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U.S. House unanimously approves sweeping self-driving car measure


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http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving/u-s-house-unanimously-approves-sweeping-self-driving-car-measure-idUSKCN1BH2B2?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House on Wednesday unanimously approved a sweeping proposal to speed the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls by putting federal regulators in the driver’s seat and barring states from blocking autonomous vehicles.

The House measure, the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market, would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year. The cap would rise over three years to 100,000 vehicles annually.

Representative Doris Matsui said the bill “puts us on a path towards innovation which, up until recently, seemed unimaginable.”

 

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Who wouldn't want a better cruise control?  But that's a far cry from giving up your car altogether.

Unless you live in an area where a car is not required for daily living, I don't see this ever happening.   Why don't we all car-pool?   Where do I keep my toolbox (currently in my trunk) after I exit that taxi?  Where do I keep the kid's favorite DVDs? How many taxis would you need for rush hour?   If not enough, what's my average wait time?   How can others see my ego, when I'm in an unremarkable taxi?   "I bought that new Corvette to cruise low and slow, not cause it goes fast".  (Not me, I don't have a slow gear).   Speaking of that, I have to get to the airport in a hurry.  "Go fast taxi!"   Its programmed to obey the speed limit and thus goes slower than the prevailing traffic. 

Here's the best analogy that explains this.    If you own a boat or have ever owned a boat, you know damn well that renting said boat would have likely been waaay cheaper than owning it.   However, if you had to rent it every time, it might not get used as much.  Personally, I would value each trip and ask if it was a reasonable expense for my budget on this day, week, month.    It's why I quit flying - today's 1.5 hour leisure trip is just $150 (30 years ago).  What's the value of this trip?  This resulted in few trips, making me less safe due to less practice.  It's far easier to spend 1000's upfront while it's shiny and exciting, but harder to do after a few nicks.   Once you own it, you tell yourself that you must use it because you spent so much on it already.   When's the next boat show?   I'm ready (again).

I have a friend with 7 different cars and just him and his wife.  None of these cars are special (overly expensive, very fast or very pretty/sporty).  But he got a "deal" on each one.  He bought a truck, because... it's a truck.  He'd never go rent a truck, and is paying more for insurance than it would cost him to rent it for the few times it will get used.  But it's always there, always ready to be used, just like his airplane.   Nuff said.   We have cars for convenience.  Sometimes, a taxi, bus or train is better, but not always.

 

 

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