Living in the Sci Fi Future, Part VI

Google Lobbies Nevada To Allow Self-Driving Cars

The autonomous driving function has been tested on California freeways. I worked in traffic safety for years, and these cars are what I said were about the only way to reach the “0 fatality” vision/goal that so many of our sibling offices had. I keep citing Rainbows End as the clearest vision of our technological near-future, and Sebastian Thrun’s quote at the end is a feature of the book.

: Zubon

via MR

9 thoughts on “Living in the Sci Fi Future, Part VI”

  1. I saw partial automatic braking on a car advertised on TV the other day, think it was Volvo, but it seems a few others are following closely behind and even going further. I suppose that is the first step in the autonomous car future, but it doesn’t half make me nervous. It does seem a big threshold to cross, when you decide how much control to give up and let the car handle the breaking, on the other hand there’ll probably be a lot less slamming on the brakes.

  2. A self-driving car would be about the only one I’d be safe behind the wheel of – they can’t come soon enough! ^_^

  3. I saw the commercial for the new Ford Focus and the parking assist feature. All I could see is death and dismemberment but I’d love to give it (the parking part not the death part) a try.

  4. Well, most of Nevada is pretty empty, and the last time I went to Vegas people seemed to be headed for the door at a brisk clip. So it isn’t like a self-driving car has a high probability of hitting someone in Nevada.

    I say they go with the idea and make is a state feature.

    Come see the self-driving cars!

  5. There are tests ongoing in Europe for vehicle “trains”, where one vehicle at the front will be driven by a person and several behind will link to it electronically and follow its actions with the “driver” required to do nothing.

    The report on it that I heard made it sound terrifying.

    1. that is how many see the robotic cars integrating with mass transit.

      http://www.templetons.com/brad/robocars/

      he also has a lot of data on how inefficient current mass transit systems are (which will remain *relatively* inefficient even if both cars and trains are all clean, electric and efficient) pretty interesting.

      But i am all for robo cars

  6. At least they didn’t test it in Arizona.

    “And here we see the car automatically parking itself at the Grand Canyon…oh, drat. Hey Tom! Remind me, we need to teach it that empty space counts as an obstacle, too.”

  7. A modern car actually takes control of a lot more than you might think. They just don’t tell you about it.

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