Self-Driving Cars Are Safer & More Efficient
While Nevada wants to make self-driving cars identifiable to human drivers, the truth is that smart cars have more to be worried about by putting themselves on the road with us.
What's the Latest Development?
Nevada is the first state to begin drafting regulations for self-driving cars, indicating that they may be identified on the road by a red licence plate. Practically every major car company, as well as Google, is working to roll out some self-driving features—ones such as self-parking and adaptive cruise control are already available on many models. Ford expects that some form of auto-pilot will be available by 2017 and that vehicle platooning, where intelligent cars drive much more closely to each other on fast roads to reduce congestion and fuel consumption, will be accepted around the same time.
What's the Big Idea?
The irony of Nevada's desire to make self-driving cars identifiable to human drivers is that smart cars are far less prone to become distracted, take a phone call, fall asleep or drive under the influence of alcohol. "Safety is definitely the number one benefit [of smart cars]," says Sven Beiker, the executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University. "In 95% of accidents, human error is at least a contributing factor." In some cases, smart cars will be programmed with human tendencies, such as creeping forward at a four-way intersection, to keep from sitting forever while more aggressive humans go ahead.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.