Art Alexion on 11 May 2009 08:00:57 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] OpenStreetMap mapping party next weekend (5/16-17)

On Monday 11 May 2009 09:06:11 am Brian Vagnoni wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Claude M. Schrader
> > cars talking to the police, cars talking to insurance companies, cars
> > talking to the FBI. No thanks...I like the old way.
> ----- Original Message -----
> As much as I don't like the idea, it's coming for sure. Any type of
> intelligent auto drive, intelligent accident avoidance will need
> information about it's surrounding gathered from other vehicles as well as
> the road surface.

This latter part is not just scary from a big brother perspective, but also 
from an immature technology vs. safety standpoint.  In the late 1980s I had 
a rental car with a digital dashboard literally reboot on the NJ Turnpike and 
the engine just stopped.  I don't see ads for self-parking vehicles any more.  
The upside to the economic downturn is that I no longer have to watch ads 
for cars equipped with MS voice command.  Why are video cameras better 
than rear view mirrors in autos with back windows?  If the distraction of 
lighting a cigar is enough to cause an accident during rush hour, how scary 
are all of those people looking at a cartoon of the road on their GPS instead 
of the actual road (with me on it)?

Every time I read or see a new technology on a car, I think about how more 
likely it is to break and how much it will cost to repair out of warranty.  I 
work with computers all day.  I don't know if that makes it a paradox that I 
don't trust them in cars, or whether it is a lesson I have learned about the 
instability of complex technology under stress.

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