Why trees have wreaked havoc on Uber's self-driving program


Not claiming you are the sole source of this opinion at all. I’d be willing to bet an equal number of economists voice the opposite opinion. That’s how economists are. Only time will tell for sure.

And I think you will see it, maybe gray haired, retired in a rocking chair on a porch somewhere but this will move quickly. The Commodore 64 was introduced in 1982… Compare that to where we are today! :wink:


I don’t agree – I have problems with how the testing of the tech is being done on public streets.

While my view is about the human decisions to allow this testing in public, you see it as ‘bashing the tech’… and in from my perspective, your first three comments on this thread (what you might have written on other threads isn’t for me to remember) showed no sign of focus on the human side of “the system” and instead sounded more like you were defending the tech, which is still seen in this latest remark with you being “a believer in the technology”.


That still doesn’t mean or show that I said or indicated “it shouldn’t be tested on roadways until it is 100% perfect.”
So how about this: I do NOT mean and have NOT indicated that “it shouldn’t be tested on roadways until it is 100% perfect.”

Equivalent to my clarification above, I do NOT mean and have NOT indicated that the car needs to “detect shadows [ ] under all possible conditions” before being tested on public streets.


So, if self driving cars become 50% of the miles driven a year and they kill 2000 people a year, we should not allow them on the road? Human drivers in the United States kill tens of thousands a year now. Why is it worse to be killed by a driverless car than a human?

We have already demonstrated we can’t drive without killing people and the numbers, after dropping for years, are rising.


At the moment, I don’t have enough information to answer that question.
But as part of gathering more information, who would be liable for those 2000 deaths? The rider in the self driving car? The car maker? Some other party?


There’s a lot of question that need answering about self-driving cars. Like how does a police officer pull one over if they observe it is violating traffic law or otherwise behaving unsafely. Does it know to go slower when there’s road work in process in order to keep the road crew safe? Does it know what to do when it gets a flat tire or there’s a malfunction in the car somewhere? Does it know to go slower in school zones when children are present? If it pulls over to the side of a narrow road with little in the way of shoulder, how does it signal to other drivers coming by to go slow? I think all these questions need to be listed out by an independent group of people (not in the pockets of the manufacturers) and their questions fully addressed by the manufactures, both to the questioner’s and to the public’s satisfaction, before these vehicles are allowed the on public roads sans actual human safety drivers. Otherwise it is just like that nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, the philosophy seeming to be “The design of these plants is fine, provided there’s no big earthquake”. The public deserves to know all the self driving car provisos before they hit the public’s roads.


Well, right now, the owner of the vehicle is financially responsible, I don’t see that changing.


Absolutely right to be concerned, especially if you have kids. Steering them toward future trends as much as possible. I recall you posting about your kids and they are well down the path already in healthy fields for their careers.

Interesting to see how different millenials are at approaching problem solving than my generation. They are also less risk averse than prior generations imo. Gives me impression they have their heads up and can see for themselves where this is going and embrace the future…


ok, next question: are insurance companies lined up and ready to insure these cars?


Mr. Waterbuff. I am sure that they are because the firms developing these driverless vehicle systems are already dealing with self coverage and insurance carriers. I think your are worrying way too much over this. You should ask your insurance agent this question as every state and carrier might have different policies.


Self coverage and insurance carriers are two very different things – the first is impossible for the majority of private individuals.
Uber and survivors of the AZ woman who died reached an undisclosed settlement – do you know if an insurance company was involved?

Thanks for your concern(?). I’m not worried in the least – yet I am interested in how much people have really thought about the big picture posed by this issue (which led to my questions for the other commentator).
And I’m not going to waste any agent’s time, although this might be helpful to you:

Some aspects of insurance will be impacted as autonomous cars become the norm. There will still be a need for liability coverage, but over time the coverage could change, as manufacturers and suppliers and possibly even municipalities are called upon to take responsibility for what went wrong.

Product liability laws might incorporate the concept of cost-benefit analysis to mitigate the cost to manufacturers of claims, according to a 2014 RAND report


Another interesting question, if a self driving car company makes a profit b/c their cars are providing a rented transportation service, should the gov’t take a cut of that profit? B/c the roads are owned by the gov’t, so in effect the company might logically be required to pay rent for the use of those roads as part of their business plan.





As I’ve said - look at the IEEE standards for autonomous vehicles.

The problems the systems are seeing now are fairly edge case. The technology has been in the classroom and internal testing phase for over a decade.


Well, that applies to all businesses, right?

My concern is for all EVs, including future self-driving vehicles - where’s the equivalent of the gasoline tax to fund the roads?