The cars you drive

IdleRich

IdleRich
Never owned a car although I can (just about) drive and have hired cars to move or go on holiday or whatever. No real problems unless I have to park in a difficult place but I usually just drive around until I find somewhere you can just drive straight in and out of. But I lived in London from 2000 to 2017, I didn't have to drive. Now I'm on the continent I kinda want to get a car and drive across Europe Endless etc once you are moving there is nothing to stop you I guess (apart from Brexit). Problem is, I'm shit at the best of times and so very nervous about driving on the "wrong" side of the road, also cars are weirdly expensive here although can probably get around that by going to France or Spain or something.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
how did you become a bird spotter in portugal idlerich?
I was always into it when I was a kid (Young Ornithologists Club etc) and kinda always had a very low-key interest. My Dad's family are from Orkney and we used to go on holidays there or Shetlands and also Anglesey (where my Mum's family is from) and we always spent time looking at birds. Since then I've sort of let it slide but rekindled a bit here. From my balcony you can (just about) see the Tagus estuary and we walk down there and sit on the pier with the fishermen and drink beers and look at birds. Had an old knackered pair of binoculars but I thought fuck it and bought a couple of spotting scopes - one is on a tripod and has amazing magnification, sometimes you can actually see flamingos from our balcony, the other is a tiny little portable one - which came to a total of maybe 100 euros. And since I've got em I may as well use them. There is an amazing walk you can do from the next village along through the marshes and stuff and you get all kinds of birds in the estuary. Just got excited again I guess.
 

firefinga

New member
Cars are the last frontier for the Silicon Valley Overlords

Apparently the car-industry is the next big target of the "benevolent" dictators of Silicon Valley. After they control so many aspects of modern life, they are on their way to monopolize individual transportation, too. The "autonoumous car" - eagerly awaited by many - will possibly do the trick. It's sales pitch is: convenience, safety, no responsibility for the customer. The customers trade this off for independence and high technical vulnerability (the "autonomous" car isn't autonomous at all, rather dependent on an incredibly vulnerable and comlicated technical infrastructure)
 

martin

----
Driverless cars are a fucking terrible idea. No way I'd want one.
Could be good for folk with epilepsy, impaired vision, etc, who might otherwise never get a licence.

Also, renting a robocar could work out cheaper than using a taxi on holidays. You can sit and drink in the back, and just send it back to the rental office automatically when you're done with it.

Sadly, they do render the '80s Irish rural game 'Chinese Traffic Lights' obsolete. And some of them have sensors that slam on the brakes if they detect something in the road ahead, which is a pisser if you want to scare old people on zebra crossings.
 

Leo

Active member
this fascinates me for some reason, raging against the machine

Wielding Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars

CHANDLER, Ariz. — The assailant slipped out of a park around noon one day in October, zeroing in on his target, which was idling at a nearby intersection — a self-driving van operated by Waymo, the driverless-car company spun out of Google.

He carried out his attack with an unidentified sharp object, swiftly slashing one of the tires. The suspect, identified as a white man in his 20s, then melted into the neighborhood on foot.

The slashing was one of nearly two dozen attacks on driverless vehicles over the past two years in Chandler, a city near Phoenix where Waymo started testing its vans in 2017. In ways large and small, the city has had an early look at public misgivings over the rise of artificial intelligence, with city officials hearing complaints about everything from safety to possible job losses.

Some people have pelted Waymo vans with rocks, according to police reports. Others have repeatedly tried to run the vehicles off the road. One woman screamed at one of the vans, telling it to get out of her suburban neighborhood. A man pulled up alongside a Waymo vehicle and threatened the employee riding inside with a piece of PVC pipe.

...

At least 21 such attacks have been leveled at Waymo vans in Chandler, as first reported by The Arizona Republic. Some analysts say they expect more such behavior as the nation moves into a broader discussion about the potential for driverless cars to unleash colossal changes in American society. The debate touches on fears ranging from eliminating jobs for drivers to ceding control over mobility to autonomous vehicles.

“People are lashing out justifiably," said Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist at City University of New York and author of the book “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus.” He likened driverless cars to robotic incarnations of scabs — workers who refuse to join strikes or who take the place of those on strike.

“There’s a growing sense that the giant corporations honing driverless technologies do not have our best interests at heart,” Mr. Rushkoff said. “Just think about the humans inside these vehicles, who are essentially training the artificial intelligence that will replace them.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/31/us/waymo-self-driving-cars-arizona-attacks.html
 

Leo

Active member
I guess some part of it is people fighting back against the impending robot takeover, etc., but I love how some of it just seems to be pranking. if I was a teenager in that town there right now, I could totally see myself putting obstacles in the road in front of a self-driving car, just to see what would happen.
 
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firefinga

New member
I guess some part of it is people fighting back against the impending robot takeover, etc., but I love how some of it just seems to be pranking. if I was a teenager in that town there right now, I could totally see myself putting obstacles in the road in front of a self-driving car, just to see what would happen.
Of course a lot of it is about pranking. And those "autonomous" cars + especially trucks are an invitation for (organised) crime, too. And then there are insurance-issues, and terrorists etc. It's astonishing to me to listen to the naive "tech-jingoism" of the Silicon Valley moguls when they paint a totally flawless future of "automated" transportation. When there is so much that could and will go wrong "down that road".
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
It's technology for technology's sake, which is a curse of our age. It's solving a problem that doesn't exist. I feel the same way about those fucking awful self-service checkouts in supermarkets (and now even post offices and so on). It's an excuse to fire people, as much as anything. And yes, it's handing ever more power over to lives to the companies that make these things.
 

sufi

lala
I guess some part of it is people fighting back against the impending robot takeover, etc.,
The screens have been moving closer and closer to our faces increasingly quickly and now they are about to enfold us.

The windscreen, from the inside, is not so different from your TV. That was particularly my experience in US as a passenger in various vehicles thru scenery that's familiar from decades of telly

Car drivers already enslaved themselves and dematerialised their consciences. Personally i won't even kneel to unload the dishwasher :fire:
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I guess you either have excellent hip mobility or a partner who does a lot of tutting.
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
Self-riding electric bikes would be much more sensible - a bike that rides to your location then rides you around. Less mass to go haywire.

 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Self-riding electric bikes would be much more sensible - a bike that rides to your location then rides you around. Less mass to go haywire.
I can see human-powered travel - palanquins, sedan chairs and the like - making a big comeback among the socially conscious global super-rich in the next decade. Virtually no carbon footprint and you're giving people a job - what's not to like?
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
at least when we have wiped ourself of this planet we can still have our little cars and bicycles run around as if nothing happened
 

Leo

Active member
oops!

In 2017, the feds said Tesla Autopilot cut crashes 40%—that was bogus

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has egg on its face after a small research and consulting firm called Quality Control Systems produced a devastating critique of a 2017 agency report finding that Tesla's Autopilot reduced crashes by 40 percent. The new analysis is coming out now—almost two years after the original report—because QCS had to sue NHTSA under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the data underlying the agency's findings. In its report, QCS highlights flaws in NHTSA's methodology that are serious enough to completely discredit the 40 percent figure, which Tesla has cited multiple times over the last two years.

...

But now NHTSA's full data set is available, and, if anything, it appears to contradict Musk's claims. The majority of the vehicles in the Tesla data set suffered from missing data or other problems that made it impossible to say whether the activation of Autosteer increased or decreased the crash rate. But when QCS focused on 5,714 vehicles whose data didn't suffer from these problems, it found that the activation of Autosteer actually increased crash rates by 59 percent.

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2019/02/in-2017-the-feds-said-tesla-autopilot-cut-crashes-40-that-was-bogus/?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
The company I work for got bought out last year by another, bigger (obviously) company. We had a talk thing last Friday given by one of their technology bods, giving an overview of the stuff produced by the other business units (what was previously our company is now one such BU out of, I think, five).

One of the other BUs produces LIDAR systems that are used in self-driving cars. Impressive stuff, of course, but in the Q&A session afterwards it really made me want to say "Have you heard about the amazing new LIDAR system that's just on the market in this sector? It's got a completely organic sensor matrix coupled directly to an organic processor, and the best part is, it can be integrated into the driver's own head!" - but I'm not sure I want to mark myself out as The Office Comedian so early on in this new setup, so I kept it to myself.
 
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