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By now most of us have heard about the millions automakers and others (Google) are spending on the car that drives itself. What are your thoughts about this coming auto technology? Is there a place for it or just a huge waste of money?
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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I think it's like most modern technology, it takes a few pioneers to really push the limits so we can develop and perfect other small advancements. Just look at everything that came out of the space program.

Self driving cars will never be common place, just as flying cars will never happen. However research into them will perfect safety systems such as eyesight and auto brake technology.
 

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Self driving cars has got to be better than the idiots who drive them now.
I see issues however with insurance, traffic violations and accident investigations.
We have self-flying aircraft from take off to landing. Pilots still need to monitor systems in case something goes wrong.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5L Auto Weather Package
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The idea suited best to the 'self driving car' that's already been proposed is special lanes on longer drives, so you could put lots of cars in a fairly densely packed line in a very controlled environment and let the driver relax a bit. It would probably be a well separated lane, in some of the 'study' examples I've seen in the past it was shown as a single lane bordered with K-rails and very limited access.

As for the rest of the real world, I still don't think a 'self driving car' is going to be as universally effective as many think. One thing I can see that would happen if such cars became the majority on the road is that human controlled vehicles could take advantage of the automated cars' systems and just cut them off with a fair confidence they'll just use their machine-precise avoidance.
 

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One thing I can see that would happen if such cars became the majority on the road is that human controlled vehicles could take advantage of the automated cars' systems and just cut them off with a fair confidence they'll just use their machine-precise avoidance.
That thought never crossed my mind, but is 100% accurate. I'm not gonna say I wouldn't do the same thing.
 

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2003 Outback, 5 MT, 134K, HG changed.
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I always considered google's self driving cars as advanced exercises in computing, sensor, and telemetry, akin to those contests DARPA would put on for universities to build autonomous vehicles. It's pretty amazing what Google has done with cars driving themselves in real world environments, and all the uncontrolled factors that come with it. I'm sure automakers are lining up at Google's doorstep though, anxious to use their findings for their own next-gen technology in collision avoidance and so forth.

But I'd welcome the idea of a successful self driving car infrastructure. Commuting is blase enough that I'd much rather read a book or watch a movie.
 

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...a driving feature akin to autopilot would make driving just plain boring.
 

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But I'd welcome the idea of a successful self driving car infrastructure. Commuting is blase enough that I'd much rather read a book or watch a movie.
...a driving feature akin to autopilot would make driving just plain boring.
Consider those two in juxtaposition. A commute in relatively heavy traffic can be boring anyway, and personally if I'm going to be stuck in a parade I might as well let the car handle it.
 

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Those who are fortunate enough to have a daily commute with a fun road to drive on or scenery to enjoy should by all means enjoy their commute. Mine is none of these things, and with no public transportation reaching to my workplace, I've settled on the happy medium of driving + music / audio books.
 

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..

Consider those two in juxtaposition. A commute in relatively heavy traffic can be boring anyway, and personally if I'm going to be stuck in a parade I might as well let the car handle it.

...hmmm....parade? autopilot. Winding mountain road...full pilot control...

No juxtaposition there. Best of both worlds.
 

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See, on my commute I get a little of both, so having manual and self-driving mode could have its bennies. For now, my 'autopilot' is my cruise control - when the other commuters don't mess that up for me. That's when I wish my cruise control was the adaptive kind. (No, I don't want Eyesight - I'd have to turn it off half the time I'm driving.)
 
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