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Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the save-a-buck dept.

Transportation 449

Lucas123 writes "Most drivers would consider buying an autonomous vehicle if it meant their insurance rates would be reduced by 80%, a new survey of 2,000 licensed drivers found. Oddly enough, the survey by the online consumer insurance site Car insurance.com also showed that 75% of respondents think they could drive a car better than a computer. Another 64% said computers were not capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers. And 75% would not trust a driverless car to take their children to school. The survey also asked what commuters would be doing if a computer handled the driving: More than one-in-four would text/talk with friends; 21% would read; 10% would sleep; 8% would watch movies; 7% would play games; and 7% would work. The rest of those surveyed said they'd just watch the scenery blow by."

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Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (5, Funny)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year ago | (#45351173)

If car auto-pilot is like auto-correct, we're all going to die in really funny ways. No matter what the results of this survey say.

Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#45351229)

"Lake street. No, no, Lake street. Aiiiiiiiii *splash*"

90% of people think they're in the top 10% of drivers. Ask if they feel safer with a computer driving, most will say no. Ask if they feel safer if everyone else had a computer driving, most will say yes.

Watch for this in the marketing when self-driving cars come to market (we'll see if Nissan hits their 2020 goal). The pitch will be all about ways it makes you safer despite you, personally, being the bestest driver evar. Plenty of ads showing loaning the car to your teenager, no doubt.

Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (5, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#45351705)

I think I'm at best an average driver. Whole stretches of the road seem to disappear and all I can recall is the story I was listening to or the thing I was thinking about. Anyway, I hate driving and would jump at the chance to be a passenger.

Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (1)

WarJolt (990309) | about a year ago | (#45351335)

When a person does it it's negligence. When a computer does it it's funny.
If no one ever got hurt in car accidents, the cause of most car accidents would be funny.
I'd pay to see robots get drunk and smash into each other.

Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (3, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45351787)

"Hello, I am your new computer aided driver Ray Charles. Are you ready to boogie to a possible destination?"

Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (1)

jonsmirl (114798) | about a year ago | (#45351435)

Only if the cars are running Windows.

Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#45351443)

If car auto-pilot is like auto-correct, we're all going to die in really funny ways. No matter what the results of this survey say.

Unless of course, you are on the presidential hit list, then auto correct would be apropos.

Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351659)

If car auto-pilot is like auto-correct, we're all going to die in really funny ways.

Or some tourist in Washington, DC tries to take a Johnny Cab to 44 Pennsylvania and arrives in Forty Fort, PA a few hours later.

Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45351801)

If car auto-pilot is like auto-correct, we're all going to die in really funny ways. No matter what the results of this survey say.

Or if it is navigated by Apple Maps. Lots of potential for error here.

lower insurance? (4, Interesting)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#45351199)

lol... please... if everyone on the road had a robot driving the car, we wouldnt have need for car insurance. also, it isnt the insurance that would get me to have a robotic car, but the fact that i can play video games while it drives me places.

Re:lower insurance? (4, Insightful)

a.d.trick (894813) | about a year ago | (#45351277)

Car insurance would still exist. Robot cars won't stop vandalism.

Re:lower insurance? (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | about a year ago | (#45351377)

Or acts of god. Or stupid people around your parked car. "Hey! A baseball, hold my beer and watch this..."

Re:lower insurance? (1, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#45351665)

Yeah but a car that could self evacuate from a cyclone would certainly lower premiums by a lot more than 80%.

Re:lower insurance? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45351815)

Yeah but a car that could self evacuate from a cyclone would certainly lower premiums by a lot more than 80%.

As your are walking to it to evacuate yourself... I think the liability lawsuits might be worse...

Re:lower insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351615)

Ever lived in (or visited) places like Texas? Golf ball (and baseball) sized hail. "Hail damage" is one of the major insurance claims there. Me, I live in California - and not near the ocean where salt is a problem. So here it is either the vandalism or a wreck.

Re:lower insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351287)

There are still uncertainties such as a branch falling onto a car while it's driving. Granted my biggest concern right now is other drivers but they are not the only hazards. With no human drivers the insurance would go down but insurance would still exist as the vehicle itself is a major purchase, in the same way that we insure houses for when something unexpected goes horribly wrong.

Re:lower insurance? (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#45351393)

insurance for when your car gets hacked, or jacked

Re:lower insurance? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351345)

Yes you would. However good the programming is, there's no such thing as a zero accident rate. Tyres will blow out at the wrong moment, a tree will blow over on a car occasionally. The car manufacturers won't be paying the medical bills (or if they have to the prices of cars will go up astronomically, effecitvely to cover what the owners would otherwise pay in insurance). The way it will work is, car owners will get insurance based on the average accident rate of the model of autonomous car they own (and mileage etc.) Auto manufacturers would be liable if they could be shown to be grossly negligent (for example releasing a firmware without due testing), but otherwise the user will pay. The random "bug that slipped through duly diligent testing and goes on to kill someone" will just be one of those things that insurance covers. And as things go on and firmware evolves the accident rates will go down and down until no-one in their right minds would countenance a human driver behind the wheel.

Re:lower insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351609)

Insurance may be an answer to the question of who gets the blame when the better-than-human-but-still-imperfect AIs get into a accidents.

The answer is the insurance pays out, they get the job of calculating accident rates, and drivers can measure their choices in cents and dollars instead of having to face their own fallibility.

Re:lower insurance? (1)

FridayBob (619244) | about a year ago | (#45351891)

lol... please... if everyone on the road had a robot driving the car, we wouldnt have need for car insurance.

Car insurance doesn't just cover the financial consequences of your own mistakes. You forgot about things like theft, intentional and unintentional mistakes by other people, as well as acts of nature (hail storms, flooding, collisions with wildlife), all of which can be very expensive for you unless you are properly insured. For driverless cars the insurance would also have to take into account the possibility that certain software errors could have costly consequences.

Nevertheless, with no possibility for human error, the insurance premiums for automated vehicles are bound to be lower than for manually driven cars, certainly if they are in the same price range.

also, it isnt the insurance that would get me to have a robotic car, but the fact that i can play video games while it drives me places.

Anything you want. Most of us are not used to having a personal chauffeur, but once automated vehicles become common I suspect that many of us will soon come to appreciate why rich folks are often willing, or even happy to employ people for this service.

I, for one. (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45351227)

Hell, I'd almost pay higher premiums for the computer to do the driving.

Re:I, for one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351521)

Insurance isn't the problem, the law ist. The driver is responsible, /eol. As long as this won't change, the majority won't use them.

Wait a second riiight there.... (2)

Alan Warrick (3422939) | about a year ago | (#45351249)

You mean people will choose to save money while increasing their overall safety if statistically proven? Holy shit.. Next thing you will tell me is people will take medicine to save their lives. Crazy times we are living in these days.

Re:Wait a second riiight there.... (1)

dasgoober (2882045) | about a year ago | (#45351421)

Most days, I'll want the automated put-put, but on weekends, I'll want to dust off the sports car.

Re:Wait a second riiight there.... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year ago | (#45351883)

Most days, I'll want the automated put-put, but on weekends, I'll want to dust off the sports car.

In other words, you are rich enough to be a two-car "family". Many people aren't.

TFA says that 34% would "hand over the keys". This is not "most" as the headline reports it. It's 90% who would consider it. But 75% say they would not let an autonomous car take their kids to school. Ergo, those 75% would NOT hand the keys over, or they, too, would have to be rich enough to be a two car family. They'll let the car take them to work, but they'll "dust off the sports car" to haul the kids to and from school.

No, read that again. (5, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | about a year ago | (#45351547)

You mean people will choose to save money while increasing their overall safety if statistically proven?

You seem to have missed the part in which most people were of the belief that they would be decreasing their overall safety in exchange for more money. That's what it means when 75% believe that they would be better drivers for their children than an autonomous car and yet 75% would still take the money.

At the most extreme disjoint of the two sets, that means that 50% of people believe that letting a car drive their children to school would put them at higher risk, and yet they'd do it anyway for money. At least 2/3 of all the people who said yes, and it's likely more because there have to be at least some people who think it would be safer and who wouldn't do it in spite of the money for other unknown reasons.

That's kind of horrifying, actually, regardless of what you think about auto-drive.

Re:No, read that again. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45351845)

At the most extreme disjoint of the two sets, that means that 50% of people believe that letting a car drive their children to school would put them at higher risk, and yet they'd do it anyway for money.

Have you not seen what parents will do to get on reality TV? This is no surprise at all.

makes you wonder ... (1)

dasgoober (2882045) | about a year ago | (#45351253)

... how insurance companies are gonna try and make up the difference.
And the ridiculous rationale they're gonna present for doing so.

Re:makes you wonder ... (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | about a year ago | (#45351437)

If accident rates go way down, so do the pay outs they need to make. They could probably stand to lay off a few agents with less work to do. Don't worry your pretty little head, the insurance companies are going to be just fine.

people better than computers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351275)

Wasn't there a post on slashdot a while back about a study that showed computers (google cars) were actually better drivers than humans?

Re:people better than computers... (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45351341)

No. Google's statements about their self-driving cars are just PR announcements. 300k miles without an accident (or whatever it is). No indication of driving conditions rain, snow, etc. Do the human drivers turn off the autopilot when they know they're approaching a situation it doesn't handle well? A good idea for safety, but a bad one for testing the cars. The truth is, we just don't know how good they are.

Re:people better than computers... (2)

james_pb (156313) | about a year ago | (#45351495)

True, but we know that human drivers slaughter vast numbers of humans every year.

Re:people better than computers... (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45351601)

Mod parent up to stratosphere.

The only evidence we have for the relative safety of driverless cars is their major sponsor telling us that they're safe. This is worse than nothing - because if Google had even convinced itself, it'd've given a hundred models out to independent testers.

Yeah, at some point soon we're going to get AI which is good enough for limited sets of real-world driving conditions. At the moment, though, we have nothing.

Re: people better than computers... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#45351679)

What I do know is that Google's Sat Nav sometimes tells me to drive off the side of a bridge onto the highway that runs underneath it. All the other Sat Navs I've tested such as Tom Tom and Garmin have the same problem.

Re: people better than computers... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#45351795)

And now, with a self-driving car, you can have that bridge-turning experience you've always wanted but could never convince yourself to act on. Let the suicidal rejoice!

[redacted joke about Ted Kennedy]

Re: people better than computers... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45351867)

What I do know is that Google's Sat Nav sometimes tells me to drive off the side of a bridge onto the highway that runs underneath it. All the other Sat Navs I've tested such as Tom Tom and Garmin have the same problem.

Which is why so many of the people surveyed said they would watch scenery go by... Screaming all the way.

Computer vs human drivers (5, Interesting)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about a year ago | (#45351281)

Another 64% said computers were not capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers.

That's right. Based on my observations of human drivers (not to mention traffic fatality statistics and the nightly "single vehicle accident" reports), the quality would consistently be better. Don't mod me funny, please. I'm not joking.

Re:Computer vs human drivers (1)

james_pb (156313) | about a year ago | (#45351513)

Another 64% said computers were not capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers.

That's right. Based on my observations of human drivers (not to mention traffic fatality statistics and the nightly "single vehicle accident" reports), the quality would consistently be better. Don't mod me funny, please. I'm not joking.

I suspect the number of slashdotters who assume that robots will quickly be better than humans is close to 100%.

Re:Computer vs human drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351619)

A single fatality caused by computer and this will get shut down faster than you can say "Product Liability". Look at the whole unintended acceleration fiasco that ended up being caused by operator error. Toyota still took the fall for that one.

Humans get a lot more slack over computers when they mess up.

Re:Computer vs human drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351893)

Not a problem. Allow multiple degrees of autonomy and call it a 'driving assistant' instead of 'autonomous car' and the blame will go to the human. Of course, people would still sue and sometimes win because judges are anything but consistent, but I think the number of extra cars sold would still be worth it for the industry.

Re:Computer vs human drivers (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45351895)

One situation where this is undoubtedly the case is people with a second offense of DWI. Start with those, and even a computer controlled wreck or two will be an improvement.

No brainer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351285)

Sod the insurance rates, I'd buy one if they were available and affordable anyway (as long as they offered astatistically comparable accident rate to the average). I drive 640 miles a week in 2 x 5 hour stints. It's tiring, and boring, and I'd rather sleep or read or do any of those other things. Actually, probably sleep as I could set off last thing at night and have the car drive me to work. I don't see any difference trusting it with me or with my children, but my children's school is less than 50 yards from my house so I don't really have that to worry about. To be honest I'm all for driverless cars, I just can't see why if given the option you would want to drive yourself (unless for sports purposes, in which case you probably want to be on a track in a special purpose sports car). Autonomous cars have the potential to be transformative in the same way the internet was, and I reckon they will be over about the same timescale (20-25 years).

This also in... (0)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45351289)

Car insurance.com also showed that 75% of respondents think they could drive a car better than a computer.

Is there actually a space in their URL?

Anyway...

Car%20Insurance.com also showed that nearly 75% of respondents are wrong about their driving skills.

If I am not the driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351291)

Why the hell do they think Im gonna pay insurance?

Re:If I am not the driver (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#45351327)

Because in no small number of jurisdictions, it's required by law, if you own a vehicle and it is actually being used on public roads.

Re:If I am not the driver (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45351649)

Ooh, I know what would be more efficient AND I don't have to pay the full insurance: a bus!

Computer-generated ad hoc bus routes to satisfy immediate requirements wouldn't be hard, if you're not such a prissy little bitch that you can't cope with changing vehicles once or twice on long journeys.

Re:If I am not the driver (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#45351733)

The title of the slashdot summary is "Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates". If you're riding in a bus then unless you are employed by the bus company, you generally aren't the driver, and then this wouldn't have applied to you in the first place.

If you're outside of the very demographic that the article is even talking about, as indicated by the second word in the title, what difference does it make to the point of the article whether you pay insurance or not?

Re:If I am not the driver (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45351857)

The question didn't offer a comprehensive, cost-effective bus system as alternative, did it?

I don't know about where you live, but in many parts of the UK, local or state-managed bus services were undercut by private national providers being given permissive operating licenses a long time ago; the latter then boosted prices way beyond original fares, while maintaining their new regulated monopolies. If the state is going to go about removing restrictions from road transport, it would do better to allow at-cost public transport (already tested as workable) rather than allow driverless cars.

Re:If I am not the driver (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#45351433)

you would want to insure the vehicle... or not, against theft or vandalism.

bugs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351303)

Fuck that. I know what enterprise software looks like. I will stick to driving my own car.

Re:bugs (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45351509)

Fuck that. I know what enterprise software looks like. I will stick to driving my own car.

I think it would look more like aviation software. I don't know how that differs from typical enterprise software, but plane crashes are rarely blamed on flight-control software bugs. (I know they do [wikipedia.org] happen, but are pretty rare in comparison to the number of annual flight hours)

Re:bugs (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year ago | (#45351825)

I don't know how that differs from typical enterprise software, but plane crashes are rarely blamed on flight-control software bugs. (I know they do happen, but are pretty rare in comparison to the number of annual flight hours)

The failures of "flight control software" don't often result in "plane crashes" mainly because there is a licensed pilot who is highly trained in detection of those failures and how to deal with emergencies of all kinds while in flight sitting in the pilot's seat monitoring the operation. The recurrent training that commercial/ATP pilots must go through to keep their jobs focuses very little on normal flight operations and very much on dealing with multiple system failures simultaneously. Some are on the Kobyashi Maru level -- he's not intended to walk away from it, but learn how to better manage what he's doing. He's usually not "texting" or playing video games or reading a book or sleeping, and the failures that happen when he is doing one of those things do result in plane crashes.

Contrast that with the level of recurrent training a driver must go through to keep his license: fill out a form and send in a check. Compare the experience requirements for autonomous vehicle drivers and ATP: the former can go without driving for 8 years and legally hop into a car and drive somewhere. The ATP cannot legally carry passengers if he's gone more than 90 days without flying, and cannot legally fly at all if he goes more than two years. Actually, since commercial air carriers all operate under IFR, he can't fly for his job if he goes more than six months without flying.

Trying to use existing aircraft software flight systems as proof that autonomous vehicles will be safe when they finally reach the user is simply ridiculous. The level of user training in the former so vastly exceeds the level of user training for the latter that they are simply not the same category of problem. Add in the fact that a flight system failure at the flight levels rarely means death within 10 seconds, while veering into a bridge abutment or oncoming semi truck at 70MPH on the freeway does.

Re:bugs (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45351907)

Fuck that. I know what enterprise software looks like. I will stick to driving my own car.

Just wait for the first service pack.

Obamacare (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351305)

I'd imagine that's the same crew who wanted Obamacare.

Insurance is a scam.

They take in x money and pay out 1/4 x.

And they make you fight to get that 1/4 x.

What's surprising about this? (3, Insightful)

mishehu (712452) | about a year ago | (#45351307)

Think of what most people do every day in a car... They get into it, sit in a traffic jam for hours as their lives waste away. Having a computer-driven car would be the best of both worlds - the convenience of not having to drive yourself or pay attention to the road, coupled with the convenience of because able to go directly from point A to point B at your convenience. I too would opt for this convenience if it was a mature enough technology.

Re:What's surprising about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351403)

I agree. I'd only "watch the scenery blow by" out of not fully trusting the new car to drive me safely from home to work. Maybe after a month I'd be comfortable enough to take my eyes off the road.

Re:What's surprising about this? (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#45351453)

as long as i could disable it during times where i wanted to enjoy the drive.

Re:What's surprising about this? (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year ago | (#45351719)

Traffic jams only exist where the price of accessing the road is below market equilibrium at that particular time and place. That's easy to fix even without self-driving cars, and it would provide a revenue source to increase throughput or lower taxes.

Demolition Man Style Driving? (Self-drive on!) (2)

IonOtter (629215) | about a year ago | (#45351319)

Quite frankly, I would not object to this, provided we have a choice of purchasing it. (There would be privacy issues I'd like to see addressed prior to buying, and if I don't like what I see, I'd prefer to not be forced into it.)

If I could hand over the driving to the computer when I'm doing a long-distance drive, ESPECIALLY when driving on a major highway that goes through a metropolitan area like Washington DC, I would be all over that. If for no other reason that a computer will not succumb to "Brake Light Accordion Games", where the idiot ahead of me rides with their left foot on the brake.

I hate drivers that do that. They cause all the drivers behind them to step on their brakes, which causes a ripple-effect all they way back, resulting in a 3-mile stretch of highway where traffic is moving at a snail's pace, but there are no obstructions of any kind.

That reason alone is more than sufficient reason to turn driving over to a computer. I could hop on to the I-95 auto-drive lane and say, "Self-drive off. Destination Boston, Massachusetts." And just go to sleep for the duration of most of the drive.

Heck, if it's a Tesla, I could set it up to automatically drive into a SwapStation to change out the battery without even waking me up!

Re:Demolition Man Style Driving? (Self-drive on!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351761)

3-mile stretch of highway where traffic is moving at a snail's pace, but there are no obstructions of any kind.

In my experience driving in Houston, that's due to highway engineers who have conflicting goals: freeways to get people where they want to go as fast as possible + surface streets where they want you to go as slow as possible. I can look out my office window here and see an exit ramp about 10 car lengths from the stop light with dozens of cars stopped up the ramp and onto the interstate, waiting to go through the red light. Of course,there's some kindergarten dropout who is too important to wait in the back of the line so the car is stopped in the next lane of traffic with its blinker on, knowing some sad sack is going to let them cut in line. But now I'm rambling...

What is odd about those results? (4, Insightful)

djmurdoch (306849) | about a year ago | (#45351321)

This seems to me to be a completely rational point of view:

  - I think I am a better driver than a computer.

  - I think insurance companies are not going to reduce my premiums if I let a computer drive my car, because I'm a safer driver than a computer would be.

  - You say they'll reduce my premiums by 80%? Well, maybe I was wrong, and I'll actually trust the computer to drive. After all, insurance companies aren't going to reduce my premiums by 80% unless the risk from claims is reduced by at least that much.

Control Freak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351323)

I am such a control freak I don't want automatic transmission. My next car I am going to get will have no ABS(or at least disabled). Traction control just gives you false sense of security, making you drive faster and ending up in worse situations when you push the limits of the TC.

Do I *want* a robot car? No. Do I think they are safer? Eventually maybe. Do I think they will be inevitable? Yup, the I Robot/Minority Report highways are in our future. Do I like that idea? Not for me, but I can see the overall appeal.

Re:Control Freak (2)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#45351591)

You are such a control freak that you assemble the IP packets sending your post to Slashdot by hand and check every router and switch on their way?

Actually, we trust computers all the time, and you do too. I don't check the result of the computer's computation of the square root of 75.354, I don't check the sum on my sales slip, I just check if it lists the right items. But I don't add it up myself, I trust the cashier machine to be ok. (And I still have a pretty good idea how much the contents of my shopping cart will cost anyway.)

I won't hesitate to hand over control of my car to the car's computer, as soon as it is feasible. I wouldn't even ask for a lower insurance. Getting rid of tedious work is reason enough.

Re:Control Freak (1)

himurabattousai (985656) | about a year ago | (#45351875)

You and me, both. The only thing I let my car do is run on cruise control, and even then only for the (too) long stretches of Indiana. I love the feeling of rowing my own gears. It provides a nice reminder that driving is not a video game. I absolutely hate that cars are trying to insulate their occupants more and more from the fact that driving can be dangerous if not done with great care.

I'd love to have a car that can drive itself. (1)

Lendrick (314723) | about a year ago | (#45351325)

I hate driving in traffic. If I could just sit there and let a computer do it for me while I surf the web or something, I'd be a lot happier.

Re:I'd love to have a car that can drive itself. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351411)

seriously, its the dream train that only has passengers you want and stops only where you want to go.

Re:I'd love to have a car that can drive itself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351587)

More like the train to Auschwitz [youtube.com] .

It's not about me (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#45351355)

I want robot cars because I am pretty sure that one will not pull out backwards from an angled-in spot WITHOUT LOOKING BACK or start forward at a red light BEFORE MAKING SURE THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU IS MOVING or sideswipe a parked car in Brooklyn at 3 am going 80 MILES AN HOUR ON A TINY ONE WAY STREET.

Thanks for listening to these true stories. I have to go call the body shop to see if my car is ready.

Re:It's not about me (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#45351567)

I want robot cars because I am pretty sure that one will not pull out backwards from an angled-in spot WITHOUT LOOKING BACK or start forward at a red light BEFORE MAKING SURE THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU IS MOVING or sideswipe a parked car in Brooklyn at 3 am going 80 MILES AN HOUR ON A TINY ONE WAY STREET.

Thanks for listening to these true stories. I have to go call the body shop to see if my car is ready.

The REAL evidence of the singularity will be when I hear cars street racing at 1 in the morning... and there are no (human) drivers.

I have to say, an AI that can watch all crosswalks AND all lanes feeding into an intersection and doesn't text, listen to music, or get distracted by the people in the back seat seems a lot preferable to the single point of failures I normally see driving around today. As an added bonus, the AI would always pull out of the way to let emergency vehicles through.

80%!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351357)

As if the insurance would be dropped by so much! 10% at best. Actually I wouldn't even be surprised if they increased the insurance instead.

Humans pay insurance? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45351387)

Why would a human pay to insure a car that they're not driving? Either I'm driving, and am accountable for my actions, or the computer is driving, and is accountable for it's actions.

I never have been able to get my mind around the need for autonomous vehicles anywhere, with the exception of Disney World. In 3rd world countries, they have gone to the end of this debate, and ended it with single-driver buses, or single-driver rail cars, or drive yourself.

Re:Humans pay insurance? (2)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about a year ago | (#45351597)

Why would a human pay to insure a car that they're not driving? Either I'm driving, and am accountable for my actions, or the computer is driving, and is accountable for it's actions.

As the owner, you could be considered your autonomous vehicler's steward. You are accountable because you purchased the vehicle and choose to allow it to drive on public roadways. It's your property, so your responsibility.

To the question of why a human would pay to insure if not driving? Because autonomous vehicles would reduce the number of variables associated with driving and probably reduce the number of accidents. Even if the software is flawed, it's behavior will be consistent with all the other autonomous vehicles on the road, so the risks are much more quantifiable and predictable. Having every vehicle owner pay a nominal amount to provide for the known flaws in the software that can result in accidents seems vastly superior to the massive crap shoot that is today's insurance landscape.

I never have been able to get my mind around the need for autonomous vehicles anywhere, with the exception of Disney World

You must not drive much, or follow the news.

Re:Humans pay insurance? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351771)

I never have been able to get my mind around the need for autonomous vehicles anywhere

45 million aging baby boomers want to be able to drive at night. They are the car generation, and they won't give up their mobility or independence.

Re:Humans pay insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351881)

"Either I'm driving, and am accountable for my actions, or the computer is driving, and is accountable for it's actions."

I think you just nailed the biggest issue here--liability.

Say I buy a car that drives itself, and it promptly drives itself through a crowd of kids in a crosswalk--who is liable? The car manufacturer that programmed the responses, myself for not being in full control of the vehicle (there are laws against not being in full control of the vehicle you are driving--"negligent driving" in most states) or the State for allowing them on the road in the first place?

The lawyers will be making some serious green over this when all is said and done. And you can be sure the insurance companies will simply pass on the cost of any liability they incur over this...to the customer.

Reality check here (4, Insightful)

volkerdi (9854) | about a year ago | (#45351399)

The question will actually be more like "would you keep driving manually if it meant 80% higher insurance rates?"

Re:Reality check here (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351631)

Actually, in this case it would be 400% higher.

Good point, but even better with the correct math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351707)

You mean 400% higher. If X is 20% of Y, then Y is 500% of X.

Uhmmm... what? (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#45351419)

the survey by the online consumer insurance site Car insurance.com also showed that 75% of respondents think they could drive a car better than a computer. Another 64% said computers were not capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers.

Emphasis mine.

Uhmmm... *ANOTHER* 64%???? So people above and beyond the 75% that was just mentioned previously? Wouldn't that make... oh... 139%?

Or do you mean 64% of those remaining?

If the latter, one is compelled to wonder what the reason for the remaining 36% not wanting to hand over their driving to a robot was.

Or do you mean 64% of all respondents (which doesn't make sense in context)? But that would mean that nearly half of people who don't even trust a computer to drive would still hand over the driving to a robot that they believe could kill them, just to get lower insurance rates. That's an interesting notion as well.

Re:Uhmmm... what? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#45351593)

the survey by the online consumer insurance site Car insurance.com also showed that 75% of respondents think they could drive a car better than a computer. Another 64% said computers were not capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers.

Emphasis mine.

Uhmmm... *ANOTHER* 64%???? So people above and beyond the 75% that was just mentioned previously? Wouldn't that make... oh... 139%?

Or do you mean 64% of those remaining?

If the latter, one is compelled to wonder what the reason for the remaining 36% not wanting to hand over their driving to a robot was.

Or do you mean 64% of all respondents (which doesn't make sense in context)? But that would mean that nearly half of people who don't even trust a computer to drive would still hand over the driving to a robot that they believe could kill them, just to get lower insurance rates. That's an interesting notion as well.

Well, right now people hand over their keys to a family member they believe could kill them, just to get out of having to be the one doing the shopping. So yeah; I can see people giving up safety for convenience and price; it happens all the time.

Re:Uhmmm... what? (1)

Flagran (556301) | about a year ago | (#45351877)

These percentages are almost certainly independent:

Q1: Do you think that you can drive a car better than a computer?

(75% said yes)

Q2: Do you think that computers are capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers?

(64% said no).

This is perfectly sensible. Some number of people (in the range of 11% - 36%) answered yes to both Q1 and to Q2. Presumably these people thought that some factor other than decision-making made them a better driver than the computers.

I want to drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351447)

I can't image the pile of jello humanity would turn into if we let the computers drive our cars, what next wiping our butts?

I love to drive and I want to drive my car.

track with duel computer system (1)

lazy genes (741633) | about a year ago | (#45351461)

computerized autos need to be put on a computerized track. It would produce a transportation system that would be 5x faster at 1/10 the energy with no accidents and be able to work in all weather conditions. It would then be almost sustainable.

This is just a stupid idea. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#45351467)

Robot cars sound neat and everything for a 20-something Google employee, but they are both impractical and undesirable for the rest of us for several reasons.

Many people like to drive on rarely-if-ever maintained roads in the back country. Driving on snow and ice is easy if you are skilled at it, and often must take into account your judgment of road conditions several hundred feet in front of the vehicle's current condition.

Bugs, glitches, hacking, all of these would decrease the reliability of a robot car. Reliance upon radar sounds great but there are many potential sources for interference there.

For people in the country, it doesn't make sense, and for people in the city, there are usually buses and trains already.

Re:This is just a stupid idea. (1)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | about a year ago | (#45351671)

What I am most worried about is that it would look at the road with 1/2 an inch of snow on it and decide that driving is not safe today. Or worse, we are driving in winter weather and it pulls off to the shoulder and parks because the snow is too thick.

Yes, many people can not drive in winter conditions, but I don't want to wait on the side of the road for two days for the road surface to clear

Re:This is just a stupid idea. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45351699)

Prepare to be modded down by people who do one or two things very well but have no clue about the rest of the world.

Enjoy Driving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351503)

I actually enjoy driving - you can take this sort of thing and fuck off.

I like driving (1, Insightful)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about a year ago | (#45351595)

People don't get insurance for public transit, why should they pay for insurance if they're not driving? That's the most conservative capitalist crap I've ever heard. I like driving too, but if it meant I didn't have to pay ANY insurance, I'd give up on it.

Where is this nonsense coming from? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351599)

I know most sheeple are thick, but even so, it doesn't take much intelligence at all to question the agenda behind something as LAUGHABLE as self driving cars on ordinary roads. We already have 'autonomous' transport options, and they are called 'rail' and 'bus', and both have been purposely limited and restricted by the filth that rule over you. Now if that filth killed the progression of rail in most of the West, and uses social mockery to persuade people to hate buses, what does that tell you about the relationship between your masters, and non-car based transport?

On ordinary roads, we are centuries from having the computer technology to 'drive' cars for us. Vastly expensive roads could be built for autonomous cars that might provide the possibility in decades, rather than centuries, but what would be the point. Look elsewhere for the real answer.

Google is the R+D arm of the NSA. Google does NOT assist the NSA. Google does NOT get hacked by the NSA. Google ***IS*** the NSA. And Google's propaganda initiatives, like its pretend computer controlled car, are designed to further the aims of the military industrial complex in the USA.

Two things are happening here.
ONE- nothing empowers an ordinary person more than owning and driving a car. America is at the forefront of car ownership, and gives younger people than any other nation in the West the right to drive. Attacking your right to drive (even in a psy-op) is an act of 'castration'. It doesn't matter that it will or will not happen. Enough psychological harm is done even talking about it. Orwell talked about a boot stomping on your face forever, and in a modern first-world nation, this 'boot' takes the form of acts against your confidence and will.

TWO The founders of Google are Israel-firsters (as I really hope you are already aware) and take a massive pride in the fact that Israel publicly promoted the first wide use of un-manned drones to slaughter those the zionists are delighted to call 'sub-Human'. The Humans murdered by drone strikes across the planet are almost 100% muslim, a fact that delights Team Google. Google wants the next stage- autonomous murder machines used en-masse against muslim 'enemies'. Those that control Google figure that the US sheeple will be FAR more willing to wage wars for Israel, if the target nations are largely exterminated without risk to US service people.

Google's self-driving car project is designed to persuade people to accept computer controlled 'tanks' and 'planes' that fight the zionist's future wars. Google doesn't believe in the feasibility of such murder machines, but does believe their apparent pursuit will make America even more warlike, and even less likely to worry about international conventions that the zionists believe limit their ability to holocaust nations like Iran.

Google pushes its autonomous concept for the same reason Blair fingerprints kids in British schools- to GROOM future generations to accept a world far more terrible than even that which we have today. Google grooms nerds as Blair grooms schoolchildren.

Home, Jeeves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351637)

While I love to drive, most driving is pretty boring. And with the paranoia around drinking, it is just no fun to go out anymore. I would gladly crawl into the vehicle and tell the computer to take me home. Whether I watched the scenery or snoozed or nuzzled my wife depends upon the moment. But I would gladly scream down the Autobahn at multiples of the speed limit or drift through twisting rural corners -- this stuff is fun. But going to get groceries... zzzzz. And if there is a discount on my insurance to do this - bonus!

Like that's going to happen (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#45351647)

insurance rates would be reduced by 80%

Pollsters failed to quantify the opinions of drivers when asked whether they expect to receive an 80% reduction in rates by adopting automated vehicles; respondents were unable to breathe due to convulsive laughter.

Hell yeah! (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | about a year ago | (#45351651)

Save money on my car insurance and have an electronic chauffeur? Shut up and take my money!

I can't wait for the day when driving "manually" will be viewed as archaic as doing your laundry in a basin or washing your dishes by hand. I'm more than happy to turn over menial tasks to a machine and I can hardly think of anything quite as tedious and boring as the daily commute and trips to and from the supermarket.

I'd buy a car with auto-pilot (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45351683)

I love driving in general but I hate driving to work in the morning traffic. If I could push a button and have the car drive itself while I troll slashdot, it would make the commute much easier.

Can we get a variable amount of control? (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#45351715)

How about if the car lets me drive and lets me decide whether I want it to keep me from doing dangerous things (tailgating, backing into objects, changing lanes into other cars, ramming the car in front of me while I adjust the radio, etc.).

Texas being the exception (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#45351803)

Sadly in Texas there is a minimum you must pay regardless of how much of a risk you are. For example, if you fit within the age group least likely to have an accident, have never had a ticket, have never been in an accident, and never drive outside of the state, you will never be able to reduce your rate to below $35/mo. The only way to pay no insurance is to have a $250k bond, or own a fleet of 25 vehicles, or own a farm and the vehicle is used for "husbandry". The second bit is from back when the law was 6701 so has probably changed. That being said, if the state forced the insurance companies to reduce that to $5/mo I'm all in.

DK Effect (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#45351805)

75% of respondents think they could drive a car better than a computer.

Yes, and a similar proportion in a different poll stated they believed they were safer than than average drivers.

This poll has all sorts of cognitive bias problems.

Self driving cars will never happen in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351819)

People sue Honda because their 1992 Accord did not have air bags and if it did, they would not have been hurt. Look at all of that cases with uncontrolled acceleration, in front of a sympathetic jury, the big company is going to lose even if it was your fault by pushing the gas instead of the brake.

There is NO WAY IN HELL automatic driving cars are going to be on our roads. No company can afford to stay in business after a few "accidents" that happen for what ever reason and they get sued.

Exploits? Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45351827)

So how often does the auto pilot get rebooted mid-drive? What if someone installs a rootkit? Will I need to run an anti-virus tool on my car?

Sure I believe that the car is safer driving itself . . . until someone exploits it and crashes me head-on into a tractor-trailer at 90 mph.

I'd rather drive myself.

How you come up with THAT headline? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year ago | (#45351861)

Oddly enough, the survey by the online consumer insurance site Car insurance.com also showed that 75% of respondents think they could drive a car better than a computer. Another 64% said computers were not capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers. And 75% would not trust a driverless car to take their children to school.

Something like Most Drivers Are Not Ready To Hand The Keys Over To A Computer would've been more appropriate.

johnny cab (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45351905)

johnny cab now fire free

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