Our Reluctance to Trust Driving Computers

The advanced radar systems that are slowly making their way into modern cars are already advanced enough to drive our cars for us and save thousands of lives a year, says Robert Scoble as he discusses the safety systems currently available in Ford and Toyota models.

The features Scoble describes (and Ford’s Global Chief Safety Engineer, Steve Kozak, demonstrates in the two embedded videos) are exciting, but it’s this that caught my eye: that according to customer research the general public isn’t ready for the advanced driving systems that already exist.

There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States — one death every 13 minutes. […]

Why haven’t they just made my car totally drive itself? Because customers just aren’t ready for it, says Ford’s Kozak in the video. He explains how the 2010 Ford Taurus uses this technology in a much different way from my Prius due to customer research that showed Ford most people just aren’t ready for assisted driving technologies like exist in my Prius.

I’d love to get my hands on that Ford research.



2 responses to “Our Reluctance to Trust Driving Computers”

  1. Paul

    My car can reverse park itself but I don’t use it because its complex and results vary.

  2. I think slowly, as people become conditioned to reverse parking sensors and even automatic reverse parking cars (like yours), we will see more advanced computers becoming widespread.

    Start small, increase slowly, etc.

    My car? The electric wing mirrors are about as advanced as I can see–the rest is internal and hidden.