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 Post subject: Driving and catching
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:17 
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It seems to me that the time and distance calculations that we perform unconsciously when driving have quite a bit in common with similar calculations we perform when catching a ball.

- We learn by experience
- We calculate trajectories, but we have no real idea about how
- We 'keep our eye on the ball' and continuously revise and refine our estimates

It seems to me that the more we impose artificial constraints, the more likely we are to 'drop the ball'.

Can we learn anything useful from this analogy?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:55 
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I think you could include throwing too, particularly in the case of rugby passes where you throw a ball to a position to coincide with when another moving player will get there.

Golf always amazes me too.

On your original thought, it is likely that dealing with moving objects is an innate i.e. evolved ability to deal with threat/prey situations.

This might have some bearing on aggression in driving.

I remember some discussion of speed ranges that are naturally encountered, running animals or flying birds at the upper end for instance and how the human brain is evolved to deal with these but not necessarily the higher speeds we attain artificially.

The above is all pretty obvious though so I am not sure what you are after.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 13:59 
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toltec wrote:
... I am not sure what you are after.


Nor me. Any new angle, I suppose, that aids understanding.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 16:16 
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you see this instinctive observing/planning/subtle correction behaviour on foot in busy streets & crowded places.

go watch at a train station concourse or similar at rush hour, people criss cross all the time making tiny speed & heading changes with barely a thought and usually without ever needing to directly look at the people/objects they are avoiding.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 00:40 
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Always amazes me that there isn't huge carnage among cars pulling away from the M6 toll booths!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 09:59 
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Mole wrote:
Always amazes me that there isn't huge carnage among cars pulling away from the M6 toll booths!


isn't this a good case of less is more..... if they tried to mark out lanes & orchestrate merges it probably would be carnage as some people would assume right of way whilst others drifted across lane marking at will.

since there are no lane markings no-one has the upper hand and everyone has to proceed with caution.

(either that or there's some clever centrally controlled staggering of the barriers)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 13:05 
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Mole wrote:
Always amazes me that there isn't huge carnage among cars pulling away from the M6 toll booths!


Same goes for the Dartford Crossing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 13:44 
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R1Nut wrote:
Mole wrote:
Always amazes me that there isn't huge carnage among cars pulling away from the M6 toll booths!


Same goes for the Dartford Crossing.


That scared the hell outa me when I went over the bridge for the first time a month or so back!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 14:22 
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Still two aspects though.

the technique of operating the vehicle and then the skill of driving.

I think the throwing & catching analogy is more akin to the latter (with the technique of throwing being second nature)

similarly with golf, until you have mastered the technique of grip, swing etc you can't really be at ease with ball placement on the green.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 14:23 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
R1Nut wrote:
Mole wrote:
Always amazes me that there isn't huge carnage among cars pulling away from the M6 toll booths!


Same goes for the Dartford Crossing.


That scared the hell outa me when I went over the bridge for the first time a month or so back!


You need a faster car!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 00:21 
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ed_m wrote:
you see this instinctive observing/planning/subtle correction behaviour on foot in busy streets & crowded places.

go watch at a train station concourse or similar at rush hour, people criss cross all the time making tiny speed & heading changes with barely a thought and usually without ever needing to directly look at the people/objects they are avoiding.

Possibly because they can stop within the distance they can see to be clear. And if anyone starts running in these situations, then they often bump into others.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 02:50 
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ed_m wrote:
since there are no lane markings no-one has the upper hand and everyone has to proceed with caution.


Isn't there a road safety school of thought that thinks removing most of the signs and white lines works well?

As for our innate abilities: same goes for figuring angles playing pool and snooker.

As has been mention we learned these abilities over hundreds of thousands of years, though how avoiding something that can run at you at 30mph translates into say lapping the IOM TT course at 130mph on a bike is nothing short of incredible - and it's why we're the most successful species.

As for 'dropping the ball' Bike Magazine did something on the notion of roads with artificially low speed limits interupting the average driver's natural rhythm, leading to boredom or frustration, ie you go into a trance and your attention wonders off or blow your top and do something stupid.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 15:48 
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I remember reading an article about how spatial perception, so important in sports, is involved with safe driving. Obviously, being good in sports will not guarantee an accident-free life, but it's just a thought. I also remember reading about a town in Norway where signs were removed to test whether drivers relying on their spatial perception and good manners would be safer.
The accident rate has dropped dramatically. Many people think it's because the lack of signs makes people more careful.

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