Linklist: February 28, 2012

Brendon sends me to Property Management Insider: First Robotic Convenience Store at U.S. Apartment Community Debuts in Fort Worth .
Brendon says “Soon you’ll be able to drive your robot car to a robot convenience store.” In my view, it will drive itself there, and pick up groceries for me.

NYT: U.S. Rule Set for Cameras at C:

“However, in a preliminary version circulated for public comment, regulators predicted that adding the cameras and viewing screens will cost the auto industry as much as $2.7 billion a year, or $160 to $200 a vehicle. At least some of the cost is expected to be passed on to consumers through higher prices.
But regulators say that 95 to 112 deaths and as many as 8,374 injuries could be avoided each year by eliminating the wide blind spot behind a vehicle. Government statistics indicate that 228 people of all ages – 44 percent of whom are under age 5 – die every year in backover accidents involving passenger vehicles. About 17,000 people a year are injured in such accidents.
“In terms of absolute numbers of lives saved, it certainly isn’t the highest,” Mr. Ditlow said. “But in terms of emotional tragedy, backover deaths are some of the worst imaginable. When you have a parent that kills a child in an incident that’s utterly avoidable, they don’t ever forget it.””

$2.7 B/year for 100 lives a year gives a value of life of $27 million. Official US DOT Value of Statistical Life is about $5.8 million. We are losing ~300 lives per year that could otherwise be saved by doing this instead of using the same resources for the better thing. [This calculation is complicated by how injuries are dealt with among other issues]. Guilt is expensive, it is worth ~3 kids, but at least they are anonymous, and in this case the private sector is paying instead of the public.