Humans: Unsafe at Any Speed
Humans are terrible drivers, everything a distraction, enough experience to actually believe they are good, instead, they are deadly. We are terrible at assessing probabilities. We worry about the minor probabilities occurring during change, but fail to assess the major probabilities of retaining the current regime for months or years too long.
"When Ralph Nader called cars “unsafe at any speed,” he turns out to have been right—but for the wrong reason. He blamed manufacturers, but the chief reason cars are unsafe is their drivers. Six million accidents a year in the U.S. result in 35,000 deaths and two million injuries. More than 90% are caused by human error. Google and Ford argue autonomous cars are safer than partially self-driving cars that rely on drivers taking over occasionally. "
Leaving the steering wheel, and pedals will just allow some to operate the vehicle, making insuring difficult, and accidents more common. Remove the potential and make things safer. Yeah, I know, this doesn't apply to you, you're a great driver, you taught Petty everything. Right!
None of us are any good.
"The industry is looking for ways to get people comfortable with the idea. Uber announced last week that randomly selected passengers in Pittsburgh will get free rides in exchange for agreeing to be driven by a self-driving car. An engineer will still sit at the wheel, with a co-pilot to monitor the performance of the software. CEO Travis Kalanick sees a day when, without the expense of a driver, “the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle.'"
Agreed, cheaper, faster, safer, more comfortably, and without tying up the time of productive people like parents transporting children, or elderly, or taxi drivers, etc. A little up front experience will wet the whistle for this change, good on Uber.
"The Obama administration is long overdue on its pledge to issue new regulations allowing innovation. Car companies hope regulators will let innovation proceed to see how well technology can develop safe self-driving cars, instead of banning technologies before their potential is known.
Google and Ford need “permissionless innovation,” a concept popularized by George Mason University’s Adam Thierer, which means allowing new technologies and business models to develop by default, with regulations following as needed. This approach explains the success of the internet, where websites and services were launched without having to ask bureaucrats for permission until the Obama administration imposed regulations on prices and practices."
The Obama, and following administrations need to sit-down, shut-up, and let the market sort this out. We already have plenty of local roadway regulation, we really don't need the feds in mucking about stomping the golden goose flat before we can accomplish anything.
"Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx instead recently confirmed the worst instinct of regulators by signaling an end to open innovation for self-driving cars. “I’ve been encouraging our team to think about . . . the extent to which we should encourage pre-market-approval steps,” he said at an industry conference in San Francisco last month. “That would require industry and the department to be more in sync and more rigorous on the front end of development and testing.”
Mr. Foxx’s regulatory approach follows the traditional “precautionary principle” under which bureaucrats prohibit new innovations until their developers can prove them safe. It stifles experimentation by curtailing innovations too soon."
And do not be mislead, this nonsense results in far more deaths than does allowing the innovation to occur. The insurance and legal industries pose a serious deterrent to bad action by the companies, but the feds, or other regulatory delay only means a seriously necessary lifesaving technology will be delayed, for no good reason. This is the old tossing out the baby because the bath water might be bad.
"Any “pre-market-approval steps” of the kind the Obama administration now threatens would give bureaucrats the power to pick which technologies can develop and which are banned. If that happens, the winner in the race to the next revolution in transportation is likelier to be Singapore than Detroit or Silicon Valley."
I could not care less if the innovation comes from Singapore, or the US, what I care about is the speed with which it comes, faster is better, since this will save lives.
My father was killed by an auto that came to a stop at an unlighted intersection, failed to look for pedestrians, and then ran he and my mother down when they were crossing the intersection. This would very likely not have occurred had the car been self drive. Only a human would have made this totally incompetent error. Eliminating the negligent deaths and injuries is more important that making some regulator feel important.
In the end, once fully operational, the self drive car should lead to the elimination of the vast majority of these regulatory jobs. The sooner the better.