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People Trust Tech Companies Over Automakers For Self-Driving Cars

timothy posted about a year ago | from the just-don't-trust-that-siri dept.

AI 152

Lucas123 writes "Consumers appear more willing to use a self-driving car from a leading technology company, such as Google, over an auto manufacturer like Ford or Toyota, according to a new study from KPMG. Based on polls of focus groups, technology companies scored highest among consumers, with a median score of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as the highest level of trust. Premium auto brands received a score of 7.75, while mass-market brands received a score of 5. Google is the brand most associated with self-driving cars, according to the study, while Nissan lead the mass auto producers in recognition for autonomous technology; that was based on its pledge in August to launch an affordable self-driving car by 2020. 'We believe that self-driving cars will be profoundly disruptive to the traditional automotive ecosystem,' KPMG stated." I suspect that when autonomous cars start arriving for ordinary buyers, there will be a lot of co-branding, as there is now for various car subsystems and even levels of trim.

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no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110765)

They do not. This is no endorsement of the other either however. If you trust ANY company today, you better carry lube at all times.

Re:no. (5, Interesting)

phrostie (121428) | about a year ago | (#45110789)

I own an Android phone.

I'd trust Ford with my phone long before i'd trust Google with my car.

Re:no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110817)

I'd trust Ford with my phone long before i'd trust Google with my car.

The blacks: it's their fault.

Detroit: 90%+ knee grow since the 1970s and BANKRUPT. Wow turns out driving out all the white producers gets expensive as hell when you have nothing but rundown dangerous ghettos full of black consumers. Welfare state microcosm. Every indication why we should NEVER try it nationally. Despite Obamas best efforts.

Go ahead mod this down, tell me how terrible that is. After all somebody might be looking. Gotta keep up appearances you know. Openminded used to mean go wherever the evidence leads. Evidence of what large numbers of blacks do to any city and any neighborhood is OVERWHELMING. Nowadays openminded means, tow the party line or face universal ostracism. Progress!

Re:no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110847)

Really? Blacks? That's the best troll you can think of?
Pathetic. I remember when trolls actually tried.

Re:no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111067)

Good point. It's amazing that most people can be so ignorant.

Re:no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111113)

Let's just call a spade a spade, shall we?

Go ahead mod this down, tell me how terrible that is. After all somebody might be looking. Gotta keep up appearances you know. Openminded used to mean go wherever the evidence leads. Evidence of what large numbers of blacks do to any city and any neighborhood is OVERWHELMING. Nowadays openminded means, tow the party line or face universal ostracism. Progress!

That ain't no troll!

Re:no. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#45110947)

For has been doing better than most auto companies, but for the most part all of them have proven that the only way they'll even think about improving their products is when they have competition eating their lunch. Car companies have a poor record with responsibility, innovation, and customer care. I'd pick a tech company over any of them ,except for perhaps Tesla.

Re:no. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#45110957)

Note that the above statement does not apply to Microsoft, for the same reasons the car companies shouldn't be trusted.

Re:no. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#45111083)

If you saw some of the atrocious security vulnerabilities in their end user computer stuff, you might seriously rethink that sentiment.

Re:no. (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#45111541)

Google would make a competent entry, which would be in beta for a few years despite widespread commercial distribution. After version 3 or 4, it'd become a very good product. They'd also never do hardware and simply license the tech at low cost on the condition of being able to track your every movements to show you ads.

Ford would contract Microsoft to do it for them.

Re:no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45112637)

All that's need are:

a. a car company showing the same trick, aka demos, like a google car.
b. better price, which most car companies are good at....

right now google has the cool demos, and youtube....but no sellable car YET.

Duh? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110769)

I'd trust the quality of an AI from a machine learning company (Google) more than one from a mechanical engineering company (Ford).

Its not like Google is making the "Car" part of it. They are getting that from a car company. I'd trust a car company to make the car portion far more than I'd trust Google, but that is not the issue at hand.

Re:Duh? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110927)

But I don't trust Google not to have surveillance devices installed in the cars, or not to let the government install them.

Re:Duh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110961)

Would you trust _any_ US company not to do that?

Given how computerised are modern cars and how proprietary are their insides, are you sure, for example, that your Ford doesn't record a detailed log of your car's every movement (of course purely for diagnostic purposes!)? It'd be pretty easy, and it doesn't take much memory by modern standards.

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111063)

Would you trust _any_ US company not to do that?

I don't. Did I say I did? No.

Given how computerised are modern cars and how proprietary are their insides, are you sure, for example, that your Ford doesn't record a detailed log of your car's every movement (of course purely for diagnostic purposes!)?

I drive an older car, which I can fix and tinker with by myself (with no DRM or any other such thing), for precisely this reason. But really, the practice is simply disgusting.

Re:Duh? (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45111153)

I am not sure how you define "machine learning company", but Google isn't one.

Google is an ad broker which also invests in organisations that are likely to make a good ad deployment platform in the future.

Re:Duh? (-1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45111441)

Not me. Google is well known for its cool ideas, but not for producing real-world consumer goods with serious safety requirements. It's a whole different animal. There's plenty to criticize car companies for, but they do produce products where the failure of certain parts (brakes, steering) can kill you, but they rarely do. Contrast that Google's perpetual beta approach. Brakes failed? You should have upgraded to version 1.2.3.4bx build 427. Google is not and engineering company.

Car companies are working towards self-driving cars, by taking a bottom up approach. For example, self parking and keeping a car in the lane. Moreover they actually put this stuff in the hands of customers, by the millions. You learn a lot by doing that, and is a lot more useful than having a handful of wonder cars. For first prize in the science fair, Google wins hands down. For real world engineering, any car company beats it.

It reminds me of the history of AI. After a few decades of jerking around, people finally realized that it's too difficult to solve with a top down approach. Instead, real world progress was made with a bottom up approach. That's Google vs. the car companies in a nutshell.

All saver than human drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110783)

Any supplier will be saver than the average human driver.

Re:All saver than human drivers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111075)

Any supplier will be saver than the average human driver.

Says the person who cannot even spell "safer" correctly.

Re:All saver than human drivers (2)

anubi (640541) | about a year ago | (#45111357)

Yup... all of us make mistakes from time to time. You caught one. Congrats. This one thankfully did not lead to a ton of twisted metal and injuries.

I try not to make mistakes, Inevitably, given my best intentions, I screw up now and then, and when I do, its usually a whopper.

I have seen enough distracted people with a car full of interrupting annoyances ( aka kids, noisy wives, and cellphones ) that I am learning to trust a machine to do it right. I learned long ago a sewing machine could make a helluva lot better stitch than I can.

Re:All saver than human drivers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45112045)

I learned long ago a sewing machine could make a helluva lot better stitch than I can.

Youre still a fag for using one. Faggot.

Re:All saver than human drivers (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45111171)

That's a crap argument, and you know it.

Remove the worst 10% of drivers and see what happens.

Anyone can present data to suit their vision of a brave new world. Few people are willing to think about what the data is actually telling them.

Re:All saver than human drivers (1)

mrxak (727974) | about a year ago | (#45111293)

How, exactly, do you propose to do that?

Re:All saver than human drivers (1)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#45112061)

How, exactly, do you propose to do that?

Require tests of one's ability to actually maneuver the car skillfully and to perform various emergency maneuvers in order to obtain a license, instead of the test being little more than memorizing traffic signs and rules. When about 50% to 75% of all applicants fail and must re-take the test, it is comprehensive enough. Require all retirees to re-take this test every two years in order to obtain a license. Treat "failure to yield" and "following too closely" as automatic fails of the test, and treat these violations as nearly as serious as DUI for licensed drivers on public roads. Stop worrying so damned much about speeding since it rarely causes accidents, and start telling cops to ticket slow drivers because they actually do create hazards for others.

We certainly can do this, but you can see there is no political will to carry it out despite all the "driving is a privilege, not a right" mantras you might hear from the states. The states themselves would receive far less in ticket revenues if poor drivers were kept off the roads, so again they have a disincentive.

WRONG! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110793)

People trust the *idea* of self driving cars from tech companies over those from automakers. But, when reality bites and the consumer is presented with the Google Nexusmobile vs. the new GM AutoDominator, you'll see a very different sentiment.

People say all sorts of things... until it comes time to pay for it or put their own lives at risk.

Re:WRONG! (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#45112723)

People trust the *idea* of self driving cars from tech companies over those from automakers

Some people may be too old to have missed the massive screw-over that NA automakers pulled during the 70's with the "they'll buy what we'll tell them to buy." And the same with the Japanese/Korean automakers in the 90's. Or the European in the 70's 80's and 90's. The reason why this makes sense is because plenty of people do remember that, and as well those who may not have...have parents who do.

Its a question of liability (5, Insightful)

Justpin (2974855) | about a year ago | (#45110809)

TBH its not a question of trust per se, since it will be mass produced to the lowest bidder who will most likely cut corners. It is a bigger question of who is liable when it goes wrong? Right now the nut behind the wheel is liable, yet if we put an AI in charge, what happens when it goes wrong? The opt out / easy method is to still make the 'operator' liable. Will the 'operator' have to be awake at all times and focusing on the road for when something goes wrong? Because if so then although it may well self drive the fact it needs to be constantly monitored kinda negates a large part of its autonomy. I mean computers never go wrong right?

Re:Its a question of liability (1)

omtinez (3343547) | about a year ago | (#45110841)

I don't think that the liability will be a barrier for the implementation of autonomous cars. Using the same logic, seatbelts would have never been made legal. Both autonomous cars and seatbelts reduce total the number of deaths on the road (assuming the AI will ever get there) while sacrificing a smaller number who are technically "killed" by the technology itself

Re:Its a question of liability (2)

fluffy99 (870997) | about a year ago | (#45110913)

I don't think that the liability will be a barrier for the implementation of autonomous cars.

Seat belts are not a good comparison as seatbelts can't cause multi-vehicle accidents.

Liability absolutely will be a factor in our overly litigious society . The first time there is an accident with a fatality, the lawsuit against the manufacturer will be enormous. I don't think Google isn't interested in actually building the cars, but more into developing the tech and then licensing it to the automakers. Essentially what they do with Android. That gets them out of the loop for liability as they can blame the automaker for their implementation if something goes wrong. The automakers will of course attempt to shift any blame to the operator.

We are still a long, long way away from a totally driver-less car. Call me back when the car can navigate from my house to my work and park without some sort of human interaction. Watch out for detours, deer, kids in the road, etc.

Re:Its a question of liability (3, Informative)

kkwst2 (992504) | about a year ago | (#45111017)

In what way are we a long, long way away? If you're talking about an affordable driver-less car, I'd agree. If you're talking about laws being passed that allow their mass adoption, probably. But the technology is there. They can basically do everything you've suggested (home to work, detours, deer, kids), in many cases much better than people can.

Re:Its a question of liability (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | about a year ago | (#45111601)

I still see a number of issues that need resolved. A human driver is capable of reacting to a much wider range of problems and required responses, although I grant that human drivers have slower response times and sometimes react badly to surprises. What will a driverless car do if the road is blocked? Will is sit there confused, will it attempt a 5-pt turn in the middle of the road, etc. Will it drive around the construction guy holding up a stop sign? Does it know that it's supposed to yield to people waiting at a cross-walk, etc. All these are situations that would probably involve the human having to take over.

Laws and liability issues are a major hurdle, and it's likely to be a messy one as each state has it's own laws and opinions.

  These cars are also limited by the quality of road map data. As an example, all the major map companies still don't show the circle by my house as one-way, so we're constantly getting large delivery trucks going the wrong way around a 1-way circle. A simple error on a map could potentially have cars driving the wrong way down a freeway. All the google tests so far have been on very groomed map data. I don't believe any of the tests have been through areas with spotty gps coverage like long tunnels either. So again, I think the totally driverless part is quite a ways off.

where is that that trucks going the wrong way (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45111661)

do you have a map link for that error?

Re:where is that that trucks going the wrong way (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | about a year ago | (#45112147)

Not posting it publicly since it's literally next to my house. Plenty of examples here though http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Catalog_of_Errors [openstreetmap.org] .

Re:Its a question of liability (4, Interesting)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year ago | (#45112209)

I wish more people would stop at crosswalks for pedestrians. A few days ago I had to jump back from a crosswalk because a guy in his truck just went roaring through the crosswalk. He did not even slow down and he was easily going over the speed limit.

I would love it if there was a better method to deal with that. It doesn't matter that the law says he was clearly in the wrong for that. If he had hit me the law would do me no good at all. I want self driving cars because too many people are aholes and cops can't deal with all of them by a long shot.

I have had far too many people that I had to dodge out of the way of because while they where driving through an intersection to turn they picked up their cell phone to look at something on it as they drove through the crosswalk.

Humans make too many mistakes to allow them to drive when we have better technology available. We did not used to have that choice and now we do. If you think you are truly a much better driver than average and don't make any of these mistakes then you should be able to take tests and prove it and then could drive a car under your primary control but an AI as backup so that in the event of a failure it would override your control. That way if you fall asleep at the wheel, don't pay attention etc you still can't run over a person walking or on a bike.

Re:Its a question of liability (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#45111797)

I don't think that the liability will be a barrier for the implementation of autonomous cars. Using the same logic, seatbelts would have never been made legal. Both autonomous cars and seatbelts reduce total the number of deaths on the road (assuming the AI will ever get there) while sacrificing a smaller number who are technically "killed" by the technology itself

That was then Now we get sued for not knowing hot coffee is hot. How safe are these things? I would have to assume that the self driving electronics would have to be manufactured similarly to human rated rocket parts, or at least to avionics specs. Pretty pricey stuff, that. But even they fail. I for one would also like to have an understanding of what the failure mode is on these devices. Seat belts, air bags all are designed to protect in accidents. An autonomous vehicle that loses it's autonomy via component failure would be something that causes an accident.

If a person has to stay permanently in the loop, then what is the point? It would be pretty boring, and you might fall asleep. Perhaps we could make some device like the railroads in Australia use when crossing the country. A little doo-dad (technical term) that you have to press every 20 seconds or so to prove you are awake.

Instead of autonomous vehicles, what I think makes much more sense is semi automatic deriving. Radar to keep you in the lane, to keep you form tailgating, and to slow quickly if it detects a problem. Similar to autonomous, but different in that you still drive the car.

Re:Its a question of liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45112193)

Autonomous cars are a trivial problem to solve. Autonomous cars that can withstand the handicap of being isolated from communication with other vehicles and which can safely interact with other vehicles controlled by humans is the hard part.

If you removed human pilots from the national airspace midair collisions would never happen.
-The rate of crash from mechanical failure & adverse weather would go DOWN because the vehicles would not be able to override fault conditions just because they REALLY REALLY need to get home.
-They would have lower rates of fatal crashes related to postponed maintenance because they would not be able to release their fault latch without a human committing fraud by claiming the problem has been fixed. (Even if it is REALLY REALLY expensive to do things properly.)
-You would never have an autopilot decide to roll the dice on how much fuel they need vs diverting from their flight plan to the alternate landing strip.
-You would never have autopilot put themselves in a dead man's spiral just because their inner ear knows gravity better than the attitude indicator
-You would never have an autopilot hit a seawall in San Francisco practicing an antiquated skill out of pride.
-An autopilot would never ignore a bad landing approach because of social hierarchy.
-An autopilot would never attempt to complete a botched landing approach which exceeded preset thresholds established as best practices by a panel of industry experts.
-An autopilot would never attempt to fly after consuming alcohol.

Next time you're on the freeway, instead of making feeble attempts to affirm that people>machines, look around and make note of all the unsafe things you see happening which an autopilot would never do.

Then ask yourself:
-Do 10,000 ninjas scenerios justify the chaos of reckless human drivers?
-Are the predictable & controlled failure modes in autonomous systems an inferior option?
-Do you feel safer with robots controlling the cars around you or that teenager writing a tweet on her cellphone?

Autonomous cars are as inevitable as the abolition of slavery. The only question is:
"What will a world without traffic cops or fatalities look like?"

Sounds like a pretty nice place to me!

Re:Its a question of liability (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year ago | (#45112229)

McDonalds should have been nailed to the wall even worse for what they had done. The coffee was not just hot. It was hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns within a few seconds. They had dealt with a lot of complaints from it for quite a while before that.

You should probably read up a bit more on the hot coffee incident before just taking McDonalds side. They had some very good PR companies do a lot of work to blame the victim on that one.

Everyone is aware that hot coffee is hot but if you spilled coffee from any other store on yourself you would not have 3rd or even 2nd degree burns. That is the difference.

Re:Its a question of liability (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45112453)

Not to mention that the lid came off the coffee cup because the coffee was hot enough to melt the cup just above the waterline. That was the result of either too hot of a cup of coffee or too poorly constructed cup they were serving it in. Either way, there was good reason for the lawsuit to end against McDonalds.

As for the liability, the states that allow the self driving cars can simply pass a law limiting the liability of them and make the owners of the cars obtain an insurance policy large enough to cover that amount. They can even limit the liability to the manufacturers as well.

Re:Its a question of liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110849)

Some good points. But all though computers may fail, operator error is far more likely. Redundancy is possible.

The key thing here is that open-source is the only way we the consumers can be sure that things are done correctly.

There should be a mechanism whereby code modules could be "signed" to be loaded into a vehicle and some standard interfaces could be defined/authenticated.

For example BOSCH makes ABS systems, etc... The systems will extend current standardization.

In this way, the car manufacturers do what is best (building nice insides and outsides) and the tech industry do what they do best.

Remember there are planes that are completely automatic, so it is not if, but when.

I can't wait!

Re:Its a question of liability (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45111455)

No, integrating embedded software with hardware is a whole different animal than writing "pure" software. Not that I have anything against open source for that, and some nice frameworks and so forth have been produced for it. But, making a few casual hacks on something that's safety critical is not a good idea.

software is only part of whats needed for auto car (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45111681)

software is only part of whats needed for auto car there is a lot of hardware and even databases that are in play as well.

Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110813)

Trust the ones you know who can do it than the ones who have been avoiding making any technological advancement in their vehicle other than the idevices dock since the built-in radio. Adding a TV here and there or a camera in front/back for easier parking is NOTHING compared to a self driving car.

Re:Obviously... (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | about a year ago | (#45111507)

What about traction control, antilock brakes, fuel injection, catalytic converters, backup cameras, air ride suspension, heated windows mirrors and seats, collision avoidance, collision detection, airbags, automatic parallel park, and such?

Yeah but... (5, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#45110835)

I ripped my OnStar box out of my car because of their tracking policy so what makes me want to trust either the car makers or the technology companies? If Google does it you can be sure I'll be spammed with tons of ads and my every move will be tracked, mined and sold to any company or government they choose. I can see where auto makers will eventually do the same, Before self driving we'll all now have boxes tracking our distance in the name of eliminating gasoline taxes for roads which adds another dimension to all this data gathering on our movements. Until we get the privacy laws straight we shouldn't be considering self driving cars.

Re:Yeah but... (1)

spikenerd (642677) | about a year ago | (#45111947)

Until we get the privacy laws straight...

I'm just not seeing that happening anytime soon, so what exactly are you saying? Progress must halt indefinitely? Or do you really think we are on the brink of the general public suddenly becoming outraged at the privacy infractions of the entites that "serve" them?

Who would you trust to program a computer? (4, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#45110863)

This is no surprise really. Who would you trust to program a computer in charge of your life? A company who revolutionised the way we communicate and interact with technology? A company which offers incredible services which make our lives better thanks to gobbling up talented software engineers.

Or.

A company who's greatest innovation in the past 5 years is asking congress for handouts, and designing a touch screen interface for a car radio where the only new feature is that it is now far more difficult to use.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110935)

A company which offers incredible services which make our lives better

I don't use a single one of them. I wouldn't trust Microsoft, Google, Apple, or any of those other imbeciles; they all bend down before the government and only occasionally fight back.

Then again, I don't trust companies or corporations in general.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110973)

Pardon me, but Ford did NOT ask for any handouts.

I would very much enjoy watching Google try to design, build and sell automobiles. A very capital intensive, highly industrialized industry, versus one where one can just write experimental software and abandon it when one chooses.

As someone who works this industry, some of these comments are very amusing.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#45112679)

Pardon me, but Ford did NOT ask for any handouts.

Not in *YOUR* country they didn't.

Oh and after we gave them a hand to the tune of a few $billion they decided they were going to shut down anyway.

The reality is your industry is suffering due to a lack of modernisation. Every attempt to dabble in software has been laughable and/or scary. Everything from absolute piss pour GPS (GM I'm looking at you) to security bugs requiring dealer intervention to perform firmware upgrades.

I'm not surprised people wouldn't trust the car industry with something that actually requires expertise in software.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (3, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45111189)

A company who revolutionised the way we communicate and interact with technology?

"Revolutionised"? Microsoft did that once in the early '80s, with IBM; and a second time in the mid-'90s, when it supplied a desktop OS with a TCP/IP stack. Apple's 1984 and iDevice UIs were similarly brilliant.

Google's just a bunch of incremental improvements to existing tech to increase the quality of product to an ad brokerage platform.

A company who's greatest innovation in the past 5 years is asking congress for handouts,

Which company is this?

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111437)

A company who revolutionised the way we communicate and interact with technology?

"Revolutionised"? Microsoft did that once in the early '80s, with IBM; and a second time in the mid-'90s, when it supplied a desktop OS with a TCP/IP stack. Apple's 1984 and iDevice UIs were similarly brilliant.

Google's just a bunch of incremental improvements to existing tech to increase the quality of product to an ad brokerage platform.

You're obviously too young to remember what the Internet was like before Google. [Or are wearing nostalgia goggles]

Google had the first search engine which actually worked compared to Yahoo Directory and the craptastic search engines like Altavista. Everything about the modern web stems from Google making it accessible to everyone by providing working search capabilities.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (3, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#45111579)

I do recall the day in 1998 a friend shown me a new search engine called Google. I liked the light web pages that loaded fast, but I do not recall it changed my life. Stuff was easy to find before Google, you just had to use a desktop search engine agregator. I gradually moved to Google as other search engines vanished.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#45112693)

Incremental improvements can still revolutionise.

But hey let's pretend the company is just a crappy search engine and hasn't provided easy mapping of most of the world, provided street imaging of every major city, created systems to help people communicate, take their work online, provide instant access to a satellite view of the earth, brought FTTH broadband in places where only a true monopoly has existed, oh am I forgetting something... built a self driving fucking car which has driven over 500000km with it's only accident being a rear-end collision (not the car or it's passenger driver's fault)!

Yes sireee, just a fast loading webpage, nothing more to see here.

I even made it to the end without mentioning Android. ... nice!

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111465)

A TCP/IP stack they got from BSD software (before that we used 3rd party TCP/IP stacks to get windows online). Yes, very revolutionising indeed... sounds like you have been drinking the MS/Apple kool-aid (I would include IBM, but at least I dont see much pretence of being revolutionary coming from them, but i could be wrong) . next to nothing going on in tech is revolutionising - it is all incremental improvements, and then "we invented it"-dickwaving.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#45111311)

This is no surprise really. Who would you trust to program a computer in charge of your life?

A company that I'm a rabid fanboy of?

Or.

An old skool company that's not nearly so l33t?

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#45112697)

Company? Which company did I mention? Apple, Google, Microsoft? Maybe Ford, GM, or Mitsubishi?

I hate about 2/3rds of them yet pick any one of them and slot them into my post and it'll still suit just fine.

Trust Rain Man (5, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#45111377)

This is no surprise really. Who would you trust to program a computer in charge of your life?

You trust a true nerd: Someone who is obsessive about correctness, some distance down the Asperger's spectrum, and who's convinced that the consequences of having a bug are their fault. Hygiene and dress-code are secondary.

I used to code aircraft avionics software (microcontroller stuff for altimeters, airspeed, cabin pressurization, &c). Some of my avionics-related courses asked "are you willing to be the first passenger in an aircraft running this software? raise your hand", and typically mine was the only hand showing.

There's a mindset for making safety-certified software, and not everyone has it. Most people rationalize doing a poor job by denying responsibility: the boss told them to do it, they have to feed their family, everyone else does it, and so on and so on. It's the mindset that allows the NSA get away with rights violations: no one takes responsibility at any level.

A true nerd is a little like Rain Man, and will feel responsible for accidents that happen because of his mistakes. In my mind it feels like walking a tightrope over a canyon with no net - I'm always scared of screwing up and I have this mental image of screaming people plunging to their doom. I'm not making this up, the image sometimes pops into my mind while I'm on a project.

I don't trust my coding skills, of course: there has to be a QA department with testers going over the code, proper paper trails and procedures, independent customer testing, and management that cares about quality. With all this, it still takes courage for me to work on an aircraft project.

I've met people who do and others who do not have this mindset. One FAA engineer (DER - Designated Engineer Responsible [wikipedia.org] ) asked about whether using a 1-byte code checksum (at startup, to verify code integrity) was sufficient and maybe 2-bytes would be safer, and *nothing else* about the project. A 2nd FAA engineer tested the system through literally all the specifications, verifying that the product did what it was supposed to do. As uncomfortable as the 2nd DER was making management, I'd much rather work with him: he understands what's at stake.

I don't think it's a case of trusting Google over Ford, or even an application company versus a car company. It's the mindset of the people making the product, and the level to which they feel responsible for the final product. It's only a little bit the mindset of management.

tl;dr: It's not the type of company, it's the type of individuals who make the product.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45111487)

Who would you trust to program a computer in charge of your life? A company who revolutionised the way we communicate and interact with technology? A company which offers incredible services which make our lives better thanks to gobbling up talented software engineers.

Or.

A company who's greatest innovation in the past 5 years ...

The car company (most of which didn't ask for handouts, for example, Ford or Toyota). Google, for all their cleverness, has never produced anything that's safety critical. I seriously doubt their culture is suited to it. It's very different from "let's play with this cool new idea". That's why progress in cars and airliners is slower than with non-safety critical software. If the car companies need help with the software, they're better off hiring people, or companies, from aerospace. Ever look at writing code to DO-178B Level A? That's what you need for fly-by-wire systems, where a bug can kill you. It's also very tedious and boring work.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | about a year ago | (#45112245)

IMO the difference between safety critical and business critical are not as great as you think. If you can make something with 99.999% up-time without a handled fault, it can be used for either application. Most of the current systems for cars don't seam to be designed not to fail, but to fail back to mechanical system. That sort of safety critical is probably less helpful for a autonomous vehicle, than the output of a company that makes system redundant enough to keep operating regardless. Obviously google is the one acquiring the needed data, so they will need to be involved. The Car manufactures are the ones with the ability to well manufacture, so (at least some) will be involved.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#45112671)

Google, for all their cleverness, has never produced anything that's safety critical. I seriously doubt their culture is suited to it. It's very different from "let's play with this cool new idea". That's why progress in cars and airliners is slower than with non-safety critical software.

We've seen what needs to happen with Google happen in reverse with console games. It used to be that if you released a console game, it had to be bulletproof. Your code was going to be burned into ROM or a CD for all eternity, and updating it would basically amount to a product recall. Then as consoles picked up hard drives, then network capability, the standards dropped. You could fix a bug or add a feature after the fact relatively easily, resulting in standards for the initial release dropping. The quality of console games upon release is now pretty much indistinguishable from PC games.

Re:Who would you trust to program a computer? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#45112709)

You mean like the Google self driving car which has done some 500000km without accident?

You don't need anything special for safety critical software. You just need to pick an architecture and code in a bug free way. Google have the expertise to design their own hardware and have shown some ludicrously good uptime in their data centres so they are quite capable of writing good software too.

I trust neither (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110869)

I don't trust self driving cars at all.

I also wonder how easy it will be for human drivers to fuck with computer-driven cars.

I don't see a problem with either one (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#45110877)

Just as long as Lee Iacocca [uncg.edu] is not in charge...

Re:I don't see a problem with either one (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#45110895)

Let's try that link again [uncg.edu] , shall we? It might not work...

Not from a web company (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#45110885)

I wouldn't trust a web-oriented company with self-driving car development. They're into "agile","features now, quality later if ever" and "release and patch" development. That's not how avionics are developed, and production self-driving cars need avionics-quality software.

Self-driving needs the engineering discipline that comes from having to pay for a recall when it doesn't work, and paying for damages when it hurts someone.

Re:Not from a web company (3, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#45111221)

That is because you have sense. Most people however do not, and automotive engineering ( a few spectacular failures aside ) is so good people are spoiled. When they have to reboot their Android phone, or Windows crashes ( admittedly rarer than it once was ), or their chrome cast thingy glitches and they have to restart their video, they shurg it off and don't think about it. "That is just how computers work after all"

When the slightest little thing gets off on their car they freak-out and take to the dealer right away and its a major memorable event in their lives. Engine stumbles a bit in the pouring rain, its "hey I only have 70k miles on this thing $CARCOMPANYs are shit," it could not have anything to do with the fact they have never replaced those 10 year old plug wires.

The fact is modern automobiles are incredibly reliable given they conditions they have to operate in, but peoples expectations are very very high as a result; peoples expectations around tech are much lower, but the resulting perception is $TECHCOMPANY is better than $CARCOMPANY because for so many people their car has become something they don't even think about except when something is amiss, they think about $TECHTOY all the time though and remember the positive experiences more.

Re:Not from a web company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111225)

I wouldn't trust a web-oriented company with self-driving car development. They're into "agile","features now, quality later if ever" and "release and patch" development. That's not how avionics are developed, and production self-driving cars need avionics-quality software.

Self-driving needs the engineering discipline that comes from having to pay for a recall when it doesn't work, and paying for damages when it hurts someone.

Automotive software is mostly pretty boring. Consequently, for developers in the field there's rarely a significant challenge. This doesn't exactly create an interest for highly skilled people, nor does it make management want to pay for these.

Sometimes it feels like inability is hidden behind quality, which is often mostly paper or comprises gaming some statistics, not anything useful.

I doubt the automotive industry itself could pull anything like this off on their own, even if they wanted to.

Re:Not from a web company (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45111525)

Automotive software is mostly pretty boring.

Mostly true, though you also have to remember that in embedded systems the software is just another component, not the end product.

Consequently, for developers in the field there's rarely a significant challenge.

For safety critical systems, nothing could be further from the truth.

Sometimes it feels like inability is hidden behind quality

WTF? If you're system is of high quality, it means you're incapable?

which is often mostly paper or comprises gaming some statistics

Or not having cars crash every time a customer encounters a bug.

I doubt the automotive industry itself could pull anything like this off on their own, even if they wanted to.

And how much experience does Google have with hi-rel software? Hint: zero.

Re:Not from a web company (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#45112215)

Automotive software is mostly pretty boring.

Do you have any idea what's going on inside a modern vehicle stability control system [wikipedia.org] ? There are accelerometers and rate gyros, steering wheel sensors, wheel pulse counters on all four wheels, and driveshaft speed. All this feeds into a system which controls separately controllable brake actuators on all four wheels and can reduce the engine RPM. In a skid, the system tries to make the vehicle go in the direction the driver has requested via the steering wheel, without rolling the vehicle. This is non-trivial code. It also has to self-test the hardware, detect and log faults, and not make driving worse due to a hardware fault.

Such code is not written by PHP programmers.

I'm not buying it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110911)

Whoever the focus group is, trying to re-adjust our focus from what for over a century of trust that comes second-naturally from time proven technology and implementation of steel, rubber, glass and plastic, its manufacture and design, this sounds like a load of crap. Who is someone going to trust building them a time proven, industry standard automobile, Ford, Chevrolet, or google?

Auto manufactures are not going to take the risk (2)

hsa (598343) | about a year ago | (#45110921)

No sane auto manufacturer is going to take the risk of legal liability. There will be accidents. And there will be lawsuits.

I am betting all the research that goes on at Ford or Toyota is just for the patents - they don't ever want to go in to production. Too risky.

Re:Auto manufactures are not going to take the ris (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#45111049)

No sane auto manufacturer is going to take the risk of legal liability. There will be accidents. And there will be lawsuits.

There's a financial engineering solution to that.

I am betting all the research that goes on at Ford or Toyota is just for the patents - they don't ever want to go in to production. Too risky.

That was true for a long time. GM played around with automatic driving as early as the 1950s. It's not true any more. GM now intends to have full-auto driving in Cadillacs by 2016.

Re:Auto manufactures are not going to take the ris (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111309)

> GM now intends to have full-auto driving in Cadillacs by 2016.

Microsoft intends to have a virus-free operating system by 2016. Google's intends to make Android infection-proof by 2016.

Everybody tries to pretend like the virus and hackability problem doesn't exist. It is *the* problem. It is not safe to allow self-driving cars on public roads because of that problem.

Re:Auto manufactures are not going to take the ris (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#45111387)

GM played around with automatic driving as early as the 1950s. It's not true any more. GM now intends to have full-auto driving in Cadillacs by 2016.

They have to. The population ages quickly, and old people are not as good as they once were. I will be glad to buy a self-driving car when I cannot safely drive anymore because that will give me the same mobility that I have today, with even less hassle.

Re:Auto manufactures are not going to take the ris (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | about a year ago | (#45111551)

The solution to this problem, is to get all people who buy a self driving car to sign an EULA saying that there is a manual override function and they must pay full attention at all times in case of an accident. If the car senses an impending accident it immediatley returns control to the driver. All responsibilities resolved.

People who are riding in a 2 ton hunk of metal being propelled by explosive fuel should pay attention to the road and the situations around them even if the car drive itself.

Or you could start very small by making a special self driving car only lanes with an increased speed limit and car to car communication on the highways. Similar to the HOV lanes in California. Car hands over controlls if you ever purposefully leave the lane or have to exit the highway. Cars could draft eachother to negate the fuel economy penalty of the higher speed, and safely.

Re:Auto manufactures are not going to take the ris (1)

kkwst2 (992504) | about a year ago | (#45111751)

You're assuming that their liability risk will go up. I suggest exactly the opposite. Sure, there will be accidents, but they will be far fewer than with human drivers. The rate of accidents where the computer controlled car is at fault will likely be 100 times lower. Even if bias against computer controlled cars will make lawsuits in those situations much more likely, and payouts much higher, I wouldn't be surprised if an analysis shows that their overall liability should decrease substantially.

Choose your vendor wisely... (5, Funny)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year ago | (#45110923)

Google car: Will be named the "Beta." It will work great for the first three years, then Google will shut it down. If you have any problems, you will find that there is no customer support number.

Microsoft car: Will be named "Ding." You'll be cruising down the highway when the control panel suddenly says "Rebooting to install updates in 9...8...7..." Owners of the first few versions will have close encounters with telephone poles. Nobody will sell you car insurance.

Apple car: Will be named "iDrive." The car will cost $300k and will look modern and sexy. Build quality will be excellent. No matter what destination you enter, you'll end up in Camden because it uses Apple maps.

Oracle car: Will be named "Oracle Car." The car will cost $400k and you'll need an expensive consultant to make it work.

Re:Choose your vendor wisely... (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#45111031)

Apple car: Will be named "iDrive." The car will cost $300k and will look modern and sexy. Build quality will be excellent. No matter what destination you enter, you'll end up in Camden because it uses Apple maps.

The battery will be sealed in a black box and welded to the frame. You will either have to go to a specialist Apple shop to get it replaced or learn how to weld.

Re:Choose your vendor wisely... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#45111035)

SAP car: Will refuse to go anywhere until you Send Another Payment.

IBM car: You will have to argue with Watson about where you want to go.

Re:Choose your vendor wisely... (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45111773)

Watson will take you to toronto when you want to go Chicago

Re:Choose your vendor wisely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111991)

*BZZT!* Wrong! That should be "What is Chicago?"

Re:Choose your vendor wisely... (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year ago | (#45112255)

On the plus side Toronto is a much nicer city that Chicago.

Re:Choose your vendor wisely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111129)

Facebook car: All your friends are "liking" your late night trip to grocery store where you bought ice cream, Astroglide, and "Barely Legal"

Re:Choose your vendor wisely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111149)

MalwareBytes car: Will find viruses on the road while picking up chicks.

I don't trust Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45110943)

I wouldn't trust Microsoft over an auto manufacturer. I would just think MS would try to overkill it on the tech side and try to upsell the manufacturer on whatever else they could integrate and automate with their 'total solution' of software or whatever.

I would trust the manufacturer to use more discretion and to focus on what's important, and to create reliable systems with all of their experience making cars. There are many computer controlled systems in cars already and we don't need software vendors designing those either.

Because engineers suck at software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111011)

Hardware engineers specifically. They all think they can write software (firmware) and they all SUCK horribly at it. I have been cleaning up engineer code for decades. Morons.

Re:Because engineers suck at software (1, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45111573)

Because engineers suck at software ... Hardware engineers specifically.

What types of engineers were you considering, other than software and hardware?

BTW, I've had more trouble on hardware/software projects with software people who understand nothing about the hardware they're writing code for, and have to be hand-held every step of the way. Unlike you however, I won't generalize. I've seen other software people who are very good at interfacing with custom hardware, including RF, optical systems, etc. They have a level of understanding beyond pure software, and are always willing to learn more.

they all SUCK horribly at it

Take your nose out of the clouds. Some of them suck at it, and some are quite good.

I have been cleaning up engineer code for decades.

And you're living in the past. What you say was far more true in the 80's especially the early 80's, and also the late 70's. Hint: it's now the 21st century.

Morons.

Of course, only software engineers as good as you are not morons. BTW, how's your RF ASIC design coming along?

damn skippy (1)

spirit_fingers (777604) | about a year ago | (#45111013)

You're goddam right I'd sooner trust a tech company to build a sef-driving car. Because, as we all know, computers never crash.

Lies, Dam Lies, and Statistics.... (4, Interesting)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#45111131)

I wouldn't take much stock in this. All it really reveals is what we already know, Google has had a lot of publicity around their self-driving cars and thus are more popular and would show up more in web conversations (which is where they got their data - MOBI).

Personally, I would trust car manufacturers much more than Google to deliver a self-driving car. Google is developing the technology but it's up to the car company to tweak and integrate it safely. This is no different than the other tech components created by various companies and integrated into our vehicles (i.e. Radio, GPS, Follow Cruise Control, Traction Control, heated seats, etc.). When we go to buy a car it will simply be listed in the specs. For example: Heated seats, Alpine Infotainment system, Quadra-Trac II traction control, Google Autonomous Drive, etc....

Consumers are shallow, stupid (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#45111219)

Marketing has done so much damage to people's ability to reason.

How are automakers not "tech companies"? Do they think it's magic making the car go forward? Do they think the 50 or so microprocessors that are in every new car are powered by faeries?

Seriously, it's like saying they trust McDonalds over farmers to produce food. Oh wait...

information technology... (1)

schlachter (862210) | about a year ago | (#45112519)

well...they really mean information technology...and software engineering.

Big Win for Bars and Nightclubs (2)

heretic108 (454817) | about a year ago | (#45111275)

Self-driving cars means that people will be able to drink and "drive" to their hearts content, legally and safely. This will help to rejuvenate the ailing club/pub scene and maybe restore the live entertainment industry to grace. It would make sense for liquor companies, pubs and clubs to invest substantially in autonomous vehicle tech. Anyone up for a new "Roaring 20s"?

Re:Big Win for Bars and Nightclubs (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | about a year ago | (#45111575)

Wouldn't it make just as much sense to have on hire designated drivers with a chase car to drive the designated driver back to the bar, free with x amount of total drinks for the group? That way you can atleast get some jobs out of the deal.

Re:Big Win for Bars and Nightclubs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45112021)

It'd be a lot cheaper for pubs in the short run too.

Forget About It Already, Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45111277)

Self-driving cars on public roads will be safe only after we can keep viruses out of computers.

Trust no one (2)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#45111289)

Maybe I'm just a control freak, but I don't think I could trust a self-driving car under any circumstances, regardless of manufacturer. Maybe that will change over time, but I'm not counting on it.

Re:Trust no one (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#45112661)

Maybe I'm just a control freak, but I don't think I could trust a self-driving car under any circumstances, regardless of manufacturer. Maybe that will change over time, but I'm not counting on it.

No you're just suffering the delusion that you, a big bag of water capable of distraction, fatigue, reduced alertness, complete with variable response time, a propensity for aggression against others who may not quite be driving to your liking, are in some way a better driver than a fit for purpose machine.

I'm actually hoping the future heads down a penalty route, where drivers who drive themselves are forced into a slow lane of a freeway while computer controlled vehicles are doing 180km/h and never causing an accident or traffic jam.

Car companies have to admit to their mistakes (3, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#45111591)

By law. They have to acknowledge defects, call "recalls", and fix them. Software companies do not. Software companies can sweep things under the rug. So news broadcasts talk about car companies defects but you never really hear much about software defects. This gives software companies an aura of competence the usually do not deserve. It is a matter of perception.

Personally, I would trust car companies first. Not only are they liable, but by being forced to face up to their defects their product is incredibly safer and cheaper, in terms of inflation adjusted TCO, than ever. And getting much greener to boot.

BTW, this is a perfect example of what good government regulation can do.

Level of trust. (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#45111971)

Based on polls of focus groups, technology companies scored highest among consumers, with a median score of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as the highest level of trust.

The geek builds his statistical arguments on sand.

The poll of focus groups was conducted June 10 to 27 and included three diverse consumer groups that included 32 people from Los Angeles, Chicago and Iselin, N.J. One-third of those surveyed were premium vehicle owners who were more interested in autonomous vehicles and self-driving technology.

KPMG conceded that the small number of people participating in the focus groups, while valuable for the qualitative and directional insights, was ''not statistically valid.''

Consumers would prefer to buy a self-driving car from Google over Ford [computerworld.com]

Iselin rang no bells whatever and I had to look it up:

Iselin is a census-designated place and unincorporated community within Woodbridge Township, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP population was 18,695.

The racial makeup of the CDP was 41.47% (7,753) White, 6.72% (1,257) Black or African American, 0.33% (62) Native American, 46.12% (8,623) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 2.26% (423) from other races, and 3.09% (577) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.12% (1,332) of the population.

An area known as Metropark, consisting primarily of office parks and large office buildings, lies in the southwestern corner of Iselin and spills over into neighboring Edison. The New Jersey Transit and Amtrak Metropark Station is named for this area.

In addition to a Hilton Hotel and the train station, Metropark also features the headquarters of Ansell Limited, Engelhard Corporation (acquired by BASF in 2006) and Eaton Corporation's Filtration Division. Other corporate residents in the area include Siemens AG, Tata Consultancy Services, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Accenture, Level 3, BT (British Telecom), UBS AG and TIAA-CREF.

Iselin, New Jersey [wikipedia.org]

Iselin's Asian population is Indian.

Iselin lies just west of Staten Island and is for all practical purposes just another corporate suburb of midtown Manhattan.

Safety records suggest don't trust either (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year ago | (#45112529)

Both have safety records that are frankly just horrible. Both cut corners because consumers either don't know or don't care how bad the product is, as long as it's sufficient for their needs and they don't have to worry about it.

As long as you have to police the apps that get on phones, there's patch Tuesday for MicroSoft and similar mechanisms for other "tech", I wouldn't trust any of those companies driving my car. The way they work is focus on features and functionality and not on security and resiliency. They don't deal with obscure cases, because the amount of consumers that will ever have one occur is just too low to warrant spending money on them. Their whole design and business process just isn't right for this type of technology and they'd have zero experience with it even if they changed that.

Ralph Nadar's "Unsafe at any speed" was way too long ago. It's time for a new one. Have you ever wondered why professional racing drivers, all going the same way on a track that has had all intersections and other traffic removed, need safety cages, special clothing and whatnot to protect themselves? It's not (just) about the higher speed they are driving, it's because the cars they drive would be horribly dangerous without them. Still, we get in the cars that professional drivers deem too dangerous to drive even when there's no morons on the road, no kids to suddenly run onto the streets and no moose that will just not get out of the way. Did you know that the road tests they do with the Corvette on the German public road called the Nordschleife was done with a safety cage welded in? They had to rent the place to do that, because you're not allowed to put a cage in when you drive there normally, unless it's been approved by the TuV (German DMV style organization).

It's just too cumbersome and expensive to make cars this level of safe for everyone in them. As long as the competition is still only making cars safe to get good ratings on hopelessly inadequate tests with only "average" sized dummies, no car manufacturer is going to make theirs safer. Their cars will just be too expensive for people and they'd work themselves out of business by doing so.

I'm 1.98m tall and there isn't a car where I'll have the same chance of a head or leg injury as someone that's 1.80m tall if I were to get into a crash. Over half of all the cars out there, have "unsafe protrusions" for people my size that would either completely fail, or get extremely low safety ratings if they'd be there for the dummy-sized persons. Over 70% of anyone reading this, will have a body shape that results in similar actual safety statistics for practically every car out there.

Rear and side impact tests are tested at much lower speeds, and the results in terms of injury and survivability are much less important than frontal impacts for total safety ratings. Rear impact crashes at over 50 mph aren't even required to be survivable. Side impact crashes aren't even tested at that speed, because they'd just show that everyone in the car would be either heavily injured or dead.

You may argue that they test the most for the cases where people get hurt the most, and you'd be right. However, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be making cars safe in other cases too. Just because most people will not hit other cars when they crash into something and they usually crash the front of the car into other things, doesn't make it okay to have car seats snap off at 30 mph if you get hit from the rear. It's not hard or even that much more expensive to make seats that don't do that, but it'd be cutting the profit margin of the manufacturer. This is just one of many examples where car manufacturers cut corners. It's unfortunate that one of the few that have been trying to do at least a little better without regulations and tests, Saab, hasn't been competitive for a long time and has gone bankrupt. If only a few manufacturers would start competing on actual safety records and not on test results, things would change. The only chance we have if we want change fast, is a new Ralph Nadar style report.

As long as the state of the technology of both groups of manufacturers is like this, I'm not trusting any of them to drive my car. I know, I'm far from perfect and they might get better safety records than the average human pretty quick. However, I'd like to keep practising for the inevitable moments when their systems will totally fuck up and I need to be alert and skilful enough to save myself or someone else from a computer glitch. Because I'm part of the 70% of people that thinks they can drive better than average, I'm sure I'll be able to get myself out of trouble. I have been doing that for 22 years and it worked so far, so what could possibly go wrong?

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