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Old 29th September 2016, 11:42   #16
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Default Re: Is car technology creating dumb drivers?

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Originally Posted by vinair View Post
However, to rule out technology isn't making us dumb and is in fact helping breed a smarter generation is debatable.
The definition of smart/dumb is debatable. But not the fact that typical humans know less and less about essential activities that keep us ticking. How many humans now know how to grow food? Once everybody knew it. This ignorance is a fact, whether it makes us dumb is another matter.

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Classic example, the Tesla autopilot fatal accident in Florida. Advanced technology, super infrastructure, 'blind reliance on technology' = perfect recipe for disaster from a potential dumb human being
It is not a classic example of blind reliance, but a classic example of judging a technology before it reaches maturity.

Do you refuse to fly on commercial jets that use auto pilot? Are you aware of the number of accidents early aircrafts suffered before the technology matured? How many pilots now are willing to fly an aircraft without all the flying aids? Such automation is inevitable to every aspect of our lives. Now it is happening to cars.

Finally, it all comes down to probability and risk calculation. It is a fact that driverless cars will be always alert and not be careless unlike human drivers. They are still working on the judgment part. Once it is proved that driverless cars are lot safer than self-driving, then the insurance companies will drive the self-drivers out of the roads.

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Take my case, till twenty years ago I could remember the phone numbers of most of my friends, acquaintances and professional contacts. For emergencies, I had a tiny paper phone book in my purse for quick reference. Come cell phones with built in address book and I have now reached a stage where I find it difficult to remember even my wife's phone number
This is a great example. How many here are willing to switch back to dumb phones without contact list, so that you can remain smart?

Last edited by Samurai : 29th September 2016 at 11:46.
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Old 29th September 2016, 14:45   #17
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Default Re: Is car technology creating dumb drivers?

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Do you refuse to fly on commercial jets that use auto pilot?

Once it is proved that driverless cars are lot safer than self-driving, then the insurance companies will drive the self-drivers out of the roads.
Do you refuse to fly on commercial jets that use auto pilot? - The human control (pilot) is still supreme. I will never fly in a plane without pilot, even though how much reliable / proven is a self-flying plane (analogically similar to a self-driving car). The aids are meant to make the job of pilot easier and not eliminate him completely.

Once it is proved that driverless cars are lot safer than self-driving, then the insurance companies will drive the self-drivers out of the roads. - I hope this doesn't happens. There should be a middle path taken, drivers who have more mishaps should be forced to switch to driverless cars by increasing their insurance amount. Those who have no / very less mishaps should pay less and enjoy driving.

IMO self-driving cars shouldn't aim to replace the driver, they should aim to make driving easier. For e.g. I will let the car take over in the choc a bloc city traffic but on highway / whenever I want to, I will drive.
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Old 29th September 2016, 15:06   #18
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Default Re: Is car technology creating dumb drivers?

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Do you refuse to fly on commercial jets that use auto pilot? - The human control (pilot) is still supreme.
That is not the reason why human pilots still fly planes. It is because of insurance industry. They make all the major decisions these days. That why I said insurance industry will decide the future of driving.

http://www.businessinsider.in/This-i...w/46709311.cms

Currently, nobody is making aircrafts for pilotless flying, thanks to insurance industry. Drones are designed for non-human transport, so drone pilots ditch the aircraft when things get tough. To make pilot-less human transport planes, too many aviation and insurance laws have to change. Same goes for driver-less cars. Right now most countries don't allow driver less cars.
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Old 29th September 2016, 15:56   #19
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Default Re: Is car technology creating dumb drivers?

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That is not the reason why human pilots still fly planes. It is because of insurance industry. They make all the major decisions these days. That why I said insurance industry will decide the future of driving.

http://www.businessinsider.in/This-i...w/46709311.cms

Currently, nobody is making aircrafts for pilotless flying, thanks to insurance industry. Drones are designed for non-human transport, so drone pilots ditch the aircraft when things get tough. To make pilot-less human transport planes, too many aviation and insurance laws have to change. Same goes for driver-less cars. Right now most countries don't allow driver less cars.
I went through the article and it mentions that a major factor against pilotless airplanes is the design. The current design requires a minimum of two pilots. Earlier it was three pilots. So it will take quite some time and design changes to shift to a single pilot and then no pilot.
The article also mentions huge costs involved to adopt the pilotless model.

Still I will never fly in a pilotless plane. Will you Samurai?
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Old 29th September 2016, 16:17   #20
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Default Re: Is car technology creating dumb drivers?

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I went through the article and it mentions that a major factor against pilotless airplanes is the design. The current design requires a minimum of two pilots. Earlier it was three pilots. So it will take quite some time and design changes to shift to a single pilot and then no pilot.
It is not because they don't know how to design such a thing. Law doesn't allow a human transporting drone. Change the laws, and you will see companies investing in that.

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The article also mentions huge costs involved to adopt the pilotless model.
Any aircraft design involve huge cost. If you can't sell such an aircraft due to prevailing laws, nobody will try. Cars are lot cheaper to design and test in comparison. So they are trying in the hope that they can change the laws.

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Still I will never fly in a pilotless plane. Will you Samurai?
Yes, if a pilotless plane is certified for human transport, I definitely will. Aircrafts undergo extreme amount of testing before they are certified.

Keep it mind this is no different than trying a new medicine. You tend to take any medicine prescribed by the doctors, in the hope that it has been extensively tested and will cause no harm.
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Old 29th September 2016, 16:49   #21
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Default Re: Is car technology creating dumb drivers?

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It is not because they don't know how to design such a thing. Law doesn't allow a human transporting drone. Change the laws, and you will see companies investing in that.

Any aircraft design involve huge cost. If you can't sell such an aircraft due to prevailing laws, nobody will try. Cars are lot cheaper to design and test in comparison. So they are trying in the hope that they can change the laws.

Yes, if a pilotless plane is certified for human transport, I definitely will. Aircrafts undergo extreme amount of testing before they are certified.

Keep it mind this is no different than trying a new medicine. You tend to take any medicine prescribed by the doctors, in the hope that it has been extensively tested and will cause no harm.
Even with extreme amount of testing there have been many mishaps in airline industry. Only after all the errors / bugs / design flaws etc. were discovered and fixed the accident rate came down significantly.

In addition to costs the risk level also counts. The risk level for an airplane is far higher than a car.

Above all acceptance also counts. If people are not inclined towards self-driving cars it will reflect in government's approval as well. I agree insurance companies have a major influence but it is not the only influence / deciding factor.


Technology will anyways continue to grow and enhance all man made products but somewhere a line has to be drawn and adhered to about human intervention and control.
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Old 29th September 2016, 17:15   #22
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

I don't entirely agree with the fact that technology makes us dumb. It just exposes our
limitations as a human race. Our abilities have not advanced at the same pace as that of the environment in which we operate. Our ability to ingest all this information and complicated situations to arrive at the right decisions at all times is limited. Technology helps in that sense.

I think a fair share of driving is based on driver's judgement, acquired with practice. Maybe not just intelligence. Our ability to choose to rely entirely on technology or use good judgement or a combination of both is what makes us intelligent. I think as long we are aware of that prerogative, we should be good.

And therefore, a bad driver will continue to exist and operate as a bad driver because of the choices he makes, irrespective of the context. Of course, unless, as @samurai mentioned, they are replaced by self-driven cars.
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Old 29th September 2016, 18:33   #23
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

My friend refused to use hand brakes in the car under any circumstances. Even when starting from an incline, with quite a few cars just behind him ; he was rather okay to have the car roll back and risk an accident with the cars behind him. 😊

The reason? His father (who taught him driving) had drilled into his head that using handbrakes makes you a dumb driver.
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Old 29th September 2016, 18:51   #24
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

I have a bit of experience on both sides of the story.

One of our cars is technically fairly advanced in autonomous & safety tech. (adaptive cruise control, auto braking, collision warning, lane departure warning, attention alert, front & rear parking sensors, cameras etc.) not just ABS, TCS etc.
The other car (mainly used for run abouts in town) is a very basic small hatchback.

Sometimes I can feel that I am getting used to the driver assist features in the first car and could tend to be "clumsy" with the second car.
For eg. I could be surprised that I got closer to the vehicle in front when it braked suddenly since his tail light was gone. In the first car I would have got an alarm from the collision mitigation system and I would have braked earlier. Probably it just means that the first car is safer, but I sometimes wonder if I am not being "extra alert". It might just be my perception, as I never got told that I am being particularly rash with the second car.

At the end of the day, I would prefer the technically advanced car, not because I can be "lazy" but because I feel relaxed knowing that there is a safety net around me, just in case.

The most re-assuring feature that I can think of is the "Driver attention Alert". Especially if I am driving alone and there is no co-passenger to keep an eye on me. Doesn't mean that I will drive without proper rest or try to push the fatigue limits. But definitely I would prefer that the makers provide all features in the lower cost cars as well.
Only if wishes were horses
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Old 29th September 2016, 19:56   #25
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

All technology is intended to make things better, safer and more convenient. But just like evolution, unused skills are often lost. So, yes, agreed on the technology making drivers dumber point. Few examples from my experience that I can think of.

My Sister in Law has been driving in the States for years now but every time she comes back to India, she cannot take a car out (manual transmission) without stalling a million times.

I cannot recall how often I have just about nicked my rear bumper because my wife turned the reverse assist off by mistake (the button is right next to the fog lamps button).

Don't know about the ABS related errors though. In my experience driving in India is enough to teach you not to race ahead on any surface that isn't definitely and visibly flat for as far as you can see. Not that there aren't idiots around.
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Old 29th September 2016, 20:10   #26
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

I drive cars which are a decade old. So, I don't see these new 'high tech' features.

I still use my key and adjust the AC to desired temperature.

My dad keeps telling me how lucky I am when I use google maps for navigation. I'll be honest and tell you that I can't drive to unfamiliar areas without google maps. I don't think navigation systems make people dumber, they suggest faster routes and you don't need to get off at some place and ask for directions.

BTW, I still search for the key slot to crank the engine when I drive my friends cars and they look at me like I'm dumb.
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Old 29th September 2016, 20:19   #27
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

Its a nice thread. I have thought about these points many times too.

Actually advanced automotive technologies do & do not make a driver dumb unless he is smart enough to understand/overcome that! This is not only applicable to cars, this is applicable in other aspects too.
I have seen even for a simple multiplication people are using calculators! That's because he is too dependent on it. It definitely saves time and reduces the chances of error too. But one must be prepared enough to solve it in case a calculator is not handy!

Let me share few instances in respect to cars-

Earlier in the era of Fiats and Ambassadors the regular routine of the driver was to check the water in radiator, tyre pressure, whether all the lights are working or not. Now our modern cars have indicators for all these. A driver is more depended on the meter console than opening the hood and even checking it once in a week or even a month! For example if there is a slight leak in the coolant and the coolant is getting drained and the driver do not bother to open the hood, he will get the result after a week or so when the engine temperature lamp will glow and indicate him of engine over heating. Had he been checked it on a routine basis he could have identified the root cause much earlier.
Same goes with tyre pressure or engine oil level or any other aspect. Being technology dependent is good but one must be smart enough to know the very basics.

Drivers use hand brake when ever there is an incline. Even i use hand brake. But what in case the hand brake wire snaps? Can he pull out his vehicle without rolling back? Has he practiced that ever?

People driving fast and rely upon ABS. ABS is a life saver. People should rely on it. But does he really know if he need to drive a non ABS vehicle in an adverse condition then how to control the vehicle?

With tubeless tyres people keep a tyre inflator and i have seen people stranded on highways because even with a tyre inflator the air pressure was not building up and he needs to change the tyre but he do not know how to do it!

Google maps sometime mislead a person to some super narrow or congested alley. A simple stop and asking a local person about the route and recheck whether google maps is right or wrong wont harm! But only depending on maps and getting into a very narrow road and getting stuck can be bad!

Actually these modern facilities do not make one dumb, they make life easy. A person himself makes the fool out of himself! Use these facilities to the core but be prepared to get out if these things fail!

Last edited by Samba : 29th September 2016 at 20:43.
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Old 29th September 2016, 22:07   #28
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

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I read an article today about how modern advances in car technology actually creates dumber drivers because we get too reliant on our fancy systems in our cars until we realize they can't do it all. The article specifically mentions GPS and satnav systems, but I can extend that to ABS(its scary how few people actually understand how ABS works), lane departure warning and adaptive cruze control.
I've known people who think they can drive faster in snow because they have ABS not knowing that ABS in fact increases your stopping distance, and people with adaptive cruze control tend to get too complacent not knowing that the system has its limitations
Even the little things like forgetting where you've kept your 'keys' because you now have keyless entry and a push button start(happened to me:- I had 3 bags on me and didn't know which one the key was in). I'm in no way against technology in cars, and they've made driving a much more pleasant and stress free experience, but I firmly believe we shouldn't let technology get in the way of our own intuition.
Here's the article for my motivation:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2014...stupid-drivers
Sorry but that's sheer nonsense.

The most unreliable bit in every single car till date has been the nut connected to the steering and the pedals.
i.e us.

This is like the debate in the aviation circles ~50 years back when the first aeroplanes with automation came out.

Of course, unlike pilots, the average car driver is far less trained and far more casual. But the point is - an idiot behind the wheel was just as dangerous earlier (think getting distracted by a billboard) as one is now (taking eyes off the road to check / use the phone).

And there are far more drivers out there, than there are pilots.

So yes, some technologies could inadvertently make our roads more unsafe - but that is before considering all the lives saved by the engineering present in modern cars. And i'm not getting into the likes of tesla autopilot.

The benefit of technology is that it helps preserve your scarce mental bandwidth / decision making capacity for the points where it matters. e.g GPS is a great tool, but that doesn't mean one should stop being mindful and observant. You no longer have to bother about the exact turnoff from the highway on a 500km trip - you may only need to be careful about GMaps suggesting any narrow cycle-worthy lanes near your destination, or be aware of any fresh diversions.

The kind of mindlessness and sheer lack of observation demonstrated in this case: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/tr...ong-place.html would've resulted in some epic faux pas even before the GPS came along. Atleast now such mistakes can be painlessly remedied.

For every article that quotes such an incident, it ignores the hundreds of millions who use GPS to arrive at their destinations, safely and quickly. Sheer myopia I say, and a focus on the wrong things.

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
That is not the reason why human pilots still fly planes. It is because of insurance industry. They make all the major decisions these days. That why I said insurance industry will decide the future of driving.

http://www.businessinsider.in/This-i...w/46709311.cms

Currently, nobody is making aircrafts for pilotless flying, thanks to insurance industry. Drones are designed for non-human transport, so drone pilots ditch the aircraft when things get tough. To make pilot-less human transport planes, too many aviation and insurance laws have to change. Same goes for driver-less cars. Right now most countries don't allow driver less cars.
I disagree vehemently. Maybe it'll take me twenty years, or thirty, or maybe never. But seriously - the insurance industry can say what it will, but given the sheer paranoia most of us have about flying (and how it takes less than a minute sometimes for a plane to crash) - I will only fly aeroplanes where there's a couple of human beings, putting their lives on the line - who literally have their skin in the game. Planes inspire such radically strong and irrational emotions that I'm sure a large number of the flying populace thinks this way - as opposed to driverless metro coaches and such like.

Last edited by phamilyman : 29th September 2016 at 22:20.
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Old 29th September 2016, 22:47   #29
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

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Eventually, selfdriven cars will have the same fate as horse riding, a mere hobby that can be indulged only in tracks or rural settings.
I hope it never comes to that in my lifetime. That pleasure one gets in changing the gears or trying to do quick overtakes and engaging lower gear to boost speed or the sound of engine when turbo kicks in is too good.

An horse and a car examples are like comparing apples and oranges. It would be more fitting to compare riding the horse yourself to sitting behind someone riding it.

As for the headline ' Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers' - there is a saying always consider everyone around can and will make a mistake hence drive carefully.

Technology may not be the answer and in our rush to give-up all human control lets not accidentally create 'Skynet'.
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Old 29th September 2016, 23:03   #30
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Default Re: Is automotive technology creating dumber drivers?

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I disagree vehemently. Maybe it'll take me twenty years, or thirty, or maybe never. But seriously - the insurance industry can say what it will, but given the sheer paranoia most of us have about flying (and how it takes less than a minute sometimes for a plane to crash) - I will only fly aeroplanes where there's a couple of human beings, putting their lives on the line - who literally have their skin in the game.
You are disagreeing based on your feeling, and not scientific reasoning. Did you know there was a time people wouldn't trust a carriage that is not pulled by a pair of horses, for the exact reasons you mentioned? Horse has skin in the game, engine doesn't. It might run into a wall or jump off a cliff or run over people.

Locomotive Act of 1865 required self-propelled vehicles on public roads in the United Kingdom to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag and blowing a horn. This effectively killed road auto development in the UK for most of the rest of the 19th century; inventors and engineers shifted their efforts to improvements in railway locomotives. [source]

Similarly, when horses were first tamed for riding, I am sure similar sentiment must have been expressed. People would have said "I trust only my legs, who knows where the horse will take and dump me!"

In fact, I have read that in a book series about pre-historic Cro-Magnons. There a woman raises a horse from foal and rides it. Others are terrified to emulate her, expressing similar sentiments.
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