Tom Toles by Tom Toles

Tom Toles

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  1. stlmaddog5

    stlmaddog5 said, 9 months ago

    @GreggW

    People already trust their lives to complex software everyday. Most military air craft couldn’t fly without computer control. And commercial aircraft today are also controlled by computers. But the degree of sophistication the software for a self driving automobile is still way beyond what we are capable of. I’ll pass on flying and robot cars, thank you very much.

  2. Clark  Kent

    Clark Kent said, 9 months ago

    @GreggW

    We the people are the debugging program. The car companies learn what is wrong thru real world crash info.

  3. Ted Lind

    Ted Lind GoComics PRO Member said, 9 months ago

    The human controlled CTA in Chicago just ran a train up an escalator. The BART system runs OK on computers. If you drive at all around Chicago you would instantly realize that while computer may not be perfect, many human drivers are nuts.

  4. mikefive

    mikefive said, 9 months ago

    @GreggW

    “…a massively complex and just plain massive software program.”

    This is a very true statement, but they have been working on this program since the 8080 processor (early or mid 80’s). The last test information I read about is a car in Nevada is that had gone over 100k miles with the only accidents being getting rear ended. Probably caused by the driver of the following car trying to figure out what all those gadgets on top of the car ahead of him were for instead of his driving.

  5. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester said, 9 months ago

    Remember the, "Johnny Cab’. from the original ‘Total Recall’?

  6. Kip W

    Kip W said, 9 months ago

    “Stop the car! STOP THE CAR!
    “You are false data.”

  7. Mr. Ngn33r

    Mr. Ngn33r GoComics PRO Member said, 9 months ago

    @Ted Lind

    BART was built as ‘un-manned"…after numerous incidents that could have been prevented by an attendant/driver, BART spent millions of $ to fit control cabs for ’drivers’ to the trains…at greater cost than if the cars were originally so equipped.

  8. danketaz

    danketaz GoComics PRO Member said, 9 months ago

    The driver took a crash course.

  9. Chuck Barnard

    Chuck Barnard GoComics PRO Member said, 9 months ago

    @GreggW

    A computer operated vehicle only has to be as good as the average driver to be substantially safer.

    You want computers that work without problems, then you need to do the quality control. Most places, if the management thinks it looks like it works, they want to rush to market.

    It help to have programmers who know their work, and are permitted to ensure that every part works before release.

    In heavy traffic merely staying in your lane make tremendous difference in average speed, as does maintaining a speed rather than stop&go.

    Any idiot robot will do this far better than an average human.

    Robots can maintain a save distance. Humans have yet to be trained to stay out of the 1 second ‘death zone’ between vehicles.

    Robots have no egos. No distractions. And they react far faster.

    Automated vehicles can be designed to ensure crash protection from any accident.

    Automated vehicles can tell each other exactly what they are intending to do, and work together to ensure safety.

    Automated vehicles can know about that growing pothole long before you get there, and avoid it to help keep it from growing, while reporting it to road maintenance so that it can be repaired while not dangerous.

    Automated vehicles are never DUI.

    Automated vehicles don’t have to be fully automated to be useful. It is quite feasible to automate freeway traffic and has been since the ’80’s. Few, if any infrastructure changes need to be made for this to be done today. (A set of GPS receivers placed along the freeway system would be nice, but not essential.

    Since over 50% of traffic is freeway traffic, and it tends to be routine or very long trips, drivers are at higher than usual risk of inattention driving at speeds which ensure very dangerous accidents.

    Just the potential lack of stressed people could easily justify the cost of such a system of individually ‘driver-assist’ cars.

    A retrofit system for existing vehicles should be possible for a couple thousand dollars. It doesn’t take much of a computer, most of the money is electro-mechanical interfaces, and on newer cars may not be needed.

    A smartphone should be easily capable of running such a system, making the system customizable for each user and transferable to any other car.

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