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POLL: Do You Want a Self-Driving Car?

One automaker vows it will sell a driverless car by 2020. Experts believe autonomous vehicles could account for almost all automotive sales by 2050.

Courtesy Wikimedia.
Courtesy Wikimedia.
By Kristi Reed

The day in which you hop in your car, kick back and read email or surf the web while your vehicle zips up and down Highway 101 may be closer than you think.

Nissan expects to sell a driverless car by 2020, according to CNN Money, and Fox News reports autonomous vehicles could account for nearly all automotive sales by 2050. Not convinced the technology will be available that quickly? Think again. Earlier this month, Audi debuted a prototype self-driving car at the Consumer Electronic Show.

Early versions of this technology have been around for several years. Google's self-driving Prius is just one example of technological progress in the field and several automakers already offer various forms of computer-aided driving assistance, such as intelligent parking, emergency braking and steering assist.  

Still, will consumers be willing to turn over control of their vehicle to a computer? Before the transition to fully automated vehicles, cars will likely share driving responsibilities with their human owners, CNN reports. At some point though, totally automated vehicles are expected become the norm.

Would you be willing to relinquish control of your vehicle to a computer? Are you comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars? Let us know in the comments or vote in our pollNote: This is not a scientific poll. It is for entertainment purposes only.

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bruce mallon January 21, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Wouldn't it be cool if we had jobs and than we could buy one of these nifty cars? Gosh where in the world are we gonna get a new car, buy food and send our kids to school? The stock market and the rich folks hold all of the cash, they don't create jobs they create wealth for themselves and spend some of that wealth on themselves Theynwill not spend locally if they can get a better deal elsewhere and have it shipped. We are being hypnotized by the delusion that someday we all can get rich. The richness of this is that is we probably will not even be paid fairly for what jobs we get. As long as billionaires control speech through the media we well be lulled by our silly dreams of great wealth. Minimum wage fairness is their fear. The Teaparty is their invention. Just listen to the absolutely stupid excuses they spew! Republicans will have stripped our constitution piece by piece until it's gone. They will continue until they have everything and we're their slaves killing each other for scraps with our second amendment rights. This nonsense is making me sick.
Dan Lyke January 21, 2014 at 10:36 AM
Of course what I really want is to spend less time commuting and driving. If we can encourage the tech community in Petaluma we can make more jobs that don't require long drives.
bruce mallon January 21, 2014 at 10:42 AM
As long as states compete with each other using no taxes and lax environmental regulations jobs will be difficult in regions that make living conditions viable for humans. States rights are used by rich people to get more wealth for themselves.
Scott Andrews January 21, 2014 at 12:21 PM
So all this talk is about jobs and equity, which os clearly important, but the question was do you want a self driving car? We have been developing these over the past25 years or so, and they are getting close to being good enough for prime time. Moore's law has reduced the size and cost f the computing resources so that they no longer fill the entire vehicle, and costs have fallen accordingly. Many new cars today include electronic steering, throttle and braking actuation, so the requisite control systems are generally available at today's new car costs. It is interesting that, when you study vehicle crashes, about 95% of them are attributable to driver error and inattention. Most of the rest are a result of unexpected issues like black ice, animals, etc. A very tiny fraction is due to vehicle systems failure. So regardless of the reasons for the jobs situation (which is changing steadily for the better), in 6 years, many people will be buying new cars, and many of those will be electric, and/or fully or partially automated.
bruce mallon January 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM
I truly hope you're correct about the jobs. The problem is and has been that when technology advances it takes away jobs from those who are making a living. Newspapers are an example. I worked for the Marin Independent Journal Newspaper for its last 8 years. Because the corporation that owned this paper and 5 other loosers, they bled the MIJ for cash and when they could they laid off 90% of the employees, sold the printing company and sent those jobs to INDIA, I'm not kidding. We called the remaining paper The INDIAdependent Journal. Where were the replacement jobs for the 200 plus employees? There were none. I met folks who were 18 years old when they started and when kicked out they had very few options. Than BUSH/CHENEY took away our Unemployment Insurance at the most critical time. This was called an entitlement. Since when is insurance an entitlement? It is unless you're AIG and bought you bought the President and VP, they made sure they were entitled to a half trillion dollars of our money. We're being ripped off and most of us don't know or care about those facts and therefore our neighbors who are negatively effected by corrupt politicians.
Scott Andrews January 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM
I agree. My question was more about the cars.... I was just in SF over the weekend and visited the Maritime Museum. It is a wonderful example of WPA products. Great building that created jobs to build, and gave jobs to artists for the murals. Same with the downtown Petaluma USPO. Seems to me we need both a minimum wage increase and a WPA-like program to get everyone back to work...I am sure the austerions and the privatizers would scream bloody murder over that, but they do not seem to recognize that the economy is not like a household. If you cut back it doesn't get better, it shrinks..THe best way to grow the economy and pay down the deficit is to get more people working and collect more in taxes, including substantially raising taxes on the rich. It is no surprise that here we have the lowest taxes on the rich in decades, and we have the greatest problems with public sector services, deficits and a crappy economy...The austerions are turning the control knob in the wrong direction...
bruce mallon January 21, 2014 at 01:04 PM
Yes, yes and yes. If we push locally for fair and a huge percentage of citizens to vote things could change. If we were in Australia we would have a citizen elected government. They must vote or get a fine. We now have the beginnings of corporate rule because of a corrupt Supreme Court with guys like Clarance Thomas voting on issues his wife is an advocate for. This is corrupt. Anthoney Scalia is Republican operative voting on issues that give that party an edge against the Democrats. They are tampering on our constitutional right to vote, state by state. This is a very bad situation and will not get better until citizens wake up from watching TV garbage. You and I agree Sott and I'm going to get louder and louder on these issues.

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