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Category: Post Car Society

Number of road casualties in London

The Guardian had in 2010 an article about road casualties in London:

There you will find that the fall of 299 brought the annual total down from 3,526 killed or seriously injured on London’s roads in 2008 to 3,227 in 2009.

That’s an eight percent fall, which is pretty significant statistically. However, in human terms, the fact that well over 3,000 people were killed or seriously injured in both 2008 and 2009 seems rather more significant. That’s nine or ten a day, including 204 people killed in 2008 and 184 in 2009.

We still consider such numbers normal loss of live.

Tractor hacking and the right to repair

Vice Motherboard has an article about US farmers hacking their John Deere tractors, because the software in the machinery comes with very limiting conditions.

To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America’s heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that’s cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.[…]

“If things could get better, [companies like John Deere] should be forced to freely distribute the same software dealers have,” they said. “And stop locking down [Engine Control Module] reading functionality. They do this to force you to use their services, which they have a 100 percent monopoly on.”[…]

“What happens in 20 years when there’s a new tractor out and John Deere doesn’t want to fix these anymore?” the farmer using Ukrainian software told me. “Are we supposed to throw the tractor in the garbage, or what?”

 

 

Magic circles banning autonomous cars

Trapping Autonomous Cars

Somebody sent me a link to Vice withe the comment “A multiple hit in the Venn Diagram of your interests”.

It’s about an artist using technology disguised as ritual magic to trap self-driving cars (and similar shenanigans). The assessent was correct, this is beautiful.

The image from the article shown above shows a self-driving car inside fake street markings. The broken lines allow the cars logic to enter the circle, the unbroken linkes mark a demarcation that must not be crossed, hence the car can never leave.

It ties back to a story my driving instructor told me. He was making a point about “How things are being presented matters”, relating about a beginners driver who had been told to imagine unbroken lines as a “wall that cannot be crossed” and who because of that had problems – sometimes rules must be broken to preserve their meaning and spirit.