Monday, January 01, 2018

Self-driving cars. Lovely dream or tech-fantasy? Symbiotic driver assistance is much more important

Laurie Orlov has written an excellent blog post about the incessant chatter about self-driving cars.

Will they happen? Does anybody want them? Will they benefit older people?

Today there is another excellent article on the subject by Matt Ridley in The Times. 
This encapsulates what he thinks
The more I have looked into this (and I sat on a select committee that produced a comprehensive report), the more convinced I am that in the foreseeable future we will gain huge amounts of symbiotic driver assistance and very little driver replacement, except in niches such as trams, tractors and trains. On congested urban streets and narrow rural lanes, driverless cars are a distant if not impossible dream.

I love the term he uses 'symbiotic driver assistance'. What he means is using technology to add value to those things that you the driver can do. Sat nav would be the most obvious example. Here is an example of a piece of symbiotic assistance I could use to help me drive - a windscreen that automatically changes to filter headlight dazzle and amplifies low light road information. That is something that I am sure is possible, it would have a huge impact on the mobility of older people and extend their lifetime of spending money.

It cannot be that difficult? Dick Stroud

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