A continuation of the worst idiot that I worked for, in possibly the worst project of the world. ( The guy who said youtube watching doesn't cost data, downloading the videos offline does)

Guy sends me a template for a patent application.. I ask him why, and he's all secretive until he takes me into a meeting with the patent officers of the organization to reveal his grand plans.

Here goes his idea. He wanted to file a patent for a sonar made for large vehicles in India. His idea was that people in India are used to overtake busses while they turn and they are overrun by the large vehicles. True to some extent but a completely overkill solution for a minor issue that could be solved by educating the masses. I try to explain this to him, and he's pissed off. Starts throwing random, made up stats at me saying 2000 people die everyday on every street. I'm like WHAT??? I look at the patent officer, and he gives me that "don't look at me dude, I'm just here for any questions about the patent process" look. He's busy doodling in his notebook while I try everything possible to invalidate the stupid idea my client has barfed all over the meeting room and the attendants. I even bring out the technical challenges leaving aside the practicality of the nonsense. I asked him how to distinguish between a pedestrian, a parked vehicle, a dog, a cow.. To which he responds with an on the spot thoughtless answer. Heat signatures!! In 5 minutes we went from sonar to heat maps in a tropical country such as India.. He now wants a hybrid solution.

He was about to start yelling when I caved in on the condition that I want nothing to do with the idea after I finish the patent application.. Made up some document and sent it to the asshole, only to never hear about it again.. Thank god for that.. R&D my ass..

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    where do you work? how is this possible?
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    Sorry but he might be smarter than you think. Sonar/Radar is already being developed for vehicle automation/driver assist. And he's right, India has one of the worst automobile accident rates in the world.

    Now actually developing the technology to make it viable for the masses - totally different ballgame
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    You mean the guy who said YouTube doesn't cost data?
    I am not saying the work is not important, in fact I can't believe that such a guy would be given such important responsibility.
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    @eternalfool just because he's ignorant about one thing doesn't make him an idiot about everything else though. But I don't know this guy personally, for all I know he actually could have been an idiot
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    @xroad I know the use of sonars and lidars in automobile automation. Allow me to explain how ever valid that idea is/ was, it still is absurd in a country like India.

    As for India, yes there's a problem of on road fatalities. It might even be worse than other countries. But it's not something you solve by throwing extravagant technology at it. The problem is 2 fold.

    1. Infrastructure. What good is a tesla that can detect Street signs, zebra crossings, lane markings when you don't have any of those things available. I really want to see how a tesla performs here.

    2. Affordability. Biggest issue. What purpose is a technology if the masses cannot afford it. To put things into perspective, a tesla model 3 would cost me 36 paychecks. Most cars from developed markets are stripped down to basic necessities and sold here at 1/10th the cost.

    P.S I'm an Indian currently working out of India. It is a mess here, but it's a mess we know how to solve. And that most definitely isn't the way..
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    @manrock007 oh for sure. The infrastructure there is horrible. And I know no one follows the rules of the road.

    However the best thing the Indians and Chinese are good at is making existing technology affordable.

    Your boss's idea may not be applicable in India but if he were to ever develop anything like that at a cheap price point you can sell it anywhere, not just India.

    I guess I'm looking at this from a tech/problem solving POV and I probably can't see it from a logistical perspective, especially when it comes to India.
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    Interesting discussion here. I agree that automatic systems of today would have a hard time functioning where none of the things rely on is present :) But given current advancements in AI I'd say that we might one day see automated vehicles that can manage off road as well as India just fine.

    Problem with solving things with new technology is you often have to implement it across the whole of society for it to give the desired effect. Much easier then to just teach people to drive properly from the start.

    Traveling in Europe it's obvious that it's not about tech but attitude. In Germany they drive without that much problems in 200km/h. While other countries the drivers license is quite new (until somewhat recently you just picked up I paper at the police station basically saying "I'm going to drive") and driving culture is ... different.
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