Google

California DMV Not Cool with Google's Steering Wheel-Free Car

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Google

In May Google unveiled a car unlike any other: Built in-house, it had no steering wheel or brake or acceleration pedals. Although hype continues to build about the possibilities of a bold redesign, California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is officially not cool with this breed of autonomous automobile.

From CNet:

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued rules that say a driver must be capable of "immediate physical control" of a vehicle. So, the search giant's prototype cars for now will include steering wheels and a brake-pedal system.

The company said it would comply with the state's regulations, which will go into effect in mid-September. "During our testing we are equipping the vehicles with manual controls such as a steering wheel, brake pedal, and accelerator pedal," said a Google spokesperson. "With these additions, our safety drivers can test the self-driving features while having the ability to take control of the vehicle if necessary."

Testing on private roads will begin next month, in prototypes that will include a steering wheel and pedals. The California DMV is expected to issue another regulation later this year that will let manufacturers apply for permits to operate driverless cars—without steering wheels, brakes or accelerators—in public roads.

So, that kind of defeats the purpose of having a totally driverless car. And, it's not like Google slapped the thing together without any safety and self-regulatory considerations. In fact, greater safety is a big part of the push for self-driving cars.  As I wrote when the vehicle debuted:

Google has long been seeking to reduce human error in driving— 90 percent of road accidents are the result of human error—so it removed the human-controlled components. … The prototypes are loaded with sensors that can deal with railroad crossings, indecisive cyclists, and construction congestion. In case of failure, it has "redundant systems for steering and braking." Unlike Google's other cars, which can handle highway speeds, the prototype (for now) tops out at 25 miles per hour, so it will do minimal damage if it bumps somebody with its plastic windshield and thick foam front-end. 

The cars could also mean cleaner, more efficient driving, fewer cops on the roads, fewer licensing requirements (who needs a driver's license when you're not actually driving?), less money spent on insurance, and even the obsolescence of speed limits.

What the effects, positive or negative, will be of the DMV's interference in the work of one of the world's most reputable businesses are yet unknown, but as has been previously pointed out:

Policy makers must remember that their actions can produce harm. If automated vehicles are demonstrated to be significantly safer than manually driven vehicles, any misstep, convoluted law, or rule that leads to unnecessary higher costs or delays translates to increased injury and death.

For a different Reason perspective on self-driving cars and the potential privacy pitfalls, click here

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  1. Fda hasnt learned that lesson, why would the dmv?

  2. The cars could also mean cleaner, more efficient driving, fewer cops on the roads, fewer licensing requirements (who needs a driver’s license when you’re not actually driving?), less money spent on insurance, and even the obsolescence of speed limits.

    I can see politicians fighting this. Look at all that lost revenue.

    1. Politicians want votes, not revenue. Bureaucrats, on the other hand….

      1. Politicians need revenue to buy votes.

        1. But if the collection costs more votes than it buys?

          1. Is that ever the case? Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

            Besides, it’s not like they’d actually be honest and say it’s about revenue. They’d claim safety or some other nonsense. Bootleggers and Baptists style.

            1. Sometimes.

              Taxes have been cut, for example. Rare as it is.

    2. Exactly. The parasite wants to ensure the existence of the host.

    3. Everything Google does essentially feeds government. The end game is your driverless car will be tracked 24/7 and you will be charged for each mile it moves. Each road will have a different price, this is how they will manage to keep riff raff out of exclusive neighborhoods.

    4. Being that common law public right of ways are supposed to be open for all forms of travel, theoretical near-ubiquitous use of these things still can not morally override the wishes of people who still want to drive regular cars sometimes. Although things like horses have already set the precedent of being fucked over.

      1. Amish are still on the road. Except for interstates, horses and bikes and etc arent fucked over.

        1. They suffer a regulatory existence intended to make car travel more convenient though.

  3. Mr. Evans;

    If you trust a machine built by humans, designed by humans, without the facility for humans on the scene to override it, there is something seriously wrong with your head.

    1. I don’t even know what this means.

    2. Seconded. I want the ability to at the very least make it stop when it tries to do something stupid.

      1. You’re defeating the purpose. If you just want to have full control, then you may as well leave out the self-driver part and go back to square one.

        1. So if you want the ability to take manual control in case something goes wrong, then you don’t want autopilot at all.

          That’s some stupid logic there, Randian.

          1. No, not what I said. Not surprising you cannot read, though.

        2. You’re defeating the purpose. If you just want to have full control, then you may as well leave out the self-driver part and go back to square one.

          Which is why no airplane should have an auto-pilot, amirite?

          1. Which is why no airplane should have an auto-pilot, amirite?

            That is exactly what his logic implies.

      2. I want the ability to sleep while traveling.

        1. I have an Amtrak ticket for you…

          1. There’s no such thing as sleeping on Amtrak.

            1. Yeah, I don’t really know, having never actually ridden a choo choo train myself.

          2. Amtrak doesnt get from arbitrary point A to arbitrary point B.

            1. You just said “sleep while traveling”! Not “arbitrary point to arbitrary point”! You will take the amtrak ticket and be satisfied!

              /Government overlord

    3. So I take you refuse to elevators unless they’re the old fashioned kind with an operator in the cab with you?

      1. “Floor 18, sir!

        Risk Management, Internal Audit, Security and … Casual Menswear”

  4. See? The government does care about our personal freedom!

  5. I just thought of another benefit; less road rage. I know I’ve made jerk decisions in heavy traffic. If the car is driving I probably wouldn’t be so frustrated because I’m reading a book or playing a game instead of looking for gaps in traffic to blast through.

    1. I see a lot of jackass computer decisions at least in the early years of self driving vehicles.

      1. I envision a setting for the computer called “asshole speeder who insists on squeezing lane changes in spaces that aren’t really big enough”.

        1. That will be the default.

  6. Despite what a lot of morons might think, government involvement in technology development is invariably bad, imposing unneeded limits and chasing dead ends.

  7. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued rules that say a driver must be capable of “immediate physical control” of a vehicle.

    Which is why you will still get nailed for DUI even if you are riding in an automated car.

    1. That is just the shittiest thought so far.

      And they’ll probably ban Lyft and Uber driverless car services as well.

      I wonder what the taxi lobby will have to say about this technology? If the taxi driver is no longer actually driving the car, what incentive do you have to tip him? And what kind of wage can they reasonably expect to make? The same goes for bus drivers. This will make a lot of people very angry.

  8. Wouldn’t you need an override for emergencies? Or parking garages?

    1. The cars are already capable of parking themselves and coming back to meet you at the door when you are ready for pickup.

  9. I don’t want one. That doesn’t mean I don’t think *anybody* should be allowed to have one.

    1. Me either. But, when I consider that most of the people who would want to own this car are outright fascists when it comes to regulating anything they don’t like, I am tempted to make an exception.

      These are the same assholes who have spent fifty years ruining cars with safety regulations and mandates. There is something oddly satisfying to watch them whine as safety regulations ruin their beloved nerd car.

      1. You’re just making things up. You have no idea how much overlap, if any, exists.

        1. Rich people in California who want a driverless “clean car”. There couldn’t be any overlap with various green and safety fascist groups. Never!!

          1. Jesus fucking wept. I want a driverless, clean car too. You’re just an ass.

            1. Of course you want one. That is my point.

        1. Sure you are, because something something KULTUR War!!!

          1. I want one because I don’t like driving in heavy traffic. I’d rather read or play games.

        2. Ditto.

          John is projecting.

          1. No I am not. You are the one projecting. You think everyone is just like you. They are not. Google is the biggest fascist Prog company on earth. Those assholes would regulate us to death if it were up to them. So, yes it is funny as hell watching them be the victim of their own ideology.

            1. Principals, not principles?

              A good product being restricted from the market, and you don’t care because it lets you laugh at some people in Google, Inc?

              1. No, I really don’t care. No one cares when people die thanks to the FDA not approving new treatments. This is about number one million in the list of current regulatory horror shows. So, yeah, it is funny as hell to watch google get fucked by the safety nannies.

                1. So it is principals, not principles.

                  I don’t want the dead hand of regulation restricting anything – meds or cars or whatnot. You appear to be more selective in your approach.

                  1. Neither do I swiss. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the random hand of cosmic justice.

                    Are you really so fucking dense that you can’t understand that enjoying google’s misfortunes is not the same as saying that it should be banned?

                    1. Your abusive torrents aside:

                      “No, I really don’t care. No one cares when people die thanks to the FDA not approving new treatments. This is about number one million in the list of current regulatory horror shows. So, yeah, it is funny as hell to watch google get fucked by the safety nannies.”

                      Sympathy for the free market?

  10. The cars could also mean cleaner, more efficient driving, fewer cops on the roads, fewer licensing requirements (who needs a driver’s license when you’re not actually driving?), less money spent on insurance, and even the obsolescence of speed limits.

    Cleaner how? Sorry, your anti CO2 religion doesn’t count. And last I looked battery acid was not exactly “clean”.

    And my God, that is a vehicle only a fucking nerd could love. Seriously, what the hell kind of social retard would want to own a car that looks like that?

    1. Reminds me of Top Gear’s electric car Geoff.

    2. It doesn’t have to look like that. The point is getting the technology to work. Then you could theoretically put it in your Mercedes.

      As far as their being cleaner, that’s because your computer controlled Mercedes would be more efficient than if you drove it. Less braking and more consistent velocities mean less fuel used. Perhaps they could use drafting at speeds that would be unsafe for a human driver, but safe for the computer, to further raise efficiency.

      You’re a car guy, you should know this.

      1. Then call it more efficient. I seriously doubt he meant that by “cleaner”. He might have. But I suspect he was thinking more of the Co2 cult.

    3. And my God, that is a vehicle only a fucking nerd could love. Seriously, what the hell kind of social retard would want to own a car that looks like that?

      Some people don’t really care about cars. They see them as just transportation and don’t like driving, so they really don’t care what they look like. I imagine the kind of people who would like this aren’t car nuts.

      1. “They see them as just transportation and don’t like driving, so they really don’t care what they look like.”

        Yes. As long as it isn’t too small or utterly eye hurting – I just want to go from point A to B. If I don’t have to fight traffic and can snooze,read, etc – yea for human progress!

        1. Come on, what are you really doing behind those tinted windows?

          1. Hopefully, pawing my wife or reading something or having a big slice of DEEP DISH!

    4. Seriously, what the hell kind of social retard would want to own a car that looks like that?

      It might be nice for a “around town” car. A car is a tool, and if it does the job, that is good.

    5. It does look a little like a Volkswagen, which probably isn’t all that coincidental (given the heritage).

      1. California Progs have always had a thing for that fascist fugitive known as the Bug.

        1. I see you watched James May’s Cars of the People.

          1. Wasn’t it great?

            1. It was mostly interesting. Funny, but the Cali bit was the part I skipped. Didn’t interest me in the slightest. That and the cable was choppy in the beginning of the recording. Was giving me a headache.

            2. It was.

            3. Excellent documentary.

    6. Who wants to own one?

      I just want it available at my beck and call. I dont want to own the fucker. If I own a car, it will be fast and sleek and driven on weekends in the spring and fall.

      1. So kind of like a woman?

    7. Continueing the argument from yesterday…we still let the amish on roads, you can be just like them, driving around in your antique transportation.

      1. Sure, there is nothing to worry about. Government would never abuse this. Never.

        1. government might abuse something. that sure is a compelling argument. you got us there.

    8. Seriously, what the hell kind of social retard would want to own a car that looks like that?

      I would think the only people that care about what a driverless car looks like ARE the social retards.

    9. The computer car can drive more optimally, including fuel burning activities like jack rabbit starts and rapid acceleration for lane changes. Cruising at freeway speed is more efficient than bumper to bumper.

      1. *I meant as in “it doesn’t do jack rabbit starts..”

  11. The more I think about this, the more it annoys me. Since drivers of cars have accidents or make bad decisions and have (so to say) “on purposes”, we are going to have people get into vehicles that drive themselves? What is this but trusting “Top Men” making theoretical decisions at a distant remove from the action? Isn’t that the antithesis of Libertarianism?

    Why should we trust machines more than men? To err is human. To screw up 10,000 times a second requires a computer chip.

    1. Are you serious? Are you posting on papyrus?

      1. Yes, I am serious. No, I am not posting on papyrus. I use machines. I don’t TRUST them more than I do people.

        I use fire. I don’t trust it.

        I use a lot of things I don’t trust.

        Don’t you?

        1. So you use things you don’t trust and that’s an argument against these cars how again?

          1. Because unless there is a way to take local control, I am trusting them with no way to override. I don’t let my computer write my; I prefer people to decide I’m a dolt because of stuff that I’ve actually done. I don’t let the computer pay my bills, I use it to do so and check on the results. I don’t let machines go their own way without any checks.

            What’s hard to understand about that?

            1. You’re probably one of those people who prints off all of his photos too.

              1. I don’t print them all (or even most) out. But I do print the ones I want to look at often, and hang them where I can see them easily. Why? Because the electronic picture frames I have had (2 or 3, I’m not sure which) have been annoying plastic pieces of junk.

      2. He uses an abacus too, can’t trust them claculatin’ machines!

        1. Well, as some faulty Intel chips demonstrated once, one can’t. One needs to check the results.

          1. You must be fun in the line at the grocery store.

            “Wait just one minute, I need to add these 113 items up on paper – I don’t trust your so called ‘register’…”

            1. “Fetch me my Mentat!”

    2. “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.”
      ~Einstein

      1. Computers do nothing other than implement the decisions already made by people. It may look like something else, but it isn’t. If the people made the right decisions, great. If they didn’t, then life gets messy.

        Computers implement those decisions faster than a human could, and repeat them more often than a human could without going mad. That is what they are good for.

        I have no problem with a self-driving car that allows local override (aside from privacy issue, which about on all cars anyway). But I don’t want to trust that its programmers have thought of everything.

        1. I agree. That’s why airplanes which can take off, navigate, and land, all without requiring a human in the pilot’s seat, still have a pilot at the controls.

    3. I agree C.S.P. But you have to remember that a lot of Libertarians are dorks of the first order. If something comes coached in “science” or “technology” their eyes roll back in their head, they give a salute and fall in line with the rest of the mob. They just can’t help themselves.

      1. Shut the fuck up, John. You’re such a clown. You’re actually bordering on troll territory.

        1. It wouldn’t hurt so much if it wasn’t true. You honestly think that taking away your ability to drive cars isn’t going to lead to some bad places? No, the government will never make it such that you can only drive a computer controlled car. And no government would ever then use that to further control people. Never.

          Jesus tap dancing Christ, you people make a fetish about seeing the worst case scenario of every slippery slope. And usually you are exactly right. But put a bit of technology on the slope, and you are all over it. Where do you sign up for the slave party?

          Really?

          1. The fact that government abuses tech doesnt make the tech bad.

            1. No. It just makes it a bad idea. I suppose there is nothing wrong with the giant NSA data mine in the sky. It is just technology right?

              1. Stupid inapt analogy is stupid and inapt.

              2. Guns are just technology too, John. Time to dump on those too!

              3. Data mining is good.

                Nsa data mining is bad.

                Is that so fucking hard to understand?

                1. Whatever good data mining does, the NSA outweighs it.

                  1. Whatever good data mining does, the NSA outweighs it.

                    Thanks for restricting any business that wants to improve its service, marketing or such! I’ll pass your sentiments on to our analytics folks.

                  2. Whatever good guns do, the government outweighs it.

              4. Using a tool to spy on people is the same as me wanting to not have to fight traffic on the commute home, eh?

                Why do you have such a problem with people wanting to voluntarily purchase a product?

              5. Guess we should have destroyed the internet in a Butlerian Jihad to prevent the NSA from data mining then.

        2. Bordering?

          Sadly, because of Ludfites like John, UPS may have self flying planes before we get self driving cars.

          John is exactly as bad as the anti-nuke folk.

          1. We can only hope so. And when the day comes and you hear some fascist Prog lamenting about how if only we had self driving cars the government could effectively control how often and how far people drove, you can just say thank you.

            1. I wont, becausr i want fucking JohnnyCabs. The abuse by government is an entirely separate issue.

              1. That is right rob. Just put the gun in their hands. Them shooting you with it is an entirely separate issue.

                The reality is yes, there is no way to stop this. And yes people should be able to buy one. But, it is going to all end very badly. It is going to end with only self driving cars being allowed on the roads and then with the government basically having a big on and off switch in the sky where it can control when, if, and how far you drive and of course knowing exactly where you are driving at all times.

                It doesn’t make me a Luddite to realize that that is how it is going to turn out because it always turns out that way and that when it does turn out that way it is going to really fucking suck.

                Do you honestly see it turning out any other way?

                1. … then with the government basically having a big on and off switch in the sky where it can control when, if, and how far you drive and of course knowing exactly where you are driving at all times.

                  Or, alternatively, lock you [the driver] out of the controls (assuming there are any manual override controls), lock you in the vehicle, and then redirect it to the nearest police arrest-that-passenger garage.

          2. Honestly I think self flying planes would be easier.

            John has gone off the rails here, though.

            1. s little yes.

          3. John is right in if we get one self driving car I believe we will be all required to get one before it is over. He is wrong in thinking that this isn’t an awesome technology.

            1. It is not that it isn’t neat technology. It is that it is so obvious all of the bad places it is going to lead.

              1. Yes are betters are assholes that doesn’t necessarily mean the technology is bad or won’t net a benefit. That bridge will be crossed when we get to it.

                1. There is no crossing that bridge. We will just fall off of it whether we like it or not.

                  1. I think your just being overly-protective of your hobby horse. While agree the issue will be brought to bear, you could extend your very same logic to literally every invention ever.

                    1. Idle Hands,

                      Name me a new invention in the last 100 years that hasn’t resulted in less privacy and more government control of our lives? Think about that for a bit. Doesn’t mean the technology wasn’t worth it. But it doesn’t change the reality of it either.

                    2. None and the gov. has less control than ever with every law and agency they start The black market has become larger and larger while their ability to do anything about anything has gotten worse or maybe never existed.

                    3. at the macro level anyway.

                    4. you could extend your very same logic to literally every invention ever.

                      Exactly.

                      You could also take the some other approaches. For one, self-driving cars may be so efficient I may not even need to make 90% of the trips I make presently because everything I want to get can more efficiently be delivered to me in the same time or less than me going to get it. If Wal-Mart sent a fleet of self-driving trucks down the street every 2 hours with the neighborhood’s orders they wouldn’t even need to actually have a store and certainly not a big parking lot. Shit, they could deliver the mail and we could get rid of the goddamned USPS.

                      I’d still drive to the tailor, getting fitted for clothes isn’t nearly the giant pain in the ass grocery shopping is. But I might want to take MY car to the tailor whereas I’ll take the government self-driving car to the bar when I want to drink and meet skanks.

                    5. If Wal-Mart sent a fleet of self-driving trucks down the street every 2 hours with the neighborhood’s orders they wouldn’t even need to actually have a store and certainly not a big parking lot.

                      They are doing that now.

                      http://delivery.walmart.com/us…..anding.jsp

                    6. They are doing that now.

                      Yes, but it still costs less to go to the store yourself. My point is driverless vehicles might be so efficient it is cheaper to deliver everything than keep the overhead of a store as anything other than a showroom.

                    7. You could be right. I think Schwan’s with an automated fleet could fit the bill.

            2. The reality is that people are shitty drivers, and in crisis situations are even shittier. The “ability to take local control” John demands would more often than not be used to sieze control at the worst possible momment and do the exact wrong thing.

              As self driving cars become common, they going to start being placed closer together and driving faster because they won’t need human sized safety margins when the car can react faster than any human possibly can.

              At that point, John is right that maunual cars will probably start being banned, because they’ll be a massive safety hazard.

              1. No way. The police will always want manual cars. And there will always be people hacking the hell out of self-driving cars so they can operate them manually.

                1. At somepoint, trying to manually drive is going to be like driving the wrong direction on a highway. It will be extremely rare not because something is stopping people from doing it, but because it would be almost suicidal to try.

                  1. What Stormy said. And the police will have the ability to override and take control of any car they want.

              2. You are right Stormy. That is exactly where this will go. How people can be so sequin about this is beyond me.

                Once they ban anything but driverless cars, the government will then have the ability to track and control your every movement. You really don’t think the police won’t demand and get the ability to take control of any car on the road at any time? How could we allow a criminal to escape? Think about it, it will end the ability of anyone to run from the cops. How could anyone but a criminal oppose such a thing.

                This technology ends with the government having complete control of our mobility. Why Libertarians think that is a good thing is beyond me.

                1. It’s not. and nobody is saying it is a good thing. It’s just that nobody has a clue what exactly the application and resulting externalities will be at this point.

                  1. Except for you of course.

                  2. Idle Hands,

                    You really don’t think those are legitimate dangers? I don’t see how it ends any other way. As Stormy correctly points out, driveless cars will eventually make human controlled cars impossible. When that happens, how does the rest not follow?

                    1. Yes, I think they are legitimate dangers. I don’t have any idea how it will end, I will concede yours is a possible future. I still think your negating all the very real benefits that will result in a higher standard of living for everyone and are being a little overprotective of a technology that will possibly be rendered obsolete by the one we are discussing.

                    2. That is the ultimate question, how much is your privacy and freedom worth to you?

                      We are all much richer today thanks to electronic bank transfers. But the price of that is that the government can now track and control all of our financial dealings. We were much more free and had much greater privacy in the bad old days of paper banking. But we were poorer too.

                      Was it worth it? That depends on what you value.

                2. Once they ban anything but driverless cars, the government will then have the ability to track and control your every movement.

                  I hate to break it to you, but they already have the ability to track and control your every movement. If that’s your reason for not having automated cars, you’re delusional.

                  1. Actually they don’t. They have the ability to track me if they choose to. What they don’t have is the ability to automatically track me all of the time without choosing too. And that is a big difference.

                    It is hard to have this conversation with you because you are a Prog and will no doubt view the loss of privacy and freedom as a feature. That still puts you above the rest of these people who can’t even understand what is going to happen.

                3. How could we allow a criminal to escape?

                  It might be the end of robberies. If you can’t get to a house you were not invited to, how are you going to rob it? And if you could get to the house, how could you make a quick getaway? And even if you could make a getaway, the police would know it was YOU at the house.

                  Therefore, the only people that could rob house would be the police! And then everyone would know that the only reason to BE a police would be to rob houses. So people would demand all police departments be disbanded and we wouldn’t have police anymore.

                  I can understand looking at the worst-case scenarios, John. But if that’s all you’re going to look at, then the market will pass you by. Then you can join the proggies and complain about “market failure”.

                  1. All good points finger. On the other hand, police states tend to be very safe places. Think about what you are giving up to accomplish what you describe.

                    Really, aren’t your arguments exactly the same as the ones people make to justify the TSA and the NSA in the name of preventing terrorism? Since when does the alleged good it does out weigh a price in freedom and privacy?

              3. +1 Red Barchetta

            3. This Stormy Dragon idiot shows how not “off the rails” John’s concerns actually are.

              1. Him and Ron Bailey. Bailey will tell you exactly the same thing. Why are they wrong?

                1. I’m not saying anybody is right or wrong, and I think your questions and issues you raise are legitimate. I just think its impossible to know exactly what will transpire in the future and this technology has the potential to raise the standard of living for literally everyone on the planet and shouldn’t be cast aside on the chance it could be abused by asshole obsessed with lording over the rest of us.

                  1. Idle Hands,

                    like I say below, if you are always willing to trade your freedom and privacy for more standard of living, what happens when you run out of freedom and privacy to trade? At some point, aren’t some things worth more than increased standard of living?

      2. Man, you are getting waaaay out there on this. I want a product that will do things for me. You seem to think me wanting to voluntarily purchase said product makes me a fascist or idiot falling in line or somesuch.
        I guess your car snobbishness is overriding your understanding of voluntary commerce?

        1. He’s officially a troll not worth responding to.

          1. No. You are an idiot who can’t understand irony or get your head out of your ass far enough to understand what I am saying.

            I couldn’t troll you if I wanted to. You are too fucking stupid.

        2. I never said it made you into a fascist. I said most (most doesn’t mean all) of the people in CA who want this car and the company making it (Google) are safety fascists.

          1. I don’t care if they go home and rape puppies and beat their cats – they have a product I want – you want it not to be allowed onto the market. Who is the fascist here?

            1. Where on this thread have I ever said that it should be illegal to sell? Look hard and get back to me.

              Let me give you a hint. I said I enjoyed watching google be victimized by its own ideology. I said things were going to end badly. But I never said it shouldn’t be sold or be illegal to sell.

              Are you illiterate or just dishonest? Either way, do me a favor and stop misrepresenting my position because you can’t argue honestly.

              1. “Fine, give them to blind people and anyone not named Tone or RobC.”

                robc|8.27.14 @ 2:54PM|#

                Bordering?

                Sadly, because of Ludfites like John, UPS may have self flying planes before we get self driving cars.

                John is exactly as bad as the anti-nuke folk.
                reply to this

                John|8.27.14 @ 2:59PM|#

                We can only hope so. And when the day comes and you hear some fascist Prog lamenting about how if only we had self driving cars the government could effectively control how often and how far people drove, you can just say thank you.

                1. Yes, you don’t understand irony or humor. That makes you illiterate Swiss. Thanks for answering my question.

                  No these shouldn’t be banned. And yes, it is going to end badly and every one of you dumb asses will have no idea why.

                  1. You, again, have devolved into angry insults.
                    Do you do this with co-workers? Soldiers in your unit? Why do it here?

                  2. Ah, the “its a joke defense” – you displayed a lot of rage in this thread, humor…can’t see it.

                  3. “Yes, you don’t understand irony or humor. That makes you illiterate Swiss.”

                    I think I may be done with you. I can only hope you don’t speak to your family, co-workers or fellow Soldiers like that.

                2. “we can only hope so” – you hope to be as Luddite as a no-nuker. That is forbidding to me.

                  1. And lest we forget, his very first post was him reveling in the fact that people were getting fucked by regulators.

                    1. Yes Tone. I love seeing google get fucked by the regulators they are happy to see fuck everyone else.

                    2. Right, but you don’t love the State or anything, nooope.

                    3. How is enjoying the schadenfreude loving the State?

      3. I’m not a fascist, or a tech dork.

        I am, however, legally blind. I’ve never been able to drive. Having a self-driving car would be amazing! It would enrich my life in a lot of ways, and take some of the burden off my wife, who has been driving me around since we began dating, almost 30 years ago.

        You’re being a bit of a dick, John.

        Also, think of all the DUI’s this thing could prevent.

        1. Fine, give them to blind people and anyone not named Tone or RobC.

          And forgive me if I am skeptical that they won’t find something else to arrest people for. Hell, they will just make it a crime to be drunk and unable to be a human back up to your computer controlled car.

          1. Well let’s just change nothing then because nihilism.

          2. John, it’s a given that the government is going to make a mess of self-driving vehicles. That doesn’t mean some people won’t still derive a great benefit from it. So long as they don’t take away your manually operated car, what’s the problem?

          3. Piss on the cops/legislature – I want one for my own purposes – but you would forbid that?

          4. John, you are conflating many issues. The overabundance of laws has nothing to do with tech, it has to do with power. Sure, some lawmakers and I am sure lots of other people will back them in making mandatory driving limits, but so what. You are saying let’s not do this because something bad might happen. That’s like saying we should do away with computers, cell phones, etc. because the NSA is out of control.

            1. No. I am saying because something bad will happen, this is a really shitty development.

              Yes, you nerds are making the best of it and thinking “wow I get a self driving car”. And hey, since it is inevitable why not. But I just can’t kid myself into thinking this will end in anything but less freedom.

              The progs hate cars because cars gave people freedom. And that is never going to change. They can’t get rid of cars but they can make cars such that they no longer give you freedom. And that is what they will do. You watch.

              1. nerds nerds culture war nihlism nerds nerds

              2. I AM FOR BANNING THIS APPLICATION OF TECHNOLOGY….FOR FREEDOM!

                1. For the sixth time Swiss.

                  I AM NOT FOR BANNING THIS.

                  Do the voices in your head only speak in all caps?

              3. John if the people of this country are determined to be serfs self-driving cars are not going to be the reason that they succeed in that quest.

              4. Yes, you nerds are making the best of it and thinking “wow I get a self driving car”. And hey, since it is inevitable why not. But I just can’t kid myself into thinking this will end in anything but less freedom.

                John, thanks for calling me a nerd, I don’t think anyone ever has. John, you don’t know that it is inevitable, that is what people are trying to tell you. I don’t have a crystal ball and neither do you. It might end up badly, but it also may not.

                My own preference is for an “auto-driver” feature similar to auto-pilot, where I can engage or disengage at my discretion.

                1. I don’t think an auto driver feature is a bad idea at all Ivan. I also don’t think that is what the people at google have in mind.

                  Read Ron Baily on this. What they want is every car to be totally auto driven such that you could eliminate traffic jams and all accidents and such. They want to eliminate the human element to driving.

                  If it were just about adding a feature to existing cars, it wouldn’t be so worrisome. But it is not.

                  1. Read Ron Baily on this. What they want is every car to be totally auto driven such that you could eliminate traffic jams and all accidents and such. They want to eliminate the human element to driving.

                    I am sure some do but I don’t think it would happen. I think you would run into the same situation as guns. America is a gun and car nation, and if they try to take either or control either*, people will not stand for that. I do have that little bit of trust in my fellow Americans.

                    *think smart gun

                    1. I am a bit more pessimistic than you Ivan. If they just say you can’t drive them, that is hard to get around.

                      And as far as not standing for it, Bailey for one thinks it is a fabulous idea. He can’t wait to ban driving. Most of the people on this thread would be on board with it. Who can stand in the way of progress? Once you get people used to not driving themselves, it will be very easy to get them to give up the right to do so altogether.

                    2. He can’t wait to ban driving. Most of the people on this thread would be on board with it.

                      He probably can’t, but I think it is a bit unfair to say most of the people on this thread would be on board as I haven’t read one instance where they say driving should be banned. Even robc making fun of your “driving around in your antique transportation” doesn’t call for stopping you from driving it.

                  2. “They want to elmnate the human element to driving”

                    Which, if true, makes them severely delusional. All they can do is more the human element out of the car, nit out of the driving process. Somebody had to make the decisions the car is applying. I want the person who is actually at risk to have the ability to countermand what he considers a bad decision.

                    Will some passangers use that badly and do harm? Almost cerainly. But Their mistakes won’t be replcated thousands of times.

                    1. I want the person who is actually at risk to have the ability to countermand what he considers a bad decision

                      Yep, I agree with this. Even auto-pilot has pilots sitting there.

        2. On reflection (since the first article on Reason that I saw) I think self-driving cars are a awesome idea. As an option. With controls so that the passengers can override as necessary. Yes, they could prevent lot of DUIs. Since a lot of DUIs depend on the new, lower limits that seem to have little to do with the levels associated with actual dangerous driving, I suspect that the local governments will HATE the self-driving car.

        3. “think of all the DUI’s this thing could prevent.”

          That right there will be reason number 1 that they will use to try to sell the idea of getting rid of driver operated cars.

    4. I guess you don’t have traction control in your car?

    5. “What is this but trusting ‘Top Men’ making theoretical decisions at a distant remove from the action? Isn’t that the antithesis of Libertarianism”

      No. Coercion is the antithesis of libertarianism. Voluntarily trusting a car manufacturer is not. If someone were forced into one of these cars or they were mandated by the state, then you would be correct.

      1. See Stormy Dragon’s post above. These cars being mandated by the state is exactly where this is going to lead.

        1. Pipe down, Casssandra, we heard you the first 200 times.

          1. And it only took you 199 times to get it through your thick fucking skull what I was saying.

            1. Maybe if you swear at and insult people more, it will work?

            2. No, actually, I’m still not buying into your paranoia and retardation.

  12. Why is there an oversized computer mouse with wheels on the parking lot?

    1. Nice – an optical mouse with doors.

  13. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued rules that say a driver must be capable of “immediate physical control” of a vehicle. So, the search giant’s prototype cars for now will include steering wheels and a brake-pedal system.

    Fuck that, put joystick in it, mounted to a panel which flips down from the dashboard. hell, center it, so either front seat passenger can drive.
    Send me a check, Google.

  14. Machines do what humans build or program them to. Which is what gives me pause about self-driving cars. It trusts that humans will build or program them properly for this very complex task.

    1. Surely not as complex as say landing a plane.

      1. Landing and launching thousands at the same airport at the same time without a fairly predictable schedule? It’s not the individual task, it’s the complexity that grows as you expand it.

      2. Landing a plane is not that complex. The vast details of how people use and maneuver cars are far more complex than point to point aircraft operations.

  15. I dont want to own the fucker.

    This is an excellent point.

    I like to ask people, “Who the fuck would buy a ten year old Prius?”

    I still haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer.

    1. “Hello – Cash for Clunkers?”

    2. Why the fuck wouldn’t you buy a 10-year old Prius?

  16. I love the idea of a driverless car. I want one. I also want to switch that function off and drive it myself, off road and to places where it might not drive itself. I want both.

    I hate driving in heavy traffic. Long highway trips are boring to drive. I want to be able to sleep or read or bang my wife in the back seat during those times.

    The problem WTF points out is easy to solve. The car keeps a record of the times and places when it is self-operating, even assuming they would stop you in the first place.

    1. I want to be able to go out for dinner and drinks and have my wife feel free to order a cocktail or two, knowing that she does not have to drive.

      1. The problem is the government will require that you be capable of taking over manual control at any time in case of emergency, system failure, etc., so drinking and then going home on autopilot will net you a DWI. Because FYTW.

        1. You guessed it WTF. That is exactly what they will do.

          1. And we will fight that battle when we get to it.

              1. We’ve already lost every other battle over cars. The self-driving car is actually a way to wrest some of that control back. Yes, the government will fight it, but they may not have any choice but to exchange some current regulation for new ones.

                Time will tell if that is a net gain or net loss for liberty. Technology more often than not is a net gain for liberty, which is why government hates it. Your hatred for technology is actually more anti-liberty than you want to believe.

                1. I disagree finger. Government’s love and embrace technology. You think the SEC doesn’t love automated bank transfers? Why do you think the government is trying to do away with cash? Because they love freedom? No because analog technologies like cash are impossible to track and control. If they can get everyone to go entirely electronic, they can track and control everyone’s cash flow.

                  You are very naive if you think technology is going to automatically make us free. If we are not really lucky, it is going to enslave us.

                  1. +1 cash stuffed girdle.

                  2. Is government in love with Bitcoin? Seems like, presently, they hate it. They hate gold, too. Government loves it some fiat currency and electronic tracking though.

                    I’m more concerned that self-driving cars are presently DEPENDENT on government. If my self-driving car would drive through the park to shave 2 miles off my trip, and the car was smart enough to avoid crushing children and driving on broken glass and nails, I’d be interested. But no, the fucking things will be forced to drive on government’s inefficient roads based on government’s GPS satellites.

                    1. Of course the will Finger. And government will some day embrace bitcoin, provided they figure out a way to use it to better control people.

        2. I can never take over manual control of the vehicle, unless it is going painfully slow, because I don’t know how to drive.

          I don’t think it will be a requirement.

    2. I love the idea of a driverless car. I want one. I also want to switch that function off and drive it myself, off road and to places where it might not drive itself. I want both.

      Auto-driver engage. Drive when you feel like it and engage the auto-driver when you don’t. It would be cool if they could make add-ons for existing vehicles.

      1. Take over for me, Kitt.

  17. I think of very real incidents of human drivers following GPS directions and driving into the sea, into snow blocked passes and over cliffs. How can a computer be worse than that?

    1. Presumably it would be equipped with sensors to prevent that.

      1. The people were. They didn’t use them, or didn’t understand what the sensors were telling them. A computer makes no decisions that a human hasn’t made at some point. Even if the computer is programmed by another computer, the second computer’s decisions were made by a human once. The only thing bringing a machine into the equation does is remove the human making the decisions from the immediate situation. That can be bad or good. Where it is good, the computer will benefit society by replication that good decision millions of times. But where the decision is bad, it will replicate those too.

  18. I guess you don’t have traction control in your car?

    It’s inside my right shoe.

    1. Fred Flintstone, is that you?

      Oh, wait, he had no shoes.

      1. You know, that Betty Rubble was kind of cute. I mean….she’s no Judy Jetson, but still.

        -10 year old me

    2. So….you’re a cyborg?

      /unclear on the concept

  19. What if you have to, like, move the vehicle around somewhere in a way that can’t be programmed in the vehicles navigation?

    And what if you don’t want to get around in something that looks like Johnny Cab?

    1. I don’t think any of us know what the vehicle is capable of. It may be able to park itself just fine. It doesn’t just use GPS, it has sensors on it to basically “see” what’s nearby.

      Secondly, I imagine if this takes off, in 15 years you will be able to get something cooler looking.

      1. If it takes off, you won’t have to wait 2 years for something better looking, I should think.

      2. What if you want it parked in the garage six inches to the left of where Google keeps putting it? I would want at least a joystick for low speed manual hostling.

  20. Also, will the redneck owner of a self driving car tryto use it to try to pull over a dead tree using a chain or will the car be smart enough to say : “fuck that shit”?

      1. Smart pick-up?

        Put an auto-driver on my GMC 3500HD and we’ll talk.

        1. NSFW !

          Chevy Silver Ray Doe

          http://www.chevyhardcore.com/n…..r-ray-doe/

    1. I have done this….

      *looks at feet*

      1. Successfully ?

        1. He’s not dead, so yes. BTW I missed a tree dropped in the road by about ten seconds couple of weeks ago. Idiot was using dog chain to try and pull it.

        2. Yep. Brought down a tree in the backyard of my first house with my ’04 F150. It was pretty awesome.

          I used a chainsaw for the others 🙂 But that one – I just haaaaaaaad to pull it down with mah truck…

    2. Another need for the manual joystick.

  21. Cars are freedom. Progs hate freedom.

    1. Careful Mainer. Tone police will come down and call you a troll. This car shits puppies and rainbows. Anyone who says anything bad could come of this is just being a troll. he told me.

      1. Cars as we know them could never develop in today’s world. One hundred years ago they were an astounding shift in freedom. Ordinary people could travel long distances on their own. A driving vacation was a status symbol.
        Imagine the horror if cars were invented today. You can’t let just any citizen pilot their own vehicle !

        I guess if the progs can’t make us all ride the train, a centrally controlled car will have to do..for now.

        1. Exactly that. It astounds me how people who should know better will happily give up their freedom in the name of “technology”.

          1. My freedom to what? Wait in traffic because of someone else’s bad driving? Get ticketed? As long as I get to set the destination and get there in a reasonable time, that is all the freedom I need. Everything else is just work.

            1. Your freedom to go wherever you want without the government’s permission or knowledge. That freedom. With a driverless car you won’t have that. You will have whatever freedom the car wants to give you. And the government will control the car. Oh sure, it will give the illusion of freedom. The car will go wherever you tell it to, right up until the government decides it doesn’t like you doing that. And then it won’t.

              1. With a driverless car you won’t have that.

                And the government will control the car.

                Qualification and citation are needed for both of these statements.

                1. Unless our Lady of Common sense and Freedom makes a miraculous appearance why wouldn’t it? Good luck with arguing that the cops shouldn’t have the ability to take control of any car. What do you support criminals? Good luck keeping the government from getting real time access to your every fucking move. Come one, it is not like they used the internet to start reading all of our mail or anything?

                  Are you that naive? No way.

                  1. 1) They can track you and are doing this anywhere. License plates.

                    2) How the fuck are they going to access my car-computer? I can already encrypt my emails. Why not my car? Why is my car even linked to the net? Where is this shit coming from? Where are those citations John?

                    Somehow, I doubt John reactionary luddism comes out when the army has cool new gadgets to use.

                    1. Does my plate have a real time connection to the big pig in the sky such that he can take control of my car at any time and record every where I go? No that I am aware of. And that is where this will lead.

                      And no, I am not against all technology. But I don’t make a fetish out of it such that I pretend it is always good.

                    2. The tracking can and will happen regardless of your car’s ability to drive itself.

                    3. I pretend it is always good.

                      Tech is neither good nor bad. It just is.

                      Tools are amoral. But new tools allow people to do good.

        2. You’re assuming that self driving cars are necessarily centrally controlled. Cars can be fully automated yet still independent.

          1. He assumes it because it’s convenient to his delusion he’s not in another self-painted corner.

            1. It’s like a damn has been broken the reservoir was filled with bullshit.

        3. WTF? We would never have “today’s world” without cars.

          The Nissan Leaf commercials are so fucking stupid – “if the car were invented today…” Totally stupid. We would probably not have ANY of the technology created over the last 100 years if not for the invention of the combustion engine.

          1. Did you know today’s internal combustion engines are so efficient that running the engine with the garage door closed is no longer a recommended way to kill yourself. Seriously.

            1. I still wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t want to kill yourself.

  22. I love driving cars, and riding bikes, and boating, and flying planes – everything mechanical. Luv. It. Love finding the limits, love the sound, love the smell, love working on the machines. Gearhead.

    And I NEVER want to be without a vehicle that’s 100% in my control.

    Now, with all that said, they cannot get “driverless” (automatic? self-guided? whatever) cars into my greedy hands fast enough for – commuting. And maybe vacationing. And definitely for driving me to/from the store.

    And I’ll save my u-control-it cars for fun. Best of both worlds!

    I’m in – hurry it the fuck up. I’ll work in the meantime to keep the pols and bureaucrats out of it as much as possible.

    PS And where’s my fucking Popular Science Jet Pack!!! Chop chop!

    1. I’ll just bet you have at least one vehicle that has drum brakes

      1. And so what if he does?

        1. That makes him a collector, I should think.

        2. And so what if he does?

          Then he’s cool. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

          I love cars too (anything with a motor actually). I was thinking of my 1970 Caprice. No millenial raised on rack and pinion steering and disc brakes with ABS could drive the thing. when was the last time you drove a car where you could “lock ’em up” ?

          1. My father -in-law has a restored 1951 Ford F-1 pickup. Scariest fucking thing in the world to drive despite the complete lack of acceleration, totally unlike anything else I’ve ever been in (not that my experience is broad; the oldest car I’ve driven regularly was an ’83).

            1. I’ll bet there is a clear sense that you are in a machine when you drive the 51.

              I get the folks who say, just get me from A to B. But they’ll never understand the satisfaction of a quick clean 2-3 up shift for example.

          2. My buddy had a ’71 Impala with a 454 when we were in high school. Well, his mom did. she always bought cheap retreads down at the gas station. they were warrantied – she could not for the life of her (nor could the poor gas station owner) figure out why she needed new tires EVERY four months. Like clockwork.

            MAN that car was fast for being such a pig!

            1. When dinosaurs ruled the earth !

      2. I’m smiling (counts in head) – yep, three company cars are all disc/disc. I have…well, three personal vehicles with drum rear. No drum fronts, although that could change if I pick up that ’58 Chevy sedan I was looking at….:)

        1. When I drive the Caprice I have to re-calibrate. If you are a little too stabby on the brakes, the rear drums will lock up. That screaming gets all kinds of attention, and it won’t stop till you fully release the brakes and start over.

          58 Chevy sedan, eh…nice

  23. Holy shit I’m actually embarrassed for John and the other conservative reactionary luddites ITT. STFU and save yourself further embarrassment and get out of the way of my automatic car. I’ll gladly work on my way to work.

    1. I am embarrassed that you are such an idiot you can’t understand what is going on here. Even Stormy Dragon gets it.

      Giving away your ability to drive a car is a really bad idea.

      1. I guess you think Debit is awful too right? Becuz data mining. And it’s not like I can just maintain a backup manual control on my otherwise self-driving car. No sir, impossible.

        1. This is John’s MO – says something woefully stupid and statist, gets called on it, and then invokes wild fantasies and slippery slopes to justify his paranoia. He’s a fruitcake.

          1. No Tone. That is the voices in your head. A few of the rest of us are having a conversation about the benefits and costs of technology.

            You should try telling the voices to shut up and join in sometime.

            1. Again, calling this a ‘conversation’ on your part is grossly overgenerous John. ‘Ravings’ is better suited.

      2. I should note while I agree that this technology will eventually lead to an end to manual driving on public roadways, I don’t see this as a reason to oppose self-driving cars.

        It’s like saying you should limit yourselves to baseball bats for self defense because you don’t like the concealed carry permitting process.

        1. I am not opposed to them in principle. If it were to remain just a feature on some cars, I wouldn’t care. The problem is that I will be very surprised that it turns out like that. Much more likely is that they will end like you describe. I can’t see that future being anything but bad and resulting in anything but less privacy and less freedom.

          1. I don’t want to see that future being anything but bad and resulting in anything but less privacy and less freedom. -FTFY

            1. Are you retarded Cytotoxic or are you just incapable of admitting you don’t have an answer to an argument you don’t like?

              1. I think calling what you have an ‘argument’ is really overgenerous John. Instinctive paranoia pretending to be an argument would be a better way of putting it.

                1. Yeah because being skeptical of government misusing technology is just paranoid. It has never happened in the past.

                  How do you type this shit with a straight face? Wouldn’t it just be easier to stand down and admit I have a point?

                  1. Your ‘point’ is puny and not worth considering. Technology has never lead to a net reduction in freedom ever. I’m sure 200 years ago you’d be railing against the evils of centralized industrial production because government can control it! Yeah, but it was still a massive boon to wealth and freedom.

                    1. Of course it is not worth considering. You don’t like it and it interferes with your worship of God technology and top men in lab coats. I would never expect you to consider it. Consider things is not what religious people do.

          2. If the type of tracking you’re concerned about happens, it’s going to happen whether the cars are manually driven or not.

    2. No, you’ll sleep on the way there and drink on the way home. Just like 99% of the train-using population.

    3. I’m embarassed for you. You clearly think that machines magically make decisions on their own, rather than implement decisions made by humans.

      Please, think about it. Self-driving cars could be wonderful but making tyem without the possibility of local control is placing tour faith in the programmers to NEVER make a mistake.

      Never seen that in programming, or anything like it.

      1. I have more faith in a programmer’s program than other people on the road. If you’re aiming for 100% error-free, have fun with that you’ll never find it.

      2. Not *never*, dude, just way less mistakes than human **operators**

        We know GIGO, dude. you don’t have to say it over and again. I am still going to trust a calculator to multiply 1,032,856 * 520,654 with more accuracy than you doing it by hand.

        1. Fair enough, but my phone doesn’t realize I got on the freeway as I go by the overpass. God help me if it was driving.

        2. The individual mistakes may be fewer, but each mistake will be replicated at least as many times as the program is.

          Look; car ignitions are not new technology. Ignition systems using an electric spark date to the 1780’s. And yet GM made a whole series of car ignitions so badly that they have killed numerous people.

          I won’t get in a car that won’t let me take over if I think it has gone berserk. If you will, tut’s your business, but I think you are nominating yourself for a Darwin Award.

      3. CSP, it’s like you don’t know how wildly successful navigation systems are.

        1. Successful enough to maneuver and park the vehicle exactly where the operator wants it around a work site for different tasks? And if so, will giving the vehicle instructions take longer than actually driving the shit yourself?

          1. No. You will bring your phone to the spot and click the “park it here” button.

            1. Its not always just about the spot, but the position, direction, what the tires are on or not on, whether the tail gate is close enough, and so forth. Also, what about tasks where the vehicle is being used as a tool? Or things in the way you have to maneuver around (like cut/fill hubs in the dirt). And I have to get out and walk to the spot?

            2. What if you’re trying to put a trailer in a specific position?

        2. 1) I don’t like machines that talk to me. For some reason, they seem to default to the kind of tone I haven’t been spoken to in since kindergarten (I didn’t like it then ,either).

          2) I keep encountering (not, thus far, running into, but that’s doubtless coming) examples of real life not being The Map. If I use my iPad as a road atlas, I can easily decide that their map is wrong. Sometimes I’m right, and sometimes not. If I trust it to tell me what to do I probably wouldn’t be thinking far enough ahead to see where the mistake was coming.

          (BTW; I don’t claim to be a good driver. Quite the opposite. I try to drive like I know that, though. Don’t always succeed.)

          3) I never, Never, NEVER take “it’s a computer mistake” for an answer. If the computer made a mistake, some human made it first, and then the computer multiplied it a million fold.

  24. Cars are freedom

    Guns are freedom.

    Hell, deep fried Tinkies are freedom.

    Understand your enemy…they hate the fact that you have choices.

    I live near a quarter mile dragstrip. Ever been to one. It’s fucking great. The sound, the smoke, the smell Cars, motorcycles….ever seen a Jet Ski do the quarter mile on asphault ? Now imagine a prog witnessing this. People eatin greasy food and burning hydro-carbons…just because it’s fun ?! No no no…you should go live in your planned community and get in your transportation pod to your government assigned job, prole. well fuck that.

    1. Deep fried TWINKIES…tinkies are for pussies.

    2. Good for you. I want to play on my way to work.

      1. So do I…driving my mustang through rural new hampshire…you either get that or you don’t.

        1. I meant ‘play SkyRim’.

  25. At some point, owning a manually controlled car is going to be like having a sports car that can go 200 mph. People will own them for the cool factor, but it’s going to be irrelevant to how they actually use the car on a day to day basis. Maybe they go to the track form time to time, or try it out at 3am when no one else is on the road for the thrill of doing something dangerous, but 99% of the time, it will just be a car that could be manually controlled or could be going 200mph, but is tooling along the same way every other automated car in the morning rush is.

    1. Fuck that. Self driving car owners can accept the inconveniences and responsibilities of having to share the common law public right of way with less conventional forms of traffic.

      1. Amish, bikes, and manual autos.

        Of course the should be allowed on the roads, but they better deal with the problems they cause.

        1. If those problems non-self driving car owners should have to “deal” with are along the lines of “self driving cars have to go slower and have more complex systems than they would if they are the only things on the road”, then again, fuck the self-driving car owners. They are not entitled to convenience at the expense of others.

  26. Here is the way to look at this. Imagine its 30 years ago when email was first coming on line. I stand up and say “hey, this is a bad idea. This will make all of our communications electornic and allow the government to use the NSA to read all of our mail and track our entire lives. We are better off sticking with paper mail, since no computer can open every envelope and scan every letter the way one can or will some day be able to do with email”. We could have had this exact same discussion. Sure enough, here we are in 2014 and what my fictional self predicted would have happened.

    Does that mean we should have banned email? No. Does that mean email was taken as a whole a bad invention? maybe. We are certainly a lot richer for it. But we also have a lot less privacy for it and in many ways less freedom too. Is it worth it? There is no clear answer to that question.

    My point is that technology often has a downside. A lot of times Libertarians make a fetish out of technology over all else. It is progress. It is technology. It must be good. Indeed, we keep trading our privacy and our freedom for more and more wealth every year. Every year there is a new technology that makes us richer but makes our lives also a little less private and a little less free. Maybe at some point we are going to run out of privacy and freedom to trade?

    1. Email’s benefits have vastly outweighed the problems. That you can’t see that just shows how limited your vision is. Thank for the comparison though it makes clear how laughable your position on self-driving cars is.

      1. Really,

        So making it easier for the government to systematically invade our privacy is vastly outweighed by economic benefits? So there isn’t any intrinsic value to privacy and freedom such that no amount of monetary reward makes losing them worth it? Really? That is your final answer

        I will remember that on the next terrorism thread. Or the next taxation thread or really any other thread where the government has some bright idea to make us safer and richer in return for taking away our privacy and freedom.

        1. I never said ‘no amount of monetary reward’ thanks for outing yourself as a dishonest jackass.

          1. So it is okay to trade away or freedom and privacy as long as we do it for good money and just a little bit at a time.

            If privacy and freedom have intrinsic value, then it shouldn’t matter how much reward they offer us. We should still say no, right?

    2. You can avoid the email problem by not using email.

      You can avoid the bank tracking problem by not using banks.

      You can avoid the driverless car tracking problems by walking.

      Etc, etc.

      Of course the proper answer is to get the government under fucking control, but there are other less optimal solutions too.

  27. that ’58 Chevy sedan I was looking at….:)

    Apropos of nothing-

    I want a [massively updated] ~1952 Chevrolet Belair(?) sedan delivery.

    Just because.

    1. You leave the 58 alone Brooks. The 58 was the most underrated year of 50s Chevy. More curvy and beautiful than a shoebox but still tasteful unlike what came later.

  28. even the obsolescence of speed limits

    Considering that the politicians can very well include robot cars under the speed limit I’m not sure how that works? Can driverless cars be programmed to not drive over a specific speed?

  29. Not only are the reactionaries in this thread embarrassing because of their luddism, but because their understanding of tech is so limited. They aren’t even seemingly aware of the possibility that we might just develop some software that will make tracking difficult. Like Pcell and MaidSafe. Or use on that already exists, like Tor. They are just so limited and puny.

    1. And unicorn might fly out of your ass too. And Thor might keep the NSA from reading your mail. And bitcoin is going to allow you to avoid the IRS forever!!

      I forget sometimes what a half wit you are.

      1. I know right? What kind of half-wit actually has an understanding of technology on a thread about it. We should be more fatalist and reactionary like you.

        1. If you think that government will not co-opt technology and use it to spy on us and restrict freedom you either don’t know government or don’t understand technology.

    2. The fear that the government will use ANY technology is a completely rational one, based on their track record. Of course that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t invent new technology, but we should always keep in mind how the government might use that technology so that we can fight against it.

      John’s comments (really anyone expressing those fears) are important in that they will get some enterprising person to come up with ways to thwart those governmental actions (Like Pcell, MaidSafe, Tor, etc.).

  30. I don’t want to read all 200+ comments, so it was probably mentioned, but how the fuck does the state already have their regulatory jizz all over this? It’s still an idea. A work in progress. Jesus fucking christ.

    1. Because it is how they roll. Also, they know a good opportunity when they see one.

    2. If they want to use it on roads maintained by tye government one can see the argument that the government gets to set the rules.

  31. Where the fuck is the rest of that car?

  32. Self driving cars will sometimes be like watching someone do a task in ways in ways in which you could improve or do faster, but you can’t say anything because it would make you kind of a dick.

  33. Again with the misparsing as I took “Google’s Steering Wheel-Free Car” to mean the steering by Google of a car without wheels.

  34. Google has long been seeking to reduce human error in driving? 90 percent of road accidents are the result of human error?so it removed the human-controlled components.

    Yes, but what about human error in design & coding? New software and technologies tend to be very buggy.

    Also, what kind of (software) security are they employing? What happens when hackers take control of driverless cars remotely?

  35. A self-driving car one can’t wrest control from is no good for exploring new neighborhoods. It depends on the effectiveness of the programming, which I will be much happier with when I have a computer that crashes less than once a year. It will involve a non-trivial amount of money spent on whatever technologies allow it to be self-driving, which can be added to the costs of safety technologies, and whatever idiocies have been mandated fro Washington, making it harder for the poor to obtain cars.

    And don’t tell me that the same people who are SURE that their ideas about diet are so important that they should be law won’t mandate self-driving cars. That is simply the will to meddle that motivates anyone involved in government. It’s endemic.

    The base technology is fine. In many ways I would love to own one. But it needs to be an option. The alternative has far too many problems.

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