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Electronics & Test
Automakers Lay Foundation for Semi-Autonomous Driving
7/16/2012

Jeremy Salinger of GM: 'If you're not careful in the way you implement this technology, people will be less attentive to the road than they are now.'
Jeremy Salinger of GM: "If you're not careful in the way you implement this technology, people will be less attentive to the road than they are now."

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Beth Stackpole
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Risky but addictive behavior
Beth Stackpole   7/16/2012 10:13:25 AM
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We all know that texting and checking email while driving--even answering the phone and trying to dial out a number--is risky business, but I imagine it's the rare few that don't indulge in this dangerous practice on occasion, myself included. That said, some of the semi-authonomous driving capabilities would be a welcome extra in terms of safety, but my concern is then being overly reliant on the car taking care of basic driving and safety functions, only encouraging the driver to engage more freely in those guilty distractions.

TJ McDermott
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Sending a mixed message
TJ McDermott   7/16/2012 10:22:29 AM
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It feels like a mixed message from Mr. Salinger.  I don't necessarily want to crawl into the back seat with an autonomous vehicle, but isn't the point to remove the dangers of an inattentive driver?  The one who puts all focus on that important text, not seeing the traffic stopped to the front?

Charles Murray
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Re: Risky but addictive behavior
Charles Murray   7/16/2012 10:00:23 PM
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Yes, Beth, I particularly liked the findings of the AAA study. It said that 95% of drivers see phoning and texting as serious threats, yet 68% have made cell calls and 35% have texted or e-mailed. We all complain, yet most of us do it.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Risky but addictive behavior
Rob Spiegel   7/16/2012 11:16:57 PM
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While I can understand resistance to this technology from attentive drivers who don't wish to relinquish any control over the vehicle, I still see this as a welcome advance. Inattentiveness aside, any technology that can help avoid a collision or lessen the impact of that collision will certainly save lives.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Risky but addictive behavior
Beth Stackpole   7/17/2012 9:39:18 AM
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Here, here, Rob. I completely agree with you. My guess is that this technology will evolve just like GPS technology has evolved. More and more cars come with it and drivers take advantage of different levels of the capabilities. Likely the same here.

Bryan Goss
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What happens when it fails
Bryan Goss   7/17/2012 10:06:21 AM
It sounds like useful technology, but I wander what the problems will be? When the new technology fails, i.e. a sensor is covered with bug guts, or the radar from the car next to you interferes with your radar, then who is liable for the accident? The driver who is not watching because he trusts the car to drive, or the car company because it failed? Or what of the driver who forgets to turn it off, and then can't change lanes to get off the freeway?

As to driving and phone/texting, life is dangerous. The question is do people who know phoning and texting are dangerous, also think that it is a reasonalbe risk to take for the benefit of phoning and texting while driving? Based on the statistics they obviously do think the benefit is worth the risk. How do we convince them otherwise?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Risky but addictive behavior
Rob Spiegel   7/17/2012 10:22:42 AM
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I agree, Beth. I see this as an important move forward. I try to be a careful, attentive driver. Yet the cars around me all seem to be going mad. Any technology that can keep those cars from hitting is certainly welcome.

jhankwitz
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Re: What happens when it fails
jhankwitz   7/17/2012 10:56:41 AM
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Looks like 'Litigation Heaven' for lawyers.  Auto manufacturers have far deeper pockets than us regular drivers.  There's bigg-bucks to be made if an automated car is involved in an accident.

ChasChas
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attentiveness
ChasChas   7/17/2012 11:31:42 AM
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If the system still requires full driver attentiveness, the driver may as well be doing driving. It is a lot easier to be attentive if you have a dependent chore to do.

Bryan Goss
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Re: What happens when it fails
Bryan Goss   7/17/2012 12:41:08 PM
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Yes Jhankwitz, they have very deep pockets. I think that is why Jeremy Salinger of GM is pushing for the importances of drivers still being attentive, in the hopes of lessening their possibility of being held liable.

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