Reply to post: Re: No wheel is one thing

Self-driving cars may not have steering wheels in future, dev preview for PyTorch 1.0 is here, etc

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: No wheel is one thing

But "no human intervention allowed" is a totally different beast. Shouldn't be at all possible.

Indeed. It's just yet another aspect of the deluded nature of the self driving car industry. Whilst they're worrying about whether there should or should not be a steering wheel (and I include some bits of government in this), they are very far away from actually being able to make a machine that can reliably drive itself. It's just another part of the hype cycle, and when everyone's projects turn into miserable failures there's going to be a lot of investors wondering where their money has gone.

My concern is that the hype cycle will progress so far as to influence government policy and alter road infrastructure projects to facilitate the adoption of less than perfect self driving technology. This would be madness, as it's highly likely to exclude all other road users (motorcycles, bikes, horses, pedestrians, non-self driving cars, etc). If that happens, roads will have become nothing but glorified railways.

There is already a lot of talk about this kind of thing coming out of the industry, up to and including lobbying for laws making it illegal for pedestrians to "bully" self driving cars. Madness.This kind of approach stands a good chance of succeeding, because they're also dressing up self driving cars as being an essential component of making road transport cleaner / greener. That's a very powerful argument, even if it a load of old tripe. We might end up with "self driving tech" that's actually rubbish, plus a load of expensive infrastructure projects to support it at the expense of everyone else.

Plus, if the tech still does require a competent driver to monitor it, and the tech then also requires monitoring of the driver to make sure they're actually paying attention, any safety improvement is most likely to arise from the car monitoring the alertness of the driver, not the self driving.

At the end of the hype cycle is a system where the insurance companies can see video, data, GPS, etc to test whether or not you're paying proper attention, and we have compulsory "self driving car tech" that isn't actually any good for taking the kids to school, driving one home from the pub, etc.

No thank you.

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