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ibstubro's avatar

How likely are you to try one of the new self driving cars?

Asked by ibstubro (18804points) September 11th, 2014

When they come on the market, will you think self driving cars are freeing or restrictive?

On the one hand, it’d be nice to read, work or nap while the car drove itself.

On the other hand, it’d be very annoying if a driver ahead was able to slow the flock to 40 mph in a 60. I have to distrust a self driving car passing cars at present.

Do you dismiss self driving cars out-of-hand? Or are you eager to test…sit…one?

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42 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

No fucking way I’m ever trusting a computer to drive my car. People drive like random idiots, a computer can’t handle stupid people.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

My drive to work is very boring. If I could, I’d take a bus but there isn’t one. I always see my trip to work as a waste of my time, so I’d love a self-driving car that allowed me to either get some work done on the way in or read a novel or watch a DVD!

I’ve always imagined self-driving cars as being fairly efficient in that there would be streams for those vehicles and an individual wouldn’t be able to slow the stream down. I think they’d need to be lanes for people who want to drive themselves. My husband would hate being driven in an automated car. He loves driving.

CWOTUS's avatar

I haven’t owned a “new” car in over 30 years, and I don’t expect to be an early adopter of this technology, either. However, if I had the chance, and if funding wasn’t an issue, I would love to have a self-driving car. Once I could assure myself that it would perform at least as well as I would in unexpected conditions – and with a certain assurance to begin with that it would function near-flawlessly under “normal – good” conditions – then I’d be very happy to accept even the limitations that you propose. Who cares if I’m traveling 40 mph in a 60 mph zone as long as the driving is being left to a well-performing machine, and I don’t have to suffer the angst of “could be going faster here”.

On the other hand, since I only take a couple of long drives per year, and my normal workday commute is a 6-mile round trip through a pleasant neighborhood in my own town, I don’t feel a pressing need to adopt this technology yet, either.

jonsblond's avatar

Me! I can’t wait. I’ll be able to text, apply my makeup, pick my nose, take pictures of other drivers picking their nose and post the pics to facebook and eat a waffle taco from Taco Bell during my 20 minute drive to town.~

I’m joking. It would be boring as hell if I couldn’t be in control in the driver seat. I don’t mind driving our desolate country roads where I live. It can be relaxing when there isn’t a dipshit riding my ass.

hominid's avatar

I can’t wait.

Coloma's avatar

F—k no! haha
For one, I would be bored to death, if I want to be driven I can take a taxi or a limo.
For two, I would not trust a computer to drive me around.
For three, I don’t want to feel completely out of control and vulnerable.

I do not trust that this is a good idea, not at all, unless we’re talking replacing the entire roadway and freeway grid with monorails.
No thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

I love the idea, but I probably would have trouble trusting it. I basically do have a self driving car. My self driving car isn’t driven by a computer, it is driven by my husband. I still watch the road most of the time, especially since my bad accident.

I love not having to pay attention while travelling. The only time I feel really free to not pay attention is on trains, planes, and very large ships. Sometimes while in a taxi I can zone out and not pay attention, it just depends on the circumstance.

canidmajor's avatar

They used to be as horrified by automatic transmissions, as some are about the concept of self-driving cars, now.
I am not likely to try them unless/until they become ordinary, but I don’t necessarily feel that they are a bad innovation. I like to drive, so I don’t anticipate them with great delight.

CWOTUS's avatar

The primary reason that I will enjoy a self-driving car – when the technology and laws have gotten to the point where they will need to be – is so that I can be driven into an urban area and then not have to look for parking. Instead, I’ll direct the car to return home (if it was just driving me to Hartford) and wait for my call to return, or if farther from home, to drive itself to a low-cost parking area outside of the city and wait for my call there.

I also enjoy a lot of short-to-medium-distance driving, but I hate having to find parking, or to use parking that costs as much as the activity I came to the city to enjoy.

LostInParadise's avatar

The thought of leaving the driving to the car scares the bejesus out of me. I will wait until the technology proves itself on a large scale. As they say, To err is human. To really f*ck things up requires a computer.

picante's avatar

I’ll likely be an early adopter for utilitarian travel and relish the weekends when I can handle the twists and turns of the country roads with my hands on the wheel. I’m firmly on the fence ;-)

Bill1939's avatar

I am ready for a self-driving car. It will be like having a chauffeur. My wife’s new car has front sensors that can automatically decelerate or bring the car to a complete stop to prevent the vehicle from colliding with anything. It also signals when the car is drifting out of its lane and attempts to guide the steering back on course; the pull it asserts can easily be resisted by the driver. Additionally, side sensors warn of vehicles in the blind spot and rear sensors warn the driver when backing up. These sensors also aid in parking.

A risk exists that control of a vehicle can be taken over by remote control. This had been shown to be possible. Possibly isolating blue tooth by using two separate computer systems may prevent this.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I used to say driving should be left to those that drive well.

Now I’ll just settle for those that can drive at all.

How these cars could be appealing to anyone is beyond me.

BMW and Nissan’s active steering is exasperating already.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Uh NO!!!! How would you program it for dumb fucking drivers?

hominid's avatar

There is much to be worked out here. But there is one thing we can’t be concerned about – safety. Even the most craptastic hardware and software will be significantly-safer than what we currently have. That’s just a fact. Denial of this, while common, emerges from a deep misunderstanding of human vision, response time, technology, and the current dangers involved with human-driven autos.

There will certainly be bumps and challenges. But it takes an impressive amount of creativity to pretend that society is heading off a cliff (safety-wise) when considering this technological shift.

ibstubro's avatar

Like @picante, I’m firmly on the fence. I find a long drive relaxing and freeing, however @CWOTUS makes an excellent point about city driving and parking. I’d visit a lot more places in downtown areas if I didn’t have to navigate and park in congested areas. Think how much more parking there would be if cars didn’t have to allow room for passengers to exit and enter from the side.

I think self driving cars could do a lot toward revitalizing urban areas.

On the other hand, @Bill1939‘s half-assed scenario is my nightmare – a driver in control but complacent because the car is supposed to be covering them. I’ll drive or I’ll read a book, thank you very much.

wildpotato's avatar

I’d buy one as soon as possible if I had the cash. It would make it much easier to have a one-car household. We could just send the car on its own to pick up the other person when our shifts end at different times instead of one of us taking a long lunch to drive the other home. And kayak/hiking/biking shuttles would become simple: no more driving to the endpoint in two cars, dropping one off, driving to the start point, doing the hike/bike/yak, then loading up and driving back to the start for the other car. Just the drop off, programmimg the car for the pick up, and going on our outdoor adventure. So much less gas and time, and we’d get to be together on the drive. Only downside I can see is that this might cost chauffers and taxicab drivers some jobs.

Here2_4's avatar

I am very excited about them I can’t make a decision until I have looked them over, and maybe test “ride” one, but I am very inclined to give one a try. Wouldn’t they be interesting for dating, I wonder. It would be a good opportunity to paint my toenails, maybe.
Can the rider change their mind? I mean, suppose I program it to take me home, and we go by Dairy Queen or something. Can I tell it to go back and stop for ice cream? I am sometimes impulsive, and that is one of the things I want to know.

Coloma's avatar


DFD alert! You have a DFD on your starboard side, warning Will Robinson!”
In computerized porn star voice. LOL

CWOTUS's avatar

On-the-fly route changes should be a breeze, I would think. With my current built-in GPS I have to have the car stopped and the parking brake set in order to reprogram anything more elaborate than a “Return Home” function – which is a button I can press any time to reset my route.

With a system that did not require the driver’s attention and control, it should be possible to re-direct the system at any time. Of course, the driver can also disengage the system and take manual control to be like any other driver, which may be a better spur-of-the-moment route changer, anyway.

ibstubro's avatar

I believe the current Google model has no driver controls, i.e. steering wheel, etc. @CWOTUS.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Wow, I never imagined the level of technical hypocrisy, people will trust the computer in a tiny device that tells them to take this exit, turn right on this street, or one to unlock the house, turn on the lights and set the temp to where it is liked, but think it can’t drive a car. I hope I am around to see it as common, I may not fully trust the programming now, but I have faith it will be safer than flying commercial in the coming decades. Those that said they would be bored, are they more excited jockeying for position, trying to avoid fender benders, looking out for motorcyclist zipping between lanes, etc. while stuck in a moving lava flow of vehicles during an hour or more commute? I can think of plenty ways to occupy that time better if the car was driving itself. Just as people balked when the talk of electric cars came out, and the very first were not as good or reliable, but now Priuses dominate the freeways.

hominid's avatar

@ibstubro: “I believe the current Google model has no driver controls, i.e. steering wheel, etc”

They are modifying the car per California DMV regulations that require a human to be able take control. So, they are adding steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator to these cars.

ragingloli's avatar

I do already. They are called trains and buses.
Cars? No.
If I wanted to drive a car, it would be to drive the car.

ragingloli's avatar

Good. That is what regulations are for.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^^The correct German motoring mentality.

Pachy's avatar

As Seinfeld used to say on his show when Kramer or George was about to dive into some crazy scheme… “Oh yeah, what could possibly go wrong?”

hominid's avatar

^ Reminds me about people’s fear of socializing health care in the US. “But we will break it! ”

pssstt… It’s already broken.

muppetish's avatar

[mod says] This question has been relocated to social at the OP’s request.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m surprised at people who are worried about safety. I think humans are much more unpredictable and irrational than computers. I’d imagine the cars would have safety sensors to keep them a safe distance from the car in front and their speed would be managed by the computer. I imagine we’ll find out one day.

ibstubro's avatar

I’d be happy if they’d start modernizing some of the infrastructure that self-driving cars will utilize. Digital speed limit signs that can be adjusted to conditions, for instance. There are cars that can detect rainfall and self adjust windshield wiper speed…wouldn’t that be useful in a speed limit sign? They could be broadcasting a digital signal at the some time that would guide self-driving cars.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I estimate that if all cars on the road suddenly became fully automated tomorrow accidents would plummet by 90%.

That still doesn’t mean I want anything to do with it myself.

ragingloli's avatar

unless they are made by crapple

hominid's avatar

^ @ragingloli – You’re not helping matters.

Bill1939's avatar

Since accidents would be greatly reduced, insurance companies should offer a large reduction in premiums for those vehicles equipped with collision avoidance systems. This would encourage buying such vehicles despite their increased purchase price.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


Windows car:

Accident occurs. Clippy appears on your GPS screen and says “you appear to be experiencing an accident. Would you like me to deploy the air bag for you?”

“Windows Car has detected activation of windshield wipers. Please restart.”

“You have switched from 87 to 93 octane fuel. Please contact Microsoft at…”

Please install sunvisor driver at www.Microsoft..."

ragingloli's avatar

crapple car:
– A deadly accident occurs: An advertising window opens, telling you that crapple cars don’t have accidents, and therefore don’t need airbags. ‘squish’

- Your wind screen wipers break: a message from the crappel shop pops up “it seems your windscreen wipers have broken. please report to the crapple shop and buy a new car”

- you try to switch from fuel from Shell, to identical fuel from BP. The car refuses to start.

by the way, the windows car: “You have switched from petrol to orange juice. installing standard drivers for orange juice. done.”

SecondHandStoke's avatar


The function and build quality shown here isn’t real.

It is all in your imagination.

In reality the Apple Watch is a poorly constructed and conceived product.

Anyone that buys it has been scammed.

ragingloli's avatar

Yeah, an iphone nano with a wristband, that you have to charge every day because it has a shit battery, that will cost you 350 moolahs.
And the batteries will most likely be proprietary, so you have to buy them at the crapple store for lots of dosh. And they will prolly even forbid you from replacing them yourself, and instead fuse the thing into the frame. You likely will not even be able to open the thing by yourself.

Common Sense™ introducing:
The wATCH.
It tells the time.
It will take any battery from the supermarket.
Just pry open the back and replace it.
After a few years, because it just tells the time, the battery will last for years and years.
If you even need a battery. Many come with a sophisticated internal mechanical marvel, that does not need any batteries at all! Just crank it up once in a while.
It also comes in thousands upon thousands of different designs.
And the price?
As low as a 10er.

canidmajor's avatar

Sounds like somebody really wanted to work for Apple but wasn’t hired.
Hell hath no fury . ;-)

Here2_4's avatar

Oh, this is so funny! You two are a great team! I have tears.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


Ragingloli and I were married but are now divorced.

Loli still has a great deal of pent up rage. I don’t really understand because it was he that left me for that bastard Bill Gates.

I still care about him deeply. When he calls me drunk after a confusing and unintuitive session in the sack with Bill he slurs on about the German Reinheitsgebot or some other sad thing I just lend sympathetic ear. He doesn’t know I usually have a hard cry afterwards.

LOL @canidmajor

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