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Old Posted Jun 7, 2014, 2:18 AM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
Unicorn Wizard!
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,481
What happens when people intentionally, maliciously blocks the path of a self driving car designed to never, ever, hit a pedestrian? I can see a car driving down the street in south Chicago and some kids run out into the road on purpose to make it stop and then harass the driver. For better or worse, I guess cameras and facial recognition technology would fix this. A car detects someone doing this, films it, sends it to police. Cops would ride around in cars and then bust people.

I would hate for this to be a motivation to ration and restrict streets to only cars. That's one of my biggest fears actually; all roadways can instantly be turned into gated streets or toll roads because unlike human driven cars, automated ones can be denied access to space without physical barriers and will possess more mature tracking technology.

Also just in general these things will lead to the development of road optimization, really they will have to because otherwise people will circulate cars on surface streets instead of parking them in city centers until it becomes a major problem. This will in turn lead to privatization of some roads and by extension the elimination of free public uses. Imagine if a privately built subdivision forbade children from playing outdoors because they got in the way of moving vehicles? If you want to ride a bike you will have to register so they can charge you the market price of a moving road space envelope of 4 square meters at a certain time based on certain demand. I guess anyone who is poor would be effectively under house arrest.

What if a run-down municipality decided it would lease all of it's unused street parking to a logistics company; and cross-country trucks that are not in service decide to camp out in front of your house because hey technically that's a public parking spot and it's free, right?

Really robot cars have the most massively long and insane list of indirect implications ever.
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