Thursday, June 30, 2016

I'm Reminded of A Mean Joke

An Israeli with whom I worked claimed that he knew someone when he was in the IDF, who while driving a half-track across the Sinai, set it on cruise control, went into the back and was surprised by an accident.  I have heard the same story about an Iranian college student in the U.S. in a van going back to make a sandwich.  Not sure I find either believable: how stupid are people?  They elected the 0 twice.  Self-driving automobiles.  6/30/16 Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first U.S. fatality using self-driving technology took place in May when the driver of a Tesla S sports car operating the vehicle's "Autopilot" automated driving system died after a collision with a truck in Florida, federal officials said Thursday.
The government is investigating the design and performance of Tesla's system.
Preliminary reports indicate the crash occurred when a tractor-trailer rig made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection of a divided highway where there was no traffic light, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The Tesla driver died due to injuries sustained in the crash, which took place May 7 in Williston, Florida, the agency said. The city is southwest of Gainesville.
Tesla said on its website that neither the driver nor the Autopilot noticed the white side of the trailer, which was perpendicular to the Model S, against the brightly lit sky, and neither applied the brakes.
"The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer," the company said. The windshield of the Model S collided with the bottom of the trailer.
Since I used to write software for a living, I am disinclined to trust several hundred thousand lines of Java or C++ to make the right decision on something this hard.


  1. I'm worried that if I get in a crash the AI will refuse to open the car door.

  2. I agree. Which is why I avoid Airbus aircraft.

    In Airbus planes, the pilots provide input to the flight computers, which control the airplane. In real airplanes like Boeing, the computers provide options to the pilots, which control the airplane.

    When Airbus has a computer code related accident they scrub the code, discover the offending line in the millions and millions, and say problem fixed. I think they have just fixed that problem, and there is no guarantee that they have discovered them all.

    Since I have to pay to get on an airliner, I refuse to be a development test dummy. If it ain't Boeing, as they say, I ain't going.

    And the TSA has made air travel such a joy, I choose not to fly much, anyway.

  3. This is just another version of the apocraphyl tale of a new owner of an RV put his new car on "Cruise Control" and went to the rear to make a pot of coffee.

    Great stories. Probably not really true.....

    Okay, absolutely and positively for entertainment valeu only!

  4. Fidel,

    it is a difference in philosophy, or mindset, of the culture in Europe, and the US. There, there is always someone else in charge of your actions. Here, we have leaned toward autonomy of those in command, although that may be changing due to the Progressive's influence on our schools.