Saturday, January 16, 2016

President Obama unveils plan to spend 4 billion dollars to promote development of self driving cars. Future, here we come!

Courtesy of NBC News:

The White House unveiled a plan on Thursday to spend nearly $4 billion over 10 years to accelerate the development of self-driving cars. 

"Automated vehicles open up possibilities for saving lives, saving time and saving fuel," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx at a press conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. 

It's part of a broader initiative announced by President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address on Tuesday to build a "21st century transportation system." Within six months, the federal government hopes to unveil a "model state policy" on self-driving cars that would offer "a path to consistent national policy," according to a government press release.

Look I already think this President is perhaps the greatest of my life time, but if he helps to make self driving cars a reality before I kick the bucket then he becomes one of the greatest Presidents of all time.

I also recently saw an interview with Elon Musk where he explained that in the future autonomous cars will seem as indispensable to us as home computers and dishwashers.

Interestingly enough my daughter and I are on totally different sides of this issue.

She likes to drive and does not want some car doing it for her, but I explained that is all well and good at her age but for elderly people, handicapped people, and others incapable or unwilling to drive this will be an incredibly important breakthrough. 

Personally I am looking forward to the next advances in technology with bated breath.


  1. Anonymous4:44 AM

    Self driving cars already exist. Check out BMW.
    Not convinced this is best use of 4 bil tax money.

  2. Anonymous4:55 AM

    I'd rather be driving my own car, nolo contendere.

    1. Anonymous6:02 AM

      Amen to that! Even smart technology is fallible; an "accident waiting to happen," pun intended.

      This world get lazier and lazier....

  3. Anonymous5:28 AM

    Mother Jones had a fascinating article on this subject. Driverless cars are the future and they're going to alter the way we design our environment.
    Imagine cities without parking lots, these cars won't need to park . They'll pick you up and drop you off and be off to the next person. Just as smart phones and GPS have made Uber possible so has it made the driverless car. These cars can process millions of pieces of information, making car pooling easier and stoplights unnecessary. I imagine big dense city centers will someday only allow driverless cars.
    The only parking they'll need is late at night to recharge at parking lots (potentially) outside the town or city.

    1. Anonymous8:11 AM

      Sounds like taking the bus, train or subway!

    2. And don't forget...there will be less and less impact on our environment!

    3. Anonymous11:58 AM

      Therein lies the rub with me.

      I would want the option to own my own self-driving and eventually flying car.

  4. Anonymous5:45 AM

    Wow! Mass transit. Which we need more of. Except that Americans don't like to share. Most of us live out of our cars. Where does that fo? No one wants to sxhlep that stuff with them all day. And who wants to get into the car thàt someone else has done who knows what in? And by that I mean stuff we all do on our own cars- eat that greasy, garlicky sandwich, change a kid's diaper, get into without a shower after the gym, cause-late!

    1. Come on, admit it, you mean stuff like have sex too.

      Not to mention getting sick in, drinking in, having pets in, ad nauseum.

  5. Anonymous5:48 AM

    Yeah, can't wait until some hacker gets control of or or more of them and uses them for evil. You wait, it will happen and we humans will have no control.

    No thank you. I want my car in my garage, ready for me when I need to use it and in my control at all times.

    Now, if they could come up with a car that can reliable detect when cars around me as I drive are in the hands of someone who is texting or doing anything else to give up control of THEIR car, then, that I would welcome!

    1. Anonymous8:12 AM

      I agree, wish they would invent a car that doesn't run while someone has their stupid cellphone turned on.

  6. Anonymous6:03 AM

    I drive 2 of the worst miles in my life to get to the highway. In 15 years, all the county can afford to do is fix the occasional pothole when it starts swallowing a snowmobile.

    Right now, I think the billion can be better spent. I also think it'll take a long time to pry Americans from their cars.

    1. Anonymous8:14 AM

      I also think it'll take a long time to pry Americans from their cars.


      "Detroit' will make sure of that, the automakers made sure we have crappy mass transit in metro Detroit.

    2. Anonymous12:54 PM

      Millennials are not embracing driving and cars like previous generations did. Uber introduced ride sharing in San Francisco, it took off like a rocket.

      Driverless cars aren't like busses, trains or subways, they'll come to your front door, when you want them. This is a big difference, especially for suburbanites.

  7. Man do we have a lot of Luddites on this blog today.

    It really does not make any difference what we think about this concept, it IS the future.

    And as for concerns about hacking and increased accidents you do all realize that virtually all commercial airlines utilize auto pilot right?

    1. Anonymous6:24 AM

      So glad we can all depend upon Gryphen to tell us how stupid we are.

    2. Anonymous6:46 AM

      Luddite?!?!? Oh Gryph, you are too funny!

    3. Anonymous7:02 AM

      Gryphen you are so right, twenty years ago I remember thinking "what will I need a home computer for?" and this year (because I was busy) I did all my shopping on-line. I can get things the same day I order them, what a difference a couple of decades make.
      Driverless cars ARE the future. Hot tip: buy stock!

    4. Luddites or Neanderthals still looking for lightening to make a fire?

    5. Gra*ma Banana 8:27 AM wrote: looking for lightening to make a fire

      Lightning is electrical discharges in the atmosphere.
      Lightening is a cream substitute some people put in their coffee.

    6. Anonymous11:47 AM

      Awww, Ted... Cut Gra*ma Banana a break.

      I, for one, knew exactly what she meant, and i daresay others did, too. Perfect use of homonyms and near-homonyms is not a weapon to wield on friendly posts...

      ... only for those 'other' assholes :)

    7. Anonymous12:29 PM

      Just look at the way we live today; we have those little bluetooth tabs all around the house that auto order things from Amazon when we run out. We have little vacuums that run around the floor constantly keeping it clean. Cell phones are automated with voice command as are some of our TV's and game centers. Automated cars are just the next step. If they could improve the situation here on the icy Glenn Highway I'd be all for it :-)

    8. Anonymous1:58 PM

      Ted is an anal cream substitute that some people electrically discharge into the atmosphere.

      Ted Powell is a cream substitute

    9. Anonymous 11:47 AM wrote: not a weapon to wield on friendly posts

      The informations I provided was intended as such; not as a weapon.

      For a while I had been referencing an article or an earlier comment by simply providing an italicized quote in a paragraph by itself. But lately one or more people have been responding to comments of mine as if the italicized text represented my own thoughts rather than somebody else's. I'm now doing my best to make attributions more explicit, with handle and time.

      Your comment suggests to me that when I provide information that is intended to be helpful (or in some cases, teasing) I should include an explict statement to that effect. I will do my best to keep that in mind.

  8. I've been waiting for and dreaming about this since I read my first SciFi book back in the 1950s. I used to watch Buck Rogers on TV when I was little and when I read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" I knew it would happen. "If You can Imagine it, You can Achieve it."

  9. Anonymous6:52 AM

    It's not gonna take your cars from you. You will still be in the car. Just like pilots are still in the cockpit of an airplane when he puts it on autopilot.
    People please learn the facts before you fly off the handle.

    1. Anonymous7:14 AM

      Sweet! No more DUIs. LOL

    2. Maple7:35 AM

      That's right. And no more accidents caused by sudden heart attack, seizure, texting, etc.
      For those who hate the idea, your ancestors probably also wanted to cling to the old horse and buggy instead of those "infernal horseless carriages" we now call cars. And just think, if an accident does occur, it's the fault of the manufacturer, so no more insurance premiums!

    3. Anonymous8:21 AM

      Obama is at it again, first he wants to take away our guns, now it is our cars. He needs to be impeached. :)

  10. Anonymous7:53 AM

    You're right Gryph, I along with other people forgot that self-driving cars would greatly assist our senior citizens by driving them to doctor's appointments, to grocery stores, visit friends and relatives. It make them feel independent and help get them outdoors by being more mobile which is good for their health. You're a smart thinking person, you should run for an Alaskan Senator's seat, I would vote for you.

  11. Anonymous8:11 AM


  12. Anonymous8:50 AM

    "for elderly people, handicapped people, and others incapable or unwilling to drive this will be an incredibly important breakthrough."

    Yeah, except that those very people will be least able to afford them. Even if they are available to them in the form of a taxi, that ride will likely cost more than human-driven taxi rides are now.

  13. Anonymous9:03 AM

    One day a car will take me to the bar, hopefully pick me up too. Or if I don't feel like going out maybe I'll just send the car! It'll have more luck picking up women without me anyway...

  14. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Just wait till Y'all Queda hears about this. They'll be rollin coal getting 8mpg in their pickemup trucks. Reminds me of that parade of confederate flag waving trucks with a surprise ending.

    "Gawd don't like ugly!" HAHA

  15. Color me skeptical. This is more likely to end up as a boondoggle. Sort of like this.

    And this.

  16. Anita Winecooler4:16 PM

    I can't wait. I've worked for a company for over twenty years, and never took them up on the company car deal. I was happy as a clam with my diesel. Well, this year I caved, and I'm blown away from the tech that already exists. This newer tech will speed up traffic and cut accident rates, especially lethal ones. I love to drive and the feel of the open road, but having a choice on long trips would allow me better time management and/or rest.


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