You Snooze, You Lose!


In the US I came across several empty highways with no cars or people in sight for miles. Straight perfect roads with zero traffic seems like a driver's paradise to a Mumbaikar fighting road rage everyday, doesn't it? But it comes with it's own set of problems. These drives are often so long and uneventful, that one has to make a conscious effort not to doze off with loud music or mondo doses of caffeine. So with all the marvels of autopilot we hear about, perhaps it is not too surprising that this pilot fell asleep and overshot his destination by 29 miles. The pilot was only human, but what was autopilot doing?

Turns out autopilot is neither as ubiquitous, nor as all powerful as one might imagine. It simply assists the pilot, but human intervention is usually required and quite a few older simple planes today don't even have autopilot. And this is in the air where traffic is relatively regulated and predictable. So perhaps my dreams of ubiquitous self driving cars too are farther away than I had hoped.

Nina, of course, with all her googling capabilities can come up with much better excuses than the dog ate my homework when her performance at school is less than adequate, but Nana ain't buying it. Read on to see what they have to say.


You can read Lavanya's take here.

Tags: science, learn, family, Nina and Nana, kids, physics, humor