Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Germans and the Driver-less Car World

If you rounded up all the cultures/societies in existence in the world.....then said something NEW was coming.....the top group for rule creation over the new circumstance....would be the Germans.

It's not condemning or dumping on them....it's just the way it is.  Germans sit around and think about things, and then state there needs to be an order to the way they work.

This week, they've come out to discuss the idea of driver-less cars, which they believe within a decade....will be on Germans streets and autobahns.  There's virtually no doubt in Germany....driver-less is coming.

Naturally, you need rules.

So the transport ministry has appointed a commission and their full-time job is to discuss the problems and format rules now....ahead of time.

There was a meeting in 1968....often referred to as the Vienna Convention of 1968 on Road Rules....which basically laid out an incredible and mandatory rule....only humans could drive vehicles.  So, at the front of events....there's going to have to be a European meeting held and this old rule from forty years ago.....must be thrown out.  

I imagine someone will have to validate each such car....some car commission or government agency.  There will have to be the ability of the person sitting in the car to take control and drive themselves.  And there's going to be some talk about updates and how often they must occur (I'm guessing hour-by-hour or minute-by-minute will be the norm).

Trucks without drivers?  No one has said much but I'd take a guess by 2030....it'll be happening.  The curious thing will be what you do with 100,000 unemployed truck drivers in Germany?  It'll come on with just forty such trucks one year.....two thousand the second year.....six thousand the third....and by the sixth year.....no truck drivers left in Germany.

Speed limit changes?  It'll be curious what the new rules will say.  Would you trust some driver-less car to run 150 kph?  Would road conditions with light rain scare you a bit with a driver-less car?  Would fog matter with a driver-less car and it's radar capability?  How would the driver-less car react to a deer or wildboar crossing the road?  What if some idiot motorcyclist came up quickly on a driver-less car and swerved in front of the car.....would it take to the nearest ditch?  Could you put just a six-year old kid into a driver-less car and tell the car to deliver the kid to grandma's house an hour's drive away?  Could a drunk guy just lay in the backseat of a driver-less car while it was taking him home?

You can imagine these Germans sitting there for hours and days....discussing the matter and trying to find the 16,000-odd scenarios that might happen on a German street or autobahn.

Sadly, we will end up with a 2,000 manual on driver-less cars and never be able to read the whole thing because it's all too complicated.  Hopefully, the BMW salesman programs this car for us as we leave the show-room.

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