Driverless Cars -- Coming Soon to Crosswalks Everywhere!

Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 01:22 am
I just read about these horrible things in Time Magazine...

Driverless cars: Google claims that by taking the human element out of driving we can reduce accidents by 90%. All the stories I've read about these things are positive. There don't seem to be any skeptics out there.

Well I'm skeptical, and here's why:

I live in a town whose system of traffic lights features "clever" new advances in civil engineering. One improvement to the town traffic system requires pedestrians to press a button every time they want to cross the street. It works great in theory of course: lights don't have to turn red for an extra 20 seconds to allow people to cross when there's no one who needs to cross. Now in theory of course, the buttons actually work. In practice, two of the four buttons at the intersection nearest my building don't, and if you're stuck on one of those corners whose buttons don't work you have no option open to you but to break the law and jaywalk. It's not the end of the world for me, as I require less than two seconds to move from curb to curb. But this geezer I helped cross the road last week really did need the full 20 seconds.

"Improvements" to the town traffic system have made it illegal for pedestrians to cross the street and alarmingly dangerous for older people to cross. Seriously, as that old guy spends 20 seconds illegally crossing, is it really suppose to make him feel better that robots are driving the cars that could kill him?
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Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 01:27 am
Maybe the button makes the cars stop.

Unless he pushes one that doesn't work.
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