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Engineers, lawmakers prepare for driverless cars
The Palm Beach Post ^ | May 6, 2012 | Ana M. Valdes

Posted on 05/06/2012 11:56:29 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

It may be years before you can take your hands off the wheel and have your car go where you tell it. But driverless cars are on their way and Florida is already embracing the vehicles, whose technology promises to save lives, create jobs and free minds from the grind of the road.

Last month Florida became the second state to pass a bill allowing tests of self-driving cars.

Lawmakers in places such as Florida and Nevada - the first state to legalize self-driving cars for testing - have realized that embracing the technology could be fruitful during tough economic times, said Lindsay Voss, senior program development manager for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

"Right now we associate Michigan with the heart of the automotive industry, but I think there is a sense that driverless cars open up a whole new opportunity for companies who are in technology but not necessarily automotive technology," said Voss, whose Washington-based group counts Fortune 500 companies and business consultants among its members . "It's an opportunity that has the states really opening their eyes and wanting to be a part of it."

Driverless-car advocates say programming and manufacturing companies may consider Florida an ideal place to work in the field, since state legislators have begun addressing the issue .

Lawmaker drives effort

Rep. Jeffrey Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, a co-sponsor of Florida's automated­-vehicle law, said preparing for unmanned cars to cruise public roads could require additional signage or highway lanes to accommodate them - projects that could create jobs for Floridians.

Advocates add that local and state governments may have to invest in technology so the cars can communicate with each other and with traffic signals on the road via sensors or GPS technology.

Brandes said he foresaw the economic opportunities of bringing this technology to the state after seeing a TV documentary on the topic. He also realized self-driving vehicles could help reduce motor-vehicle fatalities .

He contacted executives at Google, which in 2010 launched a driverless vehicle project that has completed more than 200,000 miles of computer-led driving.

"This legislation is about vision and leadership for the 21st-century world and forges a path for future innovative economic opportunities for Floridians," Brandes said in January, when he sat in a Google-created automated car as he was promoting the bill in Tallahassee.

"I pressed the button and took my hands off the wheel and the feet off the pedals, and cruised at 70 mph on the interstate," Brandes said. "It felt a little bit like I was kicking into cruise control, but it was fascinating to watch the car make decisions."

"I think you are going to see many states recognizing this technology, begin to write rules and regulations to accommodate it and hopefully do a lot of research in this type of technology," Brandes added.

Florida's bill, HB 1207, calls for the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to submit a report to legislators by February 2014 detailing additional legislative action needed.

There are least six driverless­-car projects under way worldwide.

Volvo, for example, has its Road Train project, in which several driverless cars travel behind a semi-trailer packed with electronics. The driver, by ceding control to the train, gets better fuel efficiency because of drafting and constant speeds and is freed to do other things without having to watch the road.

Audi's driverless car drove up Colorado's curvy mountain roads to Pike's Peak in 2010. Taking part in that year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the car completed the 156-turn course in 27 minutes, compared with race officials' estimates of a 17-minute finish for an expert human driver in a similar car.

Audi officials said the computer's time set a benchmark as to how close driverless vehicles are to expert drivers. The car company also said the computer's timing is probably similar to the time an average driver would take to complete the course.

Many issues to resolve

It's a matter of when - not if - driverless cars are used for daily commuting and travel, experts say. And that creates many questions: how to insure them, how to integrate them with 20- and 30-year-old cars that still require the human touch, and how to make them affordable. These are issues that will likely take years, if not decades, to square away.

"Driverless cars are not going to be something that everyone immediately has, and even once this has been accepted to the point when 25 percent of vehicles on the road are driverless, you still have people in regular cars dealing with regular issues," said Voss, who in June will participate in a driverless-car summit in Detroit to address public concerns.

Some safety features available in many cars - Volvo's Blind Spot Information System or Toyota's Intelligent Parking Assist on some Prius models - are laying groundwork for hands-free driving.

"Your cruise control, your automatic parking technology that will help you parallel park, all of these things are little bits and pieces of this bigger movement of the automated car," Voss said.

"But it's not about smart cars that help you park or flash a warning when you are about to hit somebody. It's about getting in the car where you do not have to focus on driving to get to where you are going."

Steve Dellenback, director of the Intelligent Systems Department at Southwest Research Institute in Texas, said cost is the key to when driverless cars will become a reality for the average consumer.

"The cost of unmanned ground vehicles is a minimum of six figures for just the hardware, excluding the cost of the vehicle," Dellenback said. "We are a long way from having deployed unmanned systems on public streets."

Liability a question mark

Liability is also a potential issue with driverless vehicles. Whom do you sue when a computer runs over you?

Florida's new law says the manufacturer of a vehicle converted by a third party into a driverless car for testing purposes is not liable, but it does not address liability issues with driverless cars once they are used by the general population.

"Insurance companies will absolutely embrace them and I think you'll have discounts for having these types of cars," Brandes said.

"These cars will drive better than you or I drive," Brandes said. "They won't drive in someone's blind spot. They won't drive past the speed limit. They won't get angry. The benefits of this technology are just incredible."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: driverlesscars; google; hb1207; legislature; science; technology
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1 posted on 05/06/2012 11:56:42 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: 3D-JOY; abner; Abundy; AGreatPer; Albion Wilde; AliVeritas; alisasny; ALlRightAllTheTime; ...

PING!


2 posted on 05/06/2012 11:59:17 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

So the laws regarding texting and talking on your cell phone will become elite? /s


3 posted on 05/06/2012 11:59:49 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Vendome

Don’t you mean obsolete?


4 posted on 05/07/2012 12:00:32 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Driverless cars are just one more step towards elimination of our freedom to go where we choose. Driverless cars will only go to certain destinations, you can bet on that. This will be tailor made for Agenda 21’s ‘corridor’ narrative.


5 posted on 05/07/2012 12:06:40 AM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

LOL

How would I know?

I’m on a horse!


6 posted on 05/07/2012 12:11:42 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

So, if the vehicle is broadcasting that it is under computer control, does that mean cops can’t cite you for moving violations ?

All those tax collectors on motorcycles will be out of work.

That’s fine with me. Citing people for driving “dangerously” when they have actually caused no damage to property or persons has always struck me as fascist. We already have laws that punish for damaging people or property, and traffic citations are strictly punishment for the deterrent value. We have masochistically surrendered freedoms for the illusion of security.


7 posted on 05/07/2012 12:29:48 AM PDT by Kellis91789 (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.)
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To: Kellis91789
So, if the vehicle is broadcasting that it is under computer control, does that mean cops can’t cite you for moving violations ?

So how long will it take for spoof transponders to be used to squawk the right codes to get past enforcers?

8 posted on 05/07/2012 12:48:40 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
"These cars will drive better than you or I drive," Brandes said. "They won't drive in someone's blind spot. They won't drive past the speed limit. They won't get angry. The benefits of this technology are just incredible."

Pure projection. Apparently this person can only dream of having a clear driving record.

9 posted on 05/07/2012 12:51:25 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Just as a court today accepts an LEOs “professional eyeball estimate” as to your speed, courts will probably accept that the officer is right and the computer must have glitched. And being your property, you are responsible for the glitch just as you are responsible for the rest of the vehicle being in proper working order.

90% of traffic cops wouldn’t be needed if not for citations — and if they are no longer a revenue generator, local governments will lay them off. LEOs will fight tooth and nail to keep their unnecessary jobs, of course, and harass drivers who have computer controlled vehicles.


10 posted on 05/07/2012 1:09:36 AM PDT by Kellis91789 (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Seems to me that so many things will have to be working properly, without a hitch, or there could be disaster.

First, would they be driving on roads upon which there would be no cars with human drivers? If not, how do you program the car to deal with unexpected things that a human-driven non-computerized vehicle might do?

What happens if the GPS or the road sensors don't work, or have a glitch?

What if someone decides this is a great terrorist target? Just disrupt the GPS or road sensor signals and watch the results..

11 posted on 05/07/2012 1:48:39 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Just don’t let Microsoft anywhere near the project or we’re all DOOMED!

“You are about to crash into a tree. Click OK.”


12 posted on 05/07/2012 2:21:59 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: pieceofthepuzzle
Deer, dogs, cattle, moose (yes, even moose). Too many unpredictable events occur even without other drivers, and that assumes that all else works as it is supposed to. That makes no allowances for snow, ice, blizzard conditions (well known around here), subzero temperatures, or a host of other natural and unpredictable events.

Even programming in construction detours would be a challenge.

While a lot of drivers out there are pretty scary behind the wheel, they retain the potential to react appropriately in sudden situations despite ordinary inattentiveness or poor skills.

A computer might not be able to do so, especially if it is installing one of bazillions of updates and security patches, etc.

Of course, compromise such a system with evil intent, and the potential for carnage is phenomenal, not to mention the potential for the 'removal' of individuals, while blaming a 'computer glitch'.

It'd make a great sci-fi plot, but I can't honestly say I see where it would be an improvement.

13 posted on 05/07/2012 2:31:46 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Driving under the speed limit will cause a hazardous situation in many situations, as you will cause a substantial slow down in traffic. The idea that this represents “These cars will drive better than you or I drive,” is absurd.


14 posted on 05/07/2012 2:45:32 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: FreedomPoster
Driving under the speed limit will cause a hazardous situation in many situations, as you will cause a substantial slow down in traffic.

Very true. The bottlenecks in traffic flow caused by slow divers cause others to take chances (especially on the two-lane roads around here).

It is safer to have everyone moving at about the same speed--whatever the speed is.

15 posted on 05/07/2012 2:49:18 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
"These cars will drive better than you or I drive," Brandes said. "They won't drive in someone's blind spot. They won't drive past the speed limit. They won't get angry. The benefits of this technology are just incredible."

I miss the days when a little professionalism was expected behind the wheel. One of our local first responders told me that everyone under 30 seems to live in a world of cartoon physics.

After an accident killed a local teen girl, the parents tried to sue the company that owned the gravel truck she hit. They declared that the accident simply couldn't have happened because the car the girl was driving had traction control. The simple fact is that she was going too fast around an icy curve.
16 posted on 05/07/2012 3:53:11 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Technology is a wonderful thing until the battery is dead.
Anyone who wants a car that drives itself needs to take a bus.


17 posted on 05/07/2012 4:08:28 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

Driverless cars will only go to certain destinations, you can bet on that.

I’m sure they’ll go anywhere the GPS says there is a road.


18 posted on 05/07/2012 4:18:48 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: freedomfiter2
Driverless cars will only go to certain destinations

The scene of the accident?
19 posted on 05/07/2012 4:28:25 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

At least 50 years ago I heard and read the same stories.Yawn.


20 posted on 05/07/2012 4:29:00 AM PDT by bikerman (you can take the man out of the jungle but can't take the jungle out of the man)
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To: Smokin' Joe

You are right. There are a myriad of unique situations which a human can [usually] handle, but a computer will not be able to. Eventually, they might get the software right for 99.9% of those, but that pesky 0.1% will be enough to generate tons of horror stories. That and the inevitable lawsuits will ruin a lot of these companies early on. Software products typically have NO warranty. They will not be able to get away with that for software that controls driverless cars.


21 posted on 05/07/2012 4:31:36 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Lawyers are looking forward to this. There will be much money to be made sorting out the accidents and deaths the driverless cars will cause.


22 posted on 05/07/2012 4:49:31 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

BMW rejects this technology.

Otherwise, they’ll have to change there slogan to ‘The ultimate riding-around-in machine.’


23 posted on 05/07/2012 4:58:09 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

On a system designed for driverless cars, is a human driver illegal due to the unpredictability?


24 posted on 05/07/2012 4:58:26 AM PDT by tbw2
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To: freedomfiter2

Delete competitors from the map and no one can go there?
Deny access of vehicles to locations and refuse to take them due to the current passengers?
Politically incorrect venues blocked or simply errored out by automated systems so that no one goes?
There is a lot of potential horror in this technology.


25 posted on 05/07/2012 5:01:34 AM PDT by tbw2
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I think this is about the stupidist thing they could have ever thought of!!!

Just EXACTLY what entity is the auto insurance company supposed to be underwriting?

If there is an accident-—you cannot sue the DRIVER of the car-—he wasn’t driving!!!

Sueing the driverless car won’t work, wither, since under American laws, you are allowed to cross examine your opponent, and how do you cross examine a CAR!!!!

This has lots of legal loopholes.

I won’t EVER haul my horses with a vehicle that ‘drives itself’!!!


26 posted on 05/07/2012 7:21:23 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

It won’t drive above the speed limit!!!

How does one pass when necessary? Sometimes you are above the speed limit for a good reason!! Even if only temporary!

Icy roads? Icy bridges (Common where I live). Black ice is a bugger! Patchy snow? Heavy splash from the truck going the opposite direction? How fast will it decellerate when I am hauling a trailer? If too fast, a very good way to wrap the trailer around yourself!!!


27 posted on 05/07/2012 7:25:13 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: freedomfiter2
I’m sure they’ll go anywhere the GPS says there is a road.

If the designers are halfway intelligent, they'll go anwhere their onboard sensors say there's a road. If they're depending on GPS, they're nuts.

28 posted on 05/07/2012 7:25:49 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I could get behind this technology. Less accidents, DWIs start disappearing, alot less traffic violations for towns to pad their coffers with, etc.


29 posted on 05/07/2012 7:49:55 AM PDT by Molon Labbie (Prep. Now.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Nothing can go wrong ..... go wrong ..... go wrong


30 posted on 05/07/2012 8:02:12 AM PDT by shooter223 (the government should fear the citizens......not the other way around)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

"Hope you enjoyed the ride!"

31 posted on 05/07/2012 8:04:39 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

32 posted on 05/07/2012 8:09:12 AM PDT by JediJones (From the makers of Romney, Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger 2016. Because the GOP can never go too far left.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

"Never has there been a more exciting time to be alive — a time of rousing wonder and heroic achievement. As they said in the film, Back to the Future, "Where we are going, we don't need roads.""


33 posted on 05/07/2012 8:12:40 AM PDT by JediJones (From the makers of Romney, Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger 2016. Because the GOP can never go too far left.)
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To: ridesthemiles

34 posted on 05/07/2012 8:26:19 AM PDT by JediJones (From the makers of Romney, Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger 2016. Because the GOP can never go too far left.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Its already here. Just get a license plate for your tractor: http://www.trimble.com/agriculture/autopilot.aspx?dtID=overview&; and head on down the road.


35 posted on 05/07/2012 9:24:14 AM PDT by Western Phil
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To: Right Wing Assault

Or at that critical time you get Windows Update or a real BSOD.


36 posted on 05/07/2012 9:30:18 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: cripplecreek
One of our local first responders told me that everyone under 30 seems to live in a world of cartoon physics.

Sadly, I wonder how many under 30 have even had any exposure to even high school physics, not that those numbers would translate in their minds to traumatic amputations and tissue destroying and bone crushing blunt force trauma.

Far too many have been sold on widget safety: Anti-lock brakes (there are times I want to be able to lock up my brakes!), traction control, airbags, seat belts, crumple zones, and all the features which make cars "safe", all allow people to ignore that the most important safety device in the car is between the driver's ears.

I think somewhere in there the cell phone (immediate one sided blinder), not to mention dinking with 'smart' phones (total loss of focus), music devices, and navigational aids, combined with a general sense of unreality make some oblivious to the consequences of a moment's inattention.

When I drove those old, noisy, drafty vehicles with brakes which worked better when you pumped them, balky manual gearboxes, and no power steering, I had to focus on what I was doing, the road, and drive well ahead to be ready for what was up there by the time I got there. Even in the heyday of the CB radio, we were aware of where we were, and what was going on around us.

Now, it seems the insular environment of a modern vehicle deprives the driver of the real sense of how fast they are going, and what the road conditions really are.

37 posted on 05/07/2012 9:41:41 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Engineers, lawmakers prepare for driverless cars

Prepare?


38 posted on 05/07/2012 11:28:20 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
Driverless cars will only go to certain destinations

Which will cause people to have to walk to get to their drug dealer or strip club, making people more 'fit' and reducing usage of 'gas'.

How could anything go wrong?

39 posted on 05/07/2012 11:32:11 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
"Whom do you sue when a computer runs over you? "

Gives new meaning to the term, BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH.


40 posted on 05/07/2012 11:37:31 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

there is manual overide.

also how can you justify mass transit when self drive does it door to door and no maintainance boon doggle.

also think of self drive car valet.

car drops you off and parks somewhere and then you call it to come and get you.


41 posted on 05/07/2012 11:41:06 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult
Once they have these 'computer driven' cars, you will no longer be known as the 'driver', but as the 'current application'.

"Current application will be terminated"


42 posted on 05/07/2012 11:49:12 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: longtermmemmory
car drops you off and parks somewhere and then you call it to come and get you.

Unless it won't answer the phone because it's busy hanging out at the lube shop and having a few quarts of oil too many.

43 posted on 05/07/2012 11:53:35 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: longtermmemmory
car drops you off and parks somewhere and then you call it to come and get you.

Put the 'autopilot' feature only on ALL ELECTRIC vehicles, and have them go find their own darn RECHARGING STATION.

44 posted on 05/07/2012 11:58:34 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Smokin' Joe; cripplecreek
Far too many have been sold on widget safety

Very similar to many people's conception that because 4-wheel drive gets them going faster in slick conditions, that it also means they can stop faster.

My response is always, "All cars have 4-wheel brakes".

45 posted on 05/07/2012 12:05:12 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Now, it seems the insular environment of a modern vehicle deprives the driver of the real sense of how fast they are going, and what the road conditions really are.

Most people have never handled a vehicle in an adverse situation.

'Avoiding' an accident is a 'lost' skill.

It's just better that they take a nap and let the computer drive.

Only let people who can qualify in a handling test actually drive a car. Utopia is just around the corner. I see Skittles and Unicorns everywhere.

46 posted on 05/07/2012 12:12:02 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Can I have one like this?


47 posted on 05/07/2012 12:17:24 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Bunch of luddites on this thread!

I for one look forward to the day when I can punch in an address on my autodrive then sit back and read a book for the duration. I take long trips towing my camper several times each year and it would really be nice to relax during those looooong drives.

48 posted on 05/07/2012 12:37:31 PM PDT by 6ppc (It's torch and pitchfork time)
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To: UCANSEE2
My general experience with 4-wheel drive:

It enables you to get really, really stuck farther from civilization.

When you finally 'break loose' on ice, you are really in trouble.

D@mned things tip over far too easily (8^D).

(Note, these are older models, with buckboard hard suspensions and manual transmissions/transfer cases, not the computerized rides of today).

Used properly, yes, they are a great tool, but they are not the invincible conquerors of the off-road many fantasize about.

49 posted on 05/07/2012 1:57:54 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
they are not the invincible conquerors of the off-road many fantasize about

Nor are the the laws of physics defiers that their driver think they are on freeways. I dread winter when monstrous 4WD vehicles driven by clueless people fly by me on icy or snowy roads since everyone thinks that 4WD prevents all skidding and makes vehicles stop just as well as they do on a dry road. Don't they notice vehicles just like theirs in ditches and wonder why they are there?

50 posted on 05/08/2012 2:25:53 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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