The continued existence of this site depends entirely on contributions from its readers. If you're able to, please consider donating or subscribing to CF. Thanks!



The eternal tease

Never mind the self-driving ones, where the hell is my flying car?

Why Self-Driving Cars Are NOT The Future
Technological hurdles aside, if we could develop the AI that makes self-driving cars as safe as human-driven cars, they’d still have quite a few other hurdles to overcome before going mainstream.

The biggest hurdle, perhaps, is the problem of liability.

Last week, a man in North Carolina was driving at night, following his GPS. The GPS led him to a bridge that the man couldn’t see was unfinished. He then drove off the bridge, crashed upside down in the river below and died. His GPS didn’t show that a portion of the bridge had been washed away – instead it went on mindlessly recommending it as the fastest route. After the man’s death, questions came up about who should be held responsible. Was it all the man’s fault? What about the fault of the city for not repairing the bridge? The state? The bridge manufacturer? What about the GPS technology that got it wrong? Should they pay out? It wasn’t clear where the fault lay and for that reason, all parties involved were vulnerable to lawsuits.

The list of liabilities continues to expand as well. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has only demanded more and more accountability from car manufacturers regarding auto safety regulations over the years. According to NHTSA (an arm of the Department of Transportation), all vehicles MUST include specific types of seatbelts, they MUST disclose the locations of where all their parts are assembled (via the Labeling Act), they MUST follow all cybersecurity restrictions, and if a new safety recall should arise, the manufacturer MUST fix them at their own expense. Today, about one in four vehicles on the road have an unresolved safety recall on them which has increased every year since the recall program’s inception.While some may say this is a good thing to have that much oversight around safety, it also does a lot to discourage manufacturers from sticking their necks out for potentially unsafe innovations.

The EPA is also squeezing vehicle manufacturers with new regulations – tightening its emission standards and adding restrictions that car manufacturers find increasingly difficult to abide by. As David Shepardson from Reuters said,

New rules [that] take effect in the 2023 model year… require a 28.3% reduction in vehicle emissions through 2026. The rules will be challenging for automakers to meet, especially for Detroit’s Big Three automakers. General Motors (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV (STLA.MI).

With all this red tape, automotive manufacturers are already feeling the weight of big brother pressing on their shoulders and would be reluctant to go all in on self-driving vehicles without all the safety concerns rigorously tested and approved to the point they can be sufficiently indemnified from lawsuits.

Perhaps in another country with a more authoritative government, the liability issues can be overcome.

Perhaps. But you can bet that, in a country with a LESS authoritative government whose citizenry was jealous enough of their liberty to see to it that their central government remained firmly within its Constitutional corral, we’d probably have workable autonomous and flying cars both by now. The lesson: bloated, meddlesome, too-powerful governments stifle creativity and innovation; capitalism and liberty encourages them, and rewards them richly. In Amerika v2.0, unless and until We The People have internalized that lesson fully and put its teachings into full effect, the day of the flying car can never dawn.


6 thoughts on “The eternal tease

  1. Just to be clear here, a GPS is nothing more than a map. It had nothing to do with the bridge being out and no barricade in place. And it was a private road, not state controlled.

    I suspect had it been daylight the fellow would have seen what was not there. The owners of this property are in deep shit IMO. No excuse to have a road lead to a drop off and not have a permanent barricade.

  2. All I demand is proof-of-concept:
    1) Make self-driving trains a flawless reality first. FFS, trains only have three options: forward, backwards, and stop. If you can’t even do that right, you’ve got no earthly fucking business trying it with busses and passenger automobiles, let alone anything more complex, like ships and aircraft.
    When there are zero train collisions after 10 years, you can then proceed to trying it with cars.
    2) For the first year after introduction, require the entire corporate boards and executive leadership to ride around strapped to the bumpers, in 8-hour shifts, every day for a year, attached to their products. IDGAF if you stand behind your product, I want self-driving car sellers to get strapped in front of the motherf**kers in lieu of bumpers. They can wear raingear, and goggles, but no other PPE, or safety gear allowed. And driven 200K miles apiece, minimum, per person, in city traffic. If the outside ain’t that safe, the inside ain’t that safe either. Period.
    3) Any corporation with more than a 10% casualty rate at the end of that year gets foreclosed, for cause, and the assets sold at auction.

    That’s non-negotiable:
    Deal, or no deal.

    1. When there are zero train collisions after 10 years

      This is the wrong way to look at it. If the collisions/deaths were cut in half that would be an improvement. Reduction is the goal in that respect. The enemy of good enough is perfect. And perfect never happens. It’s used as an excuse to not make improvements.

      1. Ask the families of the unlucky 50% in your example if they feel fortunate they were killed by a microchip instead of an idiot.

        Then run it by a few jury pools.

        “Good enough” isn’t.

        Also, a brief review of Asimov’s Rules Of Robotics might be in order.
        They are non-negotiable.
        The total lack of interest in them by self-driving car proponents is why their schemes fail, and probably always will.

        In theory, self-driving cars will work in practice.
        In practice, self-driving cars only work in theory.

        Hence “Strap the builders to the car bumpers for a year”.
        It’s Darwinian perfection.

        1. How about we ask the families of the 50% that are alive?

          Jury’s award big $$$ because you spill coffee in your lap. That’s your argument?

          “Good enough” is English for good enough. It is better than not good enough. Perfection is not achievable and is the enemy of good enough. No men landed and walked on the moon without understanding this concept.

          As for Asimov, it’s fiction. Old fiction. But let’s just take the 1st of the three laws since it’s the only one applicable. Having a higher death rate because you refuse to allow the “robots” to drive the cars is the direct violation of the law since having the robots drive reduces the deaths.


Comments are closed.

Latest Posts

Latest Comments

CF Archives


Comments policy

NOTE: In order to comment, you must be registered and approved as a CF user. Since so many user-registrations are attempted by spam-bots for their own nefarious purposes, YOUR REGISTRATION MAY BE ERRONEOUSLY DENIED.

If you are in fact a legit hooman bean desirous of registering yourself a CF user name so as to be able to comment only to find yourself caught up as collateral damage in one of my irregularly (un)scheduled sweeps for hinky registration attempts, please shoot me a kite at the email addy over in the right sidebar and let me know so’s I can get ya fixed up manually.

ALSO NOTE: You MUST use a valid, legit email address in order to successfully register, the new anti-spam software I installed last night requires it. My thanks to Barry for all his help sorting this mess out last night.

Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit.

Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) won't.

Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar.

Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.

Ye Aulde CF Blogrolle–now with RSS feeds! (where available)

"Mike Hendrix is, without a doubt, the greatest one-legged blogger in the world." ‐Henry Chinaski

Subscribe to CF!

Support options

Shameless begging

If you enjoy the site, please consider donating:

Become a CF member!


Email addy: mike-at-this-url dot etc
All e-mails assumed to be legitimate fodder for publication, scorn, ridicule, or other public mockery unless specified as private by the sender

Allied territory

Alternatives to shitlib social media: A few people worth following on Gab:

Fuck you

Kill one for mommy today! Click to embiggen

Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

Claire's Cabal—The Freedom Forums


"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
Daniel Webster

“When I was young I was depressed all the time. But suicide no longer seemed a possibility in my life. At my age there was very little left to kill.”
Charles Bukowski

“A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.”
Ezra Pound

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
Frank Zappa

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.”
John Adams

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
Bertrand de Jouvenel

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged."
GK Chesterton

"I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free."
Donald Surber

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved."
Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil."

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork."
David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"If the laws of God and men, are therefore of no effect, when the magistracy is left at liberty to break them; and if the lusts of those who are too strong for the tribunals of justice, cannot be otherwise restrained than by sedition, tumults and war, those seditions, tumults and wars, are justified by the laws of God and man."
John Adams

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine."
Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it."
NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in."
Bill Whittle

Best of the best

Finest hosting service

Image swiped from The Last Refuge

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

RSS feed

RSS - entries - Entries
RSS - entries - Comments

Boycott the New York Times -- Read the Real News at Larwyn's Linx

Copyright © 2024