Just say no to driverless cars ?

Chip Fetrow tacos at fetrow.org
Sat Dec 1 20:36:40 CST 2012

As long ago as the 70s, researchers were "marshaling" groups of cars  
to increase the capacity of roadways, and increasing rush hour  
speeds.  The marshaled cars would go into the left lane and be run as  
close as a few feet apart.  Those 70s era systems required sensors in  
the road.

Google has been running experimental "driverless" cars in the bay area  
for at least three years.  They didn't receive permission to actually  
go driverless until recently.  Until then, a "driver" had to sit in  
the driver's seat to take over if the system failed, and it doesn't.

It seems to me we could combine both.

Having recently been in a car that was driven into the rear of another  
I believe a computer could have helped.  I stomped on the breaks, but  
being in the passenger seat, it didn't help one bit.

This could be a serious help on congested highways.

Regarding the Airbus landing in the Hudson, that was actually caused  
by computer control.  The engines were slightly damaged, and they  
protected themselves by going to idle.  If the pilots could have taken  
control and ruined the engines, they could have had at least some  
thrust and gotten to a runway.  They would have saved the aircraft  
(and the possessions of the people on board) but ruined the engines.   
There you go.  The engines would have survived, however sinking in the  
Hudson kind of fixed that issue, in a negative way.


On Nov 29, 2012, at 1:00 PM, tacos-request at amrad.org wrote:

> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 15:40:00 -0500
> From: Richard O'Neill <richardoneill at earthlink.net>
> To: tacos at amrad.org
> Subject: Re: Just say no to driverless cars ?
>  Well, I suppose computer controlled cars could eventually become
> accepted by the lemming masses - rushing between work and home each  
> day.
> However, that type of conveyance isn't for me.
>  Will these 'auto cars' be able to watch other drivers and  
> anticipate /
> react to unpredictable behavior as well as humans? I don't think so.
> Besides, once generally accepted, next thing you know commercial
> aircraft will be on auto pilot from takeoff to landing.
>  Makes me wonder what the outcome of that bird struck aircraft that
> safely landed ever so gracefully on the Hudson by an experienced  
> glider
> pilot would have been with computers in control. Probably a programmed
> announcement to bend over and kiss it goodbye. =-O
> Richard

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