[FoRK] Your prediction, please

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Mon Jun 24 07:23:44 PDT 2013

On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer <greg at bolcer.org>wrote:

> Lol...or auto sense when people are texting.
> But you guys are ignoring the obvious.  We *already* have mass consumer
> cars that drive themselves by taking over from the driver.   Crash
> avoidance software in detecting a forward or backward crash situation will
> take over from the driver.  It comes as a feature on several car maker
> models.
> So my guess is 2011, but I guess you meant without a steering wheel and
> for time periods greater than 1s.
> Greg

I suspect a case could be made that ABS (anti-lock braking system) brakes
are an early, primitive example of taking over from the driver, and I had
them on my first Taurus back in 1991.  And automatic traction/stability
control systems have extended ABS to the transmission as well.  (ABS must
be at least 30 years old, I suspect, but it took a lot of work to get the
price down from "expensive even for a Mercedes" to "standard equipment on
low-end rental cars".)

Lots of people were concerned that we were taking the human element out of
the loop -- that there were situations in which a trained human could brake
more effectively than an ABS -- but over time,  those protests have mostly
faded away.

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