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    • Ryan Grove

      A company in Florida was testing a self-driving school bus by having it drive actual children to school until the NHTSA shut the project down this week. 🤯

      It sounds like the thing was pretty tame — it followed a predetermined route and didn't exceed eight miles per hour — but it does raise some interesting questions.

      Tesla, Uber, Waymo, and others are all racing to be the first to offer a self-driving rideshare service. In ten years, will self-driving Teslas pick kids up at the curb and drive them to school in style? Will the diesel-chugging yellow school buses of my youth be forgotten?

      How safe does self-driving tech need to be before you'd entrust your children to it? 🤔

    • Ha! I hadn't heard of it but it looked cute and safe to me. The kids in our neighborhood cross busy streets on their skateboards, scooters and bikes during a fairly congested time when cars are whizzing by them driven by distracted parents drinking their morning coffees.

    • I wrote an essay on Reddit that got some traction about why I'm hopeful for autonomous electric buses as an option for mass transit in the US. The short argument is that we mostly get traffic because cars take up too much space relative to their passenger capacity, most of the cost of running a bus is paying the driver, and the relatively low capital costs of busing should make it politically feasible.

      I also speculated that without needing to be big enough to justify a driver an autonomous bus could be a bench in a climate controlled plastic box on an electric skateboard. This was one point I got some pushback on, so I'm delighted that the first example I see two weeks later is just that.

    • I think I would. It seems most accidents around driverless cars are the other road users. So unless someone hacks the bus its just as safe as anything else?

    • I don't have kids but if I did I'd let them ride it provided there was sufficient data (and a long enough time gathering that data) to say it was safer than a human driver. I don't think human drivers are all that safe. Throw in some seatbelts on the self driving bus and it'd be even better. If the bus rolled over though it'd be helpful if you had say a robot to help the kids escape :)

    You've been invited!