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Wheel Alignment Equipment

That would be a great add on to the program that car has. Detecting something that is on the way and moving, like a deer would prompt the program to stop the car.

D. P. Lubic

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention--trains have "facilities" on board. In a car, you have to find such a "facility" when you need it, and sometimes they just aren't handy! Anyone who has had children in a car for even a relatively short trip knows what I'm talking about.

"Mommy, I have to go. . ."

D. P. Lubic

Cool Dude picked a poor choice as a counterargument. His example is from a philosophical argument, not one that is likely to appear in the real world. I will acknowledge that there have been incidents where trains were purposely derailed to prevent worse accidents, but as far as I know, none involved the threat or even the decision to deliberately sacrifice people. keep in mind we are talking about a history of rail operations going back almost 200 years.

There is a long tradition of having to choose to cause people to die, though--it's called war.

My own thoughts on the shortcomings of self-driving cars are that they have the shortcomings of cars. They cost money to buy and run, and even the best are uncomfortable for a trip of any length (I have troubles with leg cramps after only a couple of hours). Speeds are limited by a combination of fuel economy (fuel consumption goes up quite rapidly above 60 mph or so), and speed will be limited in any event by the limits of the average driver--in this case, not of the self-driving car, but the other, still-manually driven cars around it. I don't really see them as being a "cure" for congestion partially for that reason, and even then, there is still the problem of finding parking spaces.

This isn't to say the efforts of Google are entirely worthless, but I do think we are still going to need rail transit, for its capacity, for its efficiency, for its ability to run on electricity from any source, and for its comfort on trips, both short and long.

William A. Draves

We will see, Justacooldude. However, we should be mindful of the British coroner's declaration on the death of the first person to die from an automobile, a 44 year old mother of two, in 1894: "This must never happen again." But it does, one million deaths a year (worldwide) from autos.


Please see this:

D. P. Lubic

An excellent question! I've hit a couple myself, and it's surprising the amount of damage you can get from hitting one of these relatively small animals. (They really aren't that large. If you've ever seen one skinned, you would realize they are about the size of a fairly big dog. They just look bigger because of those long, long legs.)

I haven't hit any, but I have come across cows on the road before; I would hate to think of what would happen running into something like that, or a bear.

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