William, another consideration is the time to get this technology out. We replace about 10% of the cars on the road each year. That is not really correct. Many of the cars "replaced" are sold used. Therefore, we wil have a very long time when there will be a lot of "dumb" cars on the road and some smart cars. What happens when one hits the other? That should be an interesting situation.
I agree with Beth. Nothing beats skilled driving. It seems that the technology is trying solve the problem of more crowded streets with increasingly poorer driving skills. Many of the examples don't seem to be an issue. If there's a large truck or SUV in front of you blocking any view of what's ahead, just pull back and give a safe amount of space.
Driving demands trust. On the Golden Gate Bridge, there's no permenant median barrier. We use removable rods to allow an increased number of lanes in one direction or the other in heavy traffic. I trust that the drivers coming in the other direction are alert, skilled and won't crossover and drive into on-coming traffic. If they have to rely on sensors for that, we're all in trouble. I think if we had more courteousy, patience and drivng/parking skils than technology, traffic wouldn't be as much of a problem in many cities.
All of the car articiles are great but where are the advances in public transportation?
Knowledge is power and all that rot. Information continues to be key. We've been through revolutions in Energy and Materials and we continue our expedition into the capabilities of ubiquitous Information. The growing pains always come during transitions through technology's adolescence. The common folk will delight in the convenience of new gadgets, the intelligentsia will protest the loss of privacy, and the ruling politicians will exempt themselves from participation on the grounds of confidentiality. And then be prepared for the strong push back from the lawyers. Having recorded information that documents the behavior of a defendant will streamline the judicial system and unfairly constrain the council from being able to sway a jury using theatrics. Get ready for a protracted legal fight over the use of new sensors and automated control technology. It's one thing to put the buggy whip manufacturers out of business. It's quite another to decimate the law schools.
Very cool slide show, Chuck, and I guess I can see the excitement over these new developments, but I have to admit, I have some reservations. Just looking at the slides and the different technologies is giving me a frightening case of sensory overload. I just imagine all these bells and warning signals flashing, my smart phone beeping, the GPS lady telling me to do this or do that. It's like driving in a video game and that it's definitely not my balliwick. Call me crazy, but what about the practice of good old fashioned safe driving.
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