Thoughts about self driving cars…
I saw a commercial, I think it was Mercedes-Benz, that showed a fashionable couple in a car driving down a lovely winding ocean road, beautiful view, rolling hills, that was advertising the future self-driving capability and how uplifting it would be. I totally don’t get it. We’re talking about driving on a road like that for the pure joy of handling the vehicle and slinging it around the corners. Are they just a tourist staring out of the window? Gack! they should ride a bus.
There’s currently a lotta hype about how self-driving cars are going to make traffic much easier and commutes shorter with fewer cars on the road. I hear folks in Napa Valley promoting that this will be the solution to the traffic congestion on highway 29.
Doesn’t it make more sense to have self-driving buses with more bodies in a single vehicle instead of having multiple autonomous vehicles carousing all around?
Down to the point of this rant:
I think it’s going to be really interesting to have a combination of defensive vehicles – self driving cars – on the road with the usual proportion of aggressive drivers. The autonomous, and even the limited self-driving and self-braking, cars are programmed to make an effort to avoid collision, creating a great opportunity for the aggressive driver to bully.
The defensive cars are going to try to maintain some cushion space in front of them (as we are supposed to do, the “one car length per 10mph” rule), and are constantly looking for threats from the side. This space gives a bully an opportunity to move in knowing that the self driving vehicle is going to be defensive and give way, unlike some human drivers that will deliberately close the gap and threaten to cram their fender into you. The autonomous vehicles will always be gracious, it has to be in their programmed nature. Now, (he rubs his hands fiendishly) how to identify these autonomous and self-driving cars…