mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

Boon For Drunks

Standing around drinking fruit juice at parties to which you’ve had to drive, will become a thing of the past – a quaint anachronism.

That bugbear of modern socialising – the drink-driving laws – are set to become an irrelevance.

 

The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has signed legislation paving the way for driverless cars in California.

 

“Today we’re looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow’s reality – the self-driving car,” said Brown, “anyone who gets inside a car and finds out the car is driving will be a little skittish, but they’ll get over it.”

 

The legislation sets a framework for safety and performance regulations to test driverless cars. A licensed driver, able to over-ride the auto-pilot at any time, would still need to be behind the wheel as a back up.

 

According to Google, which pioneered the driverless cars, their safety record is expected to be better than driven cars. Google has 12 driverless cars which have driven 300,000 with only a single minor accident.

 

‘I think the self-driving car can really dramatically improve the quality of life for everyone,’ says Google co-founder Sergey Brin pointing out that they are a boon for the blind, disabled, elderly and intoxicated.

 

Brin says the cars will be on the market within a decade.

 

Toyota, Audi, BMW, Ford and Volvo have been working on autonomous cars for many years.

Tags: drink driving laws, driven cars, paving the way, sergey brin, toyota 2c

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23 Comments

  1. David Manners
    October 19, 2012 14:31

    You’re right, Terry, she is.

  2. Terry
    October 19, 2012 09:50

    Good show Sash, you seem like the sort of feisty character who could bring down Ed and his skulduggery!

  3. David Manners
    October 18, 2012 16:57

    You made my day Sash, thanks

  4. October 18, 2012 15:26

    I’ve always been a lurker rather than an active particpiant but you can count me as a fan. X x x

  5. David Manners
    October 18, 2012 15:19

    Well Terry, it looks as if my dear dear daughter Sash has stepped in on behalf of women everywhere. I am suitably chastened and will mend my ways. (But that doesn’t stop you chaps having a go).

  6. Dr Bob
    October 18, 2012 14:11

    I think here that there is also the offence of being intoxicated while in charge of a motor vehicle. ie you just have to sit in it with the keys in your possesion.

  7. David Manners
    October 18, 2012 13:37

    Good God Sash I didn’t know you read Mannerisms. I shall have to be more careful in future. The chaps get a little carried away at times. Yes thanks having a good time in California, weather’s lovely, off to the Georgia coast on Friday. Love, Dad X X X X

  8. October 18, 2012 12:55

    Dad! Can’t believe you’re encouraging this sexist drivel on your site. Very poor form. Enjoy the States x

  9. Terry
    October 18, 2012 11:42

    It’s a sad reflection on our profession that no ladies are present here to react in outrage at this. However the facts are otherwise, women are demonstrably better drivers than men as shown by their lower accident rate.

  10. Ian Dedic
    October 18, 2012 10:03

    “The legislation sets a framework for safety and performance regulations to test driverless cars. A licensed driver, able to over-ride the auto-pilot at any time, would still need to be behind the wheel as a back up.”
    “…to test…” is the key phrase.
    Once the technology has been proved to be as safe as (or probably safer than) sober human drivers, I expect this requirement would be romoved.
    Then you’ll be able to “drive” home while drunk, or texting, or asleep, or watching TV, or having sex…

  11. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan
    October 18, 2012 06:48

    This reminds me of the old joke:
    Q: why do men like rubber, leather and latex?
    A: it smells like cars.

  12. David Manners
    October 17, 2012 18:10

    Awesome Fred, can’t wait

  13. Fred Dart
    October 17, 2012 16:21

    Absolutely – on stepping into the cab it immediately connects you to an Indian call centre, well practiced in handling the monologue and then some…

  14. David Manners
    October 17, 2012 15:39

    Now that is a good idea, Fred. I wonder they’d include a monologue of pissy opinions on all and sundry

  15. Fred Dart
    October 17, 2012 14:41

    Driverless taxis might be a good idea, just pay with your NFC enabled phone, unless you’ve lost it in the pub..

  16. David Manners
    October 17, 2012 13:31

    Yes martin, I think making it compulsory for poorly skilled female drivers is a priority. The level of intoxication permissible for a male back-up driver would have to be decided by law. It would depend on what tasks he has to perform. and the reliability of the technology. If he just has to reset the thing with the press of a button and the technology has a MTBF of 99% then he could be allowed to be pretty drunk.

  17. David Manners
    October 17, 2012 13:24

    Yes indeed Fred, they could be very popular – The Apple Mystery Tour

  18. David Manners
    October 17, 2012 13:22

    Well Terry, I suppose the courts would have to decide what level of intoxication is permissible for the back-up guy. If these things work OK they could let him get pretty sloshed.

  19. David Manners
    October 17, 2012 13:17

    You’re kidding me, The Baron, I’m sure you know what to do with them

  20. Terry
    October 17, 2012 12:19

    Sorry for stating the obvious, but if a licensed driver needs to be behind the wheel as a backup then surely this person should not be pie-eyed?

  21. The Baron
    October 17, 2012 11:45

    What will I do with my staff of foxily-clad chauffereuttes!?

  22. Fred Dart
    October 17, 2012 08:55

    I suppose Apple are also working on one – based on their splendid mapping technology of course.

  23. martijn
    October 17, 2012 01:55

    “A licensed driver, able to over-ride the auto-pilot at any time, would still need to be behind the wheel as a back up” –> doesn’t this imply that drunk (auto-)driving is still a no-no?
    Bit weird to target that crowd anyway, I would use poorly skilled female drivers as first intended customers ;)