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Would a self driving car world make it safe for cyclists?

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Would a self driving car world make it safe for cyclists?

Old 05-18-17, 01:41 PM
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Even in cases where there might still be an incident, there would at least be culpability. Right now people get away with injuring and killing people because it's "just an accident." If a piece of software hurts or kills someone, the company is going to be forced to review and revise the software.
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Old 05-18-17, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI
Or maybe by bruise by bruise OR broken bone by broken bone.
If all these hypothetical broken bones end up happening, I'll grant you a point.
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Old 05-18-17, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
If all these hypothetical broken bones end up happening, I'll grant you a point.
Thing is, it is no more hypothetical than the imagined safety so many are predicting.
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Old 05-18-17, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI
Thing is, it is no more hypothetical than the imagined safety so many are predicting.
Well, let me know when an autonomous car hits and kills a cyclist. Human drivers are doing it every day.
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Old 05-18-17, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Well, let me know when an autonomous car hits and kills a cyclist. Human drivers are doing it every day.
Well, let me know when an production autonomous car does not need a human in the drivers seat anymore.
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Old 05-18-17, 10:15 PM
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I do believe truly autonomous vehicles that are significantly safer then manually operated vehicles will eventually be a reality.
I doubt many of us will still be around to see it, or that they will ever be 100% safe.
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Old 05-19-17, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith
What people forget is that the ultimate goal is not for autonomous vehicles to operate in concert with traditional traffic, but to replace all individually controlled vehicles with an interconnected driverless transportation system controlled by some future generation of The Cloud *cough* Skynet *cough*. Traffic will move much faster, with vehicles in much closer proximity to each other. All pedestrians and non-automated vehicles (including bicycles) will be banned from roadways. Pedestrian crossings will likely be over or under intersections so as not to interfere with the flow of traffic and bicycles, as a personal mode of transportation within the traffic flow, will be a thing of the past. We will likely be relegated to some future incarnation of MUPS. Not to worry, one big cyber attack or EMP and bicycles will be the only thing on the road
Works for me.
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Old 05-19-17, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Mose
I'm a big advocate, and have been for a while. Over 30,000 crash related deaths every year in the US alone. The tech won't be perfect right away, but I think even the first gen will be far and away much safer than humans piloting.

And as you touched on, it will only get better. I'm assuming everyone's cell phone will, in the future, be able to broadcast a short range signal that cars are constantly pinging for so pedestrians and cyclists will be known to the car regardless of visibility.

I disagree, as well, about the loss of freedom. For instance, the elderly would be able to be far more independent. Hell, so would kids. I could read or work on my commute in.

Imagine having a driverless car with sleeping accommodations. Going on vacation? Leave the night before and wake up at your destination.


I'm no luddite, but I'm also not 100% insensitive to concerns about job loss. I just think the benefits will far, far outweigh the costs. I just don't know how everyone can be so complacent at losing the equivalent of all the American battle deaths in Vietnam every two years on our roadways. I think driverless cars will be not be perfect, but have the potential to be 99% safer or better than humans and their foibles. It's easy, if you can accept that, to see how the technology is really a moral imperative.
We already have that...it's called Amtrak.

Seriously though, that would be a nice feature.




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Old 05-19-17, 07:25 AM
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Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. I generally oppose anything which is as broadly de-humanizing as this self-driving cars issue. I don't think de-humanization is the solution to human problems.

Seems to me that the correct solution would be to disallow unsafe drivers from use of public roads. Driving a car is a privilege, not a constitutional right. Take the privilege away from people who don't take the safety of others (that is, the value of a human soul) seriously. Then, self-driving cars are completely moot except as a novelty.

You can't teach a robot or a computer program the value of a human soul.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:12 AM
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I'm also a little skeptical I will see wide spread use of autonomous cars in my lifetime. Maybe some form of the tech in certain applications in the near future is possible. I'd like to see more energy and money put into alternative fuels and convenient mass transit. Reducing fossil fuel use and pollution would probably save the environment and more lives in the long run.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by College3.0
Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. I generally oppose anything which is as broadly de-humanizing as this self-driving cars issue. I don't think de-humanization is the solution to human problems.

Seems to me that the correct solution would be to disallow unsafe drivers from use of public roads. Driving a car is a privilege, not a constitutional right. Take the privilege away from people who don't take the safety of others (that is, the value of a human soul) seriously. Then, self-driving cars are completely moot except as a novelty.

You can't teach a robot or a computer program the value of a human soul.

The inherent issues is that we are not de-humanizing for a solution to human problems. This is being done with nothing but profit in mind. Often its sold under "safety". Factories have been doing this for a long time, shipping ports in Europe are way ahead of this. As the population continues to struggle to keep up and our unemployed and underemployed levels rise we quickly find ways to rid ourselves of the need for people.


Back to the question at hand. I absolutely feel autonomous cars will make the world safer for cyclists.

Again its not the car that is dangerous its the, impatient, rude, entitled, distracted driver of the car that is dangerous.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:46 AM
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I don't see why automating common conveyances is really dehumanizing. Are elevators dehumanizing?
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Old 05-19-17, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider
We already have that...it's called Amtrak.

Seriously though, that would be a nice feature.




If only it went anywhere I wanted to go... and whenever I wanted... and I didn't have to drive an hour to the nearest station...
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Old 05-19-17, 09:49 AM
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To answer the question posed by the OP... "would a self driving car world make cycling safer..."

Ask yourself this, "would the world be safer for cyclists if all drivers obeyed the laws and rules of the road?"

I tend to agree with the posters here that state that self driving cars will never be 100% safe... they cannot be... they are designed and build by fallible humans, and there is no way all to program for all possible situations. But if a self driving car is more reliable and more collision free than a human driven vehicle... I suspect, like the seatbelt, they will eventually be mandated.

Right now we tolerate something like 35,000 deaths a year for the "convenience" of letting humans drive... if that number could be reduced to less than 8,000 per year... would we accept self driving cars? Right now, the total deaths from both planes and trains is less than 2000 people a year.... roughly the same number of pedestrians alone, that are killed by human piloted automobiles.
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Old 05-19-17, 10:59 AM
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I am pretty sure the current generation of self driving cars are better than my old man driving. He belongs in an auto insurance commercial playing the part of the bad driver with a temper.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:25 PM
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Is riding in a car instead of driving dehumanizing? Riding in a cab? Riding in a bus or train?

Driving is dehumanizing, IMO. It turns someone into a drone operating a machine. Freeing myself from having to drive so I could do something meaningful instead of slightly turning a big wheel back and forth for a few hours would be liberating.

Have you seen Metropolis? This is my view of driving a car:

https://www.leninimports.com/metropol...till_new_8.jpg

The MOST dehumanizing thing imaginable.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict
building a car with enough artificial intelligence that can see and think like a human driver is perhaps decades or more away.
That's not the goal. The goal is to automate safe and efficient driving. We're only 3 or 4 years from that.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by College3.0
Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. I generally oppose anything which is as broadly de-humanizing as this self-driving cars issue. I don't think de-humanization is the solution to human problems.

Seems to me that the correct solution would be to disallow unsafe drivers from use of public roads. Driving a car is a privilege, not a constitutional right. Take the privilege away from people who don't take the safety of others (that is, the value of a human soul) seriously. Then, self-driving cars are completely moot except as a novelty.

You can't teach a robot or a computer program the value of a human soul.
The safety, time saving, and energy savings of automated cars are potentially enormous. The moral arguments are clearly on the side of advancing this technology.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
The safety, time saving, and energy savings of automated cars are potentially enormous. The moral arguments are clearly on the side of advancing this technology.

Objective morality no longer exists in the Western world. Therefore, you may justify anything you wish to, however you wish, and I won't try to argue or stop you.

However, I try not to support co-dependent behaviours. Creating a technology that removes the responsibility from people, and places it on a machine or computer program, means circumventing the real problem of disregard people have for one another (including the safety of cyclists, if that helps relate to the OP). The technology doesn't address the real problem, so the problem will continue regardless of the technology.

In this way, it is de-humanizing and disruptive of the healthy relationships which should ideally exist between individual people performing a common activity (traveling on a road) by introducing a non-human intermediary. Therefore, the technology enables the actual unhealthy behavior to continue.

Also, I agree with the comments above that if self-driving car technology was not potentially (extremely) profitable no company would be exploring it as a business venture. This is true regardless of any potential safety, energy-saving, or so-called "moral" benefits. If the auto industry cared about morality over business interest we would've had electric cars at least 30 years ago.

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Old 05-19-17, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by College3.0
Creating a technology that removes the responsibility from people, and places it on a machine or computer program, means circumventing the real problem of disregard people have for one another (including the safety of cyclists, if that helps relate to the OP).
Nonsense. Given the choice between using an automated car and human-driven car, choosing the automated car shows higher regard for human life.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
Nonsense. Given the choice between using an automated car and human-driven car, choosing the automated car shows higher regard for human life.

If a driver is already predisposed to resent/hate cyclists for being on the road, will his hatred lessen or go away if he is in a self-driving Uber which he believes is being slowed down or impeded by a cyclist on the road? No. The answer is no.

It's been said in this very thread that the danger to the cyclist is, in actuality, the human being in the car, not the car itself. Therefore, to answer the original question.... "Would a self driving car World make it safe for cyclists?" I think the answer is a resounding "no".

EDIT: Although I do appreciate and respect the place of wishful optimism in keeping us all from losing faith in humanity. So there is that.

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Old 05-19-17, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by College3.0
Therefore, to answer the original question.... "Would a self driving car World make it safe for cyclists?" I think the answer is a resounding "no".
It would make the world safer for cyclists. This is significant.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by College3.0
Objective morality no longer exists in the Western world.
When and do you believe this was different?
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Old 05-19-17, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by College3.0
Objective morality no longer exists in the Western world. Therefore, you may justify anything you wish to, however you wish, and I won't try to argue or stop you.

However, I try not to support co-dependent behaviours. Creating a technology that removes the responsibility from people, and places it on a machine or computer program, means circumventing the real problem of disregard people have for one another (including the safety of cyclists, if that helps relate to the OP). The technology doesn't address the real problem, so the problem will continue regardless of the technology.

In this way, it is de-humanizing and disruptive of the healthy relationships which should ideally exist between individual people performing a common activity (traveling on a road) by introducing a non-human intermediary. Therefore, the technology enables the actual unhealthy behavior to continue.

Also, I agree with the comments above that if self-driving car technology was not potentially (extremely) profitable no company would be exploring it as a business venture. This is true regardless of any potential safety, energy-saving, or so-called "moral" benefits. If the auto industry cared about morality over business interest we would've had electric cars at least 30 years ago.
Those healthy relationships between drivers of cars and the humanity outside the vehicle has not existed since people were driven off the street by various campaigns of the automakers...

When you visit any city in America today, it’s a sea of cars, with pedestrians dodging between the speeding autos. It’s almost hard to imagine now, but in the late 1890s, the situation was completely reversed. Pedestrians dominated the roads, and cars were the rare, tentative interlopers. Horse-drawn carriages and streetcars existed, but they were comparatively slow.

So pedestrians ruled. “The streets were absolutely black with people,” as one observer described the view in the nation’s capital. People strolled to and fro down the center of the avenue, pausing to buy snacks from vendors.

Things changed dramatically in 1908 when Henry Ford released the first Model T. Suddenly a car was affordable, and a fast one, too: The Model T could zoom up to 45 miles an hour.... and as they began to race through the streets, they ran headlong into pedestrians—with lethal results. By 1925, auto accidents accounted for two-thirds of the entire death toll in cities with populations over 25,000.

It was time to target not the behavior of cars—but the behavior of pedestrians. Motordom would have to persuade city people that, as Hayes argued, “the streets are made for vehicles to run upon”—and not for people to walk. If you got run over, it was your fault, not that of the motorist. Motordom began to mount a clever and witty public-relations campaign.

Their most brilliant stratagem: To popularize the term “jaywalker.” The term derived from “jay,” a derisive term for a country bumpkin. In the early 1920s, “jaywalker” wasn’t very well known.
Read more: When Pedestrians Ruled the Streets | Innovation | Smithsonian
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As you can see here in this 1906 video, before the intrusion of the automobile, the roads were freely shared between horse and buggy, pedestrian and cable car... and even the rare new fangled automobile...


This wonderful sharing relationship however ended shortly after the 1920s when pedestrians were all but shoved off the roadway.

To expect that sort of relationship to return is pollyanna at best and delusional at worst.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by genec

To expect that sort of relationship to return is pollyanna at best and delusional at worst.

Oh I never said I expected that sort of relationship to come back. I said it was co-dependent and enabling to take further steps to excuse and ignore the damage that's been done.
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