Driverless - would you dare?


The Horizon that’s just finished makes me think that we are a few years off…


I love driving on the track, but road driving is a chore these days…


My Ford Focus can park itself.
It works well 9 times out of 10 but t it can fooled and it requires the driver to keep a careful eye on the whole process and stop it if necessary.
I still don’t fully trust it.
Human nature I suppose, we assume we are better than the machines we build.


I thought this was an interesting, different perspective, albeit still a negative one :stuck_out_tongue:


That’s a really interesting (albeit a bit long) article. It indicates that there is a period between full manual and full auto that could be quite dangerous. And it’s probably quite likely to occur when there are still some die hard drivers around but most are auto. The drivers could cause chaos.

I do like the issue of “shit is happening, so give control back, and it all goes pear shaped”, and not least because of the Brexit analogy. It’s clear that the auto systems need good sensor redundancy (maybe camera, radar and sonar), together with excellent AI to deal with conflicts. It’s really interesting tech.


It was indeed an interesting article. It raises some serious issues which, TBH, don’t appear to have any simple solutions.

I’d be interested to know the numbers. It seems that when automatic pilots work they work very well. But when they fail things can go terribly wrong, for all the reasons gone into in the article. If these failures are rare enough though then a rational agent would accept the occasional catastrophe in return for a lower overall death rate.

The same could apply to cars. We live now with the loss of a few lives every day on the roads. Every single day. If we could put a stop to that would we accept an occasional case of some poor carload of people being handed the wheel when they were in no position to save themselves ? We might.

The argument is coloured by a factor which doesn’t apply to planes though. When I get into a car I accept that today maybe five people will die in traffic. But I reckon that I won’t be one of them because I am in charge of my own driving. So I won’t drive beyond my capabilities nor will I put myself in a position where some other dork’s stupidity/incompetence leaves me no way of avoiding death. It’s this belief which, subconsciously perhaps, makes us so demanding of safety on public transport while cheerily driving around in our own much more dangerous vehicles.



I think an important factor that differentiates planes and cars is what to do when you have no clue what to do. In a car, you stand on the brakes and close your eyes; in a plane you’re truly fucked.


Also there are only a few things a plane can hit, another plane, the ground, or a bird I guess.
But a car, there’s another god knows how many million of them out there all in close proximity to each other.


It’ll be interesting to see how complex it would be for nearby cars to communicate, sharing sensors and movements. They could even turn into road trains.

I don’t get your comment about the number of cars though - you only have to worry about nearby ones. And crashes are nowhere near as bad as plane crashes!


“They could even turn into road trains”

This is where its at. All cars talking to each other all of the time.


Meh. I suppose it would be a change if I, or my car, was called a cunt by a BMW or Audi rather than the driver as is traditional.


I think the point I was trying to make is there are lots of things around our cars, lots of them are actually not other cars but curbs and street lamps and walls and buildings and all very hard and hurt when you hit them.
A plane is in fresh air most of its life so a lot less likely to hit something.
Perhaps I’m missing the point,


A wild guess on my part, but the software teams developing this may take them into account.


You are mistaken.



I saw a recumbent bike today on my ride. It confused the fuck out of me. I could not work out what it was until it was almost alongside. I think part of the problem was that he had large reflective panels on his legs but they were at head/body height

…and cyclists are already confusing enough for driverless cars.


Would be great fun as a pedestrian, could just walk out in front of them, road crossings would be redundant as would indicators.


I can’t wait for driverless cars, the large majority of motorists aren’t fully in charge of their vehicles anyway.


There is still physics to consider though. If I were you I’d do a quick calculation on the back of a fag packet before stepping out…


Hahah, yes, there are opportunities for you to brake test an automatic vehicle and lose.