I think the idea of semi-automatic driving can be a good one if used properly. In traffic it would allow cars to be closer together with an automatic brake to maintain a safe distance according to vehicle speed. On long drives the driver could get more comfortable by not having to steer and be locked behind the wheel. The danger would be if the system is not foolproof people would br hurt andf lawyers would get richer.
It's worth noting that California Governor Jerry Brown signed an autonomous vehicles bill into law last week, legalizing the testing of self-driving cars on the road in that state. The bill will set up procedures and requirements for determining when the cars are road-ready.
the new technology for automakers are really getting very competitive. not just because they produce very high quality car parts but also because of their very high-end gadgets and technology installed in their cars. just can't wait to see what's next in line.
The point of tailgating is well understood, but with drivers being more competitive and less courteous and road sharing, the system cannot work. The system will brake every time someone cuts them off. The drivers behind you will get impatient and start taking risks with the overtaking cars in order to get around you.
So many people are so wrapped up in their tiny little lives that they don't recognize their actions as being sinister. They are nearly unaware of the hazards they face or that they produce. The decent driver can only drive to defend himself, continuously.
I think the DMV forgot about Franklin's rule: most people forget in 72 hrs. That includes driving rules and practices. Throw in a decade or so of impatience.
To some degree, the technology you mentioned already exists, Scott. Adaptive cruise control would prevent tailgating (at least in some situations) and GM's Super Cruise would probably do it, too. The problem is that the tailgaters probably wouldn't use it.
There has been a lot of work done in aviation to avoid collisions in 3D space. I have to believe that the technological problem for cars has been pretty much solved and that issues of "personal freedom" and "control" are what limit the implementation. Frankly I'd love to see a system that prevents "tailgating" become a mandatory part of the care just like air bags.
I don't agree with TJ that the analogy holds, because it doesn't structurally. And that's what analogies are about in order to work and to clarify thinking. I also don't agree with the idea that because people flout a law it's a bad law. I do agree with Bryan that the hands-free law makes the most sense, and that "I do not think we should make something legal just because a lot of people want to do it." Well said. Also well said about some cops' attitude to breaking the law.
Ann, one of the reasons for the introduction of prohibition WAS medical. In that regard, the analogy holds.
If safety is the goal, then speed limits should also be returned to 55 mph, and strictly enforced.
A law that is constantly and consistently flouted is a bad law, no matter the good intention. Prohibition had terrific intentions, but no one wanted it to affect them personally. It got repealled.
Cell phone bans also are a good intention, but will be revised in some way (such as permitting use in semi-autonomous vehicles). If the law is intended to prevent distracted driving, then the NTSB's prohibition of ALL hand-held electronics should be put in place.
However, the NTSB rule should go further than that. Mirrors in the sun visors should be added to the forbidden list, lest someone be distracted by looking in the visor. Car radios should be on the list as well. Even the environmental controls can cause a driver to become distracted.
Mothers are able to manage unruly offspring ("Don't make me come back there!"), but the idea of passengers being able to distract drivers means the driver should be in an enclosed space dedicated to the driver alone (the word chauffeur was used in an earlier response).