Cumberland Times-News


May 7, 2014

Not so fast

Driverless driving still has plenty of limitations

Even though cars programmed by Google to drive themselves are making progress navigating city streets and all the challenges that go with it, the technology still has far to go.

According to The Associated Press, automotive analysts say the technology probably won’t be ready for the public until the year 2025.

Google’s autopiloted cars already can take on the freeways and are able to handle in-town driving situations they couldn’t have managed even a year ago — as long as a human driver is ready to take over, if need be.

AAA says the safety enhancements already available in new cars can reduce collisions, improve traffic flow and enhance driver convenience, but they have limitations.

For one thing, AAA says, multi-tasking drivers can be caught off-guard by relying too heavily on them. Besides, drivers shouldn’t be multi-tasking in the first place. Their concentration should be devoted entirely to what they’re doing behind the wheel.

Tests conducted by AAA showed that adaptive cruise control did a good job maintaining a specified distance when following slower-moving vehicles on the highway, but autonomous braking systems didn’t always recognize obstacles like motorcycles, stopped cars or traffic cones to provide a warning signal or engage the brakes to stop the vehicle.

AAA said there also are indications that motorists don’t fully read the manual that comes with these automated systems and may rely more on what they see in television commercials.

Before relying on the new technology, AAA recommends that motorists become fully familiar with it — and that includes reading the owner’s manual.

Whether they have the advanced technology or not, the best advice for motorists is that they should understand exactly how their vehicles operate and remain alert and engaged to driving them.

The bottom line is this: The driver is still the most important part of the car.

Text Only
  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Research cost of watershed plan before implementing it

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Prayers in the Park’ event slated Aug. 18 in Johnstown

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other groups get county funds, so should CHCO

    At a recent county commissioner meeting, members of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, Maryland Delegate LeRoy Myers Jr. and Pastor Alfred Deas of the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Cumberland attended to request from the commissioners $5 dollars of marriage license money be permanently allocated to the CHCO (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • No public funding for extremist organization

    Once again, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization has asked the Allegany County commissioners for public funding (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why are fair officials targeting firefighters?

    The Allegany County Fair has been known for its Demolition Derby for a long time. Several years back the operation of the derby was awarded to the local Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department.

    July 28, 2014

  • Here’s a time when W.Va. law took precedence over Md. law

     There may be an applicable precedent concerning any assumption that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority (PHAA) can choose to ignore West Virginia territorial state laws.

    July 28, 2014

  • Citizens don’t want Terrapin Run; remove it from the plan

    July 28, 2014