16 March 2012

A Waste of Resources

Here’s a video that models how computer-driven cars would function in traffic:

Compare it to this video:

The traffic flow in the latter video looks suspiciously similar to the traffic flow in the first video, yet there are no computer-driven cars in the latter video.  What gives?

Quite simply, the quest for computer-driven cars is predicated solely on the government’s completely arbitrary (and obviously counterproductive) traffic laws.  When rules are completely objective (albeit, again, arbitrary), computers should have an advantage over humans at creating optimal riving routes.  However, if the exact same results can arise from an elimination of completely arbitrary rules, then why not simply eliminate the rules?

Traffic laws, as the second video clearly demonstrates, impose an unnecessary level of complexity onto the system of driving.  Imagine if the same sort of rules were applied to foot traffic in a mall, complete with official lanes and stop lights.  Do you suppose that traffic would flow more efficiently?  Yet, somehow putting humans behind the wheel of a car makes navigation so much more difficult that we must have rules, or so we’re told.  But, as the evidence clearly suggests, the rules impose additional chaos.

This extra chaos, then, is to be solved by adding another layer of complexity, in this case computer assistance.  This will cost millions, maybe even billions in research and design costs and implementation costs.  What makes all this R&D so wasteful is that the problem of traffic flow has already been solved; the only reason it exists is because the government wants yet another way to tax people.

[Note: the second video was originally referenced by me here.]

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