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Matthew Newton
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Oh, and I got a source regarding Google accepting liability: http://www.cato.org/blog/googling-around-dc Turns out it wasn't Brin OR Page, but Levandowski, who is the head of the self driving car program.
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"http://www.driverlesscarhq.com/solving-driverless-car-liability-2/" Here's an article on some other potential solutions to liability. It should also be noted that in a bill just introduced into Colorado, the liability would be placed at the foot of the driver, which means the liability problem would be solved the same way it currently is - through insurance. And enough insurance companies have already indicated that they would be more than willing to insure driverless cars that this whole liability question is really just a waste of time.
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Regarding liability, Nathanel you are simply not correct. This liability myth has gone on for far too long. Google has stated that they are more than happy to accept liability, if that is what it takes to get their software into the marketplace. It was either Larry Page or Sergey Brin who said it. No source. You're just going to have to take my word for it. Mat.
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Waiting for Jarrett!
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@Ben - the difference is simple. It's private money, not public money. Politicians have been crawling all over this, eager to get their face on it. Like I said above, a huge reason that self driving cars are inevitable is down to human nature. Human nature has shown how difficult it is to get any public transport project through, due to the enormous cost, unions, politics, bulldozing people's houses, etc etc. Just look at the enormous money effort required to just get PART of a railway line built to San Fran, compared to the law to get driverless cars legalised in Calif (the vote went through nearly unanimously in both houses within a matter of months). When no public money is required, it is thaaat much easier. Both Larry Page and Sergey Brin are ridiculously excited about this project (both have mentioned it consistently in nearly all media appearances). These guys have billions of dollars and even more importantly, don't need to ask anyone's permission to build the cars, so no willpower is required. Ben, I used to be in your shoes in terms of advocating public transit. But, a better solution has come along and I'd suggest that if you were to similar levels of research to what most proponents have done, you'd reach the same conclusion! It's super exciting! Start with Brad Templeton's website if you're curious.
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Good discussion all. While the initial post has been responded to effectively, there's two key points which have been completely ignored and they are probably THE two key points which ensure the success of autonomous vehicle tech. 1. All dominant systems harness human nature and don't fight against it. That's why driverless cars are such an attractive technology. Public transport advocates have spent so many years correctly arguing for increased implementation of transit but have met years of frustration for the one simple reason : they are fighting human nature. Human nature dictates that people want on demand, point-to-point and private transit. The closer any technology comes to this, the more successful it is likely to be and THIS is the key reason why driverless cars will succeed. If you're a transit consultant, you might dislike this but you'll have a much better impact on the world if you accept them into your calculations and consult with governments in order to plan and prepare. 2. Another thing that is forgotten by most is the incredible potential in terms of Logistics. The business of logistics alone determines that self-driving cars MUST be a success. Look at the huge rise in package shipping because of the internet or the current trends towards same-day or next-day shipping from online purchasing. Companies like Walmart who spend billions on logistics will quite happily use driverless trucks if it reduces their costs. Quite simply, there's no misty-eyed sentiment in B2B land about the magic of acceleration. If a business case can be made, it will be done. Just look at Rio Tinto, who have developed autonomous tech for driving trucks around mines. That is but one step on a huge journey.
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Jan 5, 2013