Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

282 comments

First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue? (5, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129022)

First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue?

The developers? The owner? Toyota?

Class action rush hour on Route 66?

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (5, Funny)

mini me (132455) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129100)

The driver. It is the one that made the wrong choice. Its sentence will be served by forcing it to mine for bitcoins on behalf of the victim until the sentence has been carried out.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (5, Insightful)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129114)

I hate to agree with you, but i think its true, no one will tolerate a self driving car crash, even if it is just one. Even trains front crash time to time , something we think should be impossible to happen. Being benevolent, lets assume one of those car crashes , another driver fault, not a clear one, but his fault, what are the makers going to do defend themselves with system logs?

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (5, Interesting)

bytestorm (1296659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129312)

More likely than not they would defend themselves with logs like a black box flight recorder. Self-driving automobiles are uniquely capable of handling the problem of determining the other party is at fault. They are loaded down with sensors including gps, proximity, video, and laser rangefinding. With appropriate data capture and logging, it should be very easy to demonstrate fault in many cases (assuming you can disprove tampering). It is a much greater issue when the automatic driver is at fault, but this could be largely mitigated if insurance companies jump on board. An automatic driver is potentially much safer than a person who can be distracted, tired, or drunk and it seems to be in the insurance company's best interest to support such things. It just has to be demonstrated that these cars are safer than human drivers.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (3, Insightful)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129440)

Assuming fail-safes are in place for malfunctioning sensors. As cheap as some things are made these days, I find the promise of sufficient redundancy highly suspect.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129782)

Some things are made cheaply these days, yes, but what about your air bags and anti-lock brakes? This hardware and software would have to have the same reliability as those. Malfunctioning sensors can be handled gracefully with the right software--slow down enough that other sensors will do, or just stop and request the human driver to take control. But if one of your stereo cameras dies, you can still get most of the required information from the remaining camera and your radar, for example. Or if the front facing radar fails, just drive backwards :-D

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129914)

Given the regularity of ABS / air bag failures... I'd rather they WERENT on the same level

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129892)

I wouldn't trust in all that so much. Have you dealt with automated systems much?

If two self-driving cars are involved in an accident, there is a clear failure in the programming or systems of sensors and driving. Depending on the hardware or software fault, it may not be at all clear from the logs where the fault was.

Everything can appear fine from the software perspective, but there are times when the hardware is doing or not doing something the software thinks it is.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129996)

What happens if a bolt breaks loose and the car thinks it's turning one direction but it's moving in another. Did the bolt break before or after the crash? You'd need third party stories, metal analysis... it feels somehow more complicated.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38130066)

Lots and lots of system logs. With GPS/inertial/video/whatever sensor data is available. Recreate in a nice easy to understand demonstration exactly what the car was doing and what it felt when some careless person ran into it. Poor Prius :-(

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129136)

Under current law, the person behind the wheel in the drivers seat is considered the operator, and liable for whatever the vehicle does. The owners liability (assuming they weren't driving) is dependent upon their insurance, and the fact that the vehicle is autonomous is irrelevant. The developers, assuming they had not signed an unprecedented and absolutely retarded employment contract, have no personal liability. Toyota could only be found liable if it was proven that a defect in the vehicle caused the crash.

Simple fact is, before autonomous cars will really become commercially viable, a lot of laws have to change, mainly around liability of the manufacturer since they're taking on more responsibility. Most likely though, the operator will retain the majority of the liability, and we're unlikely to see in our lifetimes a car where you can punch in a destination and take a nap. It'll be more like an advanced cruise control. The operator still has total ability to control, is required to keep hands on the wheel and attention on the road at all times, and is responsible for intervening in the case of an emergency.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (2, Interesting)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129198)

So according to your logic, ride in the passenger seat to avoid liability?

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130062)

That would almost certainly be illegal in and of itself if the laws are sane. Not that they will be sane, but that will probably still be illegal all the same.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (4, Insightful)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129350)

This is actually very easy to deal with. The driver is still liable. The insurers decide, based on the cars, the expected crash rate for autonomous vehicles. They don't really care about individual situations, they care about overall numbers. They can choose how much to charge if it's an automated driver, and how much if it's a physical driver, and pay out if it fails. It's really not a hard system. If autonomous vehicles are safer drivers, they will take over a lot faster due to significantly reduced insurance costs relative to physical drivers.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129470)

Replying to myself as AC to clarify: I know AC was talking about criminal liability, not civil liability. There will have a be a clearly-defined exact payout for different types of collisions, replacing criminal lawsuits, for this to work. Or, maybe, insurance will cover a good lawyer. I have little belief a jury would find someone guilty in a criminal trial for manslaughter if their fully autonomous vehicle killed someone in reasonable driving conditions.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (-1, Troll)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130014)

This is actually very easy to deal with. The driver is still liable.

Have the driver be a judgment proof citizen of India who clicks a button when Siri says to click it. Game over all done. Why make this more complicated than necessary?

I would have 3rd worlders drive the cars directly, skipping all this autonomous stuff, but I've seen how they drive in their native land and how they drive after they illegally immigrate here, and I think we're better off not having them even try to turn the wheel. Just push the button when Siri says to push it.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129234)

I don't think this is as big a deal as people always fear. The person operating a machine normally takes responsibility for what it does under their direction. Nobody says, "that backhoe just dug a cellar," they say, "I dug a cellar" (even though 99.99% of the caloric expenditure was by the backhoe). Nobody says, "Excel just computed our monthly budget," they say, "I just worked out our monthly budget" (even if Excel did 99.99% of the calculations). Only when we're thinking into a future we don't yet understand does it seem like the machines will be making all these "intelligent" decisions. Once the machine is in hand and understood, we feel like we are making the decisions (even though the machine is actually making thousands every second, as with an airplane autopilot). Our perception of intelligence on the part of the machine disappears. Once we know what to expect from them we simply laugh at those who don't and assume they are idiots (pertinent example [snopes.com] ). People even feel this way when working through human subordinates. "George Washington crossed the Delaware River." It doesn't mean he rowed the boat.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129316)

If the biggest problem with this technology is who to sue, then I'm not worried about it.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (1)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129318)

Lawsuits and class-action suits are mainly problems here in the US. The rest of the world is different.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129462)

You still have to sit behind the wheel ready to take over the moment you spot danger. No reading the paper.

We have already had self-parking cars for a few years. Basically it tells you when to shift into forward or reverse and it moves very slowly so that you can slam on the breaks if some hapless pedestrian steps into the car's path. Same with cruise control that keeps you a set distance from the car in front and collision avoidance. Both these technologies have been around for a few years too.

The liability for any accidents is entirely on you.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129918)

You still have to sit behind the wheel ready to take over the moment you spot danger. No reading the paper.

People around here read the paper (amongst other things) while driving *current* cars. I can't see this one making things any better.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130002)

You still have to sit behind the wheel ready to take over the moment you spot danger. No reading the paper.

Meanwhile, in the real world, people will be reading the paper because their car drives itself. What's the point of a car that drives itself when you have to be continually watching for danger?

Air France 447 is a glaring example of what happens when you tell the driver 'don't worry, the computer is driving' and then the computer can't decide what to do and suddenly drops the driver into an extremely dangerous situation where they're expected to take over.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129612)

Who was responsible when Toyotas had the accelerator errors and were crashing? Insurance companies will probably create a separate class of insurance for self-driving cars based on the probability of a crash, and will charge drivers more.

Re:First self-driving crash - who to blame, or sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129792)

Will trucking companies start using Aussie type road trains but with controllers too? With most of the available fuel being part alcohol, does that mean they will start issuing DUI's to the car's driving computer? That might sound like a silly question but if all cars and trucks were computer driven then governments would lose one of their revenue streams as the control codes would no doubt be forced into following traffic regulations barring hacks. Hacks or older model vehicles would of course be required for get away vehicles. Imagine what this would do to NASCAR, Formula One etc as well. Speaking of hacks and cracks, will be interesting when rush hour traffic somewhere ends up being controlled by a bored 12 year old script kiddie after the cracks propogate on the web. Nationwide GTA could make for a way to protest amongst other things.

I'd love one of these... no need to park (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129048)

With a self driving car, I wouldn't need to worry about parking it. Just have it turn right around a building repeatedly, perhaps go around a block that has a lot of lights, so the vehicle is at idle most of the time, saving fuel and battery until I came back to it.

Toyota? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129072)

It'll even accelerate right though the back of the garage for you, just like a real person driving a Toyota.

Yes, it's a cheap shot.

end of the truck driver (5, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129098)

I was reading an ebook called "Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy" which is about the problem of technology eliminating jobs and the role of I.T. in the recession and jobless recovery and there is a section where the authors are talking about the rise of computing power and the advent of driverless vehicles and it struck me that we are probably in the last generation where truck driving is going to be a human job. With the problems in I.T. and the lack of jobs in my hometown (I can't move from here for reasons I won't go into) I was considering becoming one myself, but it is likely that it is another job that is going to exit stage left. I don't know what to feel about that, really. I am sure not many people on Slashdot care about that very much, but truckers are an American fixture and it seems like they pretty soon be another piece of roadkill on the technology highway.

Re:end of the truck driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129154)

it struck me that we are probably in the last generation where truck driving is going to be a human job

You seriously believe this? You think that all trucks are going to be self-driving within the next TWENTY YEARS? Dream on.

But I am interested in why you can't move from your hometown. Tracking anklet?

Go into the reasons, for God's sake!

all it will take is 1 death for auto cars to be se (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129212)

I was reading an ebook called "Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy" which is about the problem of technology eliminating jobs and the role of I.T. in the recession and jobless recovery and there is a section where the authors are talking about the rise of computing power and the advent of driverless vehicles and it struck me that we are probably in the last generation where truck driving is going to be a human job. With the problems in I.T. and the lack of jobs in my hometown (I can't move from here for reasons I won't go into) I was considering becoming one myself, but it is likely that it is another job that is going to exit stage left. I don't know what to feel about that, really. I am sure not many people on Slashdot care about that very much, but truckers are an American fixture and it seems like they pretty soon be another piece of roadkill on the technology highway.

all it will take is 1 death for auto cars to be set back big time. Let's see thing about it 1-2 years just for the courts cases to work though the system.

Re:all it will take is 1 death for auto cars to be (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129270)

Well I have no doubt that will happen. I think there is only one state (Nevada?) that has done any viability studies about it at all (the book I read mentions this) about what the legal framework would be like. It still looks to me like it would happen. As much as governments kowtow to corporations and as much as corporations hate to pay truckers or any other workers I could see it become a governmental priority pretty quickly.

Re:all it will take is 1 death for auto cars to be (3, Insightful)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129352)

So many people die from cars being driven by people now it could hardly be worse.

Re:all it will take is 1 death for auto cars to be (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129806)

That's the rational approach, but it's not how it'll be perceived.

Re:all it will take is 1 death for auto cars to be (5, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129994)

That's the rational approach, but it's not how it'll be perceived.

Americans have their head in the sand about driving deaths for years.

James Bond: You'll kill 60,000 people uselessly.
Auric Goldfinger: Hah. American motorists kill that many every two years.

Re:end of the truck driver (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129218)

Indeed, 50 years ago all the decrease in need for labor was expected, but predicted to work differently. They origionaly expected the standard of living for the average person to stay the same, and everyone to work 3-4 hour workdays, instead of people working half the hours, we decided to opt for half the people to work and half to starve.

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

spencerogden (49254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129558)

Yes, because there are more people starving today, or without heat, or other basic necessities than there were 50 years ago. Has inequality increased? Yes. But you can't ignore the fact that that the average person in the bottom 20% is better off today than in 1960.

And that's just in the US. Around the world millions have been raised out of poverty through the productivity increases from technology in manufacturing and agriculture.

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129256)

Truck driving may cease to be a job. But hijacking trucks, and then riding shotgun (literally), will replace it.

I mean, seriously, would you ship anything cross-country that could be tipped into a ditch and looted?

BTW, cowboys were an American fixture. You'll get mixed views of whether their demise is a good thing or not. "Cowboy" is a slur or a compliment, depending on the situation.

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129308)

As per a comment above, if the future political climate is anything like today's political climate then your state police/highway police forces will switch gears and be all about preventing that sort of thing from happening.

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129930)

...or not switch gears, in this case. :)

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130048)

There's no money in that! Speeding tickets are lucrative and will be replaced with "riding while inattentive."

Re:end of the driver, end of the auto industry (4, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129282)

Every car will become a taxi. Every taxi can make 40+ journeys per day.

You only need 1/40th of the number of cars.

Short Toyota, GM, Ford, Honda......

Re:end of the driver, end of the auto industry (1)

spencerogden (49254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129602)

Interesting idea. I wonder how much demand would drop. Technically we could all be renting time on Amazon servers instead of owning our own machines, but instead the thin client never worked and we buy millions of computers.

You can call a taxi in may small cities if you are willing to wait 10 minutes for one to show up. Would automated drivers really speed that up? People own a car so they can be independent.

Re:end of the driver, end of the auto industry (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129828)

Interesting idea. I wonder how much demand would drop. Technically we could all be renting time on Amazon servers instead of owning our own machines, but instead the thin client never worked and we buy millions of computers.

If we didn’t use our computers as gaming machines, thin clients might have had a fighting chance.

Re:end of the driver, end of the auto industry (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129922)

Not really, that'd only work if the journeys were perfectly distributed throughout the day. In reality most cars are used at the same time periods and are stationary the rest of the day, so the benefits of sharing aren't really there.

Mass transportation is much more realistic.

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129310)

I was reading an ebook called "Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy" which is about the problem of technology eliminating jobs and the role of I.T. in the recession and jobless recovery and there is a section where the authors are talking about the rise of computing power and the advent of driverless vehicles and it struck me that we are probably in the last generation where truck driving is going to be a human job. With the problems in I.T. and the lack of jobs in my hometown (I can't move from here for reasons I won't go into) I was considering becoming one myself, but it is likely that it is another job that is going to exit stage left. I don't know what to feel about that, really. I am sure not many people on Slashdot care about that very much, but truckers are an American fixture and it seems like they pretty soon be another piece of roadkill on the technology highway.

As they say, the only constant in life is change. And while everyone handles it differently, should you find yourself in a job that is going the way of the buggy whip maker, it can be advantageous to take their lesson to heart. Make sure you are able to preform more than one job well enough to get by on. That way if the horse and buggy industry goes under, you can always fall back to selling BDSM gear.

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129328)

Indeed....

Re:end of the truck driver (0)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129390)

Part of that problem is continued population growth. The world is not growing, and there is a finite limit on supportable population. There are only so many jobs to be had, and when two stupid people have nine children, they've just created seven people who are more likely than the first two to be unemployed. Get a damn condom.

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129662)

The problem isn't so much that technology has been putting people out of jobs. People have been saying that since 1800's. The problem is that wages in the western world at not competitive with the developing world. Take a look at China and India, millions upon million of people entering the industrial work force, jobs exist. When the technology improves people find jobs elsewhere, more cars means more mechanics and sales people etc. Things have worked pretty good like that for the last 200 years. What is happening now is not technological take over, but a massive labour force price correction vis a vis the developing world.

Who is going to hire an American for $20/h to work a factory line when someone in China will do it for $5? Something has to give.

Re:end of the truck driver (1)

Freultwah (739055) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129664)

it struck me that we are probably in the last generation where truck driving is going to be a human job.

In those parts of the world where there are actual borders between countries, differing throughput ability at border control and customs posts and various regulations as to when lorries are actually allowed to drive, there will be human lorry drivers for the foreseeable future. Example: I do not see machines being able to bribe a Russian border official to get past the 20 km queue faster.

Re:end of the truck driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129802)

You know what? We should keep buggy mfg around and have the government buy the finished buggies and burn them just to keep from losing those jobs.

And while we are at it, hire a bunch of people to plow fields with shovels and hoes since tractors put them out of business too.

Sorry, but technology is a good thing, if my job gets replaced by a robot, then it's time to get a job fixing that robot (or some other non robotable job) but every job that can be automated should be automated, otherwise someone else will and we will just be the 3rd world backwards leftover of the next generation.

I would buy one (5, Funny)

Leebert (1694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129126)

If I could shout into my watch: "KITT I NEED YOU BUDDY!" and have the Prius come racing to pick me up (bonus if it does a bootleg turn and pops the door open), I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Re:I would buy one (1, Funny)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129164)

>>prius
>>racing

lolwut?

Re:I would buy one (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129226)

You joke, but you know it's coming...

Re:I would buy one (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129298)

Not without a fuckton of mods. A 15 year old GMC Safari (a huge fucking van) has a better 0 to 60 and quarter mile time than a 2012 prius.

Re:I would buy one (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129478)

Yeah, but it doesn't prevent people from racing minivans and other [exelement.co.uk] vehicles [monroenews.com] that you'd likely not see in a race. Heck, look at Nascar truck racing... or even Nascar itself for heavily modified racing.

Re:I would buy one (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129518)

Ok. The joke is that the prius is so slow it could hardly be called racing. Wow I can't believe I had to explain it.

Re:I would buy one (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129658)

Yep, and my joke was that people will race anything today... (Segway racing!) It doesn't have to be fast, good at cornering, or be considered for racing (School buses.) People will find entertainment in racing them.

Re:I would buy one (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129848)

Hell, people even organize and bet on snail races.

Re:I would buy one (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129494)

Not without a fuckton of mods. A 15 year old GMC Safari (a huge fucking van) has a better 0 to 60 and quarter mile time than a 2012 prius.

You probably wont care about what speed you're going at (within reason) once sitting in a car becomes kin to sitting in front of the tv. Sit down, tune out, and wait until you arrive where you're going.

Of course, there will be a lag. There might even be three generations of people who insist the 'new fangled' driving system sucks. But, when drunk driving and vehicle related deaths sharply decrease and you *don't* have to fear the winter roads for the first time...I bet you and others will put up with it.

I know I look forward to the day where the fragmented Ego of the crowd is off the road.

Re:I would buy one (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129608)

You can actually jump further into the future if you like. Simply get drunk, take off your shirt, lay on the floor and prop your self up while trying to eat a cheeseburger.

Re:I would buy one (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130018)

You can actually jump further into the future if you like.

No way, if I did that then I'd be skipping the Erika Eleniak and Pamela Anderson phase!

Re:I would buy one (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129944)

I would too since I am disabled and can't drive. However, it has to be bugless too. I don't want a buggy KITT. Wait, I would call mine KARR. :P

About time! (4, Interesting)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129158)

With the state of technology now, self-driving cars are possible. I can't wait until self-driving cars become the mainstream. It would be awesome if a car could drive me to work, while I read the news, or do some work. For a long drive, I could even take a nap... And I bet there would be a lot fewer accidents, and less road congestion. I really think this is the future of public transportation. A huge network of self-driving cars could make public transportation a lot more efficient than it is now.

Re:About time! (1)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129248)

So, in other words, you should take the Bus

Re:About time! (4, Insightful)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129382)

Self-driving cars are the way of the future. Why drive when you don't have to? Once people get over the fear of trusting the software they will realize that their time is far too valuable to waste driving.

Re:About time! (1)

bytestorm (1296659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129414)

A non-stop (except for gas) bus where I don't have to worry about the guy next to me stealing my laptop or smelling like garbage. I'll take it.

Re:About time! (1)

booyoh (2511204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129668)

You will be surprised how many "major" cities in the USA have very poor public transportation systems. A self-driving car is the answer to these cities. Especially with an increasing amount of people using smart phones and driving during traffic.

Re:About time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129874)

What will people do to save on parking? I was just imagining the streets packed with empty slow but steadily moving self-driving cars on the way back home after a drop off or coming into the city to pick up. Of course maybe before that happens the bus will transform into a fleet of smaller autonomous taxis. Your fare could be calculated based on factors such as the distance to your final destination and the number of people you're willing to travel with or make detours for.

Re:About time! (1)

mishu2065 (1616553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129898)

A self-driving car is the answer to these cities.

That, or a better public transportation system.

Re:About time! (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130020)

That, or a better public transportation system.

Let's see. For that to be possible, I would have to be picked up from where I am to go directly to where I want to go at any time of my choosing, with plenty of luggage space and with only the people I want to travel with.

Oh, rather like a self-driving car.

Re:About time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129850)

If cars could drive themselves, it would also be a lot easier to share cars. A driverless taxi service could potentially be cheap enough to make car ownership a thing of the past.

Can I do this? (3, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129208)

1. Let my neighbor's kids run around the parking garage while I stand outside waiting for it after I've "summoned" it?

2. Fiddle the transmission knob while it's auto-mobiling?

3. Tell it to run through the sand at the beach?

4. Sit in the back instead of the front? Just to freak out everyone else on the freeway.

5. Bring a date?

Re:Can I do this? (4, Funny)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129486)

5. Bring a date?

LOL! good one!

Re:Can I do this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129500)

If you are posting to /. , the last question is just a theoretical one anyway.

Didn't they already do this? (3, Funny)

Lightborn (7556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129232)

Now it's a feature that the car accelerates on its own?

35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in US (5, Insightful)

danparker276 (1604251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129250)

Yet no one seems to care. 500 US troops die a year in the middle east and it's a huge deal. These are 35,000 deaths that can easily be avoided. And that's only in the United States Yeah there'll be a few deaths, but probably 99% of the 35,000 will be avoided. Everyone should be forced to own one of these considering how many pedestrians are run over. People have to get over their own greed to drive a car fast though.

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129320)

Yes, there is a cost to freedom, even if that cost is life. I would still choose freedom over security, even if it meant I could die from it.

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (3, Insightful)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129538)

This seems like a pretty narrow concept of freedom. I'm kind of uncomfortable with self-driving cars myself, I have the control-freak instinct, I currently drive a stick-shift mostly for that reason. But it really is pretty hard to argue against either safety or practicality of self-driving cars.. I'm assuming that the self-driving car really is more like a taxi than a bus, in that if I decide half-way to my destination that I want a different destination, I can just make it so, and that will be that, and furthermore that if I want to take the scenic route down along the creek instead of the freeway, I can get that too.

So, I can still pick my time of departure, my route, and my destination, and change my mind in mid-drive, only my freedom to operate the vehicle has been removed. Yeah, it bugs me a bit, but I don't know if I'm ready to die for it.

And where's the line? In my city, it's hopelessly impractical (and maybe illegal) for me to ride a horse to and from work. Is that an unacceptable infringement on freedom of movement? Should I die for that one too?

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (3, Informative)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129416)

That's because 500 military personnel deaths would be a death rate of ~1:3000 (~1.5 million active personnel) while the driving deaths are ~1:7000 (about 240 million licensed drivers). So since one rate is more than double the other it's not surprising one gets more outrage.

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129592)

you are assuming all licensed drivers drive at least once a year,. But even still. One stat has deaths from a war zone with people actively trying to kill them. Still it only achieves a little over double the death rate of driving

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129520)

Yet no one seems to care. 500 US troops die a year in the middle east and it's a huge deal. These are 35,000 deaths that can easily be avoided. And that's only in the United States Yeah there'll be a few deaths, but probably 99% of the 35,000 will be avoided.

For the record, 35,000 fatal crashes out of 230,000,000 cars on the road = .014 percent fatality rate. Eating pork has a higher fatality rate; thus, your argument is non-existent.

Everyone should be forced to own one of these considering how many pedestrians are run over. People have to get over their own greed to drive a car fast though.

Lemme guess; cyclist, right?

Get over yourself, Lance Armstrong.

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (1)

danparker276 (1604251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129950)

The point is, these deaths easily be avoided. 35,000 a year is a lot. You can take .014 and multiply by 80-100 for each year of your life and it's a 1% chance. There is an easy solution right in front of us. And people are always going to drive drunk, no matter how much you educate them. And some people are just going to be bad drivers. And sometimes there will just be human error, fog, or other hazards that a computer will avoid. This freedom argument is garbage when you're endangering other people's lives.

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130034)

The point is, these deaths easily be avoided.

No they can't, or we would have avoided them already.

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38130038)

The point is, these deaths easily be avoided. 35,000 a year is a lot. You can take .014 and multiply by 80-100 for each year of your life and it's a 1% chance.

You can also multiple .014 by 80 for the number of years, then 2 for the number of legs, then 10 for the number of fingers to end up with a 22% chance for all the sense that your math makes.

Re:35,000 Deaths from car accidents every year in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38130044)

I think most people blame drivers for car accidents and the resulting deaths (ie. if you're own damn fault you got killed even if it wasn't your fault).

Where in the other case the outrage is either over vengeance or because the situation doesn't even need to exist (ie. call the troops back).

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129394)

... I was going to post a joke, but for once I'll have some consideration for those who lost their dear ones.

But let me say this:

One thing is having an "engineer mentality" with total disregard for human feelings and marketing; but that has limits.

I guess there's someone very, very misplaced deciding things at Toyota. This is not a good moment to do that -- even if it works well.

The car didn't stop? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129396)

Is it a Hit and Run if your car runs over somebody and keeps going while you're asleep?

This brings new meaning to... (1)

Baloo Uriza (1582831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129428)

...unintended acceleration.

Oh Look (3, Funny)

Kamel Jockey (409856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129456)

It's a Johnny Cab!

I'm betting you'll still get a DUI in one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129496)

For purposes of preserving the DUI revenue streams, it won't matter if the car's driving or not.

Re:I'm betting you'll still get a DUI in one. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130042)

There will also be a compulsory random speed variation so you can get a speeding ticket every year or so.

has to be said... (1)

weedwhacker (1146417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129554)

I for one, welcome our new self driving Prius overlords.

Mass Distraction (1)

cognoscentus (1628459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129568)

As cool as self-driving tech is, am I the only who is struck by the absurd decadence of continuing to plough resources into energy-intensive individual transport? Even with the improved efficiencies of a hybrid engine, it doesn't compare in efficiency (or social justice) to a properly funded mass transit system.

Re:Mass Distraction (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129972)

Yes, you are the only one. 8D

I don't find our transport energy intensive at all, we're just stupid how we get our energy since the earth has abundant cheap energy we don't use. The trains and buses don't go where I need to be.

Re:Mass Distraction (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38130068)

As cool as self-driving tech is, am I the only who is struck by the absurd decadence of continuing to plough resources into energy-intensive individual transport?

Yes.

Public transport sucks and will always suck unless it's so pervasive that it's using vastly more fuel than individual cars. When I lived in the UK I'd regularly see buses that only carried one person (i.e. the driver) and trains that were dragging a dozen carriages behind them with perhaps one person in each.

To not suck, public transport has to run numerous routes every few minutes, and inevitably most of those vehicles will be empty. Hence it will either suck or be insanely inefficient. Plus you'll probably have to be groped by the TSA to get on board.

Can it Bluetooth with your Garage? (2)

bradorsomething (527297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129636)

"Open the pod bay doors, Asimo."

Re:Can it Bluetooth with your Garage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129966)

I'm sorry Dave, but I am unable to do that....

They should have this drive around Daytona (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129834)

That'd give Kyle Busch a chance to drive without wrecking anybody.

Cool! (1)

rapidreload (2476516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129882)

Now all we need are transforming vehicles and if I get into trouble I can just shout out "BUMBLEBEE!!!" and my car will not only drive itself up to me on its own, but hopefully blow up other cars in the process.

Party like it's 1999! (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38129888)

+1 if you'd rather they called it the LAVOS. ;)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...