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Bed

Driving experience

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I've been driving for a while, about 35 miles a day for work. It's fine but sometimes, it's scary. 

Every day I'm in traffic hell. 

Just today, a semi truck merged into my lane while I was passing it. Thankfully, I have some sort of mental car bubble that made me move to the side. If the side wasn't big enough, I would definitely have been squished and injured. This was at about 70 mph. 

I don't know if the driver noticed me afterwards, but he merged back to where he was (no cars in front of him at all anywhere). He didn't signal when he's changing here too.

Maybe it is because my car is black? My headlights were on though... 

So many times, cars have merged into me without looking. (I always travel on the fast lane)

The way I merge lanes is... 1st, I'm aware of my speed. Usually I want to go a little faster as to not to cut off the car behind you that much. When you're going diagonal, you will need to speed up to make up for the further distance.

Also, I turn on my turn signal, sometimes, probably a 5 seconds ahead. Sometimes shorter though. The reason for this is because I noticed cars would actually speed up if I tell them I want to merge. I think I've given adequate time to let people know I'm merging and I've never really had a problem. It really depend on the traffic. If it is stop and go, I turn it on as soon as I can. If it's a moving slow traffic with adequate distance between cars to merge, I plan my turn signal timing.

This isn't the east coast, and I've driven in the northeast before. It's reckless, and chancy up there. You have to put faith in other cars to not rear end you when you're changing lanes, because no car will let you. Which is toxic, and the consequence can be a stupid mess.

This is the northwest, and I think people are just old or pre-occupied or something.

----

Another close call was where I was merging into a slow lane in heavy traffic. I was going about 40mph, and once I merged, the car in front does a complete stop. Even though I think traffic was going at least 20-30 on that lane, I was expecting some room to be available once I did this forced lane change. Yeah, forcing people to stop for you so you can merge is necessary in the city a lot. But the girl in front of me did a complete stop, so I almost rear-ended her. My car did a skid, but thankfully nothing touched. I made another lane change since that lane completely stopped and saw that she was on her phone. 

You can't trust people, but sometimes you have to. 

These close calls keep happening, and I don't think it has anything to do with me. Most of the time it's people merging into me, or some old person merging into me going at like 15mph, while I'm driving at 50mph. Usually I slow down when there are big differences in lane speed, but I thought 50 was enough. 

Anyways, the reality of driving is an expensive and dangerous one, and it's an accepted risk... that we can't really do much about. I wish I can work from home...

 

Anyone else here would prefer to not have to drive too?

 

Edited by Bed

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1 hour ago, Bed said:

This isn't the east coast, and I've driven in the northeast before. It's reckless, and chancy up there. You have to put faith in other cars to not rear end you when you're changing lanes, because no car will let you. Which is toxic, and the consequence can be a stupid mess.

The regional differences in driving is something that fascinates me from time to time. I enjoyed watching the art form that is driving in NYC. And it's also interesting to see how driving is done in foreign countries, particularly Asia and the Middle East.

1 hour ago, Bed said:

Maybe it is because my car is black? My headlights were on though... 

The older I get, and the less I trust people on the road, the less I understand driving a white or black/navy car. Any car that can blend in is a problem. I really appreciate having a silver car that reflects pretty well.

Personally, I worry a lot more about pedestrians and hate driving in downtown areas. Needing to keep your head on a swivel while driving is hectic.

2 hours ago, Bed said:

Anyone else here would prefer to not have to drive too?

As concerned as I am about the death toll when the AI decides that it's going to allow itself to kill us all off, I'm pretty excited about self-driving cars becoming the standard. So much time gets wasted in driving, and I definitely appreciate being able to relax or focus on other work during transit time.

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I'm incredibly excited for self-driving "Ubers."

When these kind of cars become normal and used by a large percentage of the populace, I think the roads will be a much safer, much more pleasant experience.  I lived in a college town where you could get anywhere by walking or bus.

Statistically, self-driving cars are safer than the average driver. Beyond that, as the percentage of self-driving cars increases, I predict the percentage of accidents will decrease even more because decision-making will become more predictable as less actual drivers cause issues.

 

When you can grab a self-driving Uber to work for what will cost $2-$3 eventually, it will become hard to justify the costs of owning or renting a car, paying insurance, paying maintenance, paying for gas and having to do the driving yourself when you could be working or relaxing during transit. 

 

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19 hours ago, Shattered Rift said:

Personally, I worry a lot more about pedestrians and hate driving in downtown areas. Needing to keep your head on a swivel while driving is hectic.

I'm usually very slow when in dense area. I've seen people almost get run over because the pedestrian is wearing black, in the rain, in a dimly lit area. Usually cities do their job by putting in high luminance lighting in densely populated areas, where cars and pedestrians are neck and neck.

There's very common limitations I see people have that I drive with... for example: making a left hand turn. You will have to pay attention to oncoming traffic, but sometimes a pedestrian might run across and you might ram into them.

So you would have to do some predictions and wide head turns to check if there is potentially someone running, or even biking, also taking into consideration of oncoming traffic.

This happens a lot even with right turns. Difficult to turn right because of fast moving cars, and once you see an opening, a pedestrian walks out. Turns out, the cars stop because of the light, and pedestrians are allowed, but all you think is that it's an opening due to the slowing down, and forget about the pedestrian. I try to be always aware of pedestrians but some people I know have tunnel vision.

19 hours ago, Shattered Rift said:

The older I get, and the less I trust people on the road, the less I understand driving a white or black/navy car. Any car that can blend in is a problem. I really appreciate having a silver car that reflects pretty well.

I use to think red was a girl color. (me in middle school). Nowadays, I think it looks pretty nice, assertive, and fast. A white or red car seems ideal. Black is also nice though. I don't think certain colors make cars that much more noticeable. It's a moving chunk of metal... Everything gets dirty too, so colors fade a little, and most of the issues are because of low lit areas, night time, weather... Headlights should solve all of this. Doesn't really matter which color you are in the dark.

The color that I think might look invisible is actually mirrored silver. And sometimes can be blinding when the sun is on it. It might be banned though.

It would be cool if we can get some of those pulsing LEDs underneath cars like the ones you see in games like need for speed. That would be sweet. I believe those are banned as well. I guess people are arguing that it's distracting.

19 hours ago, Shattered Rift said:

As concerned as I am about the death toll when the AI decides that it's going to allow itself to kill us all off, I'm pretty excited about self-driving cars becoming the standard.

I was thinking, maybe we can all work using skype or some VR tech, that would be nice to not have to commute. Well, there are some jobs that are not like that, but a vast amount of jobs can be remote... I think VR will introduce more of that 'human' aspect that is missing in distance communication.

I think Tesla cars are already equipped with some remote controlling of the cars. What if some hacker decides to control a car while it is traveling, and decides to ram it into another. Are there regulations on the software?

I think before true AI becomes a thing, cars would be the least of our worries.

2 hours ago, Red said:

Statistically, self-driving cars are safer than the average driver. Beyond that, as the percentage of self-driving cars increases, I predict the percentage of accidents will decrease even more because decision-making will become more predictable as less actual drivers cause issues.

Would not rely on current statistics yet, because there are no self-driving cars as of yet. There are pseudo-self driving cars that can do things like lane change assist, slowing and speeding up in traffic. They call it cruise control.

Even if there are statistics on these semi-self driving cars, the sample size is too low compared to regular cars. There's just too many cars that don't have these basic cruise control options. You can probably get a sample size 10x bigger with similar ratios on regular cars.

But, I get it that it's implied that self-driving cars are safer due to their concept. It will be really bizarre to see a self-driving car predict humans driving poorly and respond in milliseconds. That's like predicting the future almost.

2 hours ago, Red said:

When you can grab a self-driving Uber to work for what will cost $2-$3 eventually, it will become hard to justify the costs of owning or renting a car, paying insurance, paying maintenance, paying for gas and having to do the driving yourself when you could be working or relaxing during transit. 

I think this is what will happen once Self-driving technology becomes near-perfected. It should be noted that no system is perfect and there will be freak accidents. We are just looking for reliability like, how many lifetimes it would take to actually crash. A perfected AI would mean it will never be the AI's fault... which I think is possible, but I think that's so far in the future.

For our lifetime, I think current road and environment needs to be adjusted for self-driving cars, because I don't think the AI will be as instinctive as a human. Maybe someday, but probably not in our lifetime, I don't know.

The price of cars will be drastically reduced... because as soon as you buy a self-driving car, you can service it to other people. Or you can lend that car to a fleet service, which will pay you back for the cost of the car. When this happens, I wonder what the strategy is for automakers... would the have to cap their production, and rely on royalties from uber-like services? It's kind of interesting how everything is breaking down to software services.

This might reduce accidents, but there will be heavy traffic due to the sheer amounts of cars on the road. Public transit like buses will probably be obsolete, as individual cars will probably be preferred. So here you would have to build greater road structures to accommodate the population/more cars on the road.

Edited by Bed

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As far as self-driving cars, I know they are already working on technologies for self-driving trucks/semis as well. I definitely that will help make the roads slightly safer (an AI doesn't necessarily have to worry about falling asleep at the wheel or human error), but I am concerned about security and hackers into these self-driving AIs.

The other thing with driving today, is texting and being on the phone while driving. That is a completely different wrench thrown into the driving world and I am glad to see there has been more promotion to not text while driving or even some cities are giving out tickets if you are caught texting and driving. That is what worries me the most, and I, too, have to remind myself to get off my high-horse of "oh, I can glance down to check my phone for a few seconds because I have driven well before" and just not look at my phone until I reach my destination.

I tend to drive more carefully and defensively the older I get. I am less afraid of using my horn to honk at people.

Do you listen to anything driving to/from work? I know that can affect my mood in traffic as well. Some of the morning talk shows can make me annoyed even more at traffic.

 

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