Has Toyota Become the New GM?

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I used to (and still do) bash GM for having adopted the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” strategy when it came to “safety” features and – far worse – going farther (and sooner) than government demanded. Daytime Running Lamps, for instance. Not required by law – but force-fed to the American car buyer in the name of “safety” anyhow (even though DRLs arguably make the roads less safe by making motorcycles and emergency vehicles less visible, by increasing visual clutter, glare, etc.).danger will robinson!

But GM is in danger of losing its crown as the most Nanny (and ninny) minded automaker.

I got a release the other day from Toyota (see here) announcing its new Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian-Avoidance Steer Assist (no acronym yet). It is the latest, far-from-greatest, advance in automotive idiot-proofing – which would be not-so-bad if only idiots were required to have (and pay for) it.

Sail Fawn Sally is gabbling away, doesn’t notice the crosswalk up ahead. Or the guy about to cross the street. In steps Toyota:

“An on-board sensor detects pedestrians and issues a visual alert on the dashboard immediately in front of the driver if the system determines that there is a risk of collision.  If the likelihood of a collision increases, the system issues an audio and visual alarm to encourage the driver to take evasive action, and the increased pre-collision braking force and automatic braking functions are activated.  If the system determines that a collision cannot be avoided by braking alone and there is sufficient room for avoidance, steer assist is activated to steer the vehicle away from the pedestrian.”Sail Fawn Sally picture

Italics added.

Yep. The idiot driver – who apparently can’t be expected to brake (or steer) or even pay attention to things in the path of the car will soon have a car that brakes and steers for him. Sit back, relax – send a text or three.

Except it’s not relaxing – if you’re not an idiot driver.

I’ve already sampled several new cars with elements of this technology – the “brake assist” part. You’re driving along. Up ahead – far up ahead – there is a car slowing or stopped, with its left signal blinking. The opposing lane of traffic will be clear shortly – long before you reach the spot where the left-turning car is stopped with its signal on – so you know the turning car will have turned – and therefore, be gone – before you get there. warninglight 1

Hence, no need to brake.

But the “brake assist” has no eyes – or brain. Just radar sensors (to detect the object) and a computer processor that doesn’t think, it just reacts according to pre-set parameters. It cannot tell that the car up ahead will be gone by the time you get there. All it knows – if a computer can be said to know anything – is that there’s an object up ahead. It assumes the object is going to stay in place – like a brick wall.warning light 2

All of a sudden, the driver is visually assaulted by an eruption of lightworks in the dashboard. Danger! Danger! Will Robinson! If that doesn’t give you a stroke – or cause you to jerk the wheel (or slam on the brakes), consider yourself blessed. But if you fail to Do as Instructed – and apply the brakes – the car will do so for you.

Suffocating. Insufferable.

And, of course, expensive. Idiot-proofing isn’t free – or cheap.

But it is idiotic.

The systems I’ve sampled sometimes think that road berms are objects in the vehicle’s path. So fun to enter a corner at speed – and have the car go berserk with flashing lights (and automatic braking).BNW picture

It’ll be so much more fun when the car takes over steering for you, too.

What happens if the system decides to steer you into a tree, by the way? (Or perhaps, someone else decides to steer you into a tree. These whiz-bangs are subject to being hacked – and controlled – remotely. Not tin foil conspiracy; demonstrated reality. See here.)

I am a savage of the Brave New Worldian sort. Perhaps you are, too. There is a reason why I don’t take the bus – or the train. Several reasons, actually. But the relevant reason, as far as this rant, is simply that I want to be in charge – and yes, responsible, too. If I wanted to be a passive sack of potatoes – a flesh-bag just sitting there, Twittering and texting and gaming my mind away – I’d take the got-damned bus.

Soon, I expect, we’ll all be taking the bus. Just individually. Our own private pods, in which we’ll just sit (and text) and stare into space, leaving it up to the car to handle everything on the increasingly explicit assumption that we’re too addled, too inept, to handle anything ourselves.

Too risky, too dangerous.Open white window

Toyota hints at a rollout of this latest step toward the autonomous car sometime after the 2015 model year. The window is closing, folks – rapidly.

The Art of Driving will shortly be as quaint (and elite) a notion as horsemanship – something only a few do.

Or rather, are permitted to do.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  86 comments for “Has Toyota Become the New GM?

  1. Mr. Liberty
    October 22, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Eric:

    Perfect analogy:

    “The Art of Driving will shortly be as quaint (and elite) a notion as horsemanship – something only a few do. Or rather, are permitted to do.”

    As an aside, I just had the pleasure of getting sucked back into the insurance cartel by force. I had recently gotten a new debit card so the automatic payments to Geico stopped. I was a bit too busy to worry about it and though that since I’ve been paying into the system for nearly 30 years without a claim I would just let the damn policy lapse and take my chances (at least until the gun was put into my ribs to renew the registration -10 months from now). Well, I should have expected it, but Geico ratted me out to the state. I got a notice that my license would be suspended in two weeks unless I resumed my payments to the cartel.

    I was forced at gunpoint to go back to Geico with hat in hand. But that wasn’t enough. I had to also pay for the “coverage” during the 3 weeks or so after the policy had expired for non-payment. Of course I had to make a statement on the phone that no accidents or tickets occurred during the period of non-coverage. In other words, I paid for the full amount of coverage post hoc where Geico knew it had zero risk of a claim (and of course if I did have a crash and lied, they would deny my coverage as based upon fraud).

    They made me an offer for “protection” that I couldn’t refuse!

    • RothbardianamericanHelot
      October 22, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Buying insurance from the scum company called Geico? It’s owned by that rat bastard Warren Buffet. Anyone giving money willingly to Warren Buffet should probably try and find a new insurance company, imho. They probably all suck, however; some are less-worse than others. Or so it seems.

    • scawarren
      October 23, 2013 at 9:12 am

      I think I would have switched insurance companies if I had been in your position. Why reward them with your business or was changing not an option for you?

    • MikeFromWichita
      October 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      CloverI have asked this question several times here and as yet no one has had a straight answer.

      Supposing the purist libertarians get their way and mandatory auto liability insurance disappears and those pesky speed limits, stop lights, DUI checkpoints and other clover fodder so disdained by purist libertarians who have not had a moment’s inattention at the wheel in 300 years and are able to drive perfectly with a .7500 blood alcohol level also disappear.
      Clover
      When a purist libertarian has an oopsie with their 4000 pound auto which kills/maims one of mine- DO I GET TO KILL/MAIM SAID PURIST LIBERTARIAN AS I DEEM FIT?

      • ozymandias
        October 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        lol…purism rolls downhill. well, downpyramid. it doesn’t levitate.

        the “get to” specified might be one option, chosen by various locales. actually, you, or another, has gotten a straight answer to this question before.

        i knew a brunette, from wichita. corrine. she was some witch, alright…☻

      • Tor Minotaur
        October 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        The Ottoman Turks had their empire stolen by Britain and company.

        But they have one of the purest real time living systems ever invented. They only keep their savings in gold. They also distribute immediate justice at the time of the crime.

        After this car accident. No one calls anyone on the phone and sits on their hands like Kunta Kente waiting for Massa’s costumed goons to arrive. People from the offending vehicle are vigorously cross examined immediately.

        The shop owner shutters his business and guards his property. A citizen hero at 1:50 jumps from the second story to do his part in the citizen’s tribunal. Take a good look at how men behave. You might learn something.

        An American clover would say: “it’s the kids fault he came up under the guy’s vehicle.”

        A Turk would know: “there’s people about, I better drive 1/2 mph lest I hit someone and get the everlasting shit kicked out of me by an entire pissed-off neighborhood.

        How is that not a win for driver, pedestrian. bicyclist, government, neighborhood, etc.?

        • ozymandias
          October 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm

          ok but for “their empire stolen”.

          somebody, ate their previously stolen stollen. what goes around comes around. & fruitcake is forever.☻

          • Tor Minotaur
            October 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm

            At least when the Ottomans ran things, everyone had a comfortable place to sit.
            http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:OttomanEmpireIn1683.png

            A Monarchy, contrary to propaganda, is potentially the best form of government to live under. People were far better off under Austrian & Ottoman Monarchies.
            https://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist151/maps/big1900.htm

            Britain occupied Egypt, and instigated World War I to stop Germany from getting oil to Europe by connecting the railways. They’ve ruined billions of peoples lives in their military schemes to destroy the Austrian and Ottoman Empires.

            These people were far better off before Britain and America intruded. What use is it having high standard of living and high technology when you don’t control your own destiny locally.

            America is a retarded patsy. They helped Britain destroy most of inner Europe through two needless world wars. America’s predecessors were vampires. America needs to stop being a vampire, and leave the world alone. We are still productive enough to not be dirtbag vampires like the British bloodsuckers.

            Germany, France, and Italy are all more productive economically. It is not even close. Britain maintains dominance through vampire politics, through maritime war, and by being the tail that wags the USA.

            There is no earthly reason they dominate as much of the world as they do. They don’t work that hard at all. Their manufacturing base is second rate. It’s time to break away and end their undeserved world dominance.

            Britian is America’s puppetmaster much like the Jews were Germany’s puppetmasters. We need to cut their strings in a rational way. They are nothing compared to us, if we just start thinking clearly and acting in our own best interests. They can go stew in their own delusionally transgendered, unisexual, global warming warmongering, eugenic fever swamps.

            #freethecommonwealthpuppetregimes

          • ozymandias
            October 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

            yeah. we have an ottoman in the living room. it is a comfortable sit. doesn’t run anything, tho.

            trading off less filling against tastes great beers, or empires, is meh (isn’t it?).

      • seriously?
        October 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm

        Wow!!! Blood Alcohol Concentration of .7500! They must be a superman since a BAC of .3 is considered lethal (although a few people have amazingly survived with a BAC of .486 and 627 (lethal for even a “seasoned” alcoholic)). Usually at this point they are unresponsive and not able to start a car.

        I took a class a recently so the almighty state could grant me the privilege of pouring alcohol at a business. The premise was to not over-serve so you won’t be open to litigation. Did you know if you serve someone alcohol in Washington State and they get into a car crash or hit someone later that night the server is held responsible for the drunks actions? Crazy! There goes the one thing most American’s really need. . . more personal responsibility.

        • The Bobster
          October 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm

          0.3 isn’t considered lethal. You are unconscious at 0.4 and dead at 0.5. However, there are some exceptions…

          • Eightsouthman
            October 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm

            Ahll see your .5 and raise you .13

      • eric
        October 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm

        Mike,

        You don’t get to dispense justice as you see fit. This includes limiting people’s liberty on the basis that “someone” might cause harm (the gist of your support for mandatory insurance, checkpoints and so on).

        If someone injures you or your property, then you have an equal claim on them (and only them) for compensation. No more.

        But don’t tell me I must buy insurance – or air bags – or have an autonomous car – because someone else damaged your property. Or – much worse – because you worry that a hypothetical someone might damage your property.

        • Eightsouthman
          October 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm

          In a libertarian society impartial citizens would be chosen by some agreed to method such as those who don’t want to be judges who would mediate a fair settlement. If the facts warranted it was an intended act and deaths resulted, you might get the option of retribution to the same ends. This is almost never the case but when it is, can anyone ask for mercy when they meant to cause death? OTO, should they be tortured the rest of their lives if it was accidental? Should they not get the chance to perform remuneration as mediators assigned? What price life?

          • Jacob
            October 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm

            People deserve the chance for retribution if whatever they did was accidental. That said, last Friday I had someone try to break my leg while I was riding my motorcycle….they cut me off, so I got in front of them and blew past them. I didn’t flip them off, yell at them, or slow down once I got in front of them…..at the next stop light I was in the left lane (to go straight) with my left leg down….this asshole came up through the left hand turn lane and ran over my left foot with their car…I was wearing steel toed boots and only got a minor bruise on my foot but I have a picture of my boot with the dusty wheel mark across it…….long story short, I chased them for a few miles but let them get away because I had to get to work on time (just got a new job)….I have their license plate number and their face imprinted in my brain and I very much look forward to running across them again. They will get my version of justice if I ever find them….until then, here’s hoping the kharma that loves to be a bitch to me will be an extra bitch to them.

          • Jacob
            October 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm

            I feel I should also add that I am not getting the government involved in this situation because 1. Fuck the government, 2. I’m not a snitch, and 3. Even if the cops gave any bit of a shit about my story there wouldn’t be any sort of “justice” given to this piece of shit. They would probably say it was just an accident, and I have no proof of them cutting me off (potentially killing me because I’m riding a fucking bike) so the person who attempted to break my leg would most likely get a fine (at best) or just get away with it by vehemently denying it because hey, I have no evidence other than the wheel marks on my boot.

            There is only “justice” when individuals deal it out, not expect the government to do it for them.

          • Eightsouthman
            October 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm

            Jacob, may I suggest you broaden your vehicular horizons. This is a sure bet your foot won’t be run over.
            http://forums.aths.org/156093/Autocar-Rig-Up-Photos
            If you need something with more protection, I suggest you go to Houston. If you can’t find it there, it hasn’t been made…but not to worry, plenty of people will make it just like you want it.

          • Jacob
            October 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm

            Awesome link, and good tips, thanks for that.

            I am now driving a company vehicle to work so all is good on that front. But that said, my next vehicle purchase will either be a pickup truck or a deuce and a half. I only recently found out how cheap I could buy a running deuce and half for (about 10k or less)…. that will wait until I fix up my house, sell it, and move out of town. Until then I at least have the company vehicle to drive to and from work, and in my personal time ride the bike where I have my gun with me and all the free time in the world to chase assholes who fuck with me.

            Badass link though, I’ll keep that in mind before I purchase my next vehicle.

        • MikeFromWichita
          October 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm

          CloverAs I thought YOU wish to be free to indulge in behaviour which is a clear and present danger to others including TAKING THEIR LIVES! and then get by paying some trivial sum of money. Rather than tolerate that for our own safety the rest of us will be using the State to terrorize your sort into behaving and sleep well after crushing you like a bug when you get out of line.

          Wanna drive drunk without insurance- do it on your own property or be prepared to pay the penalty.Clover

          • Eightsouthman
            October 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm

            Wow, MIW, what nonsense. The same strawmen you use have been built long ago by other clovers to justify their own incompetence and inability to deal reasonably with others. State terrorizing citizens into obeying? That says it all. And when the thugs with badges come for you for something you don’t even have knowledge of or are aware of but don’t feel there’s any guilt on your part, we’ll all sit back and cheer on the “state terrorizers”, knowing “you got yours”. Feel better now?

          • October 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm

            Dear 8SM,

            Notice the “thin edge of the wedge?”

            It’s “public property.” It is the bane of anyone who seeks to ensure individual liberty. It is the perfect pretext to regulate everything.

            It’s why total privatization is absolutely mandatory. The anarcho-capitalist Icelandic Republic was that way. The entire island of Iceland was privately owned by one person or another. This eliminated the bullshit MFW arguments about restricted liberty on “public property.”

          • Bevin
            October 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm

            Dear Mike,

            You wrote:

            “… the rest of us will be using the State to terrorize your sort into behaving and sleep well after crushing you like a bug when you get out of line.”

            One day “the rest of us” will not include you. One day you will be the one terrorized. You will be the one crushed like a bug.

            When that day comes, and it will, sooner than you expect, it will be too late for regrets.

            “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
            – Thomas Paine
            American political philosopher (1737-1809)

            Wake up!

          • Eightsouthman
            October 23, 2013 at 9:40 pm

            Bevin, the “thin edge of the wedge” fairly sums it up. Intolerance of those who don’t agree with him. But what about “intolerance” of him by others who don’t agree with statist bullshit? I suspect he’d have some serious problems with that. I’m a laid back guy”but” as Jean might say, I can get my thing going. Good moon out tonight, nobody out in the grass patch for 15 miles. I could barely walk today but man, when my Mojo gets worked up I won’t even feel that bad leg. Reckon MIW wants to come out and teach(this is his strawman BTW)me what I need to learn? Hey, he can’t send his terrorizers to my property if I don’t rise to the “threat”. Promise I won’t get CJ in on it. “But” if CJ somehow gets through that door or window, I won’t give him up to the “state terrorizers” and I won’t let CJ actually eat his ass…..but I will.. That doesn’t bode well for MIW, private property and all.

          • Bevin
            October 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm

            Dear 8SM,

            MFW is probably just another authoritarian conservative “law and order” copsucker.

            A number of possible fates await him.

            Assuming he’s a “mere mundane” copsucker, he could be the next sheeple who gets his skull caved in by the very thug cops he worships.

            On the outside possibility he’s a cop himself, he could wind up like the dearly departed Chris Dorner.

            Or he could wind up like the late unlamented Nicolai Ceausescu.

          • Garysco
            October 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm

            @Mike – Where did you find the word “insurance” in the Constitution or bill of Rights?

            Seems to me that this country was pretty darn prosperous for over 100 years before those instruments were used by government to force behavior and enrich the corporations that lobbied for those laws. Also, we have had civil liability laws on the books since day one. I am not in disagreement with those personal liability rules, just the forced payment in advance of an event that may never occur.

            Before “health insurance” I could afford to go to any doctor I wanted to see and I was able to write a check for my treatment. Now that we have it a day in the hospital is about $20,000.00 -$50,000.00. Maybe there is a better way?

          • Eightsouthman
            October 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm

            Until my late teens I didn’t have to go to the hospital, my doctor came to my house. Sure, I was the only person he saw this way, just because I was such a “cute” kid. Only everybody else in the damned town and county got this treatment but alas the doctor paid dearly for it for he had the largest house in the county except for the banker, the newest, nicest cars(Caddies), kids with the best of everything, a farm(several hundred acres of good cropland) he bought outright even though he was clueless and his own clinic. He lived across the road from our family and we were always learning of the exotic ways of life and expensive ways of living from his kids. They must have just dreamed all that. And this was back in the 50′s when most people didn’t have shit. So how did he do it? Well, I guess he worked hard and didn’t give friggin money to the damned insurance companies since they barely existed at the time. I don’t recall anyone doing without his services and if they had to pay him in something other than cash, no doubt he got his good out of it(according to his kids our age who told us). Free milk, eggs, butter, beef, pork, chicken, housecleaning and all sorts of things were fairly nice, not that they were “free” but he traded barter for them. I’ll take care of the birth of your child and your wife’s welfare for half a beef. But then we got fancy when the govt. got into it and that’s when people began to not be able to afford healthcare. Oh, they got it ok, just not to the point they really needed it. The doc never had to trim his trees, cut his lawn, fix his sewer or water, work on his tv or anything else and his house had all the neat things nobody else had. Did he make too much? Not I could tell. Everybody was tickled pink to have his services. Surely there must be a downside. I guess so. My cousin, a doctor, made more money in a town of 50,000 people although I never saw them looking rich. Truth was, both these guys worked their butts off and everybody was able to pay them and it worked out well for everyone for the most part. But then the 70′s reared it’s ugly head and Nixon’s minions did the work of the devil(insurance companies)and that was the start of real expansion and encroachment into the doctor’s lives and livelihood with the HMO…..and the price went up for everyone.

          • Garysco
            October 24, 2013 at 12:14 am

            @8 – Remember when doctors gave away their services to the poor for nearly free? And that was the norm in their profession?

            Now we have mega rich insurance companies and lawyers, but middle class doctors. I have a personal injury attorney friend who brings in between $350,000 and $600,000 a year in his one horse shop. Funny part is he is madder then me over paying 55% of his income feeding the “poor” Jerry Springer government tit sucker crowd.

            Now good doctors quitting business because the politically imposed socialist system of forced caring for our “poor unproductive comrades” is breaking them. A twin system much like the one that ruined Soviet Russia (for those historically impaired readers).

            So now I have to learn Pakistani or listen in an Indian dialect “doctor” because they “E-1 Employment-Based Immigrant Visa” immigrated from a country that is only now installing indoor toilets.

            Yea government and their IRS enforced insurance mandates are fk’in great.

          • October 24, 2013 at 12:27 am

            Dear Gary,

            “Remember when doctors gave away their services to the poor for nearly free? And that was the norm… ”

            Coercive statists always pay lip service to “freedom and human rights.”

            But they always add the “but.”

            As in “I believe in individual freedom BUT… ”

            The premise is always that freedom can’t work, it’s impractical.

            But as historical experience shows, only freedom works, only freedom is practical.

          • Garysco
            October 24, 2013 at 12:48 am

            @Bevin said – “Coercive statists always pay lip service to “freedom and human rights.”

            Bevin, that is because they mentally project their own hate, greed and guilt on everyone else. Otherwise they would have to turn to drink and drugs. Oh…wait…

          • eric
            October 24, 2013 at 5:36 am

            Mike,

            You confuse your gratuitous assertions and feelings with objectivity and fact. Whose life have I taken? To my knowledge (and I suppose I would recall) I have never killed anyone. Or harmed anyone, for that matter.

            I don’t “drive drunk,” either. The truth is, I hardly drink alcohol at all. Yet you think it’s fine to have goons with guns treat me (and millions of others) as presumptively drunk – absent the slightest evidence, without even the assertion of individual suspicion – because a hypothetical “someone” might be drunk.

            Well, Mike, “someone” might be harboring an illegal meth lab (or counterfeit printing shop or any of a score of possible “illegal” things) in their homes. There are wife-beaters and elder abusers and makers of all manner of nastiness. What shall be done?

            According to your own logic, all people should be presumed meth heads (and so on) until proved otherwise by random sweeps of their homes. “The children” (or “society”) are at risk, after all. Forget probable cause and due process. Throw innocent until proved guilty into the dustbin of history. If anyone, anywhere, at any time could conceivably be abusing his freedom of action, then everyone’s freedom of action must be limited, if not rescinded.

            This is the sort of reasoning that’s transforming America into a re-animated Soviet Union, in which the individual is utterly under the thumb of the state – that is, of the power elite – which rules over the populace in the name of the populace. It is the longest con going – and you’ve fallen for it. And it’s a con, Mike, because they will do unto you just as you expect them to do unto others. You’re as much a sheep living among hyenas as we are. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll stop shilling for the hyenas – or imagining yourself to be a hyena.

            You seem to relish visiting violence upon people who’ve caused you no harm – who’ve caused no one any harm – in order to salve your feelings and fears; to order and control and punish them according to your personal whims. Just wait until the personal whims and lust to dominate and punish are visited on you, Mike. I expect you won’t like it much.

            It is revelatory that you chose to use the word terrorize.

            That’s exactly what you are.

            And as others here have observed, Karma is a mean bitch.

            PS: I recommend eliminating the British spellings from your posts. It gives the lie to your “from Wichita” handle.

          • ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N
            October 24, 2013 at 7:09 am

            Eric, the “Wanna” in Mike’s last post suggests more Aussie as I’ve never heard a Pom say it. Maybe he’s an escaped Aussie stranded in Wichita?

            Are there any jails there ? ;)

      • presbys ergum
        November 11, 2013 at 9:47 am

        a vapid rant, but hey!….
        the entire insurance industry is a $cam. The Old Testament provides a simple solution of personal responsibility. In the OT if somebody borrowed his neighbor’s ox and it died because he failed to maintain it, or overworked it, he owed the owner of the ox another ox, or two or three, depending on the circumstances. Of course obligations could be satisfied via indenturehood, either the person or one of his family.
        Doesnt take a mental giant to figger out there’d be no tailgating if such were our policies in this, our age. Altho, I s’pose there’d always be some mattoidinal morons who’d still think they could avoid the laws of physics at 70mph and 30 feet acd from the leading vehicle.
        We see them today chasing somebody up the highway, with passing zones galore. The vehicle they’re chasing can slow down to 25mph and they’re still on his bumper, mesmerized, thotless, clueless, but oh, so professional a driver, based on their $everal hundred dollar driver$ ed course.
        And their protective umbrella of insurance.
        Soon or late, we’ll see stoplights at EVERY intersection, and 3-way stops at EVERY driveway in Ah-murka.
        It’s sorta like the sloping sidewalk ramps we now have, to provide wheelchair access. So many folk have fallen on those things, ESP.ly in winter, just so the handicapped can “live normal lives”. Likewise with all the traffic control devices to protect the ignorant drivers who otherwise would be killed. Doesnt make much sense if we believe in the UNproveable theory of evolution….

        • Eightsouthman
          November 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

          presbys, a caveat to ” just so the handicapped can “live normal lives””. Now board certified shysters cruise businesses looking for no wheel chair access and then pretend to have a victim and sue the businesses for several thousand dollars or they can avoid litigation by just paying them off so they pay them off. Not worth the hassle of getting your own shyster and going to court to lose. They make very nice livings from the comfort of home for the most part, only hard work is cruising and writing addresses. Good old govt.

  2. MikePizzo
    October 22, 2013 at 11:23 am

    “What happens if the system decides to steer you into a tree, by the way? (Or perhaps, someone else decides to steer you into a tree.”

    Yep “assisted braking” is bad enough. But “steer assist” is going to usher in a whole new dimension of horrific Unintended Consequences.

    • Jean
      October 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      What makes you think it’s unintended?

      • October 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        Jean,

        I think you are spending too much time in front of the tele. ;)


        Just because you are paranoid, it does not mean some one is not out to get you.

    • Brian
      October 23, 2013 at 10:05 am

      What if they steer you into another pack of pedestrians on the side of the road?

  3. Robert
    October 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    If this “idiot-proofing” is inevitable and unavoidable — and unfortunately, it probably is, given the nature of Boobus Americanus and our legal system — can’t we make it a little more fun at least? Like, say, have a robot hand come out and slap Sail Fawn Sally upside the head when she starts to write a text while the car’s in motion…

    • Jean
      October 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      That’s killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, for these animals.

      The correct approach is to do something like you suggest;
      the preferred method is to do something that makes it more difficult or awkward, with the sole intent being to get more money. So, cause a car crash, jack up the rates, junk the car, “stimulate the economy” by forcing a new purchase, etc.

      It lasts as long as we allow it.

  4. Garysco
    October 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Visions of a jerky stop-and-go ringing, beeping, warbling F16-T(oyota) cockpit going down the road with Valley Girl putting on her makeup and talking on the phone.

    One more reason the sheep will want to get the latest phone and their 666 designer chip implant tattoo. Cars will be programmed to avoid them and everything else with a Near-field RFID chip.

  5. Brandonjin
    October 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I would’ve though Volvo would’ve been the pioneer for this kind of technology. Any word on whether this will be an optional feature, or standard like GM’s onstar?

    Nissan pledges affordable self-driving cars by 2020. I love cars and enthusiastic driving and would hate for this to become the new norm, but, one good thing this COULD lead to: If we’re buying self-driving cars, won’t the automaker need to buy insurance for US, in case the car makes a mistake and crashes, or it simply isn’t sound? Will the whole system be covered by a lifetime warranty? If not, how would that work? Someone in another car dies because you car’s automated driving system malfunctioned, or is outdated. Is that your fault (even if you got it serviced at the dealer), the car’s fault (a defected model maybe?), the automaker’s technology’s fault? Interesting to see how that issue and others will be handled.

    • Eightsouthman
      October 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Brandonjin, they evidently value governmental mandates above profit so let them try to figure out how to sell it. Some people will do for it, ala, OnStar, and many won’t. I intend to buy a new(used)GM pickup but it won’t have OnStar and they will know it one way or the other. Preferably, I won’t have to disable it or anything, just buy one that never had it in the first place. I won’t consider buying a Nissan, Toyota, Volvo or anything else with their own nanny features. Vote with your pocket book, no matter what the choice. If you have to buy used, do so. Even though new cars have some neat things, I don’t buy new vehicles and I won’t buy vehicles that have OnStar or any other non-mandated nanny bs. Even mandated things aren’t for me, such as air bags. I’ll continue to buy pre-airbag vehicles and spend money to make them like new if I have to. No computers to keep a record of my driving or where I am, not of that bullshit.

      • ferret
        October 23, 2013 at 8:26 am

        I understand your concern completely. I just bought a 2007 Silverado with the LTZ package containing just about every bell and whistle you could get with the exception of the nav system. Automatic headlights, automatic windshield wipers, automatic transmission, the whole deal. That’s from having driven a car with nothing automatic in it except the climate control.

        With all that automation of stuff I previously had to [GASP!] turn a knob or [THE HORROR] pull a lever, it hit me as to just how easy it would be to get lazy and inattentive with all the gadgetry. Almost 20 years of driving on nothing but manual transmission-equipped cars has ingrained habits that (I hope) will not soon go away, especially regarding getting a feel for how the vehicle “behaves” normally and knowing when something is not right.

        With regard to the Onstar dilemma, I can offer a few thoughts that may be helpful. My truck came with Onstar built in as with many newer GM vehicles. I looked into the possibility of activating it just so I could use the phone features built into it. After finding out exactly what the cost was in prepaid minutes, I decided (amid a stream of mid-level foul language) that it just wasn’t cost-effective. After a bit of searching for alternatives that would let me use my phone, I found a very interesting little device called a Bluestar. Unlike other devices that operate semi-independently from the vehicle’s systems (and necessitate running microphone wires and other stuff), this one interfaces directly with the audio data bus and replaces the Onstar module entirely. The price tag was a bit on the high side, but I figured it would be worth it because I have an hour commute each way to and from work. Well, a month later, and so far so good. It pairs right up with my phone via bluetooth, shows the caller ID info on the instrument cluster display and works with the steering wheel and mirror-mounted buttons.

        The best part about that whole deal is that the Onstar module is sitting on a shelf now with a note on it that says, “Onstar can suck it!”. Now, you don’t have to go to such an expense in order to deprive Onstar of tracking data and the possibility of an open microphone inside your vehicle. There is a simple alternative. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can just disconnect the Onstar module from the data bus because it may cause some strange behavior with other modules on the bus. However, there are two antenna connectors you can pull that will basically render it deaf, dumb, and blind. One is for the GPS antenna and the other is for whichever cellular network it uses (mine was built for Verizon but I hear the newer ones are on contract with AT&T).

        On the late-2007 and onward models of the Silverado (and GMC Sierra), the Onstar module is located right behind the A/C controls – super-easy to get at but it helps if you have small hands (or access to a pair). On the older models, I understand it lies somewhere behind the glove compartment. Either way, you can just yank those antenna cables and Onstar becomes Gonestar.

        As I understand from the research I’ve done, some of the newer Onstar-equipped vehicles are coming with a Bluetooth interface built in. Yes, it is part of the same Onstar module, but in those cases, there should be 3 antenna connectors. Two are for GPS and cellular network and the third is for the bluetooth transceiver. Just pull the first two and you should be good to go.

        I know I got a bit long-winded with this, but there is one final thing I wanted to share, which ties in with other aspects of personal liberty as discussed on this site. In flexing my Google-fu to learn how the Onstar system works, I ran across a recurring theme (mostly in forum postings) that I found alternately disappointing but not altogether surprising. When someone asked about how to unhook the Onstar module because they didn’t want to be tracked, inevitably one of Clover’s ilk would pipe up and ask “Why? If you’re not doing anything wrong, you should have nothing to hide.”

        I like the answer used on some gun blogs to the question as to why one should need a gun that holds “X arbitrary number of bullets”:

        Because f*ck you, that’s why.

        • RothbardianamericanHelot
          October 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

          ferret wrote, “Because f*ck you, that’s why.”

          Ha Ha Ha, Love it!

          Thanks for writing that. I think, perhaps, I shall use it often.

          Interesting read, too.

        • Eightsouthman
          October 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

          ferret, not doing anything wrong my ass. Countless people have found out the hard way they can be accused of many things they never considered doing just because it was determined their vehicle was close to something some law-shit wanted to find a victim for. And then there’s the FACT that anyone they can even come close to charging, even when they know it’s bullshit, is liable to get charged just so they make themselves look good for finding a “perp” even though they may know for a fact that the person they’ve charged had nothing to do with a crime. Clovers say “if you aren’t guilty then you’re ok”. Chances are, you will never be ok after that and the tens of thousands of dollars of legal fees it requires to determine you aren’t guilty and maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars of total costs for you along with quite possibly, a record that will destroy your ability to make a living, never mind it was all proven bullshit.

        • Jean
          October 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

          It occurs to me that as peer-to-peer networkign is near impossible to stop, there will probably soon eb an addition to the “network of things” which will allow the OnStar in your vehicle tot alk to the Onstar in the one next to it – share health information on the vehicle, say, so the other master controller can expect a certain sort of behavior.
          Also likely to start happening as the “kinks” of the braking and steering “options” get worked out and become standards. As we’ve noodled out: the steering assist has to put the vehicle SOMEWHERE. First thing, make sure it DOESN’T hit another car, right? then, of course, there’s the problem of people and animals. They’ll need to be tagged so a car doesn’t run them over… Part of that growing “network of things.”
          It will also be “useful” to have the house you live in turn on/off the lights (Saves energy, ya know, and we all need to DO OUR PART – FOR THE PLANET and FOR THE CHILDREN..)

          I wish I were joking, there was a researcher, I think MIT, who did exactly that: had a chip implanted so the computer cuold track where he was, turn on the lights, etc. Someone down below was talking about how easy it was to be lazy in the new mostly-automatic car. Imagine that being part of life. Since birth.

          Imagine THAT type of Zombie horde. Living, but not alive. Not a clue as to what life actually IS. Like the kids in “Back to the Future (2)” – “You have to use your HANDS?” “That’s for babies!”

          As we get more and more “connected” by electronics and gadgets – and truly, even MAIL – we lose our ability to talk. Look also at how history is not a “wheel” as it is commonly depicted, but a tightening spiral. Meaning, we don’t have a “revolution” in thought and go back to the smae point as two generations back (aka “the pendulum swings”), but rather, we get more violent, faster, tighter in the turning – until something has to give (usually us). Try it as an experiment, walk in a circle – starting with a 5-foot radius, say, but plan to hit one foot further in (closer to the center) by the time you get back – and walk that not-quite-circular path. Repeat this 4 more times – your radius is now unmeasurable, forcing you to turn on a point. By that time, you should be a bit dizzy anyway…
          So, farming it back, if you will: My grandfather lived to be almost 100. Long life.
          He lived through the lead-up to World War 1; Spanish revolution; birth of the automobile; railroad expansion across the country (Unification, IIRC – “standard gauge”); World Ware 2; birth of the interstate highway system; conscription, Vietnam, race riots of the 60s, drug war, war on poverty, new deal, great society, Sherman anti-trust (I believe), first open-heart surgery, first black Supreme Court Justice, assassination of a president, Senator, attempt in a president, Air America (CIA), the Model T to the Ferarri and Lanborghini, tubes, radio, TV, transistors, computers, hand-held electronics to smart phones to a man on the moon and to the space chuttle and the atom bomb and the birth fo the welfare state and the EU and the Cuban revolution, the birth and dissolution of the USSR…
          Look at how we lead in to those events – horses are standard newspapers are common in the cities, mail is not uncommon, IIRC it’s still the age of steam for railroads, and lots of competition all over the place (good, bad, or indifferent). Foods are locally sourced, you go to the doctor when something’s WRONG. Eat a varied diet, live healthy with your vices, guns everywhere, leaded paint, asbestos, etc, etc, etc.
          So, slow start, if you will – but we see a world war, with the first machine guns, and the first-ever TANK. We start winding faster: Reparations, Weimar republic, sets the stage for Hitler. Czra falls in Russia. Literacy at home on the rise, public schools are starting up – everyone cna read and write, the library is a common feature, and mail is really picking up. Small towns even have newspapers. Telegraph is still standard, but there’s new stuff on the horizon already – radio for communication, phones are starting up, recordings are common (wax records) thus preserving culture of the times… But there’s the bad side, too, with Poison Gas used in war, and the injuries and problems associated with the war.
          Aftermath plays out, WW2 gets under way – the airplane is now part of military use (army air corps), tanks are actually USEFUL and more than just armored cars. WW2 sees the birth of the Submarine, the aircraft carrier, torpedo bombers, radar, sonar, the first ship-to-ship battle where the ships never see one another, the first ballistic missles, followed by precursors to ICBMs, refined steels, the turbo-charger, radio communications common place… And the atom bomb.
          Since then? Just moving faster in a tighter circle. Agent Orange, Thalidomide, “better living through chemistry,” the whole psychiatric profession; plastics; satelites, man in space… Soviet Union out of the Bolshevik revolution, the cold war, tubes for radio, then TV; talking movies! then audio tape, rockets, guided missiles, radio control, … I’m getting too precise.

          Key thing is, we go from limited mail delviery, to frequent delivery; from few papers, to hundreds per city, and local papers for every town. No longer limited to talking to someone when you see them on sunday at church (or Saturday at synagogue), you can reach them in DAYS even across the country!
          To you can reach them in two days via airmail!
          to air delivery of mail is so common, we take it for granted.
          To home radio rigs. Talk to anyone in the world!
          To wired telephones replacing central telegraphs.
          To point-to-point phones (intead of party lines).
          to mobile radios, to mobile phones.

          We say more and more words – and these words have less and less meaning. See mroe and more outlandish things, to the point that Marilyn Manson or Criss Angel or Howard Stern is just… De rigeur. No shocking us any more.

          But what do you REALLY know about the people you live with? How WELL do you know them? Can you trust your neighbor with your wallet – but not your daughter? Or your dog? Can you “trust” your neighbor to break into your house and try on your underwear…? Do you even KNOW if the guy two houses down is a serial killer? Or maybe a transvestite, goes by Dawn – and looks like (and is taken as) a woman? Why? or why not?

          Time was, you knew EVERYTHING – even if you didn’t want to. But weird old Uncle Harry liked little boys, even if he wouldn’t do more than leer at them.
          Today? “Uncle” Harry has a stable of little “friends” in and out all the time, because Mommy and Daddy have to work, and there’s this nice old guy who is “great with the kids”…

          Like particles around a black hole, we’re circling the drain, drugged as surely by our electronics as we are by our overlords controlling our food and water.
          And we don’t even know OURSELVES, let alone our neighbors – or who can and cannot be counted on.

          Something to think about.

          • ozymandias
            October 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm

          • Jean
            October 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm

            Ozy: Just for you.
            NSFW, but it’s on YouTube, so – not pron.

      • Brandonjin
        October 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm

        “I’ll continue to buy pre-airbag vehicles and spend money to make them like new if I have to.”

        This definitely seems to be the best way to do things. We all have to find a choice example of the car we like, and stick with it for the rest of our lives. As you said, voting with your money seems to be the only way to actually vote. But the government doesn’t really allow the free market to take place if it impedes their objectives, so as Eric has said, I’m sure old cars will eventually be classified as a hazard. And then forced off the roads though a mandate a bit more obvious than cash for clunkers.

    • eric
      October 23, 2013 at 5:36 am

      Hey Brandon,

      A “Phase 1″ version is already available on the Lexus LS (top of the line model). I assume initially it will be extra cost as the technology filters down to lower-priced models – but will gradually become a de facto standard, much as ABS has.

      I also expect the government to make it mandatory, eventually.

      Here’s my real worry, though: That at some point, the government will decree that older cars without all this stuff are – you know it’s coming – “unsafe.” And cannot be driven on “public” (government) roads any longer. You will be forced to buy in (or walk or take the bus or whatever conveyance they foist on you).

      As far as insurance – forget about that. We will still have the fiction – and burden – of legal ownership, including all associated expenses. Though you will have very little to say about what you may (and may not) “own” – as well as what you’ll pay for it and how you’ll be allowed to use it.

      • Curtis
        October 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        Eric, I read an article about a week ago, can’t find it now, that decried the safety of cars that were older than 10 years. The new air bag systems, auto-braking and etc. makes the newer models so much safer…yada, yada, yada. I think that this will be the lead-in to a really bad story. Methinks that the beginnings of the purge of older cars is already in the works. I think it was on this site a couple of weeks ago that it was mentioned that jolly old England wants to make these newer systems mandatory on the new cars.
        To all of my old cars…good-bye old friends, I will miss you so.

        • Jean
          October 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

          OTOH, EMP weapons march onwards – and consumer equipment especially will be vulnerable. Police and military might get “hardened” stuff, but it’s still liable to get hit with Thermite or the like. A small, magenetic device with a thermite burner and some Napalm B – or even gasoline – might work WONDERS on the militarized police.
          Improve their attitude if ONE of those theoretical things were found.
          (OK, it would make them go after anyone and everyone – but if the plans are out there, the control aspect is already lost. and burning is a painful way to go. the nice thing is, you’ll die of lack of oxygen inside a vehicle, rather than get char-broiled.)

          You can unlock any door, if you but have the key.
          Dragons, well – we have can openers for those nosey knights. And the new armor – is flamable…

      • Brandonjin
        October 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        If it gets to this point, where older cars are outlawed, cars will become a memory to me, and I will have to start biking to places. It’ll be easier when I move down south. Good call on the legal ownership thing, though it still makes me wonder the litigation that will follow an inevitable accident between these self driving cars, especially when they involve deaths. Will they raise your premiums, send you to jail, even if you weren’t driving..?

  6. Matt
    October 23, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Hmm. Bored schoolboys will be having all sorts of fun with this in no time.

  7. David
    October 23, 2013 at 1:19 am

    I will be driving my Big Block Ford truck until the die I die. Whether guzzling gasoline or sucking propane. I refuse to buy into these new fangled gadget laden debt mobiles.

    • David
      October 23, 2013 at 1:20 am

      *day. I’m not an English major, so get over it.

      • October 23, 2013 at 5:48 am

        Didn’t anybody ever tell you that Americans (U.S.A.ians) are just Germans who think they can speak English?

        That’s one of a family of twofer national identity jokes, like:-

        - Argentinians are just Italians who think they are Spanish;

        - Greeks are just Turks who are trying to be Italian; and

        - Italians are just Greeks who are trying to be French.

        • Ed
          October 23, 2013 at 8:10 am

          “That’s one of a family of twofer national identity jokes”

          Really? Is this a family of jokes you just invented, as cover for a generalized insult? I just invented one:

          -Brits are just Chechens who imagine themselves Czechs.

          There. That is nearly as funny, isn’t it?

          • RothbardianamericanHelot
            October 23, 2013 at 8:23 am

            Ha! @Ed.

            That’s what I was wondering too.

          • Ed
            October 23, 2013 at 9:30 am

            Roth, yeah, you have the barely veiled insinuation that Americans don’t actually speak English, then a few unfunny “jokes” that make no sense………

          • ozymandias
            October 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm

            since generalized insults aimed at amerikans is soooo verboten here….

            the german influence in amerika is, in fact, profound….

            *& cosmopolitan argentines/uruguayans are very italiano

        • Jean
          October 23, 2013 at 8:29 am

          Just so you know, that’s an insult to the Italians and the Greeks.
          Frogs being cheese-eating surrender monkeys in frilly pantaloons, their greatest historical notes being: (1) beaten by the Russian winter while under command of a Corsican; (2) occupied twice by Germany in the last century; (3) dying by the thousands at Crécy (1346); (4) bloody revolution & collectively losing their heads – to institute the same rules under different rulers; (5) making whine ever since. (Spelling intentional).

          Italians have Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Roman history, and Machiavelli. Greeks have Euclidian geometry, logic, Socrates, Plato. More recently, instrumental in fighting the Nazis and Fascists – including the Italians.

          No doubt, some frog will complain about the characterizationI’ve given – but since everyone I know who has French blood tries to hide it – even claiming to be from Belgium to hide their shameful lineage…
          I’m not going to be worried. ;-)

          • ozymandias
            October 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm

            jean….there was french resistance…french grapes & viniculture (& transplanting of that to ca)…camus (the myth of sisyphus, the rebel, the stranger, the plague…)…

            a few of the spots that won’t take the paint from your brush…individual contributions, of course, not “the french”….

          • Jean
            October 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

            Camus… Been trying to FORGET the guy, and YOU have to bring him up. Wish he’d STAYED a stranger…
            French grapes, well – I’m more a california or German type. For the sweet, Cali. For the Dry, German – some will curl your tongue. Spanish wines, Italian wines, sure… but anymore? Other than perhaps Chardonnay, even good Champagnes can be found from other places. I’ll take it with a grain of salt.. And some dark chocolate, if it’s a good Red. ;-)

            French Resistance… Maybe that’s what we will be reduced to?
            Jokes aside, not all French were collaborators, and many weren’t resistance. Most probably focused only on getting through their lives with as little challenge as possible – like most Amoricons.
            Problem being, Americans have a much larger area to cover. No one going to come help, either. It’s up to us. And we’re ALWAYS going to have more idiots than productive humans.

            An example: I’ve become somewhat “racist” because I have seen blacks, given every opportunity, piss it all away; lie, cheat, steal; assault for no reason. OTOH, I’ve seen good men work hard and succeed – and they happened to have black skin. I’d like to see less (literally, not meaning fewer, but literally LESS. Like, about 10 pounds each, from the shoulders up) of the former. The latter can do whatever they want…
            But I also don’t draw the line at the skin color; I feel the sae about the whites who act that way, the whiggers. And whatever would be appropriate for the Asians, Jews (semitic people, actually), and whatever other race we choose to name or create.
            “We” exist amongst each race, from every nation; as do our opposites, the parasites (niggers or whatever term you wish).

            How long before a military-focused resistance decays into a pure terroristic group? French Resistance to IRA. Hmmm… Concerning.

          • ozymandias
            October 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm

            oh…how can ye’ not like ol’ sisyphus? he’s a much better poster child than atlas.

            yum: trimbach gewurztraminer, alsace. frogs swallowed part of germania.

            wtf for? look what resistance got ‘em. resistance is futile. static alone fries all resistors & capacitors, every time. veni, vedi, vichy…i’m content with vino, & veritas.

            how about “earthling”. or “carbon unit”. instead of french, american. v’ger’s tryin’ to digitize ya’……

          • Jean
            October 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm

            SissyPus? Isn’t he tortured enough? ;-)
            Actually, IIRC, he’s Greek.

            Maybe we liberty-minded should make him our mascot? ;-)

            I concede, also, to disliking any people who serves their food raw and wiggling. It’s bad enough the cheese runs away – but the shelf life of those cheeses is about three weeks, after which you need a new shelf.

            There is SOMETHING WRONG, I tell you! ;-)

            (Lunacy is a stress relief, ’tis true.)

        • GW
          October 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm

          Hell even some of the British can’t speak English – you ever listen to some of the “commoner’s” talk when they get interviewed on the BBC…say what?

          It’s like Ebonics – can’t understand that shit either.

          • Jean
            October 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

            ‘S’mattah, Guv’n’h?
            nevuh been to ahtfohd, ave ya? naw c’n ya speke a Queen’s English like yehr from Ulstah? Nevuh erd a cockn’y axent afor?

            Well, now that you mention it…. Yeah, and not so long ago, either. ;-)
            Stage Engluihs, now “Common English,” was the upper class. It wasn’t until mass media that that REALLY become standardized. Used to be, Londoners and Ulstermen and (wherever) all had their own accents, bordering on dialects – sort of like comparing Bostonians to Texans, only more pronounced. And the REAL Bostonians, “Hahvahd Ah” and all. (Harvard “R”). Texans I only get from movies, really- never met one with an accent, just read some of the pronunciations – like “fain” for “pen” – make it near impossible to understand them.

            Almost like speaking Middle English sometimes, trying to talk to foreigners – Indians and Brits, actually, who grew up speaking English – we speak the same language but can’t understand each other (even WITHOUT the accents.)

            THAT at least makes the world a fun place. :-)

        • Tor Minotaur
          October 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm

          Somewhere there’s ahole banksters of no fixed nationality screwing over the Germans through American military occupation. And Japan and South Korea. And screwing over America by getting her to occupy everyone and feed her children to wolves.

          Britain is definitely a banksters haven.

          How do you explain Britain controlling 2.2 billion people, while providing so little. Maybe those poor clover Indians make it all happen?

          US, Japan, China, are all producing enough to provide for the whole world.

          Why does Australia remain under the thumb of Britain, when they could kick up their factories and kick Queenie to the curb with little effort?

          Because they see that it doesn’t pay to grossly overproduce. To overthrow one scumbag for a new one.

          Scumbag Britain, Scumbag Saudi Arabia, Scumbag America, only a few minority scumbags use the whole world as their puppets. The world is controlled by a boring WWF tag team of belligerent bullies. Britain and Cosmopolitan Banksters pay them all to wrassle.

    • eric
      October 23, 2013 at 5:20 am

      I feel the same way, David. We’ve got a couple of modern trucks – but the newest of them is an ’02. I can’t imagine buying any of the new units. They’re chock full of equipment I don’t need or want – and resent being made to buy anyway.

    • Eightsouthman
      October 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

      David, if you must have a Ford and find yourself having to replace that pickup, pre-computerized Power Strokes are very good drivetrains. I’ve know many people who had over 300,000 miles on one and were doing fine. I also know 3 people who have over 500,000 miles on their ’89-93 halfton 350 Chevy pickups too, have run them so far the distributor starts wobbling because it’s so worm out. ’94 and older GM’s don’t have airbags, don’t know where that point is for Ford’s, but somewhere close to that. I intend to have another ’92’93 GM turbo diesel since they have no computer and no airbags and have much more interior room than what has come afterwards. I like your having propane along with gas, something that was common back when I was growing up. Run out of one, switch to the other. Now they have some tanks that will fit under the vehicles instead of that big thing in the bed. I still have a bed tank which reminds me, I need to spiff it up and use it as an auxiliary tank around the farm.

  8. JdL
    October 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Eric, I agree completely that these intrusions are a menace, if they’re not subject to driver control. As high-tech gizmos, I find them fascinating, and I think they might save incompetent drivers from some of their crashes, but as an alert and positionally aware driver, if I had a car with one, I’d insist that I be able to switch it off. I didn’t catch from your article whether the ones in cars you’ve tested can be disabled, but I do share your fear that some government, or de-facto industry mandate, might make them unavoidable in the future.

    • Eightsouthman
      October 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      eric, I keep thinking size of target is what determines their direction they’ll use to steer. So it detects pedestrians and turns away to much smaller targets. It must turn toward “smaller” targets I’m guessing if there is no actual “clear” path and smaller may mean further away.. Too bad those smaller targets are virtually as close, just “chilluns”. Or it detects “chilluns” and that has to be a priority…right? But the small “chillun” targets are pigs so it steers into humans in vehicles or possibly on foot.. This is a real possibility where I drive.

  9. MikeFromWichita
    October 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    What I see ahead is an endless vista of losing lawsuits as their devices cause injury and death on the roads.
    Clover
    Still there is no technical reason that a control system as competent as a very good human driver could not be produced with the exception of decision making capacity when all of the choices are bad- really heavy traffic: vehicle in front slams on brakes: no room to stop or maneuver without some sort of impact:huge tanker trunk is closing from your rear: it ain’t gonna get below 30mph before impact: over an embankment which will total the car is the only out.

    While such an auto pilot once the glitch bugs are worked out might be doable on major routes if access is restricted for manually operated vehicles its hard to see any real economic or social value.

    • Tor Minotaur
      October 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Why always is there only to be one way – the PTB’s way – or the highway?

      If you want your car to have autopilot and safety overrides, you should have them. A human being still has to be held accountable for problems though. That could be the driver, the technology manufacturer, the car maker, or whoever it is agreed to be. It needs to be someone.

      There shouldn’t be any tragedy of the commons highway property either. An accident occurs in some physical location. Some human needs to be responsible for those accidents. The nearest property owner, the road owner, or whoever it is agreed to be. Again, it needs to be someone.

      If you are injured, you should be able to seek restitution from the driver of the vehicle, whoever is responsible for maintenance of the vehicle, the manufacturer of the vehicle, the maker of the road where it occurred, the maintainer of the road wherever it occurred, the owner of the land where it occurred.

      If everyone is potentially held responsible, everyone will act more responsible. Someone will have the resources to mitigate the injuries of the injured.

      Only mitigation. No lotteries. No windfalls. On outside parasite of the law. Or parasite in costume. No parasite non-profit. No predator police state looking to rob people.

      Being injured is always your fault to some degree. You could have acted differently to prevent the injury somehow.

      • ozymandias
        October 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        you break it, you buy it. or butler it.

    • MikeFromWichita
      October 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Cute with the little clover Eric. Loons like you are an absolute guarantee Liberty will always be connected with those unable to handle responsibility in the public mind. You and those like you are every bit as dangerous to the life, limb and pocketbook in your small retail way as the State’s minions are wholesale.

      • eric
        October 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm

        Well Mike, you’ve earned it. After all, I am not the one threatening to terrorize people, now am I?

        Handle responsibility = accept prior restraint?

        You amaze me.

        If a person does something that causes damage/injury, then he is responsible for his actions.

        But you wish to “hold people responsible” who’ve done . . .absolutely nothing. On the basis that they might do something. No, that “someone” – a hypothetical person – might do something!

        You’re the one who rejects individual responsibility, Mike – not I.

        And:

        Organized violence – that is, government – is responsible for mass murder on an industrial scale. And you criticize me for criticizing that!

        • Eightsouthman
          October 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm

          eric, you live. After that brutal attack of unassailable logic by Mike, I was afraid you had offed yourself from complete humiliation. You’re to be commended for the sheer toughness you showed in the face of total annihilation. His job is done now. He can go back to tweaking Obamacare.

          • eric
            October 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm

            Let’s hope so!

        • October 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm

          Here is an excerpt from John Julius Norwich’s case history that you might be interested in:-

          “I loathe all this political correctness,” he grumbles. “I miss the days when one could drive to dinner and not worry about being picked up for drink driving on the way back. I drove home over the limit every night for decades and I don’t believe I was a danger to anybody.”

          He admired his elderly mother’s defiance of traffic regulations. She would hurtle at terrifying speeds in her Mini, drive along the pavement and flout parking restrictions with notes pleading: “Dearest Warden – Front tooth broken off: look like 81-year-old pirate, so at dentist at 19a. Very old, very lame, no metres [sic]. Have mercy!”

          The extraordinary thing, he notes, is how often it worked.

          You may draw such a moral from all this as you wish.

  10. JoePA
    October 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    My current car has both lane departure and a front proximity warning system. I’m able to shut off the lane departure warning but am only able adjust the front proximity warning. The big question I need to ask after reading your article is does it matter? Can it help, hurt or is it just another touchy feely do goody waste? People get into accidents and ALWAYS blame others for their stupidity. People ALWAYS sue car manfacturers for their own stupidity. Can these new systems become so standard that people figure its now ok to daydream? Are these systems costly or just software and a couple of sensors? lots of questions……

  11. George
    October 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    How about an article about automated and safety features you would like in a car?

    • Jean
      October 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      How about a high-quality driver, and twin .45 SMGs for the a-holes that don’t measure up?
      Maybe an RPG for the truly stupid.

    • eric
      October 24, 2013 at 6:14 am

      Ain’t none such!

      None I’d support being required, that is.

      If it were up to me, a man could build – and legally sell – whatever his customers wished to buy. The natural self-interest of each would minimize the genuinely dangerous or shoddy (though such will exist regardless; indeed, the vehicles produced in more authoritarian states have been objectively more shoddy and less safe than those produced in less authoritarian states).

      I like precise steering, a well-designed suspension that allows for controlled high-speed operation (in the hands of a competent driver). I like four-wheel disc brakes. These are things I’d want in a car and would freely buy.

      I don’t want to pay for (because I feel no need for) ABS, traction/stability control, air bags, seat belts/pretensioners, back-up cameras, “park assist,” “active” cruise control or automatic braking.

      For me, the ultimate vehicular safety system is the driver.

      I’ll take someone with skills and judgment in a ’67 F100 with a 390 and three on the tree over Sail Fawn Sally in her new self-steering Toyota anytime!

      • Eightsouthman
        October 24, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        Now, all of a sudden, my password by browser remembers(and I do too) isn’t correct and I’m not logged in. Tell me I don’t have to go through the dozen steps of entering a new password so I can log in…..when I’ve never logged out.

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