[Nfbmo] Fw: Driverless Cars Could Transform Auto Industry

DanFlasar at aol.com DanFlasar at aol.com
Fri Jun 15 15:31:11 UTC 2012

Autonomous cars have been talked about for years - and not  just for the 
blind.  The 'smart highway' initiative envisioned  highways where nobody 
drives - you do drive to the highway entrance ramp but  once  you're on, a system 
takes over and all cars are monitored and driven  by a dedicated system (I 
know, scary!) that keeps all cars a safe distance  apart, at the speed limit 
if possible.  You tell the system where you want  to go and it takes you to 
the nearest exit.
     Anyone who's ever used a GPS while driving knows  how well *that* can 
work out!
     The army has sponsored competitions to create  a robotic car that can 
navgate a terrain on it's own for - I forget - 500 miles  or so.  The 
hardest part:  towns and cities.
      Notwithstanding the basic fact that in this  country and  you don't 
live near a mass transit system, you have a hard  time getting anywhere, the 
whole country got along pretty well before we  switched from mass transit to 
independent car use.  It's insane to try to  keep a car in Chicago or New 
York - far better to take the bus or subway like  most people do.  But of 
course, in those cities, you can get anywhere by  bus, train or subway.
      The same holds true for the larger cities in  Europe - it's just 
easier to get around via mass transit.
Of course, Europe isn't nearly as large as the US where there can be  
hundreds of miles between cities as opposed to 30 or 40 k.
       What we need is a good way to get  people where they want to go - 
and individual car ownership is only one solution  to that problem.  People 
will use a reasonably priced, efficient and  timely mass transit system - but 
it can't be run on user fares - all transit  systems are subsidized, just as 
the roads, highways and traffic infrastructre is  subsidized to favor car 
In a message dated 6/15/2012 8:56:59 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
jamesmmoynihan at gmail.com writes:

Fellow  Federationists

This is a very interesting  topic.


Jim Moynihan
----- Original Message -----  
From: "Neuman, Dale A." <NeumanD at umkc.edu>
To: "James Moynihan"  <jamesmmoynihan at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2012 8:07  AM
Subject: RE: [Nfbmo] Driverless Cars Could Transform Auto  Industry


I have been following this for a time now. All  of the proposals that I 
seen stipulate that a licensed driver must be  at the wheel available to 
over should the system fail or to deal with  any emergency not anticipated 
the auto-pilot. It is also unlikely to  work smoothly in congested city 
traffic where lanes may be blocked  temporarily. I also see issues in 
with the unanticipated---like  the time I had to swerve my car in front of 
the car behind me from running  over a child that had fallen out of the car 
in front of me and into the  adjacent lane. The driver behind me started to 
accelerate to pass  on  the right and would have run over the kid had he 
had to stop to avoid  hitting my car. Had I not seen his move in my rear 
mirror I could not  have placed my car between his and the kid. He was 
with me until he  saw the kid in the road.


Dale A. Neuman
Director, Harry  S Truman Center for Governmental Affairs
Special Projects Associate,  College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Emeritus of Political  Science
FAX  816-235-5191
Neumand at umkc.edu

From:  James Moynihan [jamesmmoynihan at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2012 4:57  AM
To: Neuman, Dale A.
Subject: Fw: [Nfbmo] Driverless Cars Could  Transform Auto Industry

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy  Lynn" <freespirit at accessibleworld.org>
To: "nfbmo list"  <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2012 11:04 PM
Subject:  [Nfbmo] Driverless Cars Could Transform Auto Industry

>  Hi all, I got this from a friend, and thought I'd pass it on.   
> Cars Could Transform Auto Industry
> Yes, come on  Michigan, pass the law.
> Driverless technology could transform auto  industry By Alisa Priddle
> Detroit Free Press Business Writer It could  be 20 years before
> self-driving cars become
> mainstream, but  the technology could transform the auto industry and
> transportation in  general, speakers said at the first-ever Driverless
> Car Summit  in
> Detroit on Tuesday.
> The impact on the industry  could be huge as we move towards vehicles
> that drive themselves," said  Gary Smyth, head of the North American
> Science Labs at
> General  Motors. What we do in the next five to 10 years in this
> industry will  be critical.
> There are already vehicles on the road loaded  with radar, sensors and
> other technology that allow them to steer,  accelerate and brake based
> on signals from
> their  surroundings.
> The impact on humanity would be huge," Smyth  said.
> Autonomous driving addresses such global issues as  urbanization,
> congestion, safety, the environment and connected  living, Smyth said.
> It could enhance
> freedom for older drivers  and open new avenues for those who have never
> driven before, such as  the blind.
> It is pretty powerful to do this," said Mark  Riccobono, executive
> director of the National Federation of the Blind,  who made history in
> January 2011 by
> becoming the first legally  blind person to drive. He piloted a Ford
> Escape around the Daytona  Speedway, a feat made possible by new
> technology in the car.
>  For the blind population, "this is our going to the moon," Riccobono
>  said.
> Google has developed a fleet of self-driving cars, each  decked out with
> about $150,000 of equipment. Google has logged 250,000  test miles, said
> tech lead
> Chris Urmson.
>  Urmson hopes the technology is mainstreamed sooner than the 20-year
>  forecasts offered by some summit attendees.
> I'm trying to push  it ahead," he said, adding the hurdles are not
> legislation or  technology, but consumer acceptance.
> Google has lobbied to get  Nevada and California to pass laws governing
> self-driving cars.  Similar bills have been introduced in Florida,
> Hawaii and  Oklahoma.
> Michigan has yet to pursue legislation, but  Gov. Rick Snyder said he is
> a proponent of driverless cars as the next  logical step toward
> efficient mobility.
> I'd be  happy to look at it," Snyder said at the two-day conference
> organized  by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems
>  International.
> The mandate of the summit is to lay out a  foundation for driverless
> cars for the next 10 years, said Michael  Toscano, president of AUVSI.
> Snyder offered Michigan's  partnership and support. Because he must now
> be chauffeured as  governor, he said he has come to appreciate the
> ability to use
>  drive time to get work done. We need to be careful of what's on the
>  road but other states have gone forward," Snyder told reporters after
>  his speech. We're
> the motor state and we should be thoughtful and move  forward on things
> like that.
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