Electric Cars

TheURL

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Here's a question: why do electric cars have steering wheels? Isn't that just showing off? I mean, if the Highway Code has just been updated to say it's ok to watch films while an electric car is moving, what's the motorised steering wheel for?
 

Retro

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I think you're confusing electric cars with self driving / autonomous cars.

Fully autonomous self drivers wouldn't have a steering wheel, but we're not there yet. Since the concept is still being developed and tested, a human driver is still required to take over in an emergency.

The basic problem is that AI can brilliantly handle hundreds of situations, but then get confused with something silly like traffic cones (it happened recently) which humans wouldn't do. Until this is solved, AI cars aren't ready for prime time.
 

TheURL

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Whoops - sorry; been a long day - I meant self-drive cars - doh! Of course I realise we're entering a crossover state, but my point is that on the TV they always show you a self-drive car with its steering wheel flipping one way and then the other, as if the car is saying "look at this car - it's driving itself!!", when of course ultimately it won't need one - you could put something else just there, like a bar or something.
 

Tiffany

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Perhaps the steering wheel is representative of a driver's security blanket?🙃
 

Arantor

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Because self driving cars aren't entirely self driving.

Particularly in Tesla's case, the 'autopilot' mode is basically an upgraded cruise control. It's not *really* meant for you do let it do its thing, it's there to help, but you're still nominally in control, and being responsible for a multi-ton metal box hurtling along at 40+ mph, you probably should keep an eye on it, so you can intervene and take over if something goes wrong.

AIs aren't really magical, they're just statistical models applied at high speed. There's no real decision making involved, it's just 'look at the camera, best guess for what these pixels are is...' based on mathematical similarity to other pictures.
 

Retro

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AIs aren't really magical, they're just statistical models applied at high speed. There's no real decision making involved, it's just 'look at the camera, best guess for what these pixels are is...' based on mathematical similarity to other pictures.
And that's exactly why they can excel at certain things, but then fail hard on the simplest things. There's no real intelligence and understanding like in a human or animal.

Mind you, I wouldn't call football hooligans intelligent, but that's another story.
 
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