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Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 08:14:51 -0500
Everyone thinks they're an above average driver, that they never make mistakes, that they're never distracted or tired. So where's the improvement for them in self-driving cars? It's just everyone else needing to be automated.
Risks? Adopting self-driving cars too fast, or too slowly. Regulating them too much, or not enough. Overly dreading any robo-caused accidents, or accepting unnecessary carnage because of sloppy products. Once it's required to have someone with a flag walking in front of every self-driving car (it worked once, right?) we'll be OK.
-------- Forwarded Message --------
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 08:48:06 +0000
From: Aging In Place Technology Watch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Unstoppable Momentum of Self-Driving Cars
Everybody's doing it -- talking, investing, launching an initiative for
self-driving cars. Imagine 300,000 lives saved per decade, preventing the
37,500 deaths just last year
<https://www.wired.com/story/self-driving-cars-rand-report/>. In fact, the development of self-driving cars and other Autonomous Vehicles (AV), have received a whopping $80 billion in investment to date
Amid the hype, obstacles are occasionally noted (like roads
<https://www.ageinplacetech.com/-%20http%3A/thehill.com/opinion/technology/353034-self-driving-cars-are-coming-but-us-roads-arent-ready-for-the-change>) and surveyed consumer disinterest, including AAA
Gartner <https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3790963>, and in particular, older people might not be interested
<http://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2017/05/25/mit-study-self-driving-cars>, even though enabling older adults to keep driving is one of the oft-repeated rationales by self-driving car evangelists. And of course, since older adults want to age in place, self-driving cars are often described as enablers
Who and what can get on board first with a media-friendly project?
Will it be Optimus Ride <https://www.optimusride.com/>, testing the
<https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/28/optimus-ride-will-provide-self-driving-vehicles-to-boston-community-residents/>of transportation' near Boston https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/28/optimus-ride-will-provide-self-driving-vehicles-to-boston-community-residents/>?
Will it be Lyft in Boston
Uber in Pittsburgh (maybe not)
Tempe (never mind that crash)
Will it involve redoing the roads to add a separate self-driving lane, as Foxconn in Wisconsin has requested for its 13,000 employee
<https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/12/11/apple-supplier-foxconn-wants-build-self-driving-vehicles-into-its-new-u-s-campus/938500001/> plant near Racine? Does it matter that a new self-driving shuttle has an accident on its first day
(blaming a driver, naturally)? What about that 6 mph Robot shuttle in
(and likely Paris, Singapore, etc.)? And how about this – commercial delivery via self-driving trucks
<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/business/self-driving-trucks.html>, and for local delivery even self-restocking delivery vehicles
(imagine the UPS truck with no driver)?
Why is *boon for the elderly* generally included as a rationale?
First, 70% of older adults live in car-dependent suburbs
<https://usa.streetsblog.org/2011/06/14/how-seniors-get-stuck-at-home-with-no-transit-options/>, and of course, ask AARP, 90% expect to age in place
So seniors are among other much-lobbied reasons to create the 2017
<https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/6/16259170/self-drive-act-autonomous-cars-legislation>, a federal effort to reduce the regulatory burden on getting 80,000 self-driving cars into the market, and to discourage states from crafting individual legislation, one state at a time. Never mind that only 6 percent of cities
<https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/13/16453926/self-driving-car-us-cities-uber-traffic-collision> have any policy or strategy about self-driving cars -- it's full spending steam ahead. Waymo
(formerly Google's Self-driving project) has even issued a report
<https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/12/waymo-self-driving-safety-report/> to explain self-driving safety, benefit to the elderly
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/driverless-cars-promise-far-greater-mobility-for-the-elderly-and-people-with-disabilities/2017/11/23/6994469c-c4a3-11e7-84bc-5e285c7f4512_story.html?utm_term=.450933a33ece> and disabled, and to justify its own investment and expected growth.
Do risks matter? Toyota offered a wake-up comment. From Toyota:
"Society has come to accept 39,000 traffic fatalities a year in the US, mostly due to human error, but would never tolerate similar carnage involving cars controlled by computers." People are worried -- in a 2017
Harris poll about the future of self-driving cars, 52% fear for other drivers, 62% fear for pedestrians
What about the ability of a car's sensors to work when covered with slush and ice – maybe that will work and maybe not
Meanwhile manually-driven cars are still being purchased today, and owners keep their cars 11.6 years on average
So it will take a few decades to get all of those cars off the regular roadways, assuming that all other vexing barriers
<https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/barriers-to-self-driving-cars>, not to mention ethical concerns
<https://www.technologyreview.com/s/542626/why-self-driving-cars-must-be-programmed-to-kill/> and insurance
<https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/04/03/522222975/self-driving-cars-raise-questions-about-who-carries-insurance> issues, are addressed. And for sure, this is just the beginning.
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