Self-driving vehicles

Self-Driving Cars Dodging Deer and Regulators So Far

Self-driving vehicles are legal in most states.

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GoogleCarAustin
Fortune

Google has just released its latest report on its self-driving car project. The company is now operating small fleets of autonomous vehicles in Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas. Over the past six years the company's vehicles have traveled over 2 million miles and have been involved in 16 accidents, in none of which were its vehicles the cause. The most recent incident occurred when one of its vehicles was rear-ended as it stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Google's self-driving cars have been traveling the byways of Austin for two months where suicidal deer are a particular roadway menace. So far they have avoided producing road kill venison.

More importantly than avoiding errant fawns, does, bucks, the company's self-driving cars have managed to escape the clammy clutches of state and federal regulators so far. The Washington Post reported last week that tests of autonomous vehicles will begin on highways in Virginia. The good news is that the state's legislators and regulators do not believe any new rules are necessary to sanction the tests. As the Post noted:

When self-driving cars begin zipping through Northern Virginia this year, they won't need any special registration, and the testers sitting behind the wheel won't need a special license. In the eyes of the law, they'll be regular cars.

Virginia is one of a handful of states seeking to attract the potentially lucrative business of developing self-driving cars. And along with a few other states, its lawmakers and regulators are inclined to welcome the industry — and get out of the way.  …

In states such as Virginia and Texas, however, self-driving cars can hit the roadways thanks to a simple argument: Doing so is legal because the law doesn't say otherwise.

"Automated vehicles are probably legal," said Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor whose research helped advance that interpretation. "That is the default assumption."

That's the view Google took this summer when it put driverless, retrofitted Lexus SUVs on the road in Austin, the first time the tech giant has run tests outside of California. Texas transportation officials say they are not involved with the project.

This is exactly the sort of permissionless innovation that enables rapid technological progress. Google's report says that the company has not devised a specific timeline for rolling out the technology, but does note that project head Chris Urmson's goal is to make sure his 11 year old son doesn't need to get a driver's license.

For more background, see my article, The Moral Case for Self-Driving Cars.

NEXT: Beyond the Clichés: 5 guidelines for selecting Supreme Court justices

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  1. I fear the day they stop making manual transmissions : (

    You’d be shocked at how many people can’t even drive one now.

    I refer to those people as “untermensch”.

    1. Or, Ferrari owners.

      I outgrew my affection for driving stick, when I was stuck in a 4 1/2 hour creeping traffic jam, trying to escape DC in an ice storm. I wanted to cut my left leg off at one point.

      Once I’m out of this hellhole, I’ll look at getting one again.

      1. Yeah the heavy traffic argument is def. one I get. My current vehicle has paddle shifters, so I’m one to talk, since that’s technically an automatic. My last few cars were stick though, and I do miss it sometimes. Thankfully I always have the motorcycles for that.

        1. I’d love a sequential race shifter. The commute would be more interesting at least.

          1. I had one – BMW 3 series.

            I think, overall, I prefer a manual. FPGBoxes are better than automatics *if* you want to run hard but aren’t as much fun as getting the movements right in a manual.

            Its like the difference between an auto gun and a lever/bolt action. Auto is more efficient but there’s something atavistic about slamming those parts around.

    2. Manuals are a good theft deterrent nowadays. Hell, they’re a good “can I borrow your car?” deterrent.

  2. “The company is now operating small fleets of autonomous vehicles in Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas. Over the past six years the company’s vehicles have traveled over 2 million miles and have been involved in 16 accidents, in none of which were its vehicles the cause.”

    How many asians in Silicon Valley? No reason.

    1. 16 that don’t work for Google and so have to drive themselves.

  3. I continue to be amazed that an organization favoring freedom is also a real fan of government-tracked automobiles, recording every ride you’ve taken.

    1. where does it say government tracked rides?

      1. They will have to be networked together.

        1. Each respective company would have its own network of self-driving cars? I doubt that the government will have direct access to the network.

          1. No. They will be all on a public run network and tracked.

            1. No they won’t.

              It won’t even be possible to make that work. Not across state barriers, let alone across national ones.

              Each car is going to be *autonomous*.

        2. They will have to be networked together.

          That’s not how that works.

          V2V networks with the cars around you – it doesn’t report back to a master computer program. Same way I can link my phone to a friend’s tablet without having to go through the government.

          All these cars will be talking to each other about is who they are, how far apart they are (determined by radar and IR sensors *onboard* – NOT GPS, which is not precise enough) and speed and braking data.

          V2*I* was a thing pushed in the early days, when self-driving cars were thought to need a whole lot of infrastructure support. *That* reports to the government.

          But no one is seriously pushing V2I anymore.

          There is no more need for vehicles to connect to a government network than there is for your GPS to do so to get traffic density updates.

        3. No, they don’t have to be networked.

          But they absolutely WILL be tracked. Self-driving’s got nothing to do with the tracking.

      2. woody the woodchipper|9.4.15 @ 4:12PM|#
        “where does it say government tracked rides?”

        Lemme guess:
        You think the records of where you went will be, uh, erased?

    2. I continue to be amazed that an organization favoring freedom is also a real fan of government-tracked automobiles, recording every ride you’ve taken.

      Really, supporting the existence of cars at all is anti-libertarian, since most roads you could drive them on are built by the government.

      1. p a, if this technology is allowed to continue, it will become mandatory, they will confiscate all the manual cars and the gubmint will know our every move!!!!!!!!!!!

        If you are home bound by age, infirmity, etc – tough shit. Somebody thinks their sports car will be outlawed. Stay at home and rot, or pay extra for being driven by someone else.

        1. Why do I have to give up my freedom because some are unfortunate?

          No one is saying ban these things. We should just be wary of them and understand how easily the technology will be used for evil.

      2. Really, supporting the existence of cars at all is anti-libertarian, since most roads you could drive them on are built by the government.

        Its like supporting gay marriage! I mean, obviously there should be no state marriage but if there is, equal protection is the next best outcome.

        So, in Libertopia, there would obviously be no roads. But since we have roads, self-driving cars are a best compromise.

      3. since most roads you could drive them on are built by the government.

        “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

        Really, people?

    3. You are assuming individual car ownership is still a thing. Once cars are self driving, there is no need. I look forward to the day when I don’t have to feel guilty that there is too much shit in my garage to park a car.

      1. Why wouldn’t individual car ownership still be a thing? I don’t think Ottawa, Illinois is going to have some cloud of cars waiting to be summoned…

        1. No city will. It would not be economic to do so. People will still own their own cars and mostly drive like we do today.

          1. Nobody owns a car in NYC. Eliminating the cost and inneficiency of the taxi driver (and the government imposed limitations) will decrease the crossover point to where car ownership is no longer worth the cost and the hassle.

            1. Eliminating the cost and inneficiency of the taxi driver

              NYC will be more likely to ban self driving cars.

          2. No city will. It would not be economic to do so.

            Nice contradiction there.

        2. Not with that attitude. Think unicorn farts and solar power.

        3. I don’t think Ottawa, Illinois is going to have some cloud of cars waiting to be summoned..

          I do. It sounds like a great idea for corruption.

      2. Buy five self-driving cars. Turn them loose to give Uber rides. Spend a couple of hours a day cleaning and maintaining them. Collect fees.

        1. Go broke because everyone else in your city did the same thing.

          1. All you have to do is be the first one to get a fleet of self-driving Uber cars, then get some politician friends to push for regulations that will limit the number of people who can operate self-driving Uber vehicles at any given time. Just make up some reason why too many self-driving Uber vehicles would be a horrible danger to public safety.

            Come on dude. It’s like you know nothing at all about business.

            /sarc

    4. s: You mean like with ubiquitous license plate readers and Easy Pass monitoring? I am against any plan in which government has access to individual travel data without a warrant.

      1. Well put.

      2. To which I can only say….amen!

      3. Ron Bailey|9.4.15 @ 4:25PM|#
        “I am against any plan in which government has access to individual travel data without a warrant.”

        Yeah, me too…
        (snicker, giggle, snerf, sniker HA, HA, HA, HA!)

      4. Assuming they can’t write their own warrants at that time.

  4. i dont even want a fully self driviing car, just one i can put on auto pilot when Im blasted or in traffic

    1. I think you hit in the actual future of self driving cars. There will not be any trains of robot cars doing 120 mph. And most people are like you. If they are going to be in the car anyway, they might as well drive.

      1. Do you know any teenagers? They couldn’t give two shots about driving and would gladly turn over that role to the car giving them more time to text.

        1. Not true. See my link below. They have just made it impossible to get a license.

          1. In California, it’s easier because the learner’s permit class is now online and costs 8 bucks. Of course, driving is more difficult because California sucks and they are actively working to make life here as difficult as possible

            1. The more I hear about other states the more I’m glad I live in Ohio, I mean sure the weather sucks, and there is nothing to do, and we have a rust belt economy, but um… well at least I don;t have to put up with California’s government, or New York, or that police state called Chicago.

              1. Stay there in Ohio. It’s paradise. Down come down to Georgia or your kids will all catch hookworm and you’ll be raped by hillbillies while on a canoe trip. Tell all your friends, DON’T MOVE SOUTH ! Hell is a better place to be! Thank you.

              2. I was born in California and my family moved to Ohio when I was 3. I’m with you 110 percent. All my life, I thought it would just be soooo awesome to move back to California – until I got a job, paid taxes, owned guns, and other stuff that made me realized how much life in that state would suck.

                I like that everyone thinks Ohio sucks… That reputation might repel the people fleeing California. I doubt that very many of them would want to put up with these Ohio winters.

        2. no we do want cars. Im from Nyc all of my friends and I got our licenses before college.

          1. Getting a license before you go to college sounds more like you are doing it when it becomes necessary. In our day, we got our license–or in my case, failed the initial test for our license–on our sixteenth birthday.

            1. I should have been more clear, we lived in Manhattan. Getting a car (and taking classes to get our license) is very difficult and we went out of our way to do it. Most of our parents didnt have cars and we saved up to go take lessons in queens.

        3. Further proof that teenagers are fucking retards who are too busy texting and checking their fucking facecrack status to enjoy one of life’s pleasures.

          1. If you think millenials are bad (and they are) just wait for what comes next!

      2. Depends on where I’m going. Work? Sure. 8-9 hour drive to New Orleans or Louisville? Sure.

        I’d let my car do half the driving probably, and I own a car that’s actually fun to drive. If I just owned transportation instead of a car, I’d let it drive even more often.

    2. My guess is that eventually, the law will require you to stay sober so that you can take over in case of computer failure.

      DUIs are very lucrative. They’re not just going to let them slip away.

      1. That is exactly the argument they’ll try to make, and as ridiculous as it is they’ll probably convince a majority of Americans to support it.

      2. If only government could think of something MORE lucrative.

        Like increased tax rates for manual-driving automobiles.

  5. These things are going to be used for evil and will result in us being less free. They have now made it increasingly difficult to get a drivers license.

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/213750/

    Make it impossible for young people to learn how to drive and they will be more willing to give up the freedom of having one.

    1. The government uses everything for evil, and I could very easily see the the kind of scenario you describe playing out. The government using driverless cars to track all our whereabouts, then after they become popular enough requiring that cars all be driverless, but they still won’t let you drink behind the wheel, like Playa says, DUIs are too lucrative to give up.

    2. EPF is a moron.

      And once one saves up the money to afford today’s cars, one cannot simply change the oil and filters by one’s self. Heck, my car has a giant cover over the entire engine that must be removed before one could even figure out where the oil stick is. Jumping the battery requires a Ph.D.

      Sounds like someone who would have said it’s impossible to know how to “gap her points” in the 70’s…(remember when gas stations were still “service stations”? nothing changes…) And jumping a battery? That’s fucking Ph. D level material to her.

      Ensuring that young people know the rules of the road before getting behind the wheel is a good thing overall

      I watched you very carefully. Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast.

      “Licenses? We don’t need no steenking licenses!”

      I taught myself to drive a stick in 5 days on a 72 Vega when I was 13. (2 hours once a week on Friday nights while my dad was at the bowling alley).

  6. It’d be nice to skip this bullshit phase and just get to the goddam teleporters already.

    Though question: if you get dissolved and re-assembled, is it really still the original you on the other end? Or are you just a perfect copy, and you’re actually killing yourself every time you step in?

    Contemplate this upon the tree of woe.

    1. No. And I’m not letting that dude fuck my wife. Or copies of my wife.

    2. Thought question: Does it matter?

      Are you this crude matter or the sum of your connectome? If you lose your hand you’re still ‘you’, but if you lose your brain you’re not.

      Contemplate the millions of your deaths ‘you’ have already lived through.

      1. “Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter.”

    3. Are you the original Gojira who posted on its first thread all those years ago, or a mere copy of that person?

      MIND BLOWN.

    4. Though question: if you get dissolved and re-assembled, is it really still the original you on the other end? Or are you just a perfect copy, and you’re actually killing yourself every time you step in?

      Contemplate this upon the tree of woe.

      We have to go deeper.

      Let’s say it is a “new you” on the other side. If the machine reconstructs him exactly as you were when you entered the teleporter, right down the atomic level–then he might still experience a continuity of consciousness, because he has the same memories you had right up until walking into the teleporter, and “his” memories start the moment after. As far as he knows, it all happened to *him*.

      But consider this: what if that is how your consciousness works *all the time*? What if there is no fixed, permanent “you” attached to your body or your brain, and every instant your brain reforms this idea of your consciousness, with all of your memories and experiences, and that consciousness assumes that all of these memories are things that happened to it in a single, unbroken chain of experiences?

      In short, the question is not “do I die and are reformed in the teleporter”, it’s “am I dying and being reformed a million times a second?”

      1. Whats going to really blow people’s minds is when the teleporter breaks down, and accidentally creates two of you. I mean is that really you?

  7. http://www.wired.com/2015/09/l…..ving-cars/
    Whatever you think about them it seems that they will be around soon

  8. Doing so is legal because the law doesn’t say otherwise.

    Uhm, putting a self-driving car on the road is not quite the same as *allowing the self-driving car autonomy*.

    I’m pretty sure the law in the vast majority of the state requires the *licensed driver* to be sober and in full “hand on the steering wheel, don’t even adjust the radio or AC while the vehicle is in motion” control of the vehicle.

  9. The other two problems is going to be hacking and terrorism. These things are basically smart bomba.

    1. This can (and only will) stop being an issue when appliance makers start taking network security seriously across the whole range of ‘internet of things’. Samsung’s networked refrigerator apparently uses HTTPS but doesn’t verify certificates. Someone else showed a Bluetooth toilet seat has the default administrator password set to 0000 and can’t be changed. Car networks are shown to have all sorts of vulnerabilities from forging electronic keys up to controlling the throttle and brakes.

      Assassination is a worry also. Important So and So’s car is cruising down the street at 50 MPH and then takes a a sharp turn, hits the freeway, and runs into the guardrail at 88 MPH.

      Or Kidnapping. Don’t let your self-driving car take your kids to school!!111!!! There’s hacker pedophile white slavers waiting to take control and drive them right into their hairy arms.

      1. My arms aren’t hairy!

  10. Hey Google – remember that movie Killdozer? Yeah, didn’t think you did….

      1. *Will* be real. Will be.

          1. He’s my hero.

            But its not an *autonomous* heavily armored bulldozer wrecking havok.

          2. I’ll listen to this when driving myKilldozer all over where the code enforcement building used to be.

    1. Pssst, Pawn of Game of Life, look up.

  11. “This is exactly the sort of permissionless innovation that enables rapid technological progress.”

    Unfortunately, I suspect this permissionless innovation may threaten the permission I get from the government to pilot my own damn motorcycle my own damn self. If someone were advocating that we do away with driver’s licenses, that would be great. I don’t see anybody arguing for that.

    Any indication on what the cost basis is for these driverless vehicles? Are they anywhere near being within the reach of your average Tesla buyer, or does it cost the annual GDP of a banana republic to build one?

    1. Add 10k to the price of the car at initial rollout.

      5k 5 years later.

      Standard equipment within 10 – have to pay extra to get a car you can drive yourself – similar to flappy-paddle gearboxes.

    2. If these things keep up their record, imagine the drop in insurance premiums. What does it cost to insure an 18 year old male driver these days? $5,500 a year? Suppose that drops to $250 a year as long as the car does all the driving. That would be a big incentive.

      1. Utilitarian arguments have a major weakness in that they’re woefully incapable of approximating our qualitative preferences–or assigning any them my own personal level of importance. That’s why we should all be free to make choices for ourselves. I can gauge my own preferences myself just fine. Don’t need any help.

        I’d prefer the legal right to own a gun even IF IF IF making them illegal meant I were safer personally. I pay thousands of dollars extra for the cars and motorcycles that satisfy my personal preferences. In fact, I choose to ride a motorcycle through traffic every day for qualitative reasons–despite the fact that it costs more than riding the bus and threatens my safety and my life.

        Some people (not you, necessarily, but some people) imagine that if something isn’t objectively quantifiable, then accounting for it in public policy or any other analysis is irrational. Like I said, they’re typically utilitarians, and I say that if their method of assessing public policy proposals can’t account for the individual preferences of 350 million different Americans, then their method of assessing public policy is woefully inadequate.

      2. Capitalism, free markets, libertarianism, free minds, true tolerance, these all provide effective means for society to serve the individual, sometimes conflicting, personal preferences of 350 million Americans. You don’t know that I prefer safety to risk. You don’t know that I prefer less expensive to more expensive. I think individuals should be free to ride in driverless cars if they please. But don’t blow smoke up my ass and tell me I’ll prefer something I don’t want–because it’ll cost less.

        Opposing those who would impose their own personal preferences on the rest of us is what libertarianism is all about–and if those who want to impose their own personal preferences for safety and less cost on me don’t want to stick their proposals up their rectums, then I think they should be free to stick it somewhere else they prefer for their own qualitative reasons.

        1. Why do so many people think that autonomous cars will only work if everyone is forced to use them at the exclusion of everything else? I think Google’s tests in Austin and CA are showing that isn’t the case, autonomous cars and drivers are mixing successfully on city streets. Daimler Crystler is proving the same concept in NV with a semi-autonomous semi trucks.

          It’s kind of like saying the Internet can only work if all computers are networked all the time. Simply not the case! Drive or be driven as you like, I say.

          1. “Why do so many people think that autonomous cars will only work if everyone is forced to use them at the exclusion of everything else?”

            “Over the past six years the company’s vehicles have traveled over 2 million miles and have been involved in 16 accidents, in none of which were its vehicles the cause. The most recent incident occurred when one of its vehicles was rear-ended as it stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.”

            As autonomous cars predominate, why wouldn’t I assume that those utilitarians who prefer their own personal safety to other people’s freedom will want the government to protect them from drivers of non-autonomous cars–by prohibiting them?

            1. “Over the past six years the company’s vehicles have traveled over 2 million miles and have been involved in 16 accidents, in none of which were its vehicles the cause. The most recent incident occurred when one of its vehicles was rear-ended as it stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.”

              I should add this–and maybe address it to Mr. Bailey, since it’s likely to come up again.

              When you’re in motorcycle school, one of the first things they teach you is that anticipating and accounting for the irrational stupidity of other drivers is your responsibility.

              If autonomous cars are incapable of accounting for drivers who break the rules, then one of the important implications of that is that,. yes, f everyone were in an autonomous car, other autonomous cars would be easily accounted for in programming. This will lend force behind the push to prohibit non-autonomous cars.

              However, another implication of that is there are limitations to abilities of autonomous cars in the transition period–when both kinds of cars are sharing the road. If non-autonomous drivers can anticipate and account for the irrational stupidity and driving rule breaking of other drivers–where the autonomous car cannot. Then that means autonomous cars have a disadvantage from a safety perspective.

              Safety built on assuming that everyone will follow the rules is safety built on a shoddy foundation.

              1. When I’m stopped on my bike at a traffic light, I’m looking in my rear view mirror at the cars coming up behind me, and I’m anticipating what I’m going to do if it looks like they don’t see me (which happens a lot to to motorcycle riders–drivers look right through us as if we aren’t there because they’re looking for cars not bikes).

                It is my responsibility to avoid being hit by irrational, stupid, reckless, and drunken drivers, and I’ve accomplished precisely that every day for years without a single accident. If autonomous cars have been rear ended by drunks or idiots 16 times in 2 million miles, then their safety record is far worse than mine.

                I haven’t ridden that many miles, but I’ve successfully avoided collisions dozens of times that wouldn’t have been my fault–and I haven’t been hit by anybody yet.

              2. Here’s the thing, though, Google and Daimler Crystler are testing their autonomous cars right now in real world conditions where motorists predominate, and they seem to be doing just fine avoiding accidents with irrational, rule breaking drivers.

                1. “They seem to be doing just fine avoiding accidents with irrational, rule breaking drivers.”

                  Actually, they’ve been hit 16 times.

                  They’re just saying it’s not the autonomous car’s fault–it was the other driver’s fault.

                  Any Motorcycle Safety Foundation instruction will tell you if that’s your attitude, stay off a bike or you’ll be dead.

                  They can write “It wasn’t his fault” on his tombstone, but that’s not the kind of safety I’m after. My safety record is far better than that. I’d have been killed twice that I know of if I hadn’t taken the responsibility and anticipated some other driver’s stupid mistakes.

                  If you’re the kind of person that tends to take responsibility for not anticipating other people’s mistakes, then motorcycle riding might be for you. If you’re Google or someone else that says, “It wasn’t my fault”, then you’ll die on your bike eventually.

                  1. There is no motorcycle accident that a biker didn’t contribute to in some way, and there is no motorcycle that couldn’t have been avoided by the motorcycle rider somehow. Even if he was rear-ended at a stop light! It’s my responsibility to avoid that. I shouldn’t even stop at a stop light with an escape plan already in place in case some idiot comes up behind me. If I get hit by someone from behind, the law may say it wasn’t my fault, and the courts may say it wasn’t my fault, and the insurance company may say it wasn’t my fault, and Google may say it wasn’t my fault, but it’s my responsibility to anticipate and avoid accidents–even when they aren’t my fault.

                    P.S. I’m responsible for my own investment decisions, too.

              3. You assume that people are somehow better at dealing with irrational drivers. If someone is tailgating you and getting aggressive, the correct thing to do is, almost always, slow down. Few people do. They opt for the less reasonable, more emotional option of speeding up. Generally, when faced with a poor driver, you should slow down. Autonomous cars actually would. This entire problem could be solved by designating an autonomous car lane.

            2. Well, I don’t know what you’re going do then. If the market drives the widespread adoption of self-driving cars, and statist jerks are going to be statist jerks, then yes there will probably, eventually be a call to prohibit non-autonomous cars. I guess one could ask their congressman to prohibit autonomous cars, but that undermines the market as well.

              I guess you’ll just have to tell carmakers that you want a human driver option and vote with your dollar. Maybe there will always be a market for human driven cars, even if it is just a niche market. Maybe there will even be a motorists organization that lobbies for pro-driver laws.

              1. We’re going to fight like hell for our rights is what we’re going to do, and motorcyclists will be the ones to do it, too.

                We’re going to be like the NRA in the future–just about motorcycles. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to do it without an amendment specifically devoted to right to ride motorcycles.

                The NRA has it relatively easy that way.

                1. You motorcyclists are like the homos who want to protect homo prostitution while outlawing the icky PIV white slavery, women- exploitative rapey sex-trafficking kind, and sports cars

                  1. Well, it’s what I care about–but there’s really only one right, and that’s the right to make choices for ourselves.

                    I’m concerned about my hot rod, too, but, yeah, I care about some things more than others. Unlike gay rights activists, however, I’m not hostile to the right of other people to make free choices. I’m not saying anybody should have to bake a cake for my wedding whether it violates their religious convictions or not. In fact, I’m saying that people should be free to ride in driverless cars if they want.

                    It’s just that, when you’re talking about taking my motorcycle? You’re talking about taking my sunshine away. Everybody’s got limits, and that’s one of mine.

                    Don’t mess with my dog, my women, my business, or my bike, and we’ll all have a beautiful time. Still, I fully support everyone’s right to make choices for themselves, too–so long as they aren’t violating anyone else’s rights. They come after my motorcycle, and I’m fuckin’ warnin’ ’em right now. We’ll organize and make the NRA look like boy scouts–after they went gay.

                    1. I like that you prioritized your dog above your women.

                2. Just mount some black powder, muzzle loaders on the side of your bike and viola the NRA will be on your side! Just kidding, but it would be really cool looking.

                  1. Like these motorcycles, except with .50 cal muzzle loading rifles:
                    http://s13.postimg.org/4tq5j05k7/z47.jpg

  12. If anyone wants to get filthy rich, design a system to retrofit older cars with autonomous driving hardware, negotiate a software license with google, and set up a franchise chain of mechanics to install them. Advertise to parents with teen drivers, college kids and heavy drinkers. You’ll make money hand over fist.

    Now que up the naysayers, “What about the liability? Won’t someone pleeeese think of the lawyers? It will be illegal somehow! Autonomy will rob us of our freedom somehow!” meh. The naysayers can send their luddite naysayings by parcel post to my mansion on my private island.

    1. design a system to retrofit older cars with autonomous driving hardware

      You mean like what Google’s already doing?

      That’s the view Google took this summer when it put driverless, retrofitted Lexus SUVs on the road in Austin

      1. Precisely!

      2. I don’t think Google wants to be in the used car business. I think they’ll want to sell new vehicles or licence the tech to carmakers. The used car business could be huge.

      3. They’re retrofitted because there are no production self-driving cars. This shit isn’t going to work on cars that don’t already have all the nanny controls installed. You won’t be able to “retrofit” a 1970s Monte Carlo.

        1. It would be one bad ass self-driving car, though.

          1. Why bother refitting a 70 Monte Carlo when you can refit a 70 Chevelle LS-6?

  13. …when you pry the steering wheel from my cold, dead fingers…

  14. I read recently the one of the top people in Google’s self-driving car division has dedicated his life to abolishing human-controlled driving because a family member died in an auto accident. He’s like a public health zealot working in the private sector. Probably wants to ban egg-containing sandwich spreads and condiments too.

    1. Passion, dedication and drive are virtues in the private sector, where the market can correct for excessive zeal. The same qualities are a vice in the public sector, where few such checks exist.

  15. The self-driving car project is now based in a building in the corner of my residential neighborhood in Mountai View, so the cars have become commonplace.

    One of our neighbors had the surreal experience the other day of stopping at a four-way intersection with three other cars that were all self-driving.

  16. Hmm, I wonder what the cars will be saying to one another?……

    Move bitch get out the way!

    I pity the fool that drives like you!

    If I had hands, I’d slap the shit outta you!

    They call me sexus, now if you’ll excuse me I have a hot date to get to.

    Now….which part is my mouth? I mean, is my gas hole my asshole? Cause like……..um……..

  17. Getting upset over autonomous cars is pointless. By the time they’re the norm, I’ll be too busy making out with my Marilyn Monroe bot to leave the house.

    https://vimeo.com/12915013

  18. It’d be nice to skip this bullshit phase and just get to the goddam teleporters already.

    Though question: if you get dissolved and re-assembled, is it really still the original you on the other end? Or are you just a perfect copy, and you’re actually killing yourself every time you step in?

    Contemplate this upon the tree of woe.

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