back to article Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous. “Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the …

  1. Grunchy

    All of the traffic signs are ALL CAPS, no wonder Tesla tries to wipe out pedestrians. It has become META.

    1. marcellothearcane

      ROAD SIGNS

      In the UK, signs are in normal paragraph case, because I think research has proved it is easier to read.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: ROAD SIGNS

        There is, or was, an interesting exhibit in one of the London museums about the original road signs. Sans-serif and normal case were indeed found to be best.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Go

          Re: ROAD SIGNS

          There was a Top Gear episode where they interviewed the woman who did the design of the signs. It was a while ago, but I remember it was rather interesting

          1. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: ROAD SIGNS

            "There was a Top Gear episode where they interviewed the woman who did the design of the signs."

            Margaret Calvert. If you have access to BBC iPlayer it is currently available as Series 14, episode 7. She also recently featured in Secrets of the Museum, the programme about the V&A, but that's not currently available.

            Or see:

            http://britishroadsignproject.co.uk/jock-kinneir-margaret-calvert/

            Incidentally, the brown background for tourist attractions (introduced in the 1980s) has more recently been adopted in other European countries.

      2. GuildenNL

        Re: ROAD SIGNS

        Let’s be honest with each other, many drivers in the UK can’t read. Same in the US. Both countries’ Highway/motor vehicles safety departments are considering which cartoon characters will work best in future.

      3. TRT Silver badge

        Re: ROAD SIGNS

        Not all of them are. STOP being one example. GIVE way and most roadworks signs are other examples.

        But I do find that the work done in the 60s which informed signage and communications for the next 50 years has produced the best signs in the world. Unfortunately the gains we made in this are slowly being eroded as the complexity has increased and the "KISS" minimalist principle has been sidelined in favour of nannying and the increasingly litigious society here.

  2. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Clippy

    "You seem to be writing a computer program, want some help?"

    I will have nightmares. I still cannot get used to Xcode's habit of automatically inserting a closing '}' when I start a clause in 'C', god help me if my computer starts talking to me.

    I know, I'm old and was superseded decades ago. I'll just talk amongst myself.

    1. Arty Effem

      Re: Clippy

      "I still cannot get used to Xcode's habit of automatically inserting a closing '}' when I start a clause in 'C',"

      Sounds like a good idea, providing the opening brace is:

      a) Always vertically aligned with matching closing brace.

      b) Never allowed to reside at the end of a line.

      ( Sound of hatch being screwed shut )

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Clippy

        It is a good idea (hence the upvote from me), it is just that I learnt BASIC when I were a nipper (I got an 'A' in the very first 'O'-level Computer studies option in nineteen-seventy-something), and these new-fangled WYSIWYG and predictive interfaces still amaze me. (Also do not get me started on 'autocomplete' and 'autocorrect'.)

        1. .stu

          Re: Clippy

          It depends on the context. If you are writing new code from scratch then it generally works OK, however if you are modifying existiing code it can be bloody annoying.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Clippy

            Modifying existing code... yes. Many IDEs do this, and if you are say moving a block of code into a conditional branch, then this feature can be a royal pain in the butt. You know which block of code you want to enclose, and you would rather put the } in yourself, but even if you put one of those FIRST, before the conditional or the {, then it still puts in a { }, meaning you have to remove the extra }.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Clippy

              Why don’t you just go into preferences and switch it off?

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: Clippy

                Because it's useful in the other scenario and a faff to turn on and off through preferences. You start a conditional block and get typing and lo! Your code is nicely bracketed.

                Now if the IDE recognised, say /} as end of block which matched with a { typed afterwards or it recognised a selected block of text and didn't replace with { when you typed { but did a {...} instead then we would be laughing. There are IDEs that will enclose a highlighted block in different sorts of inverted commas but not {} or ().

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "FSD is now available to all Tesla owners, who are willing to fork over $12,000 for it. ."

    Don't forget that you will soon have to fork out a monthly subscription for the [cough][cough] service.

    Tesla has been increasing its prices rapidly in the past year. They say that it is to quash demand. Bovine Excrement to that.

    With their Texas and Belin plants about to open they will have plenty of capacity to fill their backlog.

    Tesla's are cheaply built basic cars that you are paying £20000 for the name.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: "FSD is now available to all Tesla owners, who are willing to fork over $12,000 for it. ."

      There was quite a substantial amount of R&D that went into the battery and motor technologies alone.

      To suggest that you are paying more than double the representative cost of the car is rather far fetched.

    2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: "FSD is now available to all Tesla owners, who are willing to fork over $12,000 for it. ."

      Tesla's are cheaply built basic cars that you are paying £20000 for the name.

      People think a £50k Tesla is a £50k car and expect something Mercedes, or high-end Audi in quality. It's actually a £20k car wrapped round a £30k battery, which is why overall you get something more Ford or Hyundai. Perfectly competent, of course, but nowhere near the luxury or quality you might expect for the money.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: "FSD is now available to all Tesla owners, who are willing to fork over $12,000 for it. ."

        Getting something more Hyundai is a pretty good thing and better than Mercedes and especially better than Audi. Plus you don’t need to be a total wanker to own a Hyundai.

  4. graeme leggett

    Chess - one move ahead

    Can the AI identify the "Tennison Gambit Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Variation" before the player completes it?

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Chess - one move ahead

      Get it to try and understand Mornington Crescent

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Chess - one move ahead

        "You look like you're in nid.

        Would you like me to help with that?"

        AI: I guess- Clippy

  5. msobkow Silver badge

    Gee only $12,000.00 US for the self-crash option. What a bargain!!!

    Think I'll stick to the bus. :)

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      It's fine. It won't be long before it's cheaper to hire a chauffeur than rent FSD.

    2. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: "Think I'll stick to the bus. :)"

      I thought that was what Tesla's FSD ended up doing

  6. HildyJ Silver badge
    Devil

    Quick solution

    Require Tesla to report all buyers of the FSD option.

    Then take away their drivers licenses since they obviously don't want to be drivers.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    FSD

    That'll be the full sudden death option.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FSD vehicles

    Should be fitted with Flashing Safety Displays, just to warn other road users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FSD vehicles

      Or a Blue (wind)Screen of Death

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: FSD vehicles

      By Flashing Safety Devices, I take it you mean those little blinking lights that decorate the corners of some cars? I've rarely seen them used on Audis... e.g the Audi TFSI (This Fucker Seldom Indicates).

  9. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Two Teslas

    So I saw a Tesla turn onto the end of my parent's street... and keep turning, until it hopped the curb and was about to the sidewalk, at which point the driver finally grabbed the wheel and swerved it back onto the road. And that was not in snow-covered conditions as we have now, that was on a 100% clear road, dry, broad daylight, and 2 or 3 inch curbs with grass on both sides of the road.. i.e. not some low-contrast or poor visibility situation.

    My friend has a Tesla, they commented they don't even use the automatic cruise control, one of they highways where they live in Colorado, they found as it approaches where this bridge with fencing passes over the highway that it slams on the brakes! Despite the bridge and fencing being probably 20 feet above the road (I don't know exactly how high above, I haven't seen it) they assume it's misinterpreting the fencing as a solid object on the road. Yikes!

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Two Teslas

      Guessing one of 2 things. Map data not being very accurate, or accurate enough. This used to be a bane of my life with customers who wanted kmz files showing fibre routing. Luckily I had some papers comparing proper survey data accuracy to Google and similar map accuracy. It makes life a whole lot easier for network designers & planners if clients just say who they want a route diverse from.

      Or the car's 'AI' was having a bad day, and couldn't recognise road markings, confused by street clutter etc. I've heard it's possible to do this by just sticking a few wheelie bins close to the kerb either side of a junction. Works best when it's a narrow side street. Allegedly.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Two Teslas

        It's the latter.

        Map data is irrelevant, in that it is static data, whereas hazards can be both static and dynamic. The map may very well say something like, "There's a bridge over this road, it's got quite tall side-fences on it". However, that does not mean there isn't a jack-knifed lorry stuck underneath it. So the car has to recognise hazards present / absent at the bridge, independent from the map data.

        The "street clutter" thing is going to be interesting. Already here in the UK there's people in the self-driving car industry lobbying for laws to "protect" self driving cars from being harassed by pedestrians / cyclists who behave in a manner designed to exploit the self-driving car's obligation to not hit them.

        The problem with such lobbying is that with the state of the technology at the moment, "protect from harassment" basically translates into "no cyclists / pedestrians / motorbikes / emergency vehicles / horses / horse & carts / stray animals / road works / ordinary cars / shiny shop windows / etc.". Good luck to which ever government tries passing and enforcing a law like that!

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Two Teslas

          The "street clutter" thing is going to be interesting.

          Until the car systems can apply a "is this plausible" test it will continue to be so. Just scanning the environment for obstacles isn't sufficient, it needs to understand those obstacles in context, and none of the much-touted "AI" systems are even close.

          It's like the hacks people play with street signs. If you're driving though a residential street with pedestrians around and you see a speed limit sign showing "80" your first thought will be "that can't be right, someone's been messing about with black tape on a 30 sign". A Tesla just goes "I can do 80MPH! Wheee!"

          1. Fred Daggy

            Re: Two Teslas

            A so-called "high-tech road" that announces speed limits, schools, kindergarten and other high pedestrian might be useful to more than just elf-driving vehicles (not self, there is a pixie in there, hence the "elf"). Data in real time.

            Plod, Ambo and Firey can announce themselves to drivers in the vicinity. Perhaps a red light that actually cuts the engine until it turns amber, on the way to green. Countdown to a red to conserve fuel (dead dino and electrickery) And more (ok, I ran out of examples).

            Two problems, at least. 1 - keeping this data up to date. Do you need to know about the school during school holidays for example? Perhaps, perhaps not. Who keeps it up to date - Local council? The state? Private company via annual sub? 2 - validating the signal. Signed and encrypted message packets broadcast from the lampposts? Three problems. Idiots that treat each of these as quests al la GTA VI.

            I know we have traffic broadcasts and the various map providers have these details already, but "high-tech" road is about having this integrated and updated in real-time.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Two Teslas

              Another consideration to embedding metadata into the road is how to maintain this metadata if (a) information changes, such as new speed limit assignments or a school opening or closing, or (b) the things that present the data get destroyed for some reason. It has some potential, but it wouldn't be a set-and-forget kind of thing; it would need upkeep which costs time and money.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Two Teslas

            No, it doesn't. It doesn't use cameras for speed, just GPS data. Ford have a patent on using cameras. Please FUD elsehwere.

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Re: Two Teslas

              So a Tesla will ignore temporary speed limits, e.g. where there are roadworks?

              That sounds dangerous.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Two Teslas

                Correct. Blame Ford.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Two Teslas

              Thumbs down for listing facts? Ok.

              1. GuildenNL

                Re: Two Teslas

                You are 100% wrong about Tesla using only GPS with no video. No idea where you got that information, but Tesla has been 100% Video with no LIDAR used ***in combination*** with GPS.

                Just do a simple internet search and you’ll find true information about this. One of the posts above posits about pranksters and speed limit signs. Gee, maybe that could be tested?

                https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/306346-researchers-tape-speed-limit-sign-to-make-teslas-accelerate-to-85-mph

          3. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Two Teslas

            And that's WITHOUT the legitimate highways departments who simply can't get signage correct.

            For example (after I complained about it at least six times they've now fixed this I see on street view when I went to check just now) the "keep left" downwards diagonal white arrow on blue background that directed vehicles to drive onto the pavement at the junction of Tollington Road and Holloway Road.

            And at the junction of Roman Road and Watford Road in Elstree where there on the traffic lights there's a no right turn sign, a bus lane sign and no right turning green arrow on the traffic lights for the bus to turn right through its bus gate. This is another I complained about and this is what they came up with AFTER I nagged them about it. You can use the timeline view to see the dog's breakfast that it was before then.

            And at the end of Watford High Street where the bus routes go straight ahead, but they must also turn right and are banned by the signage on the traffic lights. Thankfully the bus drivers have wetware which allowed them to ignore the traffic signs and continue driving the bus route they had been doing for some years previous.

            And as for the much abused pass either side TO REACH SAME DESTINATION sign that has countless times been used as if it means just pass either side of a rather obvious obstruction in the road...

            So basically if the DESIGNERS of road schemes can't even communicate the rules they want to employ for certain situations using a nationwide and standard set of icons, how can they even contemplate an AI to be able to understand the rules? And they still think that self-piloting vehicles are a viable thing of the future??!!

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Two Teslas

              Just seen the Tollington Road one is still wrong as they use an all vehicles must turn left sign on the traffic lights.

        2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: Two Teslas

          I believe that the UK (or at least England) is planning legislation to protect the most vulnerable road users even more, that means basically pedestrians and cyclists, and car drivers (whether human or AI 'enabled') will have to give them priority.

          So when we all drive, sorry, ride in, self driving vehicles, Extinction Rebellion and Insulate the UK won't have to glue themselves to anything, they can just wait for the next Tesla to come along and step out in front of it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Two Teslas

            I believe that the UK (or at least England) is planning legislation to protect the most vulnerable road users even more, that means basically pedestrians and cyclists, and car drivers (whether human or AI 'enabled') will have to give them priority.

            The new rules are due to come into force on the 29th of January.

            The changes are documented in

            https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1037306/table-of-change-to-the-highway-code.pdf

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Two Teslas

              Thanks for the heads up about the highway code changes. There's a lot to go through which I don't have time for right now, but at first glance, it looks as if a little of the advice from the "cyclecraft" book has been included.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: changes to the Hightway Code

              will be meaningless when (not if) the Cybertruck starts appearing on our roads. The 'tank' will give occupants a sense of invulnerability.

              I am sure that it won't be long before some jerk in one tries to find out just how much of a tank they are. Cyclists and Pedestrians won't stand a chance.

            3. Cederic Silver badge

              Re: Two Teslas

              I'm feeling rather good that as a driver the only thing in there that will require a change to how I drive is giving pedestrians priority at junctions. Which I already do if they're in the road, just not necessarily while they're waiting.

              But that's been normal in Germany for decades so I'm used to it from there; it'll be trivial to adapt here.

              The thing that annoys me is the acceptance that cyclists can just bundle down the left of whatever vehicle they choose. Quite why the Highway Code (and associated laws) don't tell them to never go down the left of a vehicle indicating left I don't know. Maybe the authors want dead cyclists.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: Two Teslas

                "The thing that annoys me is the acceptance that cyclists can just bundle down the left of whatever vehicle they choose. Quite why the Highway Code (and associated laws) don't tell them to never go down the left of a vehicle indicating left I don't know. Maybe the authors want dead cyclists."

                No sane cyclist would - unfortunately years of farcility design have tried to force that decision on cyclists.

                Take a look at the legislation around the advance cycle boxes at traffic lights. I have one near me where the access into it (via the cycle gutter) is on the far left, so even if I want to turn right I have to access it and then cut across multiple lanes of traffic.. and the traffic lights for straight ahead could of course turn green at any point during that pointless manoeuvre. All they needed to do was make an exception for pedal cycles - don't need to stop at the first line, still required to stop before the second line.

                1. Cederic Silver badge

                  Re: Two Teslas

                  Perhaps I misread but I thought they do - explicitly stating that where there's an advance box available, cyclists may go through the first white line (which cars must stop at) but must stop at the second until the light turns green.

                  Of course, no road markings require a cyclist to pass a vehicle waiting to turn. The cyclist could pause and wait behind it, just as other road users do.

            4. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Two Teslas

              Oh! Is that still the draft version of the new Highway Code?

              You see I did feedback on that when it was up for consultation... and the main issue I found was that they made no distinction between a signalled and an un-signalled junction or junctions with or without signals for pedestrians, or how a driver is supposed to know if a pedestrian has signals or not now that they've taken to tucking the signals away on little boxes only visible to the pedestrian.

              The way that they've written it, if I'm in a vehicle, turning left, and I have a green light and there's a pedestrian on the pavement on my left or even on the opposite side of the side road, then I have to stop and give way to them even if they might have a red man on that little box on the pole, and even if it means that I'll then run the risk of the lights changing and me being in conflict with other vehicles who were previously being held on red.

              Seems ridiculously loosely written to me. If they're going to rely on the application of common sense then they might as well have cut around 2,500 words out of it and just out in a reminder about being courteous and HGV > car > bike > pedestrian as far as ability to inflict damage and injury goes.

          2. sabroni Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: won't have to glue themselves to anything

            My god, what a nightmare! I'm not paying for an autonomous vehicle if it's going to give way to plebs!

            We need some kind of "net worth" scanner so it can brake for high value individuals but ignore those who can't be bothered to improve themselves.

            1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: won't have to glue themselves to anything

              !!! BAD TASTE JOKE ALERT !!!

              Don't you mean brake for people who can afford to sue?

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: won't have to glue themselves to anything

                Aren't many personal injury lawyers willing to work on contingency (meaning they only get paid if they win) so there's usually little excuse to not sue when injured in such situations?

          3. DjArcas

            Re: Two Teslas

            'city braking' has been a thing for a decade now. This isn't new or exclusive to Teslas.

        3. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Two Teslas

          being harassed by pedestrians / cyclists who behave in a manner designed to exploit the self-driving car's obligation to not hit them.

          Because human drivers don’t have that obligation?

  10. _LC_ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    And they always pretend to be surprised

    And they always pretend to be surprised that the donkey can't fly after all.

    1. a pressbutton

      Re: And they always pretend to be surprised

      Well, they they have seen just about everything and were just stung by an elephant fly

      so perhaps a bit credulous.

      1. .stu

        Re: And they always pretend to be surprised

        I've seen a house fly.

        1. _LC_ Silver badge

          Re: And they always pretend to be surprised

          Camilla doesn't count, she's royalty.

          1. _LC_ Silver badge

            Re: And they always pretend to be surprised

            Charles, go click somewhere else.

        2. Fr. Ted Crilly

          Re: And they always pretend to be surprised

          I'VE seen a crane fly...

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: And they always pretend to be surprised

            But I dun'ever seen a 787-Max fly!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And they always pretend to be surprised

            And fruit flies like a banana.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: And they always pretend to be surprised

              Time flies like an arrow.

  11. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Talk about a brilliant strategy!

    From the LA Times: "Unlike the other companies, Tesla is doing without trained test drivers. Participants in the Full Self-Driving beta have paid $10,000 for the privilege — soon to be raised to $12,000"

    So not only are they not reporting hazardous incidents, but they're actually getting members of the public to pay big bucks to expose themselves to them.

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Talk about a brilliant strategy!

      Is that a fee paid to Tesla, or the insurance premium?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Talk about a brilliant strategy!

        I hear they throw in a decent funeral plan with it.

        (Cremation, of course)

  12. GuildenNL

    Autonomous vehicles

    My son is a senior manager (VP Research and Operations) of an autonomous transport company. It’s all he’s done since university, started in development, promoted to run research and ops with famous company #1, moved on to famous only in the US company #2 that has no human passengers, then global famous company #3 that has no human passengers.

    Has hired people from Tesla & relayed a few (WTF?!?) tidbits to me they confidentially told him.

    Bottom line is there is no way possible for video only to be safe. A combination of at minimum LIDAR and video are required. Musk keeps poo pooing LIDAR due to cost, but there are some in the larger autonomous industry willing to testify in court that video only is a ridiculously dangerous approach.

    As someone above noted, why would you buy an autonomous vehicle to ride in? I’m against the “assistive“ highway tech off GM for example because it encourages inattentive behavior, but at least can understand the motivation of the traveling salesman as I frequently drove 300-400 miles/day 40 yrs ago while in sales.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Autonomous vehicles

      Musk keeps poo pooing LIDAR

      He does what? That man’s behaviour gets even more bizarre. But that’s some party trick, if he could get all his employees to do it, that would be a cheap source for the components.

  13. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Bottom line is there is no way possible for video only to be safe. A combination of at minimum LIDAR and video are required.

    Remind me. Of the 32 million cars on the road in the UK, how many are equipped with LIDAR and how many are driven around based on video input only?

    Of course they're not particularly safe ...

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Swap 'possible' for 'feasible'

      Better.

      Video only relies on a huge amount of contextual information - bridges are made of these kinds of stuff and exist in these kinds of places (cuttings etc), Audi drivers will cut you up, Mercs are probably going to climb into your boot etc.

      I'm certain that it's possible to make an autonomous vehicle that only has video (and perhaps audio) external sensors, because there are tens of thousands of examples of excellent ones.

      However, it's clear that it's very difficult, because there are also tens of thousands of examples of abysmally dangerous ones - and many millions of mediocre autonomous agents.

      They also seem to take about 30-40 years to gain sufficient training data. 17-20 years is borderline.

      1. FeepingCreature

        Re: Swap 'possible' for 'feasible'

        On the other hand, we only need to train it once, whereas with humans we need to train the system again and again, for every car that's deployed.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      re: how many are equipped with LIDAR

      But that's exactly Musk's argument. The experts who understand the tech say it needs lidar but those who love Elon think an AI computer must be better than a human brain.

      He thinks his customers are morons. Why do you think this way?

    3. Trollslayer

      You have to remember that LIDAR is an active system so what happens when you have a lot of LIDAR scanners active and overlapping others?

  14. Trollslayer
    Mushroom

    Tesla? Skimp on testing?

    Remember Tesla got approval in Arizona - which has the most lax approval for motor vehicles in the US.

    The explosion is self explanatory.

  15. Alan Bourke

    As ever, fully autonomous cars

    are solution to a problem that doesn't exist, the tech for which we are decades away from achieving, if we ever do.

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: As ever, fully autonomous cars

      I disagree. The problem does exist: it's that meatbags driving means a high casualty rate (particularly in the US for some reason). I'm sure we've all had to dodge fuckwits on the road who frankly shouldn't be allowed to drive.

      However, solving this problem by using "autonomous" cars still has a long way to go.

      Still, it doesn't have to be perfect - just better than humans.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: As ever, fully autonomous cars

        Meatbags driving has an incredibly LOW casualty rate comparatively. It's just not zero, and that's a laudable target. I reckon if they'd put all the resources that they have done into self-driving into taking aggressive, idiotic and inconsiderate drivers off the road permanently then they'd have had a lot more impact on those casualty figures.

      2. Alan Bourke

        Re: As ever, fully autonomous cars

        I suspect proper education, enforcement and homeworking would do much more than this daft pursuit. It's the American way though - throw surgery and diet pills at the obesity problem rather than addressing the root cause.

    2. jtaylor Bronze badge

      Re: As ever, fully autonomous cars

      I can think of quite a few cases where self-driving would be useful.

      People with disabilities need to travel for work and shopping. Lots of disabled people who could work are unemployed because of a disability that limits their ability to drive, and public transit is often not a viable alternative.

      Old folks. In the US, driving is often a key part of being independent. As people get too old to drive capably, there's no great transition for them. Self-driving cars could fill that gap.

      Fatigue. I've read some studies that e.g. nurses have a higher risk commuting home after a 24-hour shift. A self-driving car could save lives.

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