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Self Driving Cars

Jul - 28 - 2012
Nicole C. Engard

While this has nothing to do with library science, it is an interesting development in technology and I’d love to hear what everyone else is thinking about it.

I read about self driving cars a while ago and was torn between thinking “Oh Cool!” and “Fat Chance!” The fact is that self driving cars are becoming much closer to a reality and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think that if everyone in the country was in a self driving car I’d be okay with it – but having computer controlled cars alongside human controlled just offers way too many possibilities for the computer to fail in predicting stupid human behavior.

It sounds like the plan is to ease us in to these self driving cars by starting incrementally.

Experts like [Lawrence] Burns say we won’t suddenly jump to a fully autonomous car. Instead, we will start to see systems that can take over in certain specialized situations, like traffic jams. For example, if you get caught on a Los Angeles freeway at rush hour, with miles to go and bumper-to-bumper traffic, just press a button and let the car do the mindless task of moving ahead a few inches at a time. If the car needs help, it will let you know.

Already we have cars that can tell us when drift out of our lane or are about to back in to a wall, so it will be more little things like this until before we know it (10 years is the prediction) our cars will be driving us not the other way around.

Learn more in this article on Yale Environment 360.


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