Good point about the insurance companies, Scott. Cars keep getting safer. Already there are fewer traffic deaths per year than in the 1970s, even though there are significantly more cars on the road. The V2V is likely to have a profound impact on driving traffic death even lower.
Lots of interesting aspects to consider: technology; critical mass; safety; liability; efficiency; costs to name a few. It's hard to say in advance, which of these will dominate, but the tests so far of smart cars (and there have been many over the last 10 years) all point to a single likely outcome - fewer accidents. If that's the eventual endgame, it's hard to image that too many people would object (except for operators of funeral parlors). Maybe the insurance companies should be funding this research - after all fewer payouts = more profits!
Interesting thoughts, Kenish. I can certainly understand your concerns as a motorcycle rider. I know my driving care would not change with a V2V car. But it might be a different matter with younger drivers who may come to take the V2V technology for granted.
@Rob- I see "safety" devices progressively dumbing down the average driving ability. The safety devices aren't a problem, but create a "Can't get hurt in my car or hurt anyone else" mindset. Not as much caution is exercised while driving.
So, you have a bunch of drivers thinking that running a red light or making an unsafe lane change has no consequence....the V2V system will prevent an accident. As a motorcycle rider, that's terrifying to think about (presumably there's no practical way to put avoidance control laws into a bike). I'd also worry if I'm driving a non-equipped car sharing the road with drivers who think their electronics will prevent a collision.
It is a very good point about depending on the systems, but the worst problem will be that all driving will be adap6ted to allow the very least skilled drivers their "right" to drive along with the rest of us. So now every vehicle will wind up stopping for the yellow lights, and every stoplight delay will be increased because the control program is designed to protect the programmers from all iability. The computer controlled acessory items in a car right now are bad enough, can you imagine how bad a "windows" driver would be? Possibly quite safe, but taking twice as long to get anywhere?
The problem is that it is not possible for software to handle all the common exceptions to normal operation correctly, or even to handle them at all. So while it might benefit an inexperienced 16 year old driver who is busy texting, it would impede most other drivers, with the exception of those who really should be on a bus, not driving.
The other challenge will be the cost of this type of system, since "life critical" components are not cheap. That may be the show stopper, as far as actual automated driving goes, because it certainly will cost a bit more than the entertainment hardware.
Legal matters are a legitimate concern, Jerry. It's a concern for companies testing V2V and for companies considering autonomous driving, as you point out. If I grow accustomed to waiting for the vehicle to warn me about surrounding traffic when I'm switching lanes, who di I blame if I get hit hit when I'm switching lanes, and the V2V system balks? Hopefully, the test in Ann Arbor will tell us how reliable these systems are.
I think you're right that entry-level vehicles will eventually use this technology, Naperlou. Luxury vehicles will just be the test bed early on, until they figure out if there is a business case for the technology.
Anytime I hear "should be a requirement" I cringe. The government has not authority in these matters. That being said and knowing our government, I would suggest that this technology should replace the high cost of airbags, traction control, and other "safety" devices. That way the overall cost of the new vehicle would actually go down! Cars would be lighter and more fuel efficient. Cars would be easier to repair and maintain, since there would be fewer systems to fail in the vehicle. And this would give extra credibility to the V2V technology.
I'm not so sure this technology would result in drivers paying less attention, Jerry. For one thing, I don't think older cars could be retro-fitted for this technology. So while it may stop your car from causing an accident, I don't see how it could stop a non-equipped car from hitting you.
This will be great until the first lawsuits come in because it didn't stop accidents.
All this will do is distract drivers even more as they think the system will always work and not watch where they are going. Then the times it will slam on the brakes for no logical reason like say a wall of waterspray fooling the sensors.
What we need are drivers who pay attention, not more things to break, screw up, cost, weigh more. KIS.
For those who can't we need a low cost taxi/jitney system by making anyone with a safe vehicle and driving record be a taxi, most driving NG or electric and not having to pay their present overloads tribute, could cut taxi costs by 50%.
Jitney buses that can pick you up and delivery you to your door is a great solution I found in other countries where instead of taking tours, I took local buses talking with the locals and eating where they did to learn the country.
And the same for self driving cars, lawsuits will kill them too. I certainly don't want to be on the road with robot cars.
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