Humans Must Fight the Driverless Dystopia: Viewpoint

By Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg View | November 14, 2017

  • November 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm
    Jack Kanauph says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 19
    Thumb down 2

    When all cars are autonomous, will all NASCAR races end in a tie?

    • November 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm
      Agent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 6
      Thumb down 4

      NASCAR will be banned. Besides, who would want to watch a tie? Who would want to watch a Robot drive?

      • November 15, 2017 at 3:52 am
        Peter says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 2
        Thumb down 0

        No, of course not. NASCAR will remain driven by humans, even though we know it’s not perfection. There are other sports which already are mastered by robots, and yet they remain. It’s always thrilling to watch a match, and it will stay that way.

    • November 15, 2017 at 11:41 am
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 2
      Thumb down 5

      You omitted the possibility of Ben-Hur like sabotage of other vehicles in the races, a la demolition derbies. Last machine standing wins!

  • November 15, 2017 at 3:58 am
    Peter Ter says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 1
    Thumb down 0

    Would you care to debate with me about whether this is bad or not? I think automated cars are a good progress in order to reach safety, and you haven’t given any arguments why it’s bad, you only stated that it is bad.

    • November 15, 2017 at 11:39 am
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 5
      Thumb down 8

      Bad: malicious hacking of the CPU used to control allegedly autonomous vehicles. Such actions may result in injury, kidnapping / autonomous car-jacking, death, diversion from a political rally the occupant intends to attend, diversion from fast/junk food purveyor drive-thru windows, etc. Hacking could be carried out by malicious miscreants, HAL-type CPUs, or BOTs controlled by political activists who lost recent elections.

      THAT is reason enough, and justifies smarter than average polar bears to step away from the keyboard to seek fish for lunch.

      • November 15, 2017 at 11:57 am
        Confused says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 3
        Thumb down 5

        Airplanes already have the automated technology which you fear will be hacked in cars. How many automated systems in airplanes have been hacked resulting in injury, kidnapping, death, etc?????

        • November 15, 2017 at 12:12 pm
          PolarBeaRepeal says:
          Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 4
          Thumb down 4

          You are confused about the level and degree of automation in both types of vehicles of transport. Aircraft pilots can intervene when auto pilot devices are hacked. Passengers in autos have much less time for human intervention to prevent an accident that may occur after hacking. Reference: “Airplane!” ca. 1979. PS don’t opt for the fish dish for a pre-flight or in-flight meal.

          • November 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm
            Confused says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 4
            Thumb down 3

            If car manufacturers were smart, they would put in redundant fail safe mechanisms that would bring the vehicle to a complete stop on the side of the road if any of the automated driving systems fail for ANY reason (including being hacked).

            This is already in use in some automated vehicles and would completely resolve your concern about hackers being able to take over the vehicle for nefarious purposes.

          • November 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 2
            Thumb down 2

            Furthermore, it’s now too costly to do so in autos. Maybe a decade from now those costs will decline. Airplanes are much more expensive than cars, and carry many more passengers to pay the fares, so those costs are small in comparison to autos.

          • November 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm
            Confused says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 2
            Thumb down 3

            It’s too costly to add in a programming code to bring a vehicle to a stop if hacked? You know, they already have code in place to stop a car automatically — forward collision avoidance systems. But okay, let’s think about this.

            How much do IT guys get paid?
            Certainly less than $100,000 AN HOUR, but let’s use that.
            Programming the code would be what, one hours worth of work?
            You only need one programmer to update the code.

            Say a car manufacturer makes 5,000 cars a year (gross underestimate) and pays their IT programmer $100,000 AN HOUR.

            That’s a $20 per car increase for one year. After that, there’s no cost because the code is already written.

            Certainly not “too costly.”

            Your lack of insightful comments in this article comment thread, and in others, lends credence to my contention you are just a troll intent on discrediting opposing views or attempting to censor such views.

            Post something insightful, not inciting or baiting, to disprove my claim.

          • November 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm
            Confused says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 3
            Thumb down 3

            Too costly?!? They already have programming in vehicles that brings them to a stop if they’re going to rear-end another vehicle. All they have to do is update the code to say the car should stop if it detects a hack.

            What’s that, 2 hours of programming?
            How much do you pay your IT guy – $100,000 a year?
            Let’s say $100,000 PER HOUR (gross overestimate)
            2 hours to update & test the code
            That’s a ONE TIME $200,000 cost
            If they make 5,000 cars A YEAR (gross underestimate)
            That’s a $40 per car increase for a year
            Then it’s $0 every year after that

            I echo your sentiment: “Your lack of insightful comments in this article comment thread, and in others, lends credence to my contention you are just a Troll intent on discrediting opposing views or attempting to censor such views. Post something insightful, not inciting or baiting, to disprove my claim.”

          • November 16, 2017 at 8:30 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 2
            Thumb down 4

            Hackers are challenged by newer coding that prevents their prior hacking. They take on such challenges and beat the most recent prior code. So, NO computer system is impervious to hacking, including the CODE written in an HOUR by a geek making $100,000.

            My discussion of prohibitive costs is in regard to the SYSTEMS that control the car, not NEW CODE to be added.

            You again resorted to a Straw Man Argument to try to (and failed) refute my point about the cost of AUTONOMOUS autos.

            Autonomous car systems are currently far too expensive to be the prevalent control system relative to human controls.

            QED.

          • November 16, 2017 at 8:58 am
            Yes says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 2
            Thumb down 1

            What about the obvious exposure from your current car. At any time terrorist can sabotage it to explode. There is nothing we can do to stop this. We should most likely get rid of all vehicles on the road.

          • November 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm
            Confused says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 1
            Thumb down 2

            “My discussion of prohibitive costs is in regard to the SYSTEMS that control the car, not NEW CODE to be added.”

            Okay. Let’s talk about that then.

            There are already automated systems in place that control the vehicle’s steering! And it can’t bee too cost prohibitive because you can get it on a Toyota Prius, Chrysler Pacifica, Chevy Malibu, BMW 5 series, Ford F-150 … and many others.

            So if the “control vehicle steering” system was too costly, it wouldn’t be on “cheap” vehicles like the Prius, Malibu and so many others I decided not to list.

            So we’re back to this…….the tech is out there already – all that needs to be done is to program the code to say “use the existing system to pull over and safely come to a stop if something in the software goes wrong.”

          • November 17, 2017 at 10:28 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 0
            Thumb down 1

            Any feature not needed adds unnecessary costs, regardless of the specific car’s (low) cost. QED.

          • November 17, 2017 at 11:08 am
            Confused says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 0
            Thumb down 1

            But if we’re going to have fully automated vehicles in the future (and we are – it’s inevitable), then the “if hacked or system fails, pull safely to side of the road” maneuver is NOT a non-needed feature.

          • November 20, 2017 at 9:03 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 0
            Thumb down 3

            No, it’s not ‘inevitable’. Stop making up %$&#@.

    • November 20, 2017 at 10:18 am
      Pos/Neg says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 1
      Thumb down 0

      Peter Ter, like most things automated cars can have some negative and positive aspects.

      Positive: Self-driving vehicles, once the technology is perfected, can greatly assist people incapable of driving. Think of someone who is blind that this technology could make a world of difference. In addition, I’m a fearful driver and would appreciate not having to worry about others running into me because they are looking at their cell phones.

      Negative: A good point was brought up on the site that any technologically inclined product has the potential to be hacked. Nothing would be worse than people being kidnapped electronically in a vehicle, however, when it comes to computers, Wifi, emails, bank accounts, and even some modern cars, all have the potential to be hacked and yet, most people still use technology in spite of the risk. I think if the technology is perfected, the hacking potential won’t be enough to overcome the convenience of a self-driving car.

      This article makes a good point about regulations eventually forcing people into self-driving vehicles. This is probable considering the number of car related fatalities these days. Texas alone is at an 11 year-high for car accident fatalities, which in turn, is rapidly increasing the cost of insurance and hurting people’s income. Most of these accidents are caused by drinking and texting, both which are preventable in a self-driving vehicle.

      As usual, technology is seen as a necessary enemy that won’t be going away anytime soon. It is up to us as citizens to express concerns where need be and manage our politicians to ensure that technology brings quality into our lives and not misery.

    • November 28, 2017 at 3:56 pm
      Agent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 1
      Thumb down 0

      Peter, please tell us what other sport has been mastered by robots. I watch a lot of sports and have yet to see a robot win or even be used.

  • November 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm
    Captain Planet says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 2

    I welcome this technology, it will do wonders for the drunk driving and distracted driving numbers alone. I’m sure truck drivers aren’t as excited, though. Their jobs are about to be replaced by something they can’t build a wall to avoid. I don’t personally understand all the paranoia surrounding this advancement. Though, I read a lot of fear mongering out here and wonder how some people even leave their houses on a daily basis.

    • November 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 1
      Thumb down 3

      Please provide the current costs of such technology. Aside from their frequent failure rate for such sophisticated tech devices, the costs are now prohibitive to use them on a wide-scale basis.

    • November 16, 2017 at 8:32 am
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 1
      Thumb down 3

      No cost figures? I must now assume you agree that the current costs are prohibitive. If you disagree, state your facts about the ACTUAL CURRENT COSTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS.

    • November 20, 2017 at 9:06 am
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 1

      I know someone who owns a very old car, and the maintenance costs are lower than recently built cars due to less computerized controls that fail fairly often on newer cars. Be careful about for what you wish!

  • November 15, 2017 at 2:16 pm
    J.S. says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 5
    Thumb down 0

    40,000 Americans lost their lives on American roads last year – 40,000. Humans have proven unequivocally that they are poor at driving as a group. Yet, here we have people arguing that it’s so much better than the alternative we’re trying.

    Folks, the current plan isn’t working! It’s time to try something new.

    40,000 people die and no one says a word. 1 accident with autonomous technology and you’re up in arms. Unbelievable.

    • November 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm
      SWFL Agent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 3
      Thumb down 0

      We’re a long way from having this available and one reason will be because of the number of cars on the road that have old technology. Maybe it’s phased in slowly. For example, designated highways or lanes or times of day. Would possibly be a blend of driving. It would be great to take a break from driving now & then. The cost of the technology is probably a non-issue. By the time the technology is reliable and widespread it will most likely be affordable just like we’ve experienced with other tech items/areas.

      • November 15, 2017 at 4:48 pm
        nomesaneman says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 1
        Thumb down 0

        If you think about it, autonomous technology is being phased in slowly already. Bit by bit. From headlights that dim themselves, to automatic parking, panic braking, auto-cornering headlights, blind spot detection, back-up assist, automated traffic pacing and the host of navigation and On-Star-like providers that have come along over the years. I never envisioned any of these things back in the olden days, which really aren’t that long ago.

        Fully autonomous vehicles aside, all these new technologies present challenges for the industry and our ability to keep up with the pace of change. Products, cyber, even contingent supplier exposures for property manufacturing risks.

        • November 16, 2017 at 8:34 am
          PolarBeaRepeal says:
          Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 1
          Thumb down 4

          You forgot cruise control…. the forefather of those prohibitively expensive and currently dangerous autonomous auto control systems that have been failing at a rate that their supporters didn’t anticipate.

          • November 16, 2017 at 9:56 am
            J.S. says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 1
            Thumb down 0

            You keep talking about cost. Just how much do you think a human life is worth? Or, for that matter, 40,000 human lives each and every year?

            I don’t expect you to actually answer, you never do.

          • November 16, 2017 at 10:59 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 3
            Thumb down 7

            Who can guarantee immortality? Dems think they can do so by implementing and keeping ACA. But I haven’t seen or read about anyone older than 122. Most people who reach 100 usually are gone before 110.

            Years ago, the chemicals in a human body were valued at $.98, but that was probably before taxes. Now, inflation has pushed that up quite a bit.

            Those who highly value human life can slow down, and not ‘DUI’. Out of their cars, they can quit smoking and step outside to exercise more than they do, if at all. But, do they?

            How many babies are aborted each year? Do those people drive autonomous cars for the safety aspect, and their high valuation of human life?

          • November 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm
            Captain Planet says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 2
            Thumb down 3

            JS –
            It’s no use, all you get is classic “whataboutism” from Yogi. In his words, “rabbit holes”. In his words:

            PolarBeaRepeal says:
            LIKE OR DISLIKE:
            0
            0
            behave like an adult and accept fair criticism. We who read and comment here want adult level conversations on the TOPIC of the related article. If you can’t follow those simple guidelines, post elsewhere, where you can spout your vile hatred for those whose opinions don’t match yours.

            Most of us know many precious, innocent lives will be saved by this technology. And, no one, literally nobody, is calling for immortality. What an odd comment.

          • November 17, 2017 at 10:20 am
            Captain Planet says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 1
            Thumb down 0

            I wonder how mad Yogi is at God for being the #1 aborter in the world through the vehicle of miscarriage and mother fatality. Or, does he simply say no one guaranteed them immortality?

          • November 28, 2017 at 3:58 pm
            Agent says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 1
            Thumb down 0

            Air bags don’t seem very reliable either.

      • November 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm
        Agent says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 2
        Thumb down 2

        Perhaps we should have a massive “Cash for Clunkers” program to get rid of all vehicles with older technology. By the way, the first Cash for Clunkers program to stimulate car sales from the failed Obama economy was in itself a massive failure and taxpayers paid for that too.

        • November 17, 2017 at 4:22 pm
          Captain Planet says:
          Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 1
          Thumb down 0

          “In the end, how many cars were sold through the program?

          The official total sales that were directly because of the program will be right around 700,000 units. The average incentive — based on the most recent data available — was around $4,200. If we simply divide $3 billion by $4,200, we get about 714,000 units. The original forecast for 250,000 units was based on the initial $1 billion budget for the program.

          Who benefited from the program?

          From the manufacturers’ perspective, everybody except for the luxury carmakers. Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, as well as Ford and GM’s small-car lineups all experienced sizable sales increases. The perfect vehicle for the program was the sub-$20K midsize compact car. You will have a tough time finding any inventory that fits that description in most dealer lots today.

          More importantly, the program was a lifeline thrown at severely cash-strapped dealers. Sales were up. So were the profits. Consumers tend to drop their guards when there are big incentives, assuming that they will get great deals no matter what. As the clunker sales reached a fevered pitch, I think it’s fair to say that the deals got much stingier. Many shoppers could have gotten better deals if they had done their homework before going to the dealership.

          How far will the economic stimulus from the program spread?

          The economic impact of the program is significant but short-lived. If we assume an average selling price of $25,000 for the program, and total unit sales of 700,000, the cash-for-clunkers program generated at least $17.5 billion of economic activity, not including incremental sales of additional products, such as extended warranties, alarm systems and financing revenue for the dealerships — as well as roughly $875 million in sales-tax revenue for state governments. When we add in the fiscal multiplier effect, the net impact of the program was easily north of $25 billion — if not much higher. However, the impact also has a short life expectancy. Once the program is over, the impact is pretty much over as well. It will be the next challenge for manufacturers as well as dealers to try to figure out a way to ride the program’s coattails.”

          The fact is, it wasn’t a massive failure after all.

          • November 20, 2017 at 9:08 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 0
            Thumb down 2

            Most of the proceeds went to FOREIGN car makers. MASSIVE FAILURE CONFIRMED. QED.

          • November 20, 2017 at 11:00 am
            Confused says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 1
            Thumb down 0

            ^^^^ source required

          • November 20, 2017 at 11:50 am
            Doug Fisher says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 1
            Thumb down 0

            Even if they did (skeptical of that, but I am “sure” you have “proof”), who cares? So many “foreign” cares are demonstrably more American than their so-called American counterparts, which are often-times built in Mexico or Canada by Mexicans and Canadians.

            Why do some people only seem to care about which mega-millionaires or billionaires get to keep the profits? I am worried about which workers gain added job security, benefits, and retirement security.

            You have to laugh anyway, because in a separate breath, they will call GM “Government Motors” and spit on the ground when Italian-owned Chrysler comes up. Ford, The last bastion of American auto power? Builds half a million cars in Mexico every year and is in the process of moving all small car production south of the border.

  • November 15, 2017 at 3:10 pm
    RonMiller says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 1
    Thumb down 0

    Autonomous vehicles “will move extremely fast and extremely close to each other on highways, unhindered by dangerous human drivers”. Very interesting, but though this may be safer than humans speeding along as if they’re in Formula one, I doubt it will be any safer than good drivers driving carefully, and in one respect a lot more injurious, particularly in an environmental sense. High speed pods will do great damage to bird numbers, particularly hedgerow species. When I see a group of birds I will slow (obviously using the mirrors for safety), but I imagine the pods ploughing straight through. The road kill will be horrendous. This is why a human with discretion and decision-making capability must be in charge of vehicle motion.

    • November 16, 2017 at 8:36 am
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 1
      Thumb down 2

      I wonder about the avoidance programming for black ice patches, wet leaves, fallen tree branches, etc.

      • November 17, 2017 at 3:16 pm
        Agent says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 0
        Thumb down 1

        I wonder about the choices the computer will make when faced with a collision. Protect the owner or the other vehicle occupants?

        • November 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm
          Captain Planet says:
          Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 1
          Thumb down 0

          Happy to help:

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3571795/

          • November 20, 2017 at 9:10 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
            Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 0
            Thumb down 4

            This issue is in a state of flux. Nothing conclusive can be drawn from that report.



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

More News
More News Features