This is topic Self Driving Cars (and Horses) in forum The Joy of Tech at The Geek Culture Forums!.

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Posted by Shooshie (Member # 2205) on October 24, 2015, 05:01:
Funny thing; in today's JOT poll, there was a comic quip that said "wait a sec, did they just skip right past the self-driving horse?" Having grown up on a horse ranch, I can tell you what any serious horse person will tell you: horses ARE self driving! And when you're on a narrow mountain path that's crumbling little pieces off that fall about 500 feet before hitting anything, you'd be a fool to interfere with the horse's concentration! That's definitely a time to let go of the reins and leave the driving to the expert, who in that case happens to be the horse.

When people used to ride to town on a horse, they had a lot of time for reading, composing poetry or songs, or just enjoying the scenery. Once the horse knew which way you were going, it did the rest. They're smart creatures with unique personalities (equinalities?), and together with you they form a collaborative partnership. You each learn the other's ways, and after a while you are doing everything as a team. Or else... you might be extracting yourself from a bed of prickly pear cactus!

I've always wondered if I'd live to see self-driving cars, because I've always wanted to have that time to spend thinking about something other than staying alive on a crowded freeway. The notion has occurred to me on many occasions that it would be MORE like riding a horse. Your car could well have its own personality quirks which make it and you a unique team.

These are interesting times. Let's hope they yield something wonderful, and not the old Chinese curse!

Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 24, 2015, 09:09:
Shooshie, Mark Twain once wrote a short story of about a man that bought a former milk route horse, that knew the route so well that when ever harnessed to a buggy went to each stop on the former owners route.
Posted by Snaggy (Member # 123) on October 24, 2015, 12:55:
As a fan of old westerns, (where O' Nelly often knew the way back to the homestead) I was hoping someone would pick up on that poll tidbit and tell their story of the self-driving horse! [Cool]
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on October 24, 2015, 16:50:
When I was a kid, milk was still home-delivered daily, in a big cart drawn by a huge Clydesdale, and it was very much self-driven.

The horse would walk along slowly while the milkman dashed back and forth to the houses, carefully regulated his speed to not get ahead of his partner, even turned corners without instruction (carefully avoiding the large pothole in the dirt road at the end our street).

He was agisted in a paddock near the school, and I'm glad to say he enjoyed a long and happy retirement for years after the milk company 'upgraded' to a petrol-powered vehicle. Taking a carrot or apple to feed Stan, and marvel at his *enormous* hooves was a popular pastime for us kids.
Posted by quantumfluff (Member # 450) on November 07, 2015, 00:21:
As a child, my grandfather used to deliver goat's milk in his little town in Sicily. His goats were self driving.

They would walk themselves to the next house on the route. He would milk them. He would wait to get paid while they walked to the next house. You don't get fresher than that.
Posted by Shooshie (Member # 2205) on December 04, 2015, 19:45:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
As a fan of old westerns, (where O' Nelly often knew the way back to the homestead) I was hoping someone would pick up on that poll tidbit and tell their story of the self-driving horse! [Cool]

Whoaaaa Nellybelle! Whoa!
Darn that consarned cross-eyed beast. If I get my hands on her... I'll tie her steering wheel in knots!

Nellybelle was great. Now and then you'd see the hands of the hidden driver who was crouched down under the dashboard, but who cared, as long as Roy got his bad guy?

Hmmm... that just gave me a bad idea. A feeling of a bad omen. What if we one day order a Google Self-Driving Car, and upon delivery we meet Frank, the guy crouched down under the dashboard. Self driving, but you have to buy Frank a cheeseburger now and then.


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