Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby mauleed » Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:57 pm

That's something that's always baffled me. We know 100% that a significant number of people will drive drunk. So why is it we spend all sorts of legislative effort to do silly shit like move the legal limit from .10 to .08 or some other such nonsense instead of simply mandating that the car companies put develope some sort of "drunk correction" system to compensate for the drunk drivers we know will be on the street?

I mean if a they can make a lexus that can parallel park itself, how hard can it be to make a car that doesn't let you speed when you're drunk and keeps you between the lines?
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby -Papa Gino » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:06 pm

Because we haven't been able to develop such a system, for a number of reasons.

For one, automotive designs have only recently advanced to the point where one can talk about integrating the onboard microprocessors into a single LAN capable of even partially controlling the vehicle, and not blowing the vehicle's cost out of all proportion while doing so. The Lexus example is basically a simplified prototype, whereas the type of processing power and systems integration present in, say, commercial aircraft auto-pilots is yet to be exhibited on a relatively low-cost consumer automotive platform. [BMW is working on something like this currently, and probably a few others, but these are still mostly works in progress.] Point of fact, just yesterday I was at a Freescale meeting where they predicted that we'd have to wait another 10-15 years until truly functional auto-piloted cars, if not longer - and Freescale are the guys pushing the OEMs to develop these vehicles, as that would give Freescale the chance to sell more chips.

Second, we are yet to develop anything resembling adequate navigational and control software packages for said vehicles. The OEMs and the Pentagon have been pouring funds into robotic vehicles for years, and most of the current prototypes still can't finish a simple road race. It gets worse once you consider that such a vehicle must incorporate multiple sensor and navigation systems (from optical to GPS to whatever), and be able to operate in an environment of widely varied road conditions and markings. [What if the lane paint is worn off? And how will the software "see" and recognize a Stop sign, or a School Crossing sign?] Again, we're probably 10+ years away (and the Lexus example doesn't work, since it's a system designed for one very tightly defined scenario - and has not yet been tested by the broad consumer base - and is as yet a costly "luxury" rather than something that can be inserted into every Kia and Nissan out there).

So - until we get both the hardware and the software necessary to implement a car auto-pilot, since we "know" that a "significant" number of people (10? 20? 100 thousand?) on a given night will be driving drunk, we have little recourse but to establish definitive legal counter-measures and deterrents enforced by a dedicated section of the internal security forces.
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby mauleed » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:06 pm

So is it fair to say you don't think it's a matter of money, but simply one of time?
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby savaughn » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:08 pm

A rather lot of both.
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby VectorAWX3 » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:21 pm

It's easy. Go with the NYC law: if we catch you driving drunk, we KEEP your car. End of story. NOTHING stops me from driving drunk as much as that law. NOTHING. Not thoughts of my personal safety, not the desire to keep my car in one piece, not my bit of social consciousness. A $150 ticket I can deal with. Losing my car? No thanks!
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby mauleed » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:27 pm

If that's all the law does, why not just buy several $150 cars?
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby VectorAWX3 » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:29 pm

You can, if you like the flintstones method of locomotion.
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby elrodogg » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:33 pm

There's always the idea that once someone gets a DWI or DUI, they have a breathalizer installed in their car that they have to pass it before it turns on. It stays in their car for X years (a number to be determined later). You drink, you fail your breathalizer, your car doesn't turn on. Period end of story.
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby mauleed » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:40 pm

Well, if you google the numbers, the recent (last 20-ish years?) heavy handed enforcement only saves about 8000 people a year, and even that is open to debate.

On a serious note, I think drunk driving is a bad, bad thing, and I personally never do it because I don't want to cause anyone else any unneeded grief.

But I don't know if crackin' down is really accomplishing anything worthwhile.

What I personally am more alarmed about is that if Nidal does run out and buy that $150 car, and wrecks it by running over some pedestrian while drunk, he's only going to be locked up for a few years. I'd much rather see us spend the money on more serious punishment for people that actually kill people while driving drunk than on sobriety checkpoints that may or may not actually save any lives.
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Re: Help the drunk get home... no, not Nidal.

Postby VectorAWX3 » Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:34 am

8000 people a year is 8000 people a year! That's nothing to sneeze at. Those brethalyzers are an idea. But what's the deal if I'm driving my friend's car, or my mom's car (lots of drunk drivers are teens who don't own a car)? You're gonna put a brethalyzer on their car? Or I have my .079 almost-drunk friend I met at the bar blow in my breathalyzer for me so I can start up the car (he's going back in for drinks). All systems are defeatable.
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