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Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:47 PM

What Intersections Would Look Like in a World of Driverless Cars [View all]

What Intersections Would Look Like in a World of Driverless Cars
EMILY BADGERMAR 01, 2012COMMENTS
Reuters

OK, so first you have to accept the idea that we will one day all be in driverless cars. But the people who think about such things for a living are seriously convinced this will happen.

“The technology is pretty much already there,” says Peter Stone, a computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. And this was also the jarring promise of Tom Vanderbilt’s recent profile of the autonomous car in Wired. “But the question is when will it be cost-effective? When will the legal industry wrap its head around it, and the insurance industry, and when will people buy into it? I don’t know when it will actually happen. But the potential advantages are so huge that it has to happen eventually.”

Stone is thinking of the advantages for the disabled and elderly who can’t currently drive, for parents who don’t have time to take their kids to soccer (they can take themselves!), and above all for traffic safety and the more efficient movement of people everywhere.

It’s one thing, though, to realize that Google engineers have been zipping through our midst in autonomous concept cars. It’s another to picture what will happen when we’re all in these things – when the eye contact and social rules that currently govern urban driving are replaced by computer systems chatting with each other.

“When they do interact,” Stone says, ...


http://www.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2012/03/what-intersections-would-look-world-driverless-cars/1377/

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kristopher Mar 2012 OP
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liberal N proud Mar 2012 #14
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