[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
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:
This is a very interesting topic.
----- 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
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
> 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
> 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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