Thoughts on random topics.
I will admit that I have never been in a fully autonomous vehicle. Frankly I am not looking forward to that day.
Advocates of autonomous vehicles say they will cut down on traffic congestion, pollution, accidents, and just about every bad thing that human driven vehicles are accused of. I don't buy it.
It's not that autonomous vehicles will never get there, maybe they will. But the programming will have to get way better than it is now.
I drive a lot of new cars, I review them. Many, almost all, have smart cruise control which is a form of autonomous driving. With smart cruise control the vehicle maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front of it. It will even bring the vehicle to a complete stop. Add in lane keep assist and you have a semi-autonomous driving. And I don't trust it.
Why don't I trust them? The simple answer is they cannot anticipate, they react. Let's say you are on the highway doing 70-75 mph and a car cuts in front of you. Yes the computer will brake to maintain that preset distance but it will brake hard, really hard if the car is too close. Maybe so hard that the car behind you rear ends you. Because the computer, despite all the inputs, did not anticipate some fool.
The semi-autonomous cars can scan the road but they don't see the car coming up behind you weaving in and out, the car a few car lengths ahead that you've been watching changing lanes, or the toddler that is running ahead of mom and just might hop off the sidewalk.
I don't doubt that someday autonomous cars will be able scan the same 180 degrees a human is capable of scanning and predict behavior. But they aren't there yet. So despite the technology my foot will always be hovering over the brake pedal as my eyes scan my surroundings.