The coming productivity boom


I expect that if autonomous vehicles actually achieve full legal status to drive all the roads and the idea of owning such vehicles becomes outmoded as in everyone is expected to “whistle” one up using an app.
Then the isolationism that old people suffer from will be resolved as long as they can pay for fares for the vehicles.

One problem in rural areas will be the fact that such vehicles will have a much lower utilisation than town vehicles as they will be driving empty for much longer periods.


On my road they’ll also have to figure out how to avoid dangerous potholes on a road barely the width of one car with grass growing up the middle, and how to reverse two hundred yards then drive up on a bank at a 45 degree angle to allow oncoming cars to pass.


Don’t worry, we’ll all have autonomous jetpacks that will deliver us to the nearest monorail stop.


that’s what machine learning is all about


Yes, I live in a similar situation, that’s why I an a bit sceptical about autonomous vehicles being universally legalised. I expect that they’ll only be allowed on N & R “classified” roads, or private roads that have passed certain standards.

Would such a vehicle be able to actually drive on such minor roads, the grass would appear as an obstruction.


I don’t know. If you assume there is a military use for autonomous vehicles then they are going to need to be able to handle all types of terrain. It might the case that, like the internet and GPS before it, some aspects of autonomous vehicle technology might be arrived at through the civilian application of military technology.


I can’t see anyone allowing autonomous armed vehicles to operate without telemetry so that a human can take control, whether they be on board or remotely. If an autonomous civilian vehicle has a catastrophic failure it crashes and maybe kills a few people, an armed military vehicle that carries HMG’s or the like could wipe out a village because of an operator error as simple as a wrong lat/long boundary.


Wouldn’t it be theoretically possible to train the software. If you see x ahead, pull in/reverse etc. Cars can already parallel park. The cars could be online or hold their own databases of what real people have done at this point - if there was an interim step where cars were tracked and the data stored.


I can’t see any issue for driverless cars on L roads. The technology is advancing so quickly and with machine learning every experience will be shared across the entire fleet. The learning process will be rapid.


Autonomous cars may use a combination of stereo cameras, lidar and radar.

Radar can see through vegetation no problem, but resolution might be limiting. … p?id=80982

There’s an obvious tradeoff between penetration and resolution depending on the wavelength used.


With regards rural living, the big concern is the provision of emergency services. ‘Getting around’ is easy, but getting the help you need when you need is more challenging. This seems to be an area that technology can revolutionise.

With regards health care, we’re moving into an era of remote access to medical services and continuous monitoring through devices. This can alert doctors in advance of issues becoming critical. Another aspect of health care is that people who live in remote areas should educate themselves on Remote Emergency Care. They should be able to deal with common emergencies as effectively as a paramedic until help arrives. People should learn to recognise a possible transient ischemic attack, the signs of a heart attack, how to use a defibrillator etc etc.

Ambulances in the next 20-30 years won’t drive on roads. They’ll be smaller versions of the rescue helicopters. They’ll get to more emergencies faster and have better outcomes. At present an ambulance could have a two hour round trip to an emergency while a helicopter could do the same trip in half an hour or less.


There’s also the plus point that an autonomous car should be more reliable in the case of an accident, compared to a human driver. In the classic situation where you are either so badly injured or so embarrassed that you demand to be euthanised at the road-side (or where you are incapacitated, and the driver should decide that this is the case), one can expect that the iron law of code embodied in the autonomous vehicle will follow through on the situation more reliably than flesh and blood weakened by a soul.

Back in Kiev I had to have my own staff-driver court martialled and exiled after he failed to do the honourable thing and put both of us out of our misery following a very regrettable road “incident” involving two horses, a week’s ration of cocaine and the wife of the Hungarian ambassador.


Euthanisia? There’s a topic for debate.


This is deserving of a thread all of its own.


A real dilemma than an autonomous vehicle is likely to meet at some point, is what to do in the event of a human enters the path of the vehicle and the road is crowded, thus making evasive action impossible without colliding with an oncoming vehicle or an immovable object like a bridge or tree.

The vehicle is going at such a speed that either the pedestrian/fallen cyclist is killed or the passengers.

How does the vehicle decide who to kill?

#116 … ying-jobs/


Mark Carney warns robots taking jobs could lead to rise of Marxism


The IEA is a right-leaning UK think tank.


Hmmm, 1. A list of points 2. That is continuations of the same short paragraph 3. to make it look like they have more to say 4. Than they really have.


The same IEA behind Thatcherism. Fine for a bit in theory, broad mass appeal in 1983 but n.b. finish the course. They didn’t and the World has just moved on now.