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Public opinion on autonomous cars could get ugly

Discussion in 'Autonomous Vehicles' started by LastGas, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. LastGas

    LastGas Member

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    I start with the Tesla crash in Florida and the huge amount of publicity it got. Some people will have an immediate gut reaction and say "I'll never trust my life to a self-driving car." But fast forward a few years when a car with some level of autonomy becomes more common and instead of 1 fatality, there are 10 or 100. Some people will say "I don't want a self-driving car on the road with me."

    Fear is a powerful motivator, and I could imaging gory accident photos getting captions like "Share if you don't want to be killed like this. Ban robo-cars!" on Facebook. All the factual arguments in the world won't dislodge a scary meme once it gets implanted.
     
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  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Since all the car companies are talking about autonomous vehicles in their future lineup - and countries like Japan are encouraging development/deployment because of the obvious benefits to both aging populations and disabled populations, I don't expect too much FUD / pushback.

    Of course there will be some. But the big interests that have been fighting EVs should be quiet on autonomy (or actively promoting). This isn't a Tesla vs. Big Auto issue. It's more a 'progress vs. Luddite' issue.
     
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  3. voyager

    voyager Member

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    Good point. If you read between the lines, companies like Google are frustrated by the slow progress self-driving tech is showing. Then again, accidents do happen. If statistically they go down with self-driving cars, then people will accept being confronted with accidents now and then.
     
  4. 3Victoria

    3Victoria Member

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    I simply not that that car accident did not involve a self-driving nor autonomous car. However, I realize that the media / public may not appreciate the difference.
     
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    In the past several months I have spoken to quite a few people in the area where I live and not one of them has expressed serious concern about fully autonomous cars. In fact, most of them are pretty excited about the concept. Some say they won't pay anything extra for it because they don't think they would use it. But those tend to be the older people I speak with.
     
  6. voyager

    voyager Member

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    Passenger jets are practically flown 99% on the auto-pilot....
     
  7. theboom1

    theboom1 Member

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    You are going to compare a jet in open space with a car on the ground with infinite variables? And plus many people drive for fun or the need for utility.
    But did you ask if they want no manual controls in them? Like i said I don't oppose self driving cars, I want it actually. I oppose taking away the ability to drive when we want.
     
  8. voyager

    voyager Member

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    Never heard of UFO's? They just pop up from another dimension...
    ;)
     
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  9. davewill

    davewill Member

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    Actually, it's not clear to me that they will. I worry that the average person will still believe that THEY are an exceptional driver and would do (have done) better than automation, at least deep down even if they "know" better. I think the tolerance for accidents by autonomous vehicles may be very low, especially ones that involve bodily injury or death.
     
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  10. theboom1

    theboom1 Member

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  11. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Like everything safety related, people will come to grade it against manufacturer.

    At present "autonomous cars" are this weird new fringe tech.

    But people will learn the jargon and what questions to ask and will be able to compare the differences in capabilities between VW-Audi autonomous tech vs BMW vs Google, vs Apple, vs Tesla etc

    And any accidents will be attributed accordingly.

    People aren't really put off by any technology. They are only put off buying certain brands of that technology if companies don't deliver on their claims.

    And the critics will change their tune once they have to review, say, BMW autopilot tech. All of a sudden it will be a remarkable breakthrough - a great leap forward etc etc..

    But they will still have to submit to the usual "Autopilot head-to-head" and "We review five different autonomous vehicles - IN DEPTH" hoopla.

    AFAIK in the future people will still have brains and the option to use them. It'll be just like it is now. We'll own cool stuff and worry about what's next.
     
  12. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Or there are more people than you think out there, who are of the opinion that driving is a 'chore' and they'd rather be doing something else on their commutes.

    Unless you're very young right now (in which case I want to talk to your parents), you will be able to buy a car with a steering wheel et al until the day you die, so don't sweat it.
     
  13. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    We already have photos of gas cars which have self ignited and self immolated, but no one seems to get excited and do captions labeled "Ban Gas Cars!" And as to having people not wanting AP on the road with them, how are they going to know??? You are supposed to drive AP with face alert and hands on the wheel.

    And as to people getting ugly, well, I've seen lots of people, and I think they are already getting ugly. Mostly the old men. Like me. Can't help it.

    I'm not too worried. It's pretty much the people who have never driven AP that are afraid of it. Those of us who use it and are aware of how it works and what it can do absolutely love it. I recommend anyone who is afraid to take one on a drive.
     
  14. theboom1

    theboom1 Member

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    Im not denying that. And I don't mean that they want the steering wheel so they can drive all the time, im saying that they will let the car drive 95% of the time but for that 5%, most would want the steering wheel. In a recent poll that don't remember the exact percentage but is was around like 93% said that they want a manual driving option in an autonomous car. I want an autonomous car sometimes as well. I can agree that sometimes driving is a chore and at that point I would engage autopilot. But when its not I want to drive.

    Why would you want to talk to my parents if I was really young? and how young do you consider really young? Im pretty young but im not a minor or anything.
     
  15. voyager

    voyager Member

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    You have a point. Having no steering wheels makes racing games also pretty pointless... What do we want our kids to play with then?

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Okay, but originally when you asked people how much mileage an EV needed to have on a single charge before they'd buy one, they'd answer something like 400 miles (or whatever is the equivalent of their current ICE).

    Then originally when you asked people how fast their EV had to charge, they'd answer something like 5 minutes (again, the equivalent time it takes to fuel an ICE).

    Neither of those have proven to be of significance for the majority of people.

    Ask people today if they want a steering wheel or not so they can drive, and they'd answer just as they have - until they actually experience something they've never experienced before then subsequently change their minds when they realize they over estimated their needs and wants.

    And I like to drive, except when I don't. ;) Ultimately if I could never drive my car again but wanted to, I'd go pull out my 'mobility scooter' or go to an amusement park and get in the bumper cars.
     
  17. Sasmania

    Sasmania Member

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    You already see a lot of "I'd never drive one of those" comments on social media etc.

    However, I'm not worried. At all.

    I believe that once these are fully developed and available, the demand will outpace the production capabilities of the automakers by a big margin. The naysayers will have several years to warm up to the idea while the early adopters are reaping the benefits of increased productivity (multitasking), lower stress, and more safety. While there will be some accidents and bumps along the road, this is will happen regardless of some occasional bad press.
     
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Indeed. It doesn't matter what the loudmouths reactionaries say. If the cost is low enough to be as positively disruptive as it could be, governments will vocally support autonomy. If they slow it down, it'll just be until they have domestic manufacturers with the systems available. Especially since driver assistance systems are going to be found on more cars over the next few year, it won't take long for the safety benefits of these systems to stand out in the statistics.
     
  19. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Well, Google's in a different position to Tesla and other car manufacturers: Google needs autonomy in order to profit. As long as the driver is looking at the road, it's not looking at an advert. The other manufacturers can simply push the tech as far as they can, and if autonomy can't be achieved they'll settle for the most profitable driver assistance system they can make.
     

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