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Self Driving Car Mistakes

Auto Pilot, Not So Much

As a collector car owner, you likely want to drive your own car and enjoy the experience. However, it seems corporate America and our Government are both set to change that. They explain self driving cars will be far more safe than humans. Well, someday that may be true, but as of now, I am not so sure.

This video of two test drivers evaluating a Tesla beta version of thier self driving software is both hilarious and frightening. The driver is constantly over riding the auto piolet while pedestrians and other drivers are more than a little disturbed by the car’s actions.

Obviously, this test is in a confusing metro area and that complicates the situations, but that is also reality. As someone who lives in a rural area outside a metro area, I can tell you the distractions and decisions a driver must take are very different between the two and constantly changing. How will the auto pilot react to a chicken crossing the road? No joke here. In the rural areas it is not unusual to have chickens running across the road. Like wise what about a slow-moving turtle on his adventure to cross the road?

Based on this video with the auto pilot turning into a parking garage instead of the next street, will it know the difference between a rural gravel road and boat loading ramp at the lake? What will it do when it comes up behind a tractor doing 5 MPH pulling a load of hay on a narrow two lane road? I don’t even want to talk about what happens when a hacker attacks the car’s computer or when a heavy rainstorm causes you to lose contact with the GPS satellite. Have you ever been in the mountains or forested area on a major highway and your satellite radio goes off and your GPS says it is searching for the road? More than once I have been on a two-lane steep hilly road and at the crest of the hill I find a car in my lane headed right at me. What will “auto” do? How does auto decide what the best reaction is? There are 4 deer standing still on the side of the road. Does it know they are real deer or statutes? One jumps out in front of the car, there is another car coming, what will “auto” do?

I am sure all will be well. We can all sit back and read Facebook on our Smart Phone while our new Smart Auto Pilot car drives us to our destination.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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