Good points, Nadine. Thinking about your comments, I've come to the conclusion that we as a society are gradually losing our driving skills. That's why these features appeal to so many people. In 50 years, my kids will be telling their grandkids that at one time they actually had to drive their cars because cars didn't always drive themselves.
Checking the vehicle speed and doing something about it are completely separate. I think safety comes from how we react. If the driver is skilled enough to react safely, then everything can work out well. Without skills, the extra technology isn't effective.
I've seen too many people with googleglasses who can't walk in a straight line. Walking drunk should be replaced with walking googled. Imagine those same people with HUD in a car!
I've also been baffled by the lack of success of head-up displays, TJ. I've always heard that it takes only 0.4 seconds to check a vehicle's speed with HUD, whereas it takes 1-2 seconds with a conventional cluster. With safety so high on every automaker's list, you'd think HUD would have seen more adoption.
Cabe, I've always wondered why HUDs are not pervasive in automobiles. That sort of why question can always be answered with "money", but I find it difficult to believe a HUD is that expensive if the cost of the instrument cluster is replaced by the cost of the HUD.
Good points, AnandY. On a comment thread for another story, someone mentioned that rear-end accidents will be a problem for these cameras. And as you point out, dirt and moisture might be a challenge, as well.
We have to be careful with every technological invention that is being put in place. I think this idea is a great one but it has some set backs; I think in automobile all these cameras will just lead to many drivers concentrating on the gadgets instead of looking at the road. If the cameras can prevent the car from crushing which I am sure is no possible then it is a great idea. Cameras are affected by bad weather and in this case I wonder how drivers will survive.
I've mentioned this previously, jhankwitz, but I too am uncomfortable with technology that draws the driver's eyes away from the road. I don't own a car with a backup camera, but have used the technology many times in rental cars, and I can't make myself trust the center console display. It may or may not be logical on my part, but I want to see what's behind me with my own two eyes.
As for cleaning the camera lenses, I recall an article in Design News last September by Ann Thryft http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=268026&piddl_msgpage=2#msgs reporting on a super slippery material that could clean itself. This would be a great benefit to Indy 500 race car camera lenses. It would be better than those rotating glass shields that get wiped automatically. Going beyond cameras, the use of ethernet will be a great benefit to aircraft for several reasons. 1. Ethernet carries multiple signals on one wire and saves weight. 2. Redundancy can be achieved by using multiple ethernet paths in different parts of the plane, and by using wireless networking in parallel with wired networks. Thus there is not a single point of failure. Your point about basic aviation skills is a good one. We have to trust ourselves as well as instrumentation. I recall the crash of Korean Air flight 801 in Guam in 1997. The pilot trusted inoperable glideslope instrumentation while a junior officer was reluctant to correct his senior - a cultural thing.
Adding yet another screen to monitor would simply add more distraction for the driver. Mentally switching between 3-D reality and a 2-D monitor will cause confusion and focus shift, not unlike texting.
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