…it’d almost have to.

Though, from a "harm-reduction" perspective, I'd agree that an intoxicated "overseer of controls" is a heck of a lot better than trying to drive the damn thing!

I also think, that if "sitting in the driver's seat of a car turned off, with access to the car keys" = "DWI," then "letting the car drive your drunk butt home" = "DWI"'d almost have to.

Who says you have to sitting in the drivers seat?

^Hmm…I guess that depends on the laws of one’s state…and probably case law. When I’ve had occasion to stay at the “Ford motel,” I always slept in the back and secreted the car keys somewhere other than the passenger compartment. Never had any run-ins with the law, so no way of knowing if it’d actually work or not. I suppose you could pull the fuel pump fuse…maybe that would be enough?

HOWEVER, I think you could make a pretty good argument that busting people “sleeping it off” in their car is incentivizing DWI (i.e. actually driving somewhere). I mean, “If I stay put and sleep, I will get charged with DWI–if I go for home, I might get away with it!”

If ECON teaches us anything, it teaches us that all humans respond to incentive structures, whether we’d like them to or not.

If you were sleeping in the back seat of your car, keys not in the ignition, and some over zealous cop decided to bust you for DUI, I’d think that although it would be a hassle and cost you a bit of money, that any lawyer worth their salt could get it thrown out. And IMHO, rightfully so, unless you’re sleeping it off while parked on the expressway or something.

It may not be the finest example of good planning, but sleeping in a car while intoxicated is a far cry from driving it.

How about when you get old or have health problems that make it were you should not drive? A self driving car would be great in that situation.

^Exactly. Lots of folks here have had to deal with the difficult issue of telling a parent they can’t drive anymore. A practical self-driving car to get them to the doctor and the grocery store would be GREAT!