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Old 2014-08-18, 16:26   #1
retina
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Default Vehicles that talk amongst themselves

http://phys.org/news/2014-08-govt-require-cars.html

Ignoring for the moment the privacy implications I wonder how this will change the driving habits and in effect have no real impact upon collision/injury/death rates. When seatbelts become standard and mandatory people just drive faster and less mindfully because they felt safer and accidents rates never really changed a great deal. So now if vehicles will "know" and respond automatically to potential problems everyone will come to rely on it and drive like idiots thinking they will be saved by the tech. Of course that ignores the situation where things are either too old to have such technology (classic cars etc.) or not suitable to have the tech (like a child, a cyclist or a pothole).

Perhaps I should equip my bicycle with a transmitter stating I am driving directly into your path at high speed thus forcing everyone around to stop and give me a clear path. But no one would ever think of abusing the technology in such a fashion. Everything will go perfectly smoothly and everyone will be saved for ever and ever.
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Old 2014-08-18, 17:11   #2
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Cars were talking to each other for many years in Chevron/Aardman commercials, at least ;-)

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Old 2014-08-18, 19:21   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
When seatbelts become standard and mandatory people just drive faster and less mindfully because they felt safer and accidents rates never really changed a great deal.
I'm not convinced that this is true. I've looked a bit just now and don't see much data but decided to present the little bit that I came across:

http://www.roadsafetyobservatory.com...les/seat-belts
Quote:
The authors commented on a 7.8% increase in pedestrian deaths compared with what the model would have predicted. However, they suggested that this was due to the annual reductions in the number of pedestrian deaths not being as large as in recent years, rather than being due to the seat belt law.

They noted that 1984 had the lowest number of pedestrian deaths than any other year in their data and that the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured showed no apparent increase.

The model also found that there was a 4.8% increase in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured following the introduction of the law. However, this was not a statistically significant finding and may have been due to chance. The comparatively low numbers of cyclists killed or seriously injured in each month means that small differences in the numbers can lead to large percentage changes. Similarly, the model could not be modified to incorporate data on weather, which influences cycle use.
Here is an article supporting your contention:
The hidden danger of seatbelts
Quote:
John Adams, risk expert and emeritus professor of geography at University College London, was an early skeptic of the seat belt safety mantra. Adams first began to look at the numbers more than 25 years ago. What he found was that contrary to conventional wisdom, mandating the use of seat belts in 18 countries resulted in either no change or actually a net increase in road accident deaths.

How can that be? Adams' interpretation of the data rests on the notion of risk compensation, the idea that individuals tend to adjust their behavior in response to what they perceive as changes in the level of risk.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2014-08-18 at 19:34 Reason: Weaseled out of leaving a posted conclusion.
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Old 2014-08-18, 20:06   #4
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I don't think that you can dismiss safety improvements just because they are less effective than a naive prediction would suggest. First, it would be natural to less than fully compensate for the drop in risk (just like it's natural for price to less than fully compensate for an increase in producer taxes), so people could be safer and driving faster (albeit not as safe as they might otherwise be). Second, they perceive advantage in whatever else they do that increases risk. If they drive somewhat faster because of the lower risk then they're doing that because they would prefer to drive faster and were previously restricted by safety concerns. So they're not failing to receive the full benefits of seatbelts so much as they are converting a part of that benefit to a different form (more efficient use of time).

You might object on energy efficiency grounds but that should be handled by a (Pigovian) gas tax, with or without seatbelts. Personally I think that the gas tax is too low to take into account the true costs (finite supplies, foreign dependence, pollution, congestion, etc.) but regardless it's a separate issue.
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Old 2014-08-18, 22:43   #5
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Ok, here is more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_compensation
Quote:
Peltzman effect
The reduction of predicted benefit from regulations that intend to increase safety is sometimes referred to as the Peltzman effect in recognition of Sam Peltzman, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, who published "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation" in the Journal of Political Economy in 1975 in which he controversially suggested that "offsets (due to risk compensation) are virtually complete, so that regulation has not decreased highway deaths".[1] According to Peltzman, regulation was at best useless, at worst counterproductive.[2][3][n 5] Peltzman found that the level of risk compensation in response to highway safety regulations was complete in original study. But "Peltzman’s theory does not predict the magnitude of risk compensatory behaviour." Substantial further empirical work has found that the effect exists in many contexts but generally offsets less than half of the direct effect.[4]


The Peltzman effect can also result in a redistributing effect where the consequences of risky behaviour are increasingly felt by innocent parties (see moral hazard). By way of example, if a risk-tolerant driver responds to driver-safety interventions, such as compulsory seat belts, crumple zones, ABS etc. by driving faster with less attention, then this can result in increases in injuries and deaths to pedestrians.[5]
Quote:
However, a 2007 study based on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that between 1985 and 2002 there were "significant reductions in fatality rates for occupants and motorcyclists after the implementation of belt use laws", and that "seatbelt use rate is significantly related to lower fatality rates for the total, pedestrian, and all non-occupant models even when controlling for the presence of other state traffic safety policies and a variety of demographic factors".
my bold emphasis

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2014-08-18 at 22:43
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Old 2014-08-18, 22:50   #6
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I am confused as to how a car seatbelt can make pedestrians safer. That just doesn't make sense to me. I think there are some flaws in such studies that claim external parties are safer because of seatbelts. But if I am wrong about that I would like to see an explanation as to how such effects are manifested.
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Old 2014-08-18, 23:42   #7
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I'm waiting for the day every car has a black-box that constantly uploads every bit of information about itself to the cloud. We're not far off. My dad works for BMW and the key fobs carry some... interesting information:

Quote:
Customer: "Yeah my check engine light just came on so I thought I would swing by."

Dad: "No, sir, your check engine light came on 3,177 kilometers ago at 8:12 AM (shouldn't you have been at work) on May 13 2014."

Customer: "Oh, uh, I guess I didn't really notice it then, heh, heh. Ahem also there seems to be transmission fluid leak. That's under warranty, right?"

Dad: "Yes although your abusive driving is the likely cause and when your warranty runs out, that could become an issue."

Customer: "Abusive driving? I, uh, don't know about that."

Dad: "Your vehicle's top speed was recorded June 27 at 3:53 PM at an impressive 197 KPH. Just this morning you hit a maximum of 92 KPM and shortly before that your engine was spinning at 7350 RPM while in third gear."

Customer: "It really tells you all that?"

Dad: "Yup. By the way you really should wear your seat belt."

Just you wait. We're going to have cars that talk to each other and accidents will decrease by 99.9%.

However, there will be an accident where a single mother of three pregnant with quadruplets dies in an accident because her car failed to warn her of an incoming car (with proof from the black-box that there indeed was no warning) and everyone will be up in arms about the shitty stupid program that profit mongering assholes in suits are making us pay for.

Did you forget I said 99.9% reduction in accidents? The rest of the world will, too.
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Old 2014-08-19, 00:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
I am confused as to how a car seatbelt can make pedestrians safer. That just doesn't make sense to me. I think there are some flaws in such studies that claim external parties are safer because of seatbelts. But if I am wrong about that I would like to see an explanation as to how such effects are manifested.
I don't know either. As Charles' mention of Pigovian taxes suggests there may be negative externalities and the burdens unequally shared. The gloss that I bold emphasised my be wrong. I'm not particularly satisfied with the data out there. Much of it seemed intertwined with political and pecuniary interests.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2014-08-19 at 00:54
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Old 2014-08-19, 02:04   #9
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Also, if it's only new cars getting the treatment, won't the service be completely useless? Would it not detect maybe four or five cars on the busiest road in town until people start replacing their cars?

Or is King Obama going to put in regulation to have all cars made before the year 2016 melted in a big vat?
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Old 2014-08-19, 02:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
Also, if it's only new cars getting the treatment, won't the service be completely useless? Would it not detect maybe four or five cars on the busiest road in town until people start replacing their cars?
Not that I am trying to defend it but I think that it would only be "useless" in the beginning and one would expect that natural attrition of older vehicles would gradually make it more common.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
Or is King Obama going to put in regulation to have all cars made before the year 2016 melted in a big vat?
Sounds like a good idea, but we need to remove the words "made before the year 2016".

It sure could be fun to stand on a street corner with a fake signal generator and watch the mayhem. You could even make it appear as though vehicles are coming out of solid walls, or maybe even from below ground if the protocol supports a Z coordinate.
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Old 2014-08-19, 03:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
Also, if it's only new cars getting the treatment, won't the service be completely useless?
You have to start somewhere. If this means that by 2027 most cars on the road will have it then that sounds good to me. At this point we're only talking about $200/car anyway -- though probably more later as I expect more will be required in the future.
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