Mar 18, 2008 | Views: 995
14. Geologists thought they discovered a fissure in the Earth's crust on I-75. A quick call to the Department of Transportation cleared up the confusion, and a road crew was dispatched immediately.
13. Urban Jeep owners have a new extreme driving sport: "On-roading."
12. Imported Canadian garbage is used to fill the biggest potholes.
11. You see "Men at Work" signs but the freeway is deserted, nor is this the Land Down Under.
10. The people up ahead are slaloming between the orange barrels. (My cousin actually did this in Grand Rapids, MI)
9. You see laid off auto workers beside the road with signs that read, "will fill potholes for food."
8. Instead of seeing signs that read "Road Construction, Next 3 Miles," you see signs that say, "No Construction, Next 3 Miles." (As a minor note, this one is sad, but true)
7. You see construction crews building bridges over potholes instead of filling them.
6. Michigan's gravel roads are smoother than its paved ones. (Also sad but true)
5. Your shocks last only 500 miles.
4. Police don't go on high-speed chases, fearing they might suffer a blow-out.
3. Some citizens start putting man-hole covers on the biggest potholes.
2. You never know there's a pothole in the road until you've driven out of it.
1. The welcome sign for Michigan over the freeway says "Welcome to Michigan! (bump)"
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Jan 8, 2008 | Views: 595
DETROIT (AP) — Cars that drive themselves — even parking at their destination — could be ready for sale within a decade, General Motors Corp. executives say.
GM, parts suppliers, university engineers and other automakers all are working on vehicles that could revolutionize short- and long-distance travel. And Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will devote part of his speech to the driverless vehicles.
Yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show had more than a speech:
The driverless Tahoe drew a number of national camera crews to the chilly lot outside the CES on Tuesday. They filmed as the SUV navigated a course of traffic cones -- and a four-way stop with a Hummer -- with nobody behind the wheel.
This brings a boat-load of questions to mind. Do I want to wrest control of my vehicle over to a computer? Can I trust other non computer controlled vehicles (i.e. human controlled) not to hit mine? Who would be responsible for injuries and damages resulting from a computer controlled car crashing? Would this create a renaissance for Happy Hour at the local bar, since you can drive to the bar after work, get sauced, and have the car drive you back home? ... or would this make New Years driving much safer?
And here's the kicker: If you do (stupidly) get behind the wheel when intoxicated and put the auto-pilot on, are you a passenger or driver? Can you be pulled over for drunk driving? If you are asleep at the wheel and the auto pilot is on, are you a danger to other motorists? How much manual override would you as a human have?
Car: I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave.
Driver (puzzled): Who is Dave?
How will the Teamsters like this new technology, because after all, would companies need humans to drive big rigs anymore? Fair thee well, sweet Bandit and Snowman.
Oh! And what about this? If someone steals your car, would it drive them straight to jail? Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Could you program destinations into the computer to prevent your adventurous teenager from NOT going to the library to study? How much control would the government physically have over your car. If Uncle Sam thinks you're a terrorist, would it drive straight to Miami and load you on a ship bound for Guantanamo? Though seriously, if you were considered a threat to society, does the government have the right to lock you in your car until authorities arrive? Obviously GPS will be used for keeping the vehicle on course, so would anyone store this information on where you've been and where you are going, and what can the government, businesses and other people legally do with this information?
Geez, and my list of questions goes on. All I've got right now are questions. What do all of you think? Post your thoughts on driverless cars and trucks, and their legal, social and economic ramifications.
(photo courtesy autonews24h.com)
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