[LINK] Why you may not own, or drive your vehicle in 10 years time

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Fri Jun 10 10:13:43 AEST 2016

On Fri, 2016-06-10 at 09:04 +1000, Andy Farkas wrote:
> Chess and Go have finite logical outcomes that are governed
> by strict rules.

The laws of physics are pretty strict. I tried to go faster than light
once, and got fined.

> Driving is a learning experience. Something different happens
> every time. Something that a human uses intuition or previous
> experiences to navigate.

You just described how modern computer chess and go players learn to
play. They still beat humans, with all the humans' vaunted intuition
and experience.

Ask a human go player what's needed to play well and they will tell you
"intuition and experience". IMHO "intuition" is another word for
"experience" anyway. Unlike humans, computers can be fed experience in
large dollops, very quickly. They don't have to actually go out and
bend stuff to figure out what works.

Also, with very rare exceptions, humans get out of "new" driving
situations without thinking, because they generally don't have time to.
Instead they use a very small set of emergency rules like "brake hard",
"floor it", "don't swerve" "steer into the skid", "keep left".

IMHO 99% of the value of experience in driving is the art of learning
to avoid new situations. Looking ahead, "expecting the unexpected",
"every other driver is a fool". Really experienced drivers know that
they themselves are fools too.

Human drivers kill and maim themselves and others with monotonous
regularity, so I really don't think human drivers should be held up as
the paragons of ability that people in this discussion seem to think
they are.

> There is a place for auto-cars, but they will not be the only
> things on the roads.

Whoops, you just added the "Straw Man Technique" to your list! Who's
saying they will be the only thing on the roads? And who's saying they
will only be on roads? Not me...

Working computers have only been around for half a century or so. In
that time they have gone from electrical monsters to electronic
marvels. They have taken on a multitude of tasks that we once said with
great confidence they would never be able to do.

On that evidence (*evidence*) I think it more likely than not that
driverless cars are in our future. Perhaps not the immediate future,
perhaps not a future that looks just like the present except for a
mysterious lack of steering wheels, but certainly a future where there
is no human directly controlling the vehicle.

Protesting that "it will never work" is not going to cut it; it's a
content-free protestation of - what? Hope? Fear? Belief?

"It's not possible now" is not an argument. Especially since it does
seem (Google etc) that it actually *is* possible now.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)

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