Self-driving vehicles

Uber Self-Driving Car Hits and Kills Pedestrian in Arizona

This unfortunate accident will not slow down the autonomous vehicle revolution.

|

UberSelfDriving
Uber

The ride-hailing service Uber is temporarily halting tests of self-driving cars because one of them hit and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The woman, Elaine Herzberg, was apparently struck while she was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk at night. The car was reportedly operating in autonomous mode while being monitored by a human safety driver. This is apparently the first case in which someone has been killed by an autonomous vehicle.

The company is devising a technology that will let its cars "talk" with pedestrians, in hopes of making such accidents less likely.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2016 the automobile fatality rate averaged 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. So far, Uber's self-driving vehicles have racked up between 2 and 3 million miles on streets and highways. Obviously this accident will be carefully scrutinized to figure out what happened and who is at fault.

Keep in mind that NHSTA blames 94 percent of automobile crashes on human error. We can be sure that investigators will let us know if robot error is the cause of this unfortunate death.

Americans tolerated far higher fatality rates—as many as 40 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled—at the dawn of the automobile age. The first American killed by an automobile was Henry H. Bliss, who was struck by an electric taxi while helping a lady descend from a streetcar on Central Avenue West in New York City. It took 70 years for automobile fatalities to fall below 2 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The safety record of self-driving vehicles will presumably improve much faster than that. I fully expect to hail and take my first ride in a fully autonomous vehicle in the next five years.

NEXT: In Oklahoma, Inmates Could Be Gassed to Death by a Substance Unfit to Kill Pets

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hey, at least it wasn’t a parked fire truck this time.

    1. Begin winning $90/hourly to work online from your home for couple of hours every day… Get customary installment on a week after week premise… All you require is a PC, web association and a litte extra time…

      Read more here…….. http://www.startonlinejob.com

  2. This is apparently the first case in which someone has been killed by an autonomous vehicle.

    It depends on how we define ‘autonomous’. Because there’s a dead guy in a mangled Tesla that might have something to say about that.

  3. The fuck it won’t.

  4. Keep in mind that NHSTA blames 94 percent of automobile crashes on human error. We can be sure that investigators will let us know if robot error is the cause of this unfortunate death.

    It was a pedestrian. It has to be robot error. It is always the responsibility of the car to avoid the pedestrian, even if the pedestrian is being an idiot.

    1. “it was a pedestrian. It has to be robot error. It is always the responsibility of the car to avoid the pedestrian, even if the pedestrian is being an idiot.”

      And there are plenty of idiots who make it a point to walk in front of moving cars…

      1. Yes there are. And it is the driver’s responsibility to avoid them if possible.

          1. And the second we give preference to a 2-ton vehicle travelling at even 10mph; then we force humans into submission to ‘rules’. Because there can be no ‘equal negotiation’ for a space between a mortal small human and a vehicle. So humans get restricted (segregated) to a ‘crosswalk’ – with fines/imprisonment for jaywalking (trespass). We then require parents to teach their kids how to safely submit to that car dominance (don’t play in the street, look both ways before you walk here, don’t ever walk there) – with fines/shaming/imprisonment for that too.

            Drivers – now in the dominant position inside the car – then begin to encroach on even the crosswalks and make right turns without stopping and drive faster and don’t come to a full stop. They find no need to negotiate with a pedestrian at all. They are in a hurry dammit. It’s the pedestrians responsibility to get out of my way if they want to live.

            And in case of conflict, the driver can make a legal case that – well it wasn’t POSSIBLE for me to stop safely. While their vehicles position of complete dominance over the space of that street goes completely unquestioned.

        1. …if the driver isn’t distracted by texting, petting their dog, talking on their cell phone, applying makeup, eating french fries…

    2. Is that your opinion, or do you have a legal cite?

      1. Here are the few areas where a pedestrian can be… “at least partially” at fault, according to alllaw.com.

        Here are a few common scenarios under which a pedestrian may be found at least partially at fault for an accident involving a vehicle:

        jaywalking, or crossing in the middle of the street, outside of a crosswalk
        crossing against the traffic signal (i.e. in the crosswalk but against a red “Do Not Walk” command)
        entering a street or highway while intoxicated, and
        walking along highways, bridges, or causeways where pedestrian access is prohibited.

      2. Some interesting bits of tid.

        Shared Fault in Pedestrian Accident Cases
        In reality, even when a pedestrian does bear some amount of blame for causing an accident, chances are that the driver of the vehicle is also partially at fault. For example, a pedestrian may be jaywalking, but the driver may not have been driving at a safe speed, or may have been distracted and therefore unable to stop in time.

        So, what happens when both the pedestrian and the driver are at fault? Different states follow different rules in shared fault situations, but those rules are based on one of two basic legal concepts: comparative negligence and contributory negligence.

    3. My mantra for 45 years – “Code can’t fix stupid”

    4. Not really. Pedestrians can be at fault. At least here in FL, a person that was not crossing at a crosswalk when a crosswalk is available loses right of way, and would be at fault in an accident. Also, a pedestrian is required to obey all traffic control devices (aka walk/don’t walk signs).

    5. The video shows the pedestrian was invisible up until the last second. An alert and excellent driver might have figured it out in time. Most would not. And why have a cross walk after the street light? This 80% on the highway department, 19% on the pedestrian, 1% on the robot.

      http://abc7.com/video-shows-se…..n/3243922/

  5. The first American killed by an automobile was Henry H. Bliss, who was struck by an electric taxi

    It was the evening of September 13, 1899

    Proof that the oil companies are killing the electric car.

  6. I fully expect to hail and take my first ride in a fully autonomous vehicle in the next five years.

    My advice is to stay on the curb…

  7. The car was reportedly operating in autonomous mode while being monitored by a human safety driver.

    So… not the robot’s fault at all.

    The human… you had *one* friggin job. Time to replace the human safety driver with… a robot.

    1. Having a human monitor a robot is about the worst use of a human you can have. Human beings are terrible at monitoring. Robot cars have it exactly backward. Humans are good at driving and adapting to circumstances in ways robots will never be. Robots are good at monitoring and stepping in when humans mess up in ways humans will never be. Robotic cars get that exactly backward.

      1. Exactly. I’m more curious about who is found liable in this particular accident since it seems to me that companies who are rolling this tech out have been pretty keen to avoid the question up until now.

        My guess? Massive settlement to avoid legislative action.

        And of course, no one is interested in being killed by a robot car that didn’t even register the fact it had ended a life. There might be a reason why people are more comfortable taking a risk like getting into a vehicle and driving with other humans. Their decision making is known.

        The robot, however, could choose to kill a pedestrian because of a setting somewhere. There’s a damn good reason why people leave autopilot to…what’s that you say? Autopilot doesn’t even land or drive the few types of transport that could theoretically make use of it?

        But no, lets go roll it out for hundreds of millions of vehicles operating in barely contained chaos. We can see no downsides, except for all those downsides everyone see’s.

        Honestly, I’m really sorry to say this, you must be willfully ignorant to believe self-driving cars will be a ‘thing’ in twenty years let alone five. The only theoretical way it can work is if humans simply aren’t allowed to drive, period.

        Or, in other words, we want the biggest and most expensive public transport debacle the world has ever seen. You think light rail is a joke? Just wait until you see ‘self-driving cars’.

        1. The people like Ron who think that that feets of corporate owned self driving cars are going to replace personally owned vehicles have lost their minds. They really have. I just don’t get how they can buy that.

          1. I get how they arrive there, I simply disagree that people will be willing to put up with the downsides. Needless to say, those downsides are almost completely overlooked by most of the people who are dreaming of electric sheep.

            This is possibly the most complicated answer to a question that was already solved that I’ve ever seen. Replace human-like A.I. driving your car with using Skype and ask ‘which one of these already works at reliving all the problems this scam tries to fix’.

            1. Cars get safer every year. Driving while relatively more dangerous than other activities is still amazing safe. If it wasn’t people wouldn’t be willing to do it. It really is the question no one was asking. I think we are getting an answer because a lot of people are naturally bothered by freedom. Cars give you the freedom to go wherever you like whenever you like at whatever speed you like depending on the law and your willingness to break it. That kind of freedom just cuts a certain kind of person to the core. They hate it and want to make cars more controlled like mass transit.

              1. Maybe car safety is part of the problem. We have encouraged (or mandated) safety systems that let people walk away from crashes, and thus reduced the actual and perceived risks. And people then feel inclined to ignore driving and indulge distractions.

                I wonder what would happen if a spike emerged from the steering wheel when a driver answered a phone call or text?

                1. I wonder what would happen if a spike emerged from the steering wheel when a driver answered a phone call or text?

                  Or if baby seats were attached to the front bumper of a vehicle

            2. Already solved? You’ve obviously never been exposed to truck drivers who don’t take the required sleep/break between runs.

              It will be paradigm changing, but when it hits a tipping point of more auto cars than manual.

              1. Except for the minor fact that ‘autonomous vehicles’ definitely can’t drive with actual humans, you mean?

                By ‘already solved’ I’m referring to the main pet issues of urbanites that drive this push of less rush hour congestion and getting rid of parking lots.

                Things that Skype could be used to fix today, but for some reason the Boomer generation can’t get over the notion that someone should be at work. Truly, a very limited world view.

                Even in terms of autonomous transport trucks, well, we’ve had those for like 150 years now? They’re called trains, and even trains don’t use autodrive and they’re on rails. Go figure.

                1. It’s not the Boomers. Plenty of people younger than that think that airplanes and F2F makes physics better.

                  Trains also take a mile to brake.

              2. Really? Because letting people rest when they need to can’t possibly be as safe as forcing them to when the government dictates. Yet another solution in search of a problem.
                https://tinyurl.com/y8gkaaz5

                “? A 2016 analysis conducted by the OOIDA Foundation showed carriers with ELDs experienced more crashes than carriers without ELDs. Using publically available information from the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, and Accountability Safety Measurement System website, the OOIDA Foundation discovered that the average crash rate per 100 power units was 5.2 for carriers with ELDs and 3.5 for carriers without ELDs.

                ? According to the OOIDA Foundation, “While fatigue is often haphazardly linked to hours-of-service compliance, the agency’s database demonstrates that between 1.4 and 1.8 percent of large truck fatal crashes were related to fatigue between 2011 and 2014. These data suggest that relatively few, if any, crashes will actually be reduced due to the mandatory utilization of ELDs.”

                Not to mention the unintended consequences.
                https://tinyurl.com/y7m8pn2w

          2. The people like Ron who think that that feets of corporate owned self driving cars are going to replace personally owned vehicles have lost their minds. They really have. I just don’t get how they can buy that.

            His apparent desire for people to forfeit their personal liberty is confusing. I don’t see how it is supportive of liberty to further deteriorate what people are capable of doing themselves.

        2. The only theoretical way it can work is if humans simply aren’t allowed to drive, period.

          Oh – I’m sure those tech companies will provide money to a libertarian thinktank to argue to – privatize the roads. That way humans can be banned altogether from going from anywhere to anywhere else without a license from someone else. Their very presence on a road will constitute trespass. And those new road owners will then charge wealthier humans for a license to be on those roads – inside one of those company’s vehicles.

          And that will be deemed ‘a libertarian solution’

  8. This unfortunate accident will not slow down the autonomous vehicle revolution.

    Technically, it already has: Uber CEO Halts All Autonomous Car Tests After Deadly Crash

    1. Ron doesn’t seem to understand that people are forgiving of other people in ways they are not of machines. People expect machines to be perfect. People understand that other people are not. You can’t make a machine that has a calculated death rate for its use and expect people to accept it in the same way they will accept human error. It just doesn’t work that way and no amount of “but it is safer than humans” is going to change that.

      1. More than being forgiving of humans, people are forgiving of themselves. And the feeling that they are in control assuage many of their fear of danger.

        This is why I think people are often afraid of airplanes, even though they are safer than cars to such a degree that they are barely worth comparing. Because with a plane you don’t feel in control. And I fear that the fear of self-driving cars will stem from a similar place. Beyond the other technical issues, and simple satisfaction issues (I like driving a car, damn it) that I fear will start to come up more and more.

        My only hope, and this is a long hope I’m sure, is that people can makes these choices themselves rather than have the government ban most human driven vehicles.

        1. That is a good point. By the numbers, you are much safer in a commercial airliner than you are in a car. Yet, very few people have a paralyzing fear of driving and many people have such a fear of flying. I imagine many people will have the same phobia about self-driving cars if and when they ever become common.

          1. There’s also a massive difference between what ‘failure’ means. If your vehicle fucks up on the freeway, you’ve got pretty damn good odd’s of living. If your jet aircraft fails, you’re dead along with up to a few hundred other people. Period, unless there’s an act of God.

            Hence the fear.

            1. Failure in plane often means landing sooner, or having to delay take off. Planes also don’t just have one level of failure resulting in death.

              1. True enough, I suppose I’m using ‘failure’ in terms of total failure if that wasn’t clear.

                I think what bothers me most about the push for self driving cars is that even early on it was recognized that the digital revolution should be kept at least arms length away from things that real human life relies on (essential water/power/infrastructure that could be vulnerable from outside digital attack) but here that concern is entirely wished away even while it’s orders of magnitude more dangerous.

                I suppose I should be thankful that it’s not only impractical technology, but also bad at the stated niche it’s supposed to fill. Until a state like California and New York makes it mandatory to buy and use the technology for ‘safety’ that is. We all know that’s the inevitable result.

                1. “Until a state like California and New York makes it mandatory to buy and use the technology for ‘safety’ that is. We all know that’s the inevitable result.”

                  Yeah, I have no problem with people choosing to use driverless vehicles as long as government stays out of it. But we all know that’s not the way it will turn out. Kinda like toll roads that Reason has a big throbbing boner for. Tracking device on every vehicle? No problem. Facial recognition cameras to identify vehicle occupants? No problem. Armies of cops chasing down the scofflaws? No problem. Freedom of movement is a natural right. If the state can track your movement it ain’t exactly free.

                2. I think what bothers me most about the push for self driving cars is that even early on it was recognized that the digital revolution should be kept at least arms length away from things that real human life relies on

                  No, safety standards require some sort of physical interlock, but that can definitely be some sort of digital controller. Relatively recently they have started to relax standards to allow software to perform the safety function, but in the most critical applications like aircraft control, that means that the program must be provably safe.

        2. Airplanes are not safer than cars. Airplanes are not even safer than trucks. If you look at the insurance rates, they are much higher for airline pilots than for truck drivers. As are fatalities per a million journeys ( because that’s the number that really matters, when you decide to go from point A to point B, you don’t really change method of transportation mid-journey), airplanes are less safe although the least safe method is motorcycle, and the safest is, surprisingly, bus.

  9. I’m still trying to figure out what’s the problem that this “revolution” is supposed to be the solution to. The mag recently had a fawning interview with this sooper genius kid who’s applying his brains to self-driving cars. Can you imagine if he instead applied it to something worthwhile that is an actual problem?

    1. The best revolutions happen by finding a problem no one knew they had and solving it.

      1. [starts working on way to double sperm production]

        1. I think my quote was a line from Steve Jobs.

    2. Trains. We will no longer need autonomous trains.

    3. You mean like the guy that designed the combine harvester?

    4. The problem is that people are free to go wherever and whenever they want, without corporations or governments controlling or monitoring their movement.

      It’s why liberals are so big on mass transit.

      Now why a libertarian magazine is a proponent of big brother eliminating freedom of movement is beyond me.

      1. J: Actually self-driving vehicles will extend and make transportation cheaper for lots more people. What you (and I) want is anonymous movement. And that will indeed be a BIG fight as self-driving technology comes online.

      2. J: See also my article where I discuss and endorse the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act.

        1. “There are several exceptions to this prohibition against intercepting geolocation information: (1) information obtained in the normal course of business, (2) information obtained while conducting foreign intelligence surveillance, (3) consent, (4) information readily available to the public, (5) theft or fraud involving the device, (6) issuance of a warrant, and (7) emergency circumstances.”
          1. and 2. kinda stand out here. Remember when the NSA was intercepting every electronic communication in the country while conducting foreign intelligence surveillance and congress and the courts shut them down? Oh wait, they’re still doing it? And information obtained in the normal course of business, would that be like ordering a driverless car from a fleet? Wouldn’t that apply to anything that requires an ordinary business transaction of any kind? And seriously do you doubt that prosecutors won’t build cases on 4. and 7. in furtherance of the war on opiods or whatever war du jour they decide to prosecute? I don’t see this ending well no matter how many statutes get written.

    5. The two biggest benefits are enabling people with disabilities to self-transport and more efficient utilization of existing roads. Imagine how many elderly could put off assisted living if they could continue to self-transport after they are no longer fit to drive. And the carrying capacity of roads is much higher than current utilization because too many drivers are fucking morons, particularly at the merge.

  10. The driverless car “talking” to a pedestrian probably us not going to do much in this situation where a pedestrian is not using a crosswalk at night and not paying attention to traffic in the first place.

    1. The fact that the thing apparently can’t spot pedestrians outside of a crosswalk isn’t exactly inspiring any confidence. If they aren’t aware that people do unpredictable things, maybe they need to go back to drawing board.

      1. Don’t worry, the assumption is that if there are free vehicles roving everywhere that she just would have called an autonomous Uber to cross the street…

        But yes, this is proof positive that without human minders these vehicles would probably be murdering a whole shit ton of people right now and yes that’s something Ron innately ignores.

        Perhaps the takeaway here should be that even a monitored murder-robot is still a murder-robot instead of ‘oh it’s human error that ruined the robots perfect not murdering things record’.

        1. murder robot. Get that to stick as synonymous with autonomous cars and you may curb the movement.

    2. I’ve personally observed people crossing streets in the middle at night, when vehicles with their headlights on are barreling down the street, and either they do not notice the vehicle, incorrectly judge the distance, or just assume the driver will slow down. Usually results in the driver braking like crazy followed by leaning on the horn.

      Some pedestrians can be assholes, either through carelessness or arrogance. I was a pedestrian for a long time and I cross streets cautiously because I know drivers can be assholes too, except they’re assholes behind thousands of tons of steel and plastic. Autonomous cars absolutely need to account for people doing stupid shit. But people intentionally getting in a cars way should not be cause to end the push for autonomous cars altogether. They WILL reach a point where they are safer than humans. They have extrasensory abilities that people do not, and reflexes that put a human to shame. In the meantime, some careless people are probably going to get killed.

      1. Thousands of pounds, I should have said. They’re not cruise ships…

  11. Lol “accident”

  12. Drunk homeless people wandering out into traffic is pretty much the norm for driving around here. This would be an excellent place for companies to test your autonomous vehicles. If your robot car can keep a low body count here, you’re probably going to do well anywhere.

  13. What, no Killdozer references?

  14. Wanting to abdicate the ability to drive yourself around is like wanting to abdicate responsibility for yourself. Freedom from responsibility is a sick fantasy. Go watch a good production of King Lear. It’s all right there. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just delegate our responsibilities to others and just let them take care of us?

    Bad idea.

    I won’t let anybody touch my motorcycles. I do all the work myself. You know why? Because my life depends on getting everything just right. Was that axle torqued to spec? Was my chain put on properly? My life depends on these things being done correctly, and I’m not about to trust anybody else to do that for me–no matter how smart they are.

    I am probably better at avoiding accidents on my motorcycle than any program ever could be–because I don’t only avoid hitting other people. I can avoid other people hitting me.

    I avoid riding over storm drain covers in the rain. I avoid oily spots in the road–as I’m driving. I avoid idiots all the time–many of which are pedestrians. You know how many times I’ve swerved or hard-stopped to avoid a pedestrian? The correct answer is “many”. I’ve never hit a pedestrian once–not even drunken, stupid, suicidal, homeless people who were trying to get hit.

    I will never willingly abdicate the ability to choose to drive myself around.

    1. KS: Have you abdicated your responsibility to hunt your own food? Make your own clothes? Do your own surgery? 😉

      1. I don’t know that anybody like Google is threatening my ability to fish, etc. I had a conversation, recently, with someone who was amazed that I would catch and clean my own fish. How do I know the water is clean? Well, I checked the most recent tests before I went fishing. How do I know I cleaned it properly? I educated myself and cleaned it myself. Far as he knew, the fish he was eating at the time (in a restaurant) came out of sewer pipe in Tijuana or was cleaned by someone who doesn’t wash his hands after he uses the rest room.

        I don’t make my own clothes, but is anybody trying to take away my ability to do so? I take doctor’s instructions with a critical ear. Maybe it’s because, having worked in a hospital, I have a number of doctor friends–and I listen to their advice. I would never willingly submit to a surgery only on a doctor’s orders.

        I have an accountant and a number of lawyers I work with, and I take their advice. I argue with them, too. Sometimes I do things over their objections–and sometimes I’m glad I did. A good lawyer might kill ever commercial real estate deal he ever sees in one way or another.

      2. Maybe my last statement was unclear.

        “I will never willingly abdicate the ability to choose to drive myself around.”

        I might abdicate driving myself around when I let my girlfriend drive, but I didn’t abdicate the right to choose to drive myself around. The question is whether techno-optimists are going force me to give up driving myself around against my will–and every time I see problems with autonomous cars, it always seems to be the “fault” of people who aren’t under the same control structure as autonomous car. It doesn’t take a big leap in logic to see where this is headed.

    2. As philosopher Alfred North Whitehead so wisely observed: “Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.”

      1. If you are not performing them Ron, someone else is. And in doing so, they not you are in control. Giving up control of your mobility in return for virtually nothing is not a good trade.

        1. In the case of autonomous cars, it’s not someONE else. It’s someTHING else. And those things possess abilities that will make them absolutely safer than humans.

          Driving is chaotic, but it’s also predictable. If it weren’t, people would not drive with the carelessness they do. It’s only a matter of time under a computer program eclipses humans in it’s ability to manage and react to that chaos.

          1. “And those things possess abilities that will make them absolutely safer than humans.”

            So far, my record is far better than Google’s.

            I’ve never hit a pedestrian.

            And we should be clear on one point. I am not certain that they are safer than I am driving myself around.

            They may be safer than the average driver someday, but I’m not the average driver.

            They may be able to avoid creating accidents themselves, but I can avoid accidents that would be created by other people. If the only accidents autonomous cars can avoid is the ones they create themselves, then they’re actually inferior to me driving myself around on a motorcycle. And I drive through some of the most dangerous urban environments in the United States on a daily basis.

            I’ve been putting 15,000 miles a year on my bikes, and I’ve been doing it for years and years–and I’ve never been in an accident. And there’s no reason to think I ever will. So, no thank you for your paternalism. Not only are you incapable of making better qualitative choices for me than I can for myself in regards to safety, real life has also demonstrated that autonomous cars have a worse safety record than I do.

            Again, if autonomous cars can only avoid accidents that would have been their fault, then they’re vastly inferior to me on my motorcycle.

            1. Yes, Ken, you’re special.

              You have exactly one advantage over self-driving cars: you understand context. The car is superior to you in all other aspects. It has better sensors. It is never distracted. It never gets tired. It has faster reaction times. It understands and can compensate for the traction environment better than you will ever be able to.

              1. You’re not getting it.

                I can avoid being rear ended by other cars that are coming up behind me on my motorcycle.

                Are you a motorcycle rider? If not, you may not realize what I’m talking about. To ride a bike safely, you need to anticipate not just what’s around you–but what might show up in the future.

                You make yourself safe, routinely, by avoiding things–that haven’t happened yet. You don’t pull up to a stoplight without an escape plan. You weave around in your lane to give yourself as much space as possible before the car next to you changes lanes without looking. Sometimes the safest thing to do is also against the law–or dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

                Last summer, an old lady spun out of control while running through a red light. She’d tried to hit the brake to stop for the light, but she accidentally hit the gas instead. The more the car sped up, the harder she hit gas (thinking it was the brake). I was in the left turn lane at the time. If I hadn’t broken the law by pulling up between the cars ahead of me, she’d have killed me for sure. She sped across the median (where I’d been), lost control, and slammed into a fast food restaurant.

              2. Can an autonomous vehicle avoid other people plowing into it?

                It doesn’t seem so. In most of the accidents I see reported with autonomous vehicles, they’re telling us that it was the other driver’s fault–as if that were important. If you ever learn to ride a motorcycle safely, it will be because you learn to take responsibility for your own safety–regardless of what stupid people do. Anyone who tends to blame other people for their problems, should probably stay off a motorcycle.

                I avoid other people plowing into me every day. If autonomous vehicles can’t do that, then they suck compared to me.

          2. I actually don’t give a shit if they’re safer. What was that thing that guy once said about trading freedom for security?

      2. “Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.”

        Slavery does that as well. Not considered an advance by most.

  15. Never underestimate the power of politicians to latch onto a cause and throw more regulations in the way, you know, to protect the children.

  16. This is to be expected…and approved by governments countrywide. I’m wondering just how many accidents and deaths will occur before humans begin thinking that following the rules actually matters. There are plenty of rules and laws so the question is enforcement. Stricter enforcement of all laws relating to vehicles and roads will be necessary for autonomous vehicles to succed. It’s gonna be a ” Brave New World”.

  17. Am i the only one seeing that the robots killed their 1st person after only 2 million miles putting them on course for 50 deaths per 100 million miles driven. Sure, it might get better, but it is currently worse than humans have ever been.

    Holy crap, just link them to SkyNet and get it over with…

    1. Not just that. Many – probably most – auto fatalities were where the driver died even back then and while sad those are not even remotely in the same ethics/decision bucket as killing someone else. There is no chance that a robot can be programmed to prefer its own destruction to that of someone outside the car – because that will mean it is preferring the death of its own passenger. So there is no possible chance it will ever really err on the side of avoiding an accident/collision either.

      1. So there is no possible chance it will ever really err on the side of avoiding an accident/collision either.

        That just may be the dumbest thing you’ve ever written. Congrats.

        1. WTF do you think anti-lock brakes were put into cars starting in the early 1970’s? It was precisely because HUMAN drivers erred on the side of avoiding the collision to the point that they exceeded the technological capabilities of the vehicle itself. That human aversion to collision has not changed. And the robot cannot be programmed to that limit because it is programmed to protect its own passenger (and probably to assume that the passenger is not buckled in or paying attention either)

          So if there is a pedestrian or a baby or a kid on a bike or ANYTHING smaller than the vehicle itself, the robot will only avert a collision to a limit. It will do exactly what this car did – not even slow down much. The only human-like aversion MIGHT occur if it is about to collide with a train, a wall, a mountainside or something else that is bigger than the vehicle.

          1. There is even a theory which describes that human behavioral reaction to risk – Risk compensation. Which is why ‘safety features’ in cars often have a perverse effect on driver behavior.

            And a human-based approach to road safety – Shared space. Which may or may not work and which has plenty of its own problems. But one thing is certain – that approach to safety cannot remotely work with autonomous cars (which are akin to introducing a sociopath into the mix).

          2. Anti-lock brakes prevent you from locking the wheels and entering an uncontrolled skid. They are a superior version of pumping the brakes (something that we in the north used to learn when covered with all of that global warming). They were not placed there because human drivers “erred on the side of avoiding collision.”

            An anti-lock braking system or anti-skid braking system[1] (ABS) is an automobile safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to maintain tractive contact with the road surface according to driver inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (ceasing rotation) and avoiding uncontrolled skidding.

            And the fact that an automated system can provide superior control of the vehicle rather contradicts your argument.

            “So if there is a pedestrian or a baby or a kid on a bike or ANYTHING smaller than the vehicle itself, the robot will only avert a collision to a limit.”

            Really? Is that the 4th Law of Thermo: thou shalt always hit anything smaller than thyself? Or, just like a person could do (but better), could the car maybe, possibly understand its crumple zones and elect to strike something else? Nope, it’s brand new physics, I tells ya.

            1. Yes – and WHY would drivers slam on the brakes rather than pumping them gently like they were taught in driver ed? Do you perhaps think ABS were put in cars to prevent teenagers from skidding for fun in the mall parking lot?

              And the fact that an automated system can provide superior control of the vehicle rather contradicts your argument.

              Actually it doesn’t. But a dead person in Tempe – hit at 40 mph – with no sign of brakes even applied – certainly contradicts yours.

              Like it or not – an automated car will always assume that IT is a car. A human driver may well be an asshole/incompetent but every one thinks that they are human not a car. And that is what defines the ranges of logic/decisions/risks/etc.

              1. I see Hihn has new competition for incoherence. ABS brakes were invented because humans cannot properly brake under extreme circumstances. They compensate for OUR inadequacies. Our control responses are too slow and our instincts are frequently wrong. A human pumping the brakes is still inferior to automatic traction control.

                “Actually it doesn’t. But a dead person in Tempe – hit at 40 mph – with no sign of brakes even applied – certainly contradicts yours.”

                Seriously? Do you really want to look at the single biggest factor in motor vehicle accidents? Hint: it’s that part that you think provides superior control and yet has a hard time exercising proper judgement at a BAC of 0.08. Or are you arguing that an automated system must have an absolute failure rate of zero? Good luck with any system achieving that, especially if humans are part of that system.

                “Like it or not – an automated car will always assume that IT is a car. A human driver may well be an asshole/incompetent but every one thinks that they are human not a car. And that is what defines the ranges of logic/decisions/risks/etc.”

                Oh yeah, but what about the color purple?! Seriously, was that supposed to be an answer? Who cares whether the car has a particular Descartesian moment? In a crisis moment that human isn’t much of a human; they will do what their primitive lizard brain tells them to do unless they have had significant training to build up pre-defined actions… just like the car will do every time.

                1. ABS brakes were invented because humans cannot properly brake under extreme circumstances. They compensate for OUR inadequacies.

                  The only important phrase in that is — extreme circumstances. You are obsessing about the technology and blaming humans for being human. But the FACT is that it is going to be a human who defines what is/isn’t an ‘extreme circumstance’ and what those reactions need be for an automated car. The only difference is – the human who defines that for the automated car won’t actually be present during that possible extreme circumstance. They will merely be required to predict exactly how it unfolds ahead of time and program the ‘correct’ response.

                  At core your entire argument and this technology depends on assuming that some self-selected humans are better at predicting a nice clean predictable future and making that happen for everyone else than the great unwashed are at dealing with all the messes and confusions of a present ‘extreme circumstance’ reality. Which is not only nonsense. It is arrogantly authoritarian.

                2. In a crisis moment that human isn’t much of a human; they will do what their primitive lizard brain tells them to do unless they have had significant training to build up pre-defined actions

                  I will dismiss that primitive lizard brain reaction as inferior when I see a Reason article – Pedestrian hits and kills self-driving cars.

                  Until then, that primitive lizard brain is the exact part of the brain that has ensured human survival at the individual level. It isn’t ‘flawed’. Our individual survival is its FUNCTION. And until those functions – fight, flee, fuck, feed, freeze – are programmed into a car as well – and the car thinks its the same size as a lizard – then that car is a threat to every pedestrian.

                  Of course if the car thinks its the same size as a lizard, it might brake and go into reverse when a big bug flies towards the windshield

    2. Ubers cars have 2-3MM miles. Now add in all the other trials and you get a far larger number.

  18. What about the 3 Laws of Robotics NAP?

  19. Clearly we need to automate pedestrians.
    Or maybe everybody should think really long and hard about the number of times “the computer made a mistake” has been heard in their lifetime. I worked in data processing from 1970 to 2015. I know what programmers are like. I know what ‘quality assurance’ usually means in a programming shop. (those are both scare quotes and sarcasm quotes)
    The programmer(s) responsible for this death should be named and arrested for manslaughter, and tried.

  20. Uber is almost as bad as the Atomwaffen.

  21. Did you hear the one about the utopian technophile transhumanist who got run over by a fully autonomous vehicle? It’s a real smash hit!

  22. Self driving cars are the stupidest idea in the long pitiful history of stupid ideas.

    1. I’m pretty sure you said that about cell-phones too.

      1. Writes the one addicted to his cell phone.

  23. “I fully expect to hail and take my first ride in a fully autonomous vehicle in the next five years.”

    Even if it kills me.

  24. The car was reportedly operating in autonomous mode while being monitored by a human safety driver.

    No, no it was not.

    Being in ‘autonomous mode’ (which, if you need a ‘human safety driver’, it is not) while that dude is sitting there surfing porn on his phone is not ‘being monitored’.

    1. It was a middle aged ex felon Hispanic woman at the wheel. Not that it has any bearing on your argument.

  25. Autonamous cars probably make the Progressive Left cream in their shorts. They hate tthe independence cars grant the people, which is one of the reasons they are so fond of idiotic rail projects. On that basis alone autonamous cars are a dreadful idea.

    1. ^This^ x1000. Also, I and I’m sure billions of others around the world simply love to drive and the opportunity for self expression that owning a car provides-enjoyment and self-expression are two other things that progs despise.

      I don’t really understand Ron’s obsession with autonomous cars in a supposedly libertarian mag.

      1. I’m sure billions of others around the world simply love to drive and the opportunity for self expression that owning a car provides

        Actually no. The car fetish is quite American. MOST people around the world are pedestrians or ride bikes or are kids who just want to play. And those groups are the ones whose everyday liberties are restricted by cars. Just look at photos of Fifth Avenue (obviously never a backwater street with kids playing stickball in the street itself) – from 1880 to 1900 to 1920 to 1960 to today. The more freedom cars are given (always coerced into being by govt at the demand of their owners), the less freedom/space humans are allowed. First sidewalk segregation – then eliminate the cafes and social spaces in front of buildings – then narrow the sidewalks to expand the street – then delineate the street and force pedestrians into ‘crosswalks’ – then eliminate the two-way traffic and narrow the sidewalk even further.

        1. I agree that many places here in the US especially are too car-centric and think that there should be more space for pedestrians and bikes. BUT, as with lots of issues, there ends up being an all (complete ban on non-autonomous private cars) or nothing (do nothing) approach. Those in power almost always favor more restrictions.

          1. There has to be some human intervention since a collision between a pedestrian/bike v car isn’t remotely an equal/competitive outcome and can never be under the laws of physics and mortality.

            There are some interesting – even libertarian in the sense that they involve fewer overt ‘rules’ – ideas to deal with it – such as woonerfs and shared space. Which may not really work as hyped Assen Those are also all-or-nothing in the sense that the car is the one that has to reduce its velocity to human pace. No way of getting around that. Looking at that traffic complexity – where the cars simply refuse to slow enough for it to work despite no real signage/rules – can you imagine the vehicular homicide if some of those cars were self-driving.

            If the car is free to move at car velocity it MUST dominate and humans MUST submit and leave the space. Here in the US we take that for granted, the entire shared space alternative is deemed insane, and the only allowable discussion is whether car A or car B dominates.

          2. Nova Nick, if you live in Nova, you will realize the car culture is a result of sadistic laws which created the most horrific social experiment after the concentration camp: the suburb. That’s why we need cars, because the laws don’t allow us to mingle businesses and homes, or put up apartment buildings, keeping population density artificially low and distances between home and place of work (or market) artificially high. Not to mention that it leads to huge social problems (name a school shooter that came from the city and was properly socialized… Hard to come up with an example) and health crises like obesity (no walking, only driving). It’s all a result of social engineering through laws and ordinances.

      2. Not everyone loves to drive. Driving for me is a liability, not a joy.

        I get it, you bitter clingers don’t want your steering wheels taken away. I think people should still be allowed to drive themselves. I’m not for banning the right to operate a car. Just don’t be surprised if, in the future, when autonomous technology becomes better, insurance premiums for self-drivers go up.

      3. I couldn’t disagree more with these comments because the one area most people interact with cops is related to driving…I don’t like interactions with cops. Also when I was younger I didn’t drink and drive but I was always worried about drinking and driving accidents involving my friends. As a person that enjoys drinking and smoking marijuana self driving cars can’t get here soon enough.

  26. I’m old enough to remember when elevators required an operator. Now we think nothing of walking into a little metal cage suspended a 12 floors up and assuming everything is going to function as intended.

    1. I remember one of the main characters of The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit was an elevator operator, and he was married to a women who was also an elevator operator.

      They are still employed in Japanese department stores, and it’s a high prestige job reserved for the most attractive girls.

    2. Considering paternosters existed I don’t know if safety was the issue. I saw a paternoster recently in the Omen and it was one of the scariest parts of the movie!

  27. I knew this was going to get worse before it gets better… the person inside the vehicle was a convicted felon.

    (can’t post link to azcentral.com story – Reason thinks it’s a word over 50 characters in length)

    Uber has a problem with felons… yeah, I know, I know, people can turn their lives around, bla bla bla, but still – if I’d been given full disclosure in the matter, I would choose not to get in a car with an operator who was convicted for armed robbery. Just sayin’.

  28. This has alway been the weakness with self driving cars. As a human, if we see a person on the side of the road, we read their body posture and can determine if they are waiting for a bus or waiting to cross. To a robot they are just a human that is not in the road.
    If, however, we don’t see them because they are obscured or it is dark, all bets are off. I am curious as to what color clothing she was wearing and if there was a light on the bike.

    1. Apparently the human in the driver’s seat didn’t see the pedestrian because they came out of the shadows and just walked in front of the car.

  29. “The woman, Elaine Herzberg, was apparently struck while she was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk at night.”

    You see, even self-driving cars hate jews.

  30. Didn’t read most of the comments, but here’s my 2 cents.

    I live in Seattle. I once talked with a half dozen guys all actually working on autonomous cars who were in town for a convention. This is barely a year ago. The most optimistic person thought MAYBE 10-15 years and they MIGHT have a car that can actually deal with all circumstances. But most of them thought more like 20-30 years, one even more.

    They’re clearly already okay for SOME situations. That doesn’t really matter though. To get to the full replacement of human drivers they need to be able to do all situations. Otherwise its just piecemeal, and won’t have the magical effects everybody thinks they will. Problems include:

    Driving on roads with zero lane visibility, like when covered in snow.

    Horrible traction situations, like with snow.

    Horrible traffic situations with people literally everywhere, constantly ignoring the car trying to move. A robo car can’t “nudge” its way through a crowded street letting it know you’re not going to stop for some asshole trying to cross in a crosswalk when you were waiting first. I met a guy once who lived in Silicon Valley who said he got stuck behind the google car for 10 minutes at a simple 4 way stop sign stop. It couldn’t decide to go, because human drivers were coming up and leaving too efficiently!

    1. Situations with no fully mapped roads.

      Going through tight and weird private roads or driveways.

      I could go on for days. Until these, and the other 1 million random situations, can all be covered, they’re limited use. Which means the changes to the world will be limited too. Autopilot in summertime on the highway? Sure. But that’s not exactly the big promises some people like Ron are seeing. It will be far more mundane for a long time.

    2. A robo car can’t “nudge” its way through a crowded street letting it know you’re not going to stop for some asshole trying to cross in a crosswalk when you were waiting first.

      So basically what you are saying is that it should be legal to brandish a deadly weapon and threaten bystanders with imminent harm. A crosswalk is not about who gets there first and takes turns yielding. The pedestrian ALWAYS has priority the second they step into the crosswalk (or signal their intention to do so – ie ‘trying to cross’ on ‘crowded street’).

      Your attitude is exactly what is wrong with many drivers. You think the car is an extension of a tiny dick and are trying to compensate with extra aggression. In which case, robo drivers are gonna be a hell of an improvement. Or maybe, pedestrians who are carrying should be legally allowed to shoot you as justifiable homicide the second you start ‘nudging’.

      1. Do you live in a major city? I live in Seattle. Try going to Capitol Hill on a Saturday night with wasted people everywhere. You will LITERALLY never be able to cross the intersection at saaay Pike and 11th if you wait for every pedestrian to fully and politely cross in the cross walk. It’s endless drunks. They don’t pay attention, and they don’t care even if they are.

        I’m actually a really laid back and considerate driver. I’m not talking about running people down here. I’m talking about slowly crawling forward when the 5th pack of drunk people in 30 seconds slowly stumbles up towards the crosswalk, with the intention to maybe cross, but they’re not sure, so you need to move forward to make your intention clear. Most people then notice and allow you to go through the intersection. If you don’t do this, you will never make it through. EVER. I’ve seen people who are morons sit there for several minutes waiting for a break, which will never come, backing cars up behind them, and making everything worse.

        This is one of a myriad of real world situations where driving not by the book is actually the only way to do it. I’m just pointing out that robocars are not so good at this right now. Programming a car to do a necessary behavior like this will be tough, because it is essentially training it to break the law. People like you will freak, when it fact it almost HAS to happen to interact in the real human world as it exists.

        1. I live in a city and I know Seattle. I drive too. I get it. I agree robo will fail at that urban interface with humans. There is no way to have safety when you have two very different objects (human/car) in the same space with very different velocity capabilities. The difference is you think the human driver is currently ‘succeeding’. That ain’t so. Fatality/injury rates for pedestrians and cyclists are very poor here. Biking is now so extreme that we think it is normal to wear a helmet. Being a pedestrian has become so dangerous that we now have ‘soccer moms’ who has to drive her kids around everywhere. We don’t walk much because can’t easily get very far. This is dysfunctional not ‘normal’. Drunks have always existed. So have slow-walking elderly. If a kid is darting out from between parked cars, the kid ain’t the problem. It is the parked car right next to fast moving cars.

          This problem originates in public spaces designed for the convenience of drivers. As if we can design humans out of existence, push them out of the public space, and blame them when they don’t comply with restrictions that are further intended to convenience drivers. Aggravated when drivers take that existing dominance – and push it further and faster.

          If there is a positive from robo and this collision, it would be to indirectly point out where existing speed limits and road design are flawed and dangerous (prob 95% of non-highways). But that won’t be how it gets interpreted.

          1. I get your point. Really I do. But I do not agree. At. All.

            The fact is that the automobile is one of the greatest and most important inventions in the history of mankind. It improves human life so much it is too insane to contemplate, especially if one includes industrial/commercial trucks in the equation. They make human productivity vastly higher when given proper infrastructure to move people about in the most efficient way possible, namely exact point A to exact point B.

            Traffic problems are because cities have refused to expand infrastructure as needed, or some cities are simply too damn packed in for cars to work even if they tried. But most cities outside of NYC, Chicago, etc its because they have willfully decided to make driving crappy to promote their liberal preferences like mass transit… Even though these waste more human time, the most valuable resource in the world, and are an inconvenience.

            Even when they go full auto, they will be everywhere. I WILL NEVER not own a car of my own. Sharing via Uber or whatever all the time is whack. I want MY car with MY stuff in it that suits MY needs. So will millions of others, although I can envision some people giving up ownership when rideshare is drastically less expensive without a human driver being paid.

          2. The reality is that cars aren’t going anywhere. People aren’t going anywhere. So therefore we need them to be able to coexist. I do not agree that having parking is some craaazy dangerous thing or ridiculous idea. Are we supposed to ignore that cars exist, that they are useful, and that people use them? Just have no parking anywhere because people also walk? That’s preposterous.

            I think if a child darts out into traffic, that clearly IS the child’s fault! How can it not be? Children do dumb things, and with children I feel bad… But I see this same behavior ALL THE TIME from even sober adults who clearly should know better. I have ZERO sympathy for idiots like this. They are the problem, not cars. If they simply did what their momma told them and looked both ways before crossing the road, 90% of the problem would go away.

            I actually watched an idiot jogger chick bolt straight out into an intersection and get hit by a SUV that was half way through the intersection before she ran straight into him. She was stopped at the corner, looking at her phone, then bolted into the road without even looking! The guy in the vehicle hit the brakes, but it was too late. This is NOT his fault. I actually hung around to talk to his supervisor because he was driving a work vehicle at the time. I told his boss it was the joggers fault. The jogger was fine thankfully, but if she hadn’t been my sympathy level would be little more than it is now, which is about zero.

            1. The reality is that cars aren’t going anywhere. People aren’t going anywhere. So therefore we need them to be able to coexist.

              That’s a nice thought – but that’s akin to saying that the lion and the lamb must sit down and eat together and we should just assume that the lion will behave and not eat the lamb for dinner.

              Amsterdam – 800k population in city itself, 2.5 million in metro area – is a reasonable example of how ACTUAL coexistence can work. Here’s a busy roundabout/intersection there (ie traffic lights don’t control flow). It is a safe place to get somewhere by walking – because it is a safe place to cycle (note older kids at this busy intersection cycling – NO helmets anywhere). It is a safe place to cycle because cars must (and do) yield to bike paths (not ‘on-street lanes’). So people there can choose to walk – or bike – or drive – or take a bus – and those are all very reasonable mobility choices in a dense city. It is American DRIVERS who will prevent that from happening here – because they will never submit. Even in Amsterdam, a cyclist who hesitates a bit (because of the natural fear of death/injury) will often lose their legal priority over Dutch drivers (because drivers everywhere are naturally not afraid of their death when hitting a bike/ped).

          3. Drivers make mistakes too. There are plenty of bad drivers, not going to say otherwise. They too should be held accountable. But there is no reason that pedestrians should be given some magical privilege of always being in the right, when clearly they are often in the wrong. If pedestrians were more decent human beings I wouldn’t have to nudge my way through busy intersections. But they’re horrible human beings most of the time. Sometimes people are polite and give me the look and nod and let me go through. I smile and wave back courteously. Human decency, what a concept!

            Whatever the case, robocars will have issues with humans forever, because humans are often inconsiderate assholes. I really don’t know how they will ever deal with the chaos of a sporting event letting out, a busy downtown on Saturday night, etc. But methinks it will be quite awhile before they’re even remotely capable of handling such situations… When they are, it will almost inevitably have to be doing somewhat aggressive things in response to the aggressiveness of the pedestrians. Either that or let the human driver take over for 10 seconds to get through the intersection!

            1. They make human productivity vastly higher when given proper infrastructure to move people about in the most efficient way possible, namely exact point A to exact point B.

              When ‘given proper infrastructure’? I’ll guess NYC is the most intimidating place for a American driver almost by definition. % of land in various uses in NYC:
              22.9% of the land is 1-2 family housing
              10.6% of the land is multifamily and mixed res/comm buildings
              22.4% of the land is streets (dominated by cars which 50%+ of residents don’t own). Obviously most ‘parking’ is non-street land.

              So in the most naturally car-unfriendly city in the US, cars get nearly as much of the land as 9 million PEOPLE’S residences (‘human parking’). ‘Place-to-place mobility’ is entirely designed for the car. There is no upward limit to how much space cars require. I’m no fan of public transit as sole alternative since it obviously limits options but the ONLY reason ‘car’ is so productive is because it is given ALL the space set aside for ‘mobility’ even in NYC.

              If they simply did what their momma told them and looked both ways before crossing the road, 90% of the problem would go away.

              Exactly like every other driver. Submit to nanny’s (state) rules so driver freedom can be enhanced. We are nanny (gummint) and we are here to protect (help) you. This is how liberty is defined in the US. It boggles my mind that we can’t see the problem here with our car fetish. And I dislike robo cars as much as you do.

              1. Oh – and for cars that infrastructure is free too. NYC tax system is more fucked up and cronyist than pretty much everywhere – but cars don’t even remotely pay for even a fraction of the amount of cty land they claim for their exclusive monopolized city-enforced usage.

                1. Did I not carve out NYC as an example where I think mass transit makes some sense? The fact is in the USA NYC is a freakish example.

                  What you and many others fail to realize is that THERE IS VIRTUALLY ENDLESS LAND! Some cities have constraints, like San Francisco, or even Seattle. NYC is just soooo packed it’s insane. But most other cities have plenty of land to sprawl, and plenty of land to use for roads. The vast majority of the USA is just empty space! Sprawl actually keeps prices affordable in cities too. That’s a good thing.

                  If 2 million people in a decent sized city have to waste an hour getting to work in a bad car traffic environment, versus say 20-30 minutes in a city that built out roads as needed, versus an hour and a half via transit on a bus… Then do the same again for going home… The value difference of that lost labor is huge. Or even just the leisure time lost. Cities like NYC can, and should, have subways and the like, which can improve on those times. But NYC is an exception, and those types of things simply are not workable in 99% of cities in the US.

                  Cities that have properly expanded their highway systems do not have crushing traffic like places that have refused to. Cars are just too friggin’ handy in most places, that’s WHY we decided to accommodate them back in the day! We realized they were amazing, and made sense, so if you give them the space to do their thing they literally can add hours a day to somebody’s life.

                  1. Did I not carve out NYC as an example where I think mass transit makes some sense? The fact is in the USA NYC is a freakish example.

                    And I pointed out that even in NYC, cars demand about the same amount of space as humans get for their residences. So even the freakish – CARS get the dominance.

                    What you and many others fail to realize is that THERE IS VIRTUALLY ENDLESS LAND!

                    ALL of that endlessness is naturally pre-allocated – to CARS (or in the intercity case – planes/trains). That land should also be entirely irrelevant to cities because they ain’t paying taxes to the city.

                    Cities that have properly expanded their highway systems do not have crushing traffic like places that have refused to.

                    The opposite is true (x basic repair). Everyone able to travel by bike/foot ISN’T traveling by car. The difference is that those modes accommodate shit-ton more flow in same space. Obviously cities, like everywhere, need arterials for thru traffic – but those arterials (different gridspace) need to be for bikes and peds as well as for cars. If bikes have the same arterial ‘efficiency’ as cars, they massively reduce the amount of car traffic. 40% of current trips are 2 miles or less (much higher than that in cities) where bikes have a big natural advantage unless we turn that into a disadvantage. In which case we make that trip by car and add to car traffic.

                2. It’s a big infrastructure cost to be sure, just like having electricity. But the things the automobile enables are pretty awesome for human life, just like electricity.

                  Personally, I’m of the mind that Americans need to move to more mid sized to smallish big cities. Places like NYC and LA have become crushingly expensive, where people have a horrible standard of living outside of having cool sushi spots to eat at. The traffic is horrible, your housing is horrible, the schools are horrible… Basically everything is horrible if you’re not in the top maybe 5% of income earners. There finally seems to be a trend towards bailing out of these places to next tier big cities, which I think will be good. Such cities are perfect for the efficiency of the automobile to shine.

                  As for

                  “the ONLY reason ‘car’ is so productive is because it is given ALL the space set aside for ‘mobility'”

                  That’s because they’re awesome. What do you propose??? Rail doesn’t work in most places, too expensive and not enough use. And it’s fixed lines, which is garbage for the user and future expansion/changes. Buses can be okay, and are in fact my favorite form of mass transit because they can be changed as the circumstances change. I’m all for motorcycles for people who like them, they are legit in decent weather.

                3. Bikes? Walking??? Those are laughable as a serious proposal in almost every city in the USA due to weather and distances. That’s literally going backwards in time to a less fast mode of transportation as well. Might as well start using horses again! Basically cars, buses, and motorcycles are modern transportation that is workable in most places. Anything else is bullshit outside of a few super dense metro areas. In those areas build subways galore if it works. Personally I think driverless rideshare will help cut down eventually too.

                  ” Exactly like every other driver. Submit to nanny’s (state) rules so driver freedom can be enhanced. We are nanny (gummint) and we are here to protect (help) you.”

                  WHAT IN GODS NAME ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??????? Are you one of those weird people who literally doesn’t drive a car??? Because I just can’t see how a normal person can see things like you do.

                  Yes, there are laws governing crossing intersections… But this is an issue that existed long before the car. People got run down by wagons and died too. To say it is somehow the nanny state in action if people are too fucking stupid to look both directions before stepping out into a street is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in awhile. I’m pretty sure in a fully libertarian world people would still realize it’s a good idea to look both ways before crossing a street! I’m pretty sure that’s been a thing since at least ancient Babylon. LOLOLOLOL

                  1. Those are laughable as a serious proposal in almost every city in the USA due to weather and distances.

                    40% of car trips in the US are LESS THAN TWO MILES. Much higher than that in cities where things actually exist within two miles of one’s home.

                    I’ve got 3 grocery stores (2 have other useful retail as well) within about 10 blocks. No-brainer bikeable even walkable. Why do I more often drive there (x on weekends during the day)? Because the one I prefer requires me to cross a minor arterial at night – and drivers suck after twilight unless nannystate requires me to dress up in flourescent with a crossing guard walking in front of me. The other requires me to get there on a high speed rat run and then cross a major arterial (eliminating night and weekdays too). Make everyday biking a hassle – in a perpetually ‘top rated for biking’ city (Denver) – so I add to the car traffic too. So assholes then proclaim even more loudly how wonderful cars are – see? people even want to use them to go to the grocery store!!!

                    Because I just can’t see how a normal person can see things like you do.

                    Well I’m old enough to remember when kids were free to play outside and did – and biked to school in a city – and helmets were only for serious hi-speed racing – and THAT was what was considered normal. When liberty was for everyone – and not your liberty at my expense.

                    1. “40% of car trips in the US are LESS THAN TWO MILES. ”

                      Uh huh. And what about the other 60% of trips? Like the 10-15 mile commute to work which millions have. What % of that 40% are when there is two feet of snow out in the middle of winter in some parts of the country? Or when it’s 105 degrees in the summer? What percentage of those trips entail a mom/dad buying a weeks worth of groceries for a family of 4 or 5? I could go on forever.

                      People can and should walk/bike for exercise reasons more than we do. I’m down for that. But it’s just not a real solution for actual transportation, and certainly not an improvement, over the car. The car swept the world when they became affordable because of how useful they are. Just deal with that fact. Some people in some places can give them up, or use them less, but those dense urban environments do not describe most of the country.

                      “unless nannystate requires me to dress up in flourescent with a crossing guard walking in front of me”

                      This makes no sense. The fact that its good to be visible at night has NOTHING to do with the nanny state. Again the same could be true of avoiding carts or assholes running fast through the streets on their horse in ancient Rome!

                    2. I played outside too! I rode a bike! And I would still do the exact same today if I were a kid. You’re imaging things have got worse for bikes. If anything everywhere has become more bike friendly because of the leftist fetish with it. There weren’t no stinkin’ bike lanes when I was a kid. You were expected to ride it like a sensible person, so you didn’t get killed. Helmet laws are just nanny state BS. I imagine bike riding is safer than ever, and you’re just a pussy now that you’re an adult. LOL

                      Your liberty to ride a bike has not been infringed. Cars are simply a more efficient mode of transportation for most people.

  31. Is ? do dhearcadh go d?reach cad at? cearr le go leor tiom?naithe. Smaoinigh leat go bhfuil s?neadh le beag?n sa charr agus go bhfuil siad ag iarraidh c?iteamh a dh?anamh le hionsa?ocht bhreise. Sa ch?s sin, beidh feabhas ar dhroim tiom?naithe. N? b’fh?idir go gcead?fa? do lucht coisithe at? ag iompar go dleathach t? a mhar? mar dh?nmhar? inmholta an dara ceann a dtosa?onn t? ag s?r?.

  32. Taxi service business is always a revenue generating and dependable business to start and starting a taxi service business is now on the check list of every business wolf and budding entrepreneur. Though requiring a good amount of capital a taxi business can repay you the principle in no time and triple your investment in less than one financial year. Maintaining a clean location, servicing your cabs every once in a while, hiring dependent Airport Taxi Service and trust worthy personnel for your office as well as for driving purposes and setting up a GPS like system to always keep a track on your cabs are few factors that are sure to make a hole in your budget in the early stages.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.