Warning: This Robocar Video is NSFL

WHAT WE ARE ABOUT TO SHOW YOU IS TOTALLY UNSAFE SO PLEASE DON'T DO IT!!

NSFL: Not Safe For Living

 
When self-operated elevators were new, certain people—okay, mature people—hesitated to ride them. Other people—okay, little boys—punched every button and then jumped out, squealing with self-satisfaction.
 
Some things never change: new functions are still getting automated, and little boys are still idiots. 
 
Here, in a video we freely acknowledge noticing only after autoblog.com posted it, some anonymous jokers from Germany show off as the backseat drivers of an Infiniti Q50. As we reported at its debut, the Q50 is the world’s first drive-by-wire car, one in which the main connection between the steering wheel and the wheels being steered is digital rather than mechanical.
 
The car cruises down a curving highway with nothing in charge but a lane-keeping system—a technology intended to help drivers, not replace them. As a commenter at autoblog.com noted, using it as an ersatz human drive is precisely the abuse the new Mercedes-Benz S class prevents by requiring the driver to lay hands on the wheel every dozen seconds or so.
 
And, yes, the music you hear is the “Ride of the Valkyries,” from Die Walküre, the second opera in Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle. It’s a fine piece of music. But the guys in the backseat of that Infiniti are still idiots.
 

 

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Cars That Think

IEEE Spectrum’s blog about the sensors, software, and systems that are making cars smarter, more entertaining, and ultimately, autonomous.
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