Q: The Luddite reactions to autonomous vehicles (AVs) are misguided. I am with John White. I’d like to see comparative stats with human drivers. AVs don’t drink or do drugs, don’t yak on cell phones, don’t get sleepy, don’t get distracted, don’t drive recklessly, don’t tailgate, don’t speed, etc.
The biggest difference is that anything that is learned by any AV is immediately learned by all of them. I hope I live long enough to see only AVs on the roads. We could get rid of traffic lights, streets could be made all one way, traffic could be easily and automatically rerouted around construction, highway capacity would be at least doubled cutting commute costs significantly. And driving at a constant speed would save energy. Open lanes would immediately open up for emergency vehicles.
And I believe crime would be cut significantly as there would be no get-away cars and the destination of every vehicle would be in a database. I could go on, but I’ll leave it there.
Wes Christensen, Palo Alto
A: Time will tell how this plays out, but you have some interesting points.
Q: The new world of charging cars vs. filling up with gas is new and different. Here’s the bottom line for Lou, who wanted to know recently about the cost of charging an electric vehicle.
I can charge for 30 minutes free under the Electrify America plan that came with my car for two years. If I had to pay the retail price, it would be about $25. That gives me a range of 275 miles in my BMW iX with the battery 80% full.
Leigh Stevens, Los Altos
A: Thanks for providing this additional detail.
Q: In regard to Roberta Howe’s recent question about the timing of lights, many, many moons ago, around the time Andrew Luck was playing, I had season tickets to Stanford football games. During one Saturday night game, it was raining and a bit cold. With the game well in hand for Stanford, I decided to leave at halftime. Once I got out of the parking area and headed south on El Camino, I was able to drive non-stop to the Fair Oaks stoplight. By the time I got home and turned on my TV to watch the second half, the game was just a few minutes into the third quarter. Since I was recording the game, I backed up to watch from the beginning of the third quarter. After fast-forwarding through a couple of commercial breaks, I was back to the live action.
Bruce Beyer, Sunnyvale
A: That gift of a steady flow of green lights did get you home quickly.
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