Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cars for the blind? The proof of concept is already here

I've previously thought about a world where cars were all fully computer-driven and fully interactive. Wouldn't it be easy if cars were automated, completely taking the human factor out of driving. Cars could communicate with signs and markers along the roadways, making turns to arrive at their destination, as well as communicating with other cars so that all cars stay proper distances from one another. It might make driving boring for sighted drivers who want to prove they can handle the challenges of the road, but it would be a much safer road for all. I truly believe this could be achieved with today's technology.

Apparently, according to this
article in The Atlantic,
I'm not alone in that idea. As a matter of fact, the article takes this idea to the next level where a driver can be blind using today's technology. Better yet, the other cars on the road don't have to be automated!

Don't laugh; apparently its already been proven if what is reported there is true.

The only problem with the whole idea is the other drivers on the road. If one of them suddenly cuts in front of the automated vehicle, requiring a quick, evasive action, one has to wonder what will happen. Again, it is that human interaction that makes driving dangerous, not the automated car, even when the driver was blind. If all the cars were automated, then the poor decisions of the other drivers wouldn't be a factor.

Then again, what if the computer of the automated vehicle failed in the middle of a trip, while motoring down the road. That would result in a real crash, not just a system crash. How do you reboot from one of those?

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