Golf carts? Cute.
Let's cut to the chase here.
We've had self flying aircraft for years, so the obvious question is, "Where the Hell's my self driving flying car?"
Many jaded readers of the Register, noting on the interwebs the endless stream of stories about self-driving cars - being worked upon by such companies as Google - may have wondered whether in fact anyone at all is actually working on the real, genuine problems confronting the human race. Well wonder no more, my jaundiced …
If we can't even manage a decent self driving car, how in the world do you expect autonomous flying vehicles to function in anything other than tightly controlled airspace far away from any other flying object? Flying vehicles for the average consumer is just never going to happen, autonomous or not.
"30mm Gatling guns from an A10 Warthog"
That certainly would be, erm, memorable.
Sorry to be a spoil-sport, but I'm going to have to invoke Newton's third law here ("For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction".) The 30mm GAU-8 cannon in the A10 fires extremely dense depleted Uranium armour piercing rounds at a rate of around 4,000 rounds per minute, which results in a rearwards force due to recoil which is greater than the thrust of one of its jet engines.
You would have the first backwards flying golf cart, but not in a good way...
"It was this stop-and-go game over who's going to do what,"
Hmm, wasn't there an article recently featuring a Google self-driving vehicle and something that exhibited exactly the same behaviour as the lizard?
Ah yes. It was that urban hazard familiar to most, a lizard-brained cyclist of course.
The sacrificial goat idea is lizardy Danegeld.
You do it a couple of times and then you find that you are attracting the monitors and komodo dragons, who have discovered an easy source of food.
Soon you have gangs of komodos ambushing golf carts to get their dinner. What happens when a golf cart, already stopped once before, fails to produce its goaty treat?
You get komodo dragons pushing over your golf cart to get at the consolation prize inside. Then you have well fed maneating venomous komodo dragons to contend with and not a St,George or Ricky Wurmtoter in sight.
It'll all end in tears.
"Of course, the talk of making self driving golf cards begs the question: Why not just put in a set of rails on the path, and then have a railed golf cart to zoom around. Probably less costly."
Because the lardy assed, high handicapped golfers can't hit the ball worth shit and they spend post of their time driving all over the golf course looking for their balls, usually far from the normal paths...this would require a complete inter-city, intra-urban, intra-forest, submersible set of highly connected rails....
I admit that it is very comfortable to have a golf cart but it stops one from improving. It gets tiring walking all over the golf course looking for badly hit balls and this is usually enough to push your desire to improve, take more lessons or alternatively give up golf completely....
Now if someone stood behind you with a GAU-8, you might actually take a bit more time with that swing.. Teeing off would then become a fun sport to watch.
"Why not just put in a set of rails on the path"
(Yes, I know this is a sarcastic question)
Because people trip over them - and if you flush-fit the things then they're both a hazard to cyclists and prone to getting full of various crap which will derail them so your maintenance load is higher.
There's a lot to be said for self-driving golf carts as an urban transportation mode.
Enough seats (3 in a pinch) for 90% of purposes, cargo tray on the back for shopping, lightweight (low energy requirements, fast braking), low speed but "fast enough" for urban canyons and based on the ones I've driven, surprisingly nimble.
All we need now is a golfer who can be trained to walk by him or herself. They could be given a medical insurance discount for walking a certain distance, or, failing that, tasty treats.
Advanced walkers could be trained to avoid lizards. Eventually, once they reach full autonomy and spend more time in meaningful activity, most golfers can go on to lead normal lives.
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