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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Driverless Cars

Driver-less Cars
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man who has no knowledge on the topic opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome, ok not welcome, but will be tolerated…maybe.  As always, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head!
Never in my life would I have envisioned such a thing as a driver-less car.  Personally, I think they are a very bad idea, but then I am old.  I thought ATM’s were a bad idea.  I hate self-checkouts, and downloading a book onto an electronic reading device still boggles my mind.
Very smart people are investing tons of money on driver-less cars, so even though I think they are a bad idea, I suspect they will someday be common.
Recently Uber has been testing driver-less cars.  Last week one hit a lady who was walking her bike across the street, not in a crosswalk.  There was a person behind the wheel of the Uber car, but a video shows he was dosing off, I assume from boredom.
The video also shows the accident.  Sadly, the woman was killed.  I have read that driver-less cars are possibly safer and more reliable than a manually operated car. 
Perhaps, but there will be accidents and law suits might be the demise of the technology.
This recent accident has put the Uber test on hold at least temporarily.  As much as I don’t like the idea of driver-less cars, from the video I saw, the accident was not the fault of the car.
This woman was casually walking her bike across a street at night.  There was almost no traffic.  The lady was looking straight ahead as it seems to me is common with pedestrians today.  Had she looked both ways like they used to teach in first grade, she would have either safely jogged across the street or waited five seconds for the Uber to pass and then crossed.
Based on the video, if the man behind the wheel was alert he still probably would not have seen the pedestrian in time. 
I thought the driver-less technology could detect a sudden obstacle in the dark, but it did not.  Perhaps it was a malfunction or maybe the car was only programmed to detect crosswalk activity. 
If the technology needs tweaking to improve, this accident is a sad way to find out, however I think perhaps we also need pedestrian technology. 
If pedestrians no longer have the skill to cross a street, if the old-look-both-ways technology is no longer in use, perhaps we need a mindless-pedestrian app.  Cell phones should scan the area when a pedestrian is walking and if the pedestrian is about to walk into a lamppost it would sound an alert, or if crossing a street, the app will give the walker a shock if it detects a car coming in the direction the pedestrian is going.
Technology is great, but with it we lose certain abilities.  Calculators have made doing math in your head obsolete.  Since using a keyboard almost exclusively, I can barely write my own name on a check. 
Driver-less cars might be great, but if the GPS system is down, future riders will not have a clue how to operate a car.
I don’t know what technology has caused pedestrians to no longer know how to cross a street, maybe this skill should be taught again in the first grade.
This accident was sad, and I do feel for this lady and her loved ones, but Holy Hannah, how difficult is it to cross a street?
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.   

14 comments:

  1. I don't want any driverless cars on the roads. People are lazy enough already and now they want the car to do the driving for them?

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  2. I wouldn't trust myself to trust driverless vehicles and the older I get the more danger I am to others, especially car drivers. Goodness only knows how a driverless vehicle could recognise my next move.

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  3. These driver-less cars may hit the car lots and somebody may buy one but that somebody won't be me. What's next? Alexa, drive my car.

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  4. Driverless cars will be the wave of the future, and once there are enough of them out there, communicating with each other so each car knows where the other one will move before it happens, it will be safer on the highways. On surface streets with pedestrians and bicycles, that's where we may have trouble.

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  5. i was excited at the possibilities when I first heard of the cars, thinking my daughter with autism who doesn't drive would finally have transportation or people who've had too much to drink could get home. Turns out the cars really do require licensed fully aware drivers behind the wheel, so I'm not sure what their purpose is?

    And yes, I figured the woman killed was jaywalking or something like that. Pedestrians in our town drive me nuts.

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  6. I'm guessing the diverless cars will be safer than many of the jerks driving today. I'm just saying.

    Have a fabulous weekend, Joe. ☺

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  7. I beldieve they have determined that neither the car or the driver was at fault. If people do't know enough to look both ways and to use crosswalks and intersections as opposed to jay wlking then I'm sorry but they deserve what they get. I like the idea of a driverless car for the sake of those of us who will some day have to give up our drivers licences....we may be able to retain our independence.

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  8. Hi Cranky,

    It's progress I'm afraid. Like it or not driverless cars will be commonplace in the near future. The technology is improving year by year and I believe that ultimately they will be safer than cars with drivers - mainly because a lot of drivers are terrible and also nutcases.

    :o)

    Cheers

    PM

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  9. I'm thinking back to the day, in 1962, I was in Omaha or Des Moines.
    I was told I was on my own once I stepped off the curb to cross the street, even if I was in a crosswalk.
    That's enough to put anyone on alert.
    (now I'm going to go back an read other's comments)

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  10. I saw that video also and felt even an alert driver would not have missed her. She was in view just seconds.
    I am for the driverless car probably because each year brings me closer to hanging up my keys. Driverless cars would keep my freedom.

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  11. I’m leery of them too but it’s a matter of time before they will be everywhere.
    I also think you have a valid point about taking responsibility for your own safety.

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  12. These first generation out-of-control cars have just been itching for failure. The programming to handle normal (as in non-logical) situations has just been pathetic. My favorite story was of one where the monitor only had over-ride control of brakes and steering. The car came to a 4-way stop where folks were notorious for rolling-stops and the car just stopped and refused to go because none of the other cars came to a real stop. The monitor was stuck for more than an hour until the engineers could get there and disable the program.

    These things just can't process every unknown nutty thing we citizens might get up to. Ya know?

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  13. It's hard to believe that a driverless car can't "see" in the dark. A bat would not have flown into that bicyclist, and bats were around before cars. Probably even a robot dog would not have run into the bicyclist. Somebody who designed that driverless car was asleep at the wheel.

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  14. So many accidents are caused by the emotions and mental state of the drivers - really, I would prefer a bunch of emotionless computer-driven vehicles on the road than some of the nutcases that don't even know what a turn signal is.

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