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Autonomous Cars Reduce Needs for Police

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by Curt Renz, Nov 22, 2016.

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  1. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    I’ve sent the following message to government officials and newspapers. You may want to do the same. It could save taxpayer dollars. It may get Tesla in the news, and provide another argument for budget conscious politicians to avoid fights with Tesla.

    _______________


    Dear _____:

    The coming of autonomous cars will lead to lesser needs for police personnel and equipment. The cars will obey speed limits, stop signs, red lights, etc. Accidents will be greatly reduced as the self-driven cars are much safer. This will particularly become so when all cars communicate with each other to avoid collisions. I suggest that government officials prepare for this when planning future police and sheriff department needs.

    Link to recent YouTube video of an autonomous car:

    Regards,
    Curt Renz
     
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  2. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Speeding tickets are a huge revenue source... what will they bill us for now?
     
  3. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    That primarily pays for police personnel and equipment. It will become far less necessary.
     
  4. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    A noble gesture to say the least, Curt. But I am cynical enough that the police will not see fit to reduce their budgets when and if autonomous vehicles take over our streets and highways. It is very difficult to reduce government spending in a particular agency once they are used to a minimum amount each fiscal period. Perhaps there won't be as much revenue generated from traffic fines, but clever legislators and others will find a way to have special assessments or other laws to make up for some, if not most, of the lost revenue. Perhaps the police can redirect their efforts to other enforcement responsibilities if traffic enforcement and accident investigations drop substantially.

    I am curious as to how these automobiles will be able to react to irregularities on the road. Do they know to pull over when a siren is heard--will they know the direction the siren is when the sound echoes all around? How about when the Highway Patrol runs a break on the freeway? How about when an emergency vehicle speeds up from behind with only flashing lights and no siren? Do they know the different traffic laws in each state? What about intersections that have "no right turn on red" signs, or intersections that have "no left turn 3-7PM" signs? Will the cars know about temporary road closures? How about icy road conditions? I am sure there are many other odd driving situations that we humans have some sort of instinct or experience with that could be problematic for autonomous vehicles.
     
  5. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Came to the scene of a crash the other day and the person directing traffic was.. less than ideal... how will a self driving car know what a person's hand signals mean?

    Leaving work yesterday, there was a delivery truck facing the wrong way in my lane parked. I had to drive into the other lane to go around it... what does said car do then?

    I also don't think you'd ever reduce the need for police, the need will just shift as people find new ways to spend the time previously spent driving, doing something to annoy everyone else... thus still needing... police ;)
     
  6. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Of course the same could be said for red light and speeding cameras, which Chicago has in overabundance. They even shortened the timing for yellow lights to catch more drivers. Obtaining the cameras involved some bribery for which the primary miscreant has already been sent to jail. Eliminating the cameras would mean the city will have to find another way to produce revenues, unless the police force is downsized.
     
  7. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Autonomous cars will not become ubiquitous overnight, but far sooner than most people realize. Police departments can simply reduce the hiring of rookies who would otherwise expect to remain on the force for their entire careers. Forces would be reduced by attrition as veterans retire. Vehicles should last longer with less need for frequent replacement, as the fleet is downsized.
     
  8. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    And should the driver commit a crime, the autonomous vehicle will deliver the perp right to the police station, again reducing personnel cost by eliminating the need to locate and arrest the individual. :D

     
  9. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Nice find. I watched that when it originally aired in 1964 and had long since forgotten about it. A half century ahead of its time. ;)
     
  10. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    There's always bicyclists. If cops ticketed them for every stop sign and red light run, the national debt would be paid for in weeks. :)
     
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  11. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    I haven't seen a reduction in the fire department staffing even though the number of calls over the years has decreased significantly except for medical emergencies. Somehow I tend to doubt autonomous cars will have much affect on police department staffing at least for a long long time.
     
  12. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Autonomously driving vehicles will change the way the world works, and maybe sooner than we can think. It's not just police, but taxis, truck drivers, bus drivers, and on and on. There are tens of millions of people in the US whose only ability is to be able to drive, and from what I see on the news, drive poorly. These drivers will be unemployed. What will they do? Yes, the police and fire departments may try to find ways to game the system for a while, but it won't last. And shopping on line, getting the car to deliver itself, there goes the ADA. Among many.

    Interesting times a comin'.
     
  13. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Indeed, and throughout the nineteenth century as the Industrial Revolution progressed, Luddites feared that almost everyone would soon become unemployed. Instead people adapted to meet new demands.

    Today robotic devices are replacing manual laborers. Yet there is a huge unfilled demand for engineers to design those machines or develop the software needed to run them. Others less academically inclined are needed as skilled carpenters, plumbers, electricians, landscapers and solar panel installers to rebuild our nation's infrastructure, jobs that can't be shipped overseas.

    Government can help by supporting educational institutions such as community colleges to train people for the types of work that are actually needed in the 21st century. A return to the spirit of innovation can "make America great again", not attempts to revive outmoded industries.
     
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