Re: lawyers vs. AirCars

Spike Jones (
Mon, 23 Aug 1999 00:03:40 -0700

> Spike Jones wrote: ...This technology [caravanning]
> > has already been demonstrated, but as we know, it is not being
> > used for no one will insure [caravan technology].
> Billy Brown wrote:Caravaning has more problems than just overblown liability
> issues...

Granted. My claim is that these problems have technological solutions, under certain circumstances. You gave the example of airline flying, where many are uncomfortable giving up all control, however they do it, because the alternative is unacceptable. The alternative to caravanning is becoming ever more unacceptable. Perhaps there is already a 3 sigma group that is ready to pay buttloads of money and accept some risk to look for these kinds of solutions. I believe Texas in general is still in better shape traffic-wise than is Santa Clara county.

Billy I read over and acknowledge all the problems that you state, however caravanning is a solution that can be phased in gradually and effectively methinks.

Unlike with many new technologies, there are very few losers in this game, and many potential winners, even among those who do not adopt the technology, for it would uncrowd the right lanes.

If your c-lanes were walled on both sides, with breaks in the walls only at the exits, and intended destination GPS coordinates entered at the start of the trip, and a transmitter that de-caravans the trailing cars as you approach, some safety issues could be addressed. If the transmitter alerted every car in the caravan when the first car hit its brakes, and automatically slowed or stopped everyone, then disasters could be averted. If the walls of the c-lane would track the location and speed of every object between the c-lane walls, potential collisions could be averted, assuming the walls had some way to communicate warnings to the cars.

Given enough pressure to adopt, it seems like all the safety issues could be addressed. And traffic is one area of our lives which is in a maaaajor need of overhaul. The pressure to adopt new technology is high, and as I stated in my earlier post, we have a pool of people with more money than they know what to do with, and that situation is in runaway mode (I am not of this class. {8-[ dammit).

This wealth-in-search-of-a-problem is a pleasant foretaste of those rosy predictions we saw in Engines of Creation: idle wealth just begging for a problem to jump on. This wealth is currently being spent on foolishness that I imagine is unfullfilling to the very technocrats who created it, such as lavish parties and works of art, etc.

If Obie wan Gregory and his colleagues manage to set up the right legal environment, this is a potential breakthru technology that will change the way we live, *before* nanotech comes thru. spike