Friday 17 September 2010

The AA say zombies are a problem -we say it's salsa dancers

One way we calibrate our postings against the rest of the motoring press-release agencies is to compare what they say with what we've been saying.
Recently, the AA that's been complaining most about zombies, in their high publicity "ipod zombies are the enemy" press event, where they pointed out that zombies "can be lethal for pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers."

Well, yes, there is a special zombie event in the city scheduled for this weekend -2.8 hours later.

But: how often do you see zombies in the way? Where is the defensible data?

All the AA have is the insurance claims from the subset of people who insure their car -and then the subset who insure with the AA- and those people are financially motivated to blame the pedestrians rather than saying they were distracted by the phone call they were making.

Furthermore, what does the AA know about zombies? What kind of zombies? Are we talking 1973 US-shopping-mall class zombie, or a modern 28-days later or Evil Dead 2 class of Zombie? Different, the latter are much harder to kill and far more dangerous to us car drivers. They are harder to run over and they can jump in through your window and try and bite your neck out, at least according to the film's we've seen.

We do like to consider ourselves Britain's premier data-driven traffic news site. We back up our claims with defensible data -photos and videos-, and we like to tie it in to current scientific thinking. Which is where we have to criticise the AA. We have yet to see any Zombies in our streets.

All we have is a truck parked in the showcase bus route on Gloucester Road one morning with an advert for Virgin Trains on it "Don't Go Zombie" -yet it implies that the zombie are in the cars, on the M5, not stuck somewhere near Sheffield on the one daily Virgin XC train to Scotland, or roaming our streets endangering car drivers.

We also have the scientific research behind zombies, behind their decision making. The AA: not a thing, just some comments about insurance claims. This misses out on this seminal presentation on Zombie walking/climbing algorithms, how zombies can choose to attack on trajectories which are hard for us, the humans, to predict, yet which are fairly easy for subhuman intelligences to come up with.

This is the best ever paper on Zombie routing algorithms ever written, yet the AA doesn't even bother to cite it or discuss its implication for vehicle-assisted-driving technologies. This makes us suspect that the AA and its "independent" traffic science group are just making things up to suit their prejudices.

Being a scientifically focused, data-driven group, we are therefore pleased to announce that we do have hard proof that Samba Bands are a bigger problem on our streets, be it St Paul's

or St Werburgh's

That's two videos of Samba bands blocking our streets. None of Zombies. And a citation of the best ever paper on Zombie routing to date.

When will the AA notice this growing problem and issue a press release denouncing Samba bands? Months after us, we expect. And even then, it will not be from in-the-field monitoring of near-miss incidents, but purely by people claiming for damaged caused to their cars by uninsured samba bands.


between-the-lines said...

"Be it St Pauls ... or St Werburgh's."

Maybe I've been taking the same stuff as your Monotonix videoist, but these two film clips look like the same place to me.

Are you testing your readers to see if we're paying attention?

Bristol Traffic said...

No, it is imcompetence in our data management serfs. We shall execute one as an example to the others, who shall then upload some St Pauls coverage. You are correct, both videos are of St Werburghs.