Self-Driving Acura

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You’ve heard about the “self-driving” car? Here’s a preview:

This is me driving a 2015 Acura TLX. Actually, it’s the Acura TLX driving me. The car (and other Acuras, including the new MDX) has a “steering assist” feature that uses cameras to keep the thing in its lane – more accurately, in between the yellow line to your left and the white line to your right – without you doing anything. Cameras “see” the painted lines – and electric motors steer the car.

Neat, certainly.

But is it a good idea?self drive 1

I think it’s an awful idea. For two reasons.

One, though touted as a way to make driving “safer” (god, that word) such self-driving technology necessarily encourages passive/inattentive driving. Why pay attention when the car is – hopefully – doing it for you? It’s interesting that people demand ever-more-onerous punishments for people who text while driving on the basis that they aren’t paying attention to their driving. Yet here we have a technology that will give people free rein to do exactly that.

And what happens when the car makes a mistake? Which it will. Only god (so they say) is infallible. Machines – computers – have yet to make the cut. Would you trust Microsoft with your life? On cruise control at 75 MPH? Well, bubba, that’s exactly what’s in the pipeline. And the part that’s hardest to choke down is that we’ll all be carried along by this evil electronic rip tide. Just like sail fawns – which went from being a curious toy that rich people used to flout the fact that they were rich (or at least, looked like they might be) to the ubiquitous annoyances of modern life that most people have no choice but to deal with (and pay for!) because, well, most people bought in. Most people seem to be dazzled by gadgets in the same way that seagulls are by a piece of tinfoil.

Only the few, the proud – the cheap (like me) have dodged the idiocy of sail fawns that do almost everything except make calls. At least, they don’t make them nearly as well as my $12 wall phone.

But I digress.self driving Volvo

First (as now) autonomous driving technology will be a high-end-car-only gadget. Then, gradually, it will filter down to bread-and-butter cars (as GPS has, as heated seats have). It will become a de facto part of the standard equipment package – just like ABS has become. A few years will pass.

Then, it will be made mandatory.

You will not be allowed to drive a non-autonomous car on the “public” (honest English, government) roads. Because safety.

Bank on it. It will be done. There will be a growing crescendo of media-politician (and “mom”) quacking that, gosh, it’s not saaaaaaaaaaaaafe to leave the driving to people… who are too (wait for it) distracted to be trusted to drive “safely.” So, we’ll distract them completely – by leaving them to their sail fawns and DVD players and online porn (piped right into the car via the already-available WiFi “hot spot” technology several new cars can be ordered with today) while the car handles the driving. Well, the computer that controls the car.

And when the computer has a brain fart? Or the wiring frays or the sensors short? Maybe the automatic steering motor gets a little lazy and before you know it, the car’s barrel-rolled into the ditch.

What about “safety” then?self drive 3

By then, of course, the typical driver will not only not be paying any attention at all, his congealed cerebellum  – rendered thus by the 24-7 overstimulation of constant texting, Googling, Siri-ing, game playing and watching and gabbling (but rarely, if ever, actually doing) won’t even register the snafu, the impending danger. Instead, he’ll wonder what to do … as the car barrel rolls into the ditch.

If it’s any consolation, he’ll probably feel safe during those last few moments.

But not me. I feel a lot less “safe” already as the idiot-proofing of America reaches its climax and we approach the day when the entire country will be populated by and run for the benefit of complete imbeciles who, having been carefully cultivated to be exactly that will never rise above that.

They will never know the satisfaction of the perfect apex, of the shift banged off just right. Of being the captain of their own ship –  so to speak – rather than a meatsack carbon dioxide exhaler being driven to and from the cube farm and back.

Time to take the cover off the old Trans-Am and remember better days, happier times.

Before the motor law….

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60 COMMENTS

  1. First thought: Lawyers will love this.
    Second thought: How would these cameras “see” beneath snow/black ice. What costs, aside from the vehicle itself, can you imagine will be “necessary” to be installed on every road. Oh hell, just realized this is a jobs bill! Funny how many jobs are created in the road building industry every time some idiot comes up with a better idea “if it only saves just one life”?
    Third thought: I ENJOY driving! This concept sucks. If I want someone/something to drive me somewhere I will call a cab or, better still, Uber.
    Fourth thought: As always, designed to the lowest common denominator aka the typical driver. I honestly HATE cruise control and never use it know matter how long the drive or straight the road is. This would make me bonkers.
    Fifth thought: If you need a self-driving car you simply should not own ANY car. This will actually encourage borderline capable people to get behind the wheel—will the gubmint supply “cars stamps” like they already do with food stamps and free obamastein cell phones because everyone has the “right” to transportation?
    Sixth thought: I cringed at the oncoming cars in the opposing lane—for my sake and the other driver’s.

    Finally, there is plenty of room for aircraft to maneuver, excepting take off or landings. A pilot friend told me that the co-pilot will soon be replaced with a Maligator (Malinois) or GSD that will insure the pilot doesn’t touch the controls! In most all cases the aircraft is equipped with backup manual overrides. There is a hell of a lot of fabulous technology in aircraft that could readily be brought to use in a car. For starters it is cost prohibitive. Just like DUI laws, the intention has become a very lucrative industry supporting police, courts (judges right down to paper pushers), safe driving schools, jails, insurance companies and that is only the starting point. My thoughts keep coming full circle to control, profit, and affordability once you get past the stupidity of it all. My son is an armed volunteer in Sheriff Joe’s posse with his own marked police vehicle—everything bought and paid for by him. He surprised me last week when he told me you should never ever take a field sobriety test! They aren’t mandatory. From the minute you open your mouth YOU are assisting the officer to build their case against you. (smells like alcohol, slurred speech, etc). They have to justify why they pulled you over so expect that if you get to that point, you are going to go to “jail” if only long enough to take blood or breath. Seriously, in AZ you don’t spend THAT first night in jail! Again, it is about money and much less about the crime. So, what will the impaired or, more common, the inattentive driver do? Blame any behavior on the car ? Liberals think guns kill people after all!

    The only technology I would see as possibly life saving might be a device in a police vehicle that would allow them to shut off your car, especially useful with wrong way drivers. Another might be a roadside limiter that would shut your car down for 5 minutes if your speed was maniacal for a particular road/curve/construction or, too slow as to pose a real threat to good drivers. Nothing would be cheaper and easier than that and I’d venture to say, even though a good idea in some drastic cases, gubmint would ultimately screw it up. Off of the subject, does anyone know if that “reinforce the roofs of SUVs to protect the truly incompetent” plan ever become law?

    Only silver lining I see, in my case, is that I drive a 6 speed Mazdaspeed (Miata body). I think in order to be mandatory it would have to be available to be installed on all cars. Guess they will just outlaw the cars they cannot modify. Let’s face it—gubmint wants CONTROL at any cost—your liberties be damned. Give me an open road and I will drive! Even my husband and son say I drive better than most men! I consider it a compliment and a strong demonstration that skill will always be superior to computers—especially in cars.

    BTW Eric— how do the “moderns” describe their generations. At 61 I know I am a Baby Boomer. However, Gen X, Millennials—can someone give me the breakdown so I don’t appear so out of touch when with my son’s friends?

    Final thought: The lawyers will love this!

  2. Eric, I am going to have to (partially) disagree with you on this one. I think that self-driving cars is a wonderful technology. In a truly free market this would be a good to mankind. People who are tired or drunk or otherwise incapable of driving could still freely travel where they wish. While I won’t discount the possibility of computer problems, I think I trust computers more than the other clovers on the road who drive while texting. If left to the market, computers will eventually make driving safer. Every year I make an 800 mile drive to visit the in-laws for Christmas, and I would love to be able to just tell the car where to go and have it drive all night while I sleep. Self-driving cars would also make it easier to share vehicles and could reduce transportation costs to the average person.

    The true problem is, like most problems we have today, the government mandate and control. Nanny States may mandate it, and that will be to our detriment. But you shouldn’t hate the technology because of the State’s abuse of it any more than you would hate any other technology that the State abuses.

    One thing to consider as well is that if the State mandates self driving cars it would be doing so to its detriment. The American Driver is currently a great source of revenue to local governments through tickets and fines.

  3. The fine print at the bottom of your self-driving vehicle registration and insurance policy:

    I hereby RELEASE, WAIVE, DISCHARGE, AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE THE MANUFACTURER, OR LESSOR, or LICENSING AUTHORITY (hereinafter referred to as RELEASEES) from all liability, claims, demands, actions whatsoever arising out of or related to any loss, damage, or injury, including death, that may be sustained by me, or to any passenger(s), anytime while being transported in vehicle VSN #_________________________.

  4. The thing that made me cringe watching the vid was not the risk of going off the road, but how the people coming the other way didn’t know their lives depended upon a computer making continuous split-second decisions..

    At the speed in the vid it takes very little steering input to change lanes, and few will survive a head-on at that sort of velocity.

    I’ve often said the fact we so rarely drive into each other is actually a great example of how free people CAN be left the heck alone. You don’t fear the oncoming driver because they have as much desire to avoid a collision as you do – but a computer? They don’t even have self-awareness, let alone instincts for self-preservation.

    I know things are more and more computerized and “fly by wire”, but no, I don’t trust computers for such things. Not at all. For example suppose an oncoming truck has a yellow line painted down it. Will the car steer into the truck?

    • In my 6 decades of experience, 4+ of it as a driver, computers can make better split second decisions than the vast majority of today’s drivers, if they are well-programmed and allowed to operate autonomously instead of being countermanded by moronic humans. Eric better get ready to ride mass transit, because the fully-tracked automobile of today will shortly be replaced by the completely computer- or remote-controlled automobile of the world’s central planning scumbags.

    • Hi Alan. Did you ever notice those traffic barriers or cable fences that separate divided highways? I would tend to agree that most people, most of the time, wish to avoid a head on collision, but not all. Years ago one of my relatives gave me a whole bunch of cop related magazines and newsletters, one of which was a copy of “Aid & Abet” from back in the mid sixties. There was a very interesting article in there I’ve never forgotten about the number of head-on collisions that were apparently suicides. It may not happen real often, but sometimes people actually will steer into the oncoming car or truck and even jump the median to do so.

  5. Self-driving cars are a technology that presents untold opportunities for abuse. Here are just a few:

    If you are late on a payment, the bank doesn’t have to send a repo crew to tow your car. All they have to do is take control of it remotely and drive it away.

    If you are late on taxes, child support, traffic fines, library fines, you name it, the authorities can, as mentioned above, take control of your car remotely and drive it to the impound lot.

    Everyone from mischevious teenagers to lone genius psychotics to criminal enterprises to terrorists can hack the hardware or software to cause these cars to simply not function, or worse, crash head-on into each other, or take control of your car to drive you to a remote location, where God knows what could happen.

    During certain conditions, from “ozone action days” to blizzards, hurricanes, and whatnot, the authorities can shut your car down in the interest of public safety.

    I admit it’s a cool piece of technology, and pretty convenient, too. I’m concerned that it’s not really ready for prime time, but TPTB are pushing for it.

    • There are already remote cut off switches that many car loan places will install on vehicles. Mainly placed on cars with high risk borrowers with poor payment histories. Be late a day or two, and the car won’t start until you have made a payment.

      Won’t be surprised if it becomes a standard for all cars with loans due, even people with good credit.

      • But relies on people being idiots. Any system added after the fact will be easy to remove/defeat. Of course it could always be integrated from the manufacturer and then it gets more difficult and begins to require specific tools and knowledge. But with that knowledge easier yet.

      • I’ve heard about those…the automotive answer to Rent-A-Center!
        I’ve also heard about those interlock devices that make you blow into a breathalyzer as part of DUI sentences.

        Part of me says that those are the consequences you have to live with if you make the wrong choices, like driving drunk or managing your finances poorly. But another part of me says that it’s easy for otherwise responsible people to end up with same consequences, such as getting caught in a roadblock or having a medical situation/natural disaster/job loss that could potentially do serious damage to your finances.

    • The cars don’t even need to be ‘hacked’ to cause problems.

      For instance, the automatic breaking is a clover’s wet dream. Our resident troll likes to pull out in front of people and force them to take evasive action because it doesn’t like to wait for a gap in traffic. Clover defends this sort of driving tirelessly. Now imagine what they’ll do with most cars having “automatic” braking. they’ll just pull out in front of people more confidently than ever.

      There are all sorts of ways to cause mischief with automated cars by just understanding their Claybrookian/Cloverian programming.

  6. “give people free reign”

    Did you mean ‘free rein’? Free rein describes an absence of restriction, in the way you’d allow a horse you’re riding to go along without being reined in. Free reign describes….I don’t know, maybe allowing a king to rule freely, or something.

  7. I agree. Hasn’t it been found that cars with ABS get in accidents more than cars without, apparently because drivers think they’re magic devices that will compensate for sloppy driving? And yes, snow will certainly flummox this new gizmo, especially in conditions like I hit the other morning, after a light snowfall, where the lane markers appear and disappear, and strips of snow look a lot like lane dividers but can head right off the road.

    Picky correction: it’s “free rein”, not “free reign”. Or was, anyway; apparently the latter is gradually replacing the former in general usage.

  8. If I recall correctly, wasn’t it the man in charge of the Google Car Program who recently said that “autonomous vehicles will never work in (his) lifetime”? That’s a bit of a blow to the cause wouldn’t you say?
    He gave a few reasons why it wouldn’t work, such as, “it can’t dodge potholes and can’t tell the difference between a paper bag and a rock” …
    Me? I’d love to see one in the snow.
    Now, that being said, it would be nice to give the arms a bit of a rest on long boring straight stretches…perhaps having a Scream Detector that automatically disables the thing so that we can try to regain control when, not if, it screws up?

  9. My business is industrial automation. This will not work any better than government central planning. The real world is governed by chaos and complexity. Programmed machines do not react well to that at all. If I program a system to recognize green bags and put them on lane 1 and red packages on lane 2, the first pink package will cause something unexpected. Unexpected (say for example a simple deer) on the road will be deadly. Autopilot works on planes because there is much less likelihood of chaos. Guided missiles work because it just doesn’t matter.

    And an AI is truly a frightening concept.

  10. I’m to understand it was a brilliant red barchetta from a better vanished time…

    Watch out for the gleaming alloy aircars with that radar doohickey.

  11. As bad as it might sound to a politically correct person,

    the decision to enfranchise women voters will go down in history as the beginning of the end of liberty.

    Women place a higher value on security than liberty. They like living under a gun.

    Me? Not so much.

    • Hi Roy,

      As much as I am depressed by having to concede it, I agree.

      In general terms.

      And therein lies the rub.

      Are all females safety-obsessed control freaks driven by their feeeeeeeeeeelings rather than logic? No, of course not. But, unfortunately, it seems a great many are.

      I cannot endorse depriving any person of any right based on a generalized criteria (whether sex or race or BAC threshold)… still, generalities do have some validity and we ignore them at our peril.

      • I agree that, as a GENERAL rule, this is true. That is why I say, “If we are going to have elections, the right to vote should be limited to heads of households.” How many couples do you know whose votes cancel each other out?
        Of course even that limitation would not be sufficient now, what with so many baby daddies NOT being part of the household. That’s is why I would also limit it to heads of households NOT dependent on gunvermin handouts for subsistence.

      • What is a “BAC threshold”?

        By the way, you have confused “reign” with “rein” and “flout” with “flaunt” (the other way around to the usual confusion, which has a lot of people writing “flaunt the law”).

      • Eric,
        Of greater import is how it changed the Concept of voting.
        The atomic unit changed from the FAMILY, with the head of household casting a vote –
        to the INDUHVIDUAL, which includes a higher percentage of women than men (at that time, it’s equalizing now.)
        this emascualtes the man, at the same time it allows women license. Things “happen” to her; HE is the responsible party.
        Whereas, HE takes responsibility for his life (well, used to), and thus accepts the blame from her…

        Ah,. Shitvalry. Women like to be treated like princesses; they forget they were also supposed to be LADIES, and treat men as knights. (Note, not PRINCES, not KINGS – just KNIGHTS, men sworn to ideals of strength and justice, and martial prowess. )
        Women want to be treated like ladies, while acting like whores – and their voting trends back that up. They vote for “justice” (socialism, equality of outcome) because, histrocially, they are given the world on a silver (if bloody) platter. Women don’t WORK for their power; nature gives it to them. Men MUST work for EVERYTHING – and that has only gotten worse, as women entered the workplace – Increase supply, prices go down. Demand for cheap labor goes up, if you will. Which is why it’s now almost a necessity to have two incomes JUST TO SURVIVE.

        And woman will vote for her own benefit. “Of course men have feelings, but who gives a damn?” They want the social safety net. They want Daddy to make it all better. And there’s no bigger “Daddy” than the government.

        Man wants FREEDOM. That’s why he eventually “settles down.” As in, Settles. Downwards.
        She wants to be treasured and pleasured, keeping up with the Kardassians, even if he makes minimum wage. She’s worth it! She EARNED this.

        And her votes favor that – until she gets married, and suddenly all those resources for poor, underserved, under-represented, oppressed wymminz are coming out of HER baby’s mouth (can’t afford the food, clothes, diapers, etc.)
        I guess getting the baby without marrying the baby daddy was a bad idea. And giving it up to the baby daddy without marriage was even worse…

        Woman is what she is. Cant’ blame fire for burning, that’s what it does. It burns and consumes.
        Woman is the same, she is an amoral creature who is told she is perfect just as she is (all 650 pounds of her). She deserves to reward herself (for shopping for 8 hours straight.) She’s a SPECIAL LITTLE SNOWFLAKE and SHE DON’T NEED NO MAN… Until the computer, phone, car, oven, stove, fridge, TV, DVD player, cable box, electricity doesn’t work.

        Then they wonder why, at 35, there are no “good men” looking to wife them up, with their bastard children… While a million girls turn 18 every day. (And foreign women tend to have less baggage and be more feminine.)

        http://cdn.ebaumsworld.com/picture/lafavinator/EuropevsAmerica.png

        http://www.rooshv.com/united-states-of-broken-women

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/09/05/48860/-What-s-up-with-the-women-voters#

        Just off the top – note the Daily Kos entry, the writer states that the single women voters would vote Democrat….
        so it’s no secret…

        • There’s some truth in what you’ve written, Jean… unfortunately.

          Everything, it seems, reverts to the mean (or worse). The heroic, the exceptional… what Hunter Thompson called “snow leopards”… are pulled under by the ripe tide of the dreary mediocre.

          Arguably, both sexes have been victimized by the novus ordo seclorum. Men’s natural instincts stymied; the things that make them happy frustrated. And the same for women. Both set at odds. Who benefits?

          I think we know the answer…

        • Jean –
          Note that the trend to women working began, or at least greatly increased, during ‘the Great War,’ WW II. Because TPTB had enslaved so many men. When the fighting was over, and many (not all) of the men came home, many females did not want to revert to the status quo ante.

        • Wow Jean,

          There’s a lot of dark truths in there. Muchos Kudos.

          The Burger King Babes and Humpty Dumptresses are over the wall now, though. I don’t think you’ll ever get a chance to stick it in a Pandora’s Box the way she once was when she was Your Little Princess. Before she was released from her original packaging.

          Unless you’re willing to go Spaniardward. Cause that realm is still constructed a lot like it was before WWT – World Whore Two. Those senoritas are still driven by stick. They are Manual Human Transmissioned.

          We’re surrounded by Self-Driving Women now. The Big Three Powers That Be are churning them out assembly line style. I don’t know that there’s a good way to rectify that now. I’m not sure that I’d even want to.

          A Self-Driving Woman has a lot of programming. She can accomplish a great many tasks. But by and large, she’s not yet a Self-Made Vehicle. She doesn’t know what to do when she finds herself on a sheet of icy humanity, or in unfamiliar terrain not uploaded to her GPS – Gynecological Positioning System.

          So don’t despair. Just wait until she needs repair or has to pull off to the side of the road and await further instruction. On some internal Stepford Wife Transistor level, she’ll stop her Trojan Hack Fembot subroutines and recognize that You are still the Programmer.

          It still takes a Man to Program her Village.

  12. I noticed increasingly frequent reports of airplanes dropping from the sky due to pilots unable to competently pilot aircraft when automation or mechanisms fail. Sully successfully ditched a crippled jet in the Hudson because he is an expert pilot, not Asiana Air computer whizzes autopiloting a perfectly functioning jet into a seawall. Since people have issues controlling a Cavalier when the engine dies because the ignition switch fails, I fear what happens when the self driving car encounters a moose, black ice or mice nesting under the fuse box.

    • Agreed CC. Sully managed to land the plane in the Hudson because he’s a pilot, not a computer terminal attendant, as most pilots are becoming. When both engines went out the window, so did the autopilot. Sully HAD to fly it.

      Aircraft are becoming more difficult to fly now when something goes apeshit, because one system invariably affects another.

      Just wait until an automated car gets hit by lightning or the alternator dies mid-drive. But even simpler, the thing gets a flat and doesn’t know what to do with the loss of control, which varies by surface. Then the befuddled meat-bag clover himself doesn’t know how to change it, if he survives.

      • There are differences in control philosophies that are critical in flight. Boeing aircraft allow the pilot to deviate from ANY “normal” flight parameters. Of course the safety systems will protest, but,the pilot still has ultimate control over the aircraft.
        Airbus aircraft will not allow the pilot to exceed the parameters that are built in to the aircraft’s “software”. It is impossible to execute any maneuver that is outside the plane’s programmed parameters.
        This is the difference between the European concept of not allowing individual responsibility and the American concept of demanding personal responsibility.
        I’ll take Boeing any time…Airbus, only when there is no other choice…

      • AGW was supposed to have done that PtB..

        “..within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”. Dr David Viner, CRU, University of East Anglia March 2000.

    • http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/idiocracy-is-a-cruel-movie-and-you-should-be-ashamed-fo-1553344189

      Read this rant from some dude that states the movie is cruel. LOL! In my opinion the movie is a masterpiece of predictive substantiation. What the author doesn’t seem to get is the Government wants people to be stupid. To this end they have put in place indoctrination centers and have the nerve to call them schools. The resulting product? The illustrated general population of the movie. The government doesn’t want an intelligent educated population. Why if they were they’d not believe all the lies and bullshit the government dictates the media to report. If it is on CNN, then it must be true! I shit you not!

      Another thing the author of the rant doesn’t understand is the poor and middle class generally are forced to send their children to these indoctrination centers while the rich aka elite send their children to schools owned, operated and controlled by the elite and not the state. These schools actually do educate the children that attend on how to control the unwashed masses aka mundanes. The first thing those kids learn is to make sure the unwashed masses stay dumber than a brick. So the movie by all accounts is true in that sense.

      I have no sympathy for the author of the rant. He may have a high IQ but his thinking processes are just what the government programmed. Sure he’s maybe smart, but he’s just a smart idiot. There are millions of those.

      That’s my 2 cents and I’m sticking to it!

      David Ward
      Memphis, Tennessee

    • That movie was eerily prophetic. Brilliant extrapolation of trends. Extremely subversive, too – like the original Matrix.

      The game is definitely afoot.

      • Matrix is good for providing the red / blue pill example.
        But other than that, upon repeat viewing, too many holes.

        why the matrix?
        why do the bodies in the pods need that thing for their minds?
        sedation would work.

        its not as though using the brain is energy producing, far from it, the brain is the largest drainer of energy

        putting that aside, living things are only consumers of energy provided elsewhere, ie from light, created by fusion, and residual stored energy (such as the earths core temp).

        so the machines already had fusion, no more needed.

        OK, nitpicking, still fun to watch, but no revelation here.

        and 3?
        why keep the bargain?
        as a machine, you agree to whatever is necessary, then after you get it, you go back to where you were, morals ,lol

        and so on,

        sorry for the off tracking

    • PtB,

      The car manufacturer will be sued into oblivion. Mostly like what is in the wings for GM due to ignoring the ignition switch issue. They are still here now but the legal battles are just starting. I don’t think GM can survive a multi-billion dollar lawsuit and pending obligations for pensions.

      David Ward
      Memphis, Tennessee

      • Gm and Ford won’t be sued into oblivion. Maybe not Fiat(since they try hard to be ‘Merican. Their losses-as they have been since before I was born-will be socialized. Like all businesses that are “too big to fail”. And the ‘Merican people will once again buy it. They buy the same stupid shit every time…..just wrapped differently.

        • Nothing can stop the GM debacle. Now they may move their Corporate Headquarters to China since it is a good market. In the US they all but dead. As for Ford, their day is coming. And believe me I’ll relish it. I use to be a true died in the blood blue Ford man. So much so, I worked out of the N.O. zone office. Of course, that was when Ford gave a shit about customer service. No such luck now. The people at Ford truly believe they aren’t subject to the 1 tells 12 and the 12 tells 12 rule.

          In actuality, my experience with Ford over my Explorer has been told to more than 12 people. It is more like several thousand people and those people, now will not be buying from Ford. But their dense marketing people can’t understand the ramifications. Don’t care though. I want to see them torn down to bankruptcy status. No auto maker fucks me and lives to get away with it.

          My opinion, better dead that Ford. Not that I’m a fan of GM either. GM=Government Motors.

          David Ward
          Memphis, Tennessee

          • I will believe it when I see it. The UAW dies with them. As great as that would be, the UAW is the reason that I don’t believe government allows either Ford or GM to die. The politicians will tell us that “we must” save the car companies for the good of ‘Merica. It’s our obligation. Just like there are idiots talking about how we need to raise fuel prices so all of the “good jobs” in ND aren’t lost.

            Society must protect all “good jobs”, no matter the cost. No matter how economically stupid everyone becomes. In fact the more stupid people are, the more failure companies uncle asshole Sammy can convince society to protect.

            • It is my belief the age of the Bailout is over. People are pretty f’ing mad that the banks that hold their mortgage got a bail out but they are still being screwed by them big time. They may get away with it once but I’m thinking most politicians now know it is political suicide to bail anyone else out.

              I could be wrong though. I have been before and probably will be again.

              David Ward
              Memphis, Tennessee

              • Hi David,

                I think they’d try it again – but may be held back (for once) by fiscal reality. $4 trillion dollars…. it is already at or near the tipping point. Have you read anything by David Stockman (good dude, I think) recently? It’ll give you the heebie jeebies. The printing presses (including the digital ones) cannot print without limit.

                • I’ll agree they may have something terrible happen if they do it again. But that never stopped those who believe they can play god…….when you believe you are god, you believe you can do anything.

                • I remember before the vote on the bailout, 1 Congresscritter went on the air and said his contacts (mail, phone, email) were running 50/50 – 50% no and 50% HELL NO!
                  Did that stop anyone from voting yes? These arrogant snobs think they are not only better than us, but smarter than us. And do not care about right and wrong.

                  • Hi Phillip,

                    No doubt, you’re familiar with the Bohemian Grove… apparently, they have a ceremony during which the immolate “care” (human empathy) so as to be able to do their deeds with a (cough) clean conscience. Or rather, no conscience at all..

    • That’s what I was thinking. And what if someone takes it into his head and repaints the lines…here and there…so they run into the oncoming lanes?

  13. Eric,

    While it is a very good engineering feat, I do not think it is needed for 95%+ of the population.

    Some questions for people to consider:

    (1) If this system is driving the vehicle, who will ultimately be held responsible in the event of an accident? (What if two or more auto-driving vehicles are involved in an accident?)

    If I — as the vehicle owner — will be held responsible, then I might as well be the one driving the vehicle.

    (2) Related to Q1: Will the state still hold the vehicle owner responsible if the vehicle violates any of the multitude of traffic statutes/laws? Will it send a bill to the vehicle manufacturer or someone else?

    (2a) Will the owner need a valid driver license if they are not driving the vehicle?
    (2b) Can the insurance be reduced (or eliminated) while using an auto-driver? (one can dream 🙂 ) How will insurance premiums change due to an auto-driver?

    (3) How robust (stable?) will this auto driver program be? Will it be adaptable to changing conditions? What will happen during a traffic jam or other unexpected traffic situation. How quick can the system adapt to its environment? How will it react in the event of power loss or other system malfunction? (What system safeguards will be in place?)

    (4) how much will it cost to buy and maintain? For many cost is a factor.

    I am not in favor of this system. I do see that it could be useful for some individuals. (2 groups that come to mind: people w/out drivers license, those that do not wish to drive — regardless of reason)

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