Driverless Google Cars Test the Illusion of Control

Google-self-driving-car_dezeen_1sqWhile Google’s autonomous vehicles have shared the road with the rest of us for a while now it made news this week when the search engine announced it would be amending driverless car design to do away with the steering wheel and pedals, including the brake. The new fleet will only travel up to 25 mph thus lowering the number of safety standards Google would have to meet, but the cars will still be allowed to drive in regular traffic.

While anything Google does tends to make news it’s interesting that this particular item caused the stir it did; A self-driving vehicle equipped with steering wheel and pedals is still a self-driving vehicle. Has a human riding in one of Google’s autonomous cars ever needed to step in and take control? I don’t thinks so… seems that tidbit might have made news, too. But there’s something about knowing one could wrest control of the vehicle if necessary that made the autonomous concept a little easier to accept. There was comfort in the illusion of control. Now that Google’s doing away with that option the idea of riding in a car under its own power is a little scarier, the possibility of Hal-on-wheels a tad more real. Conversely, should problems arise we could always react the way we do with the other computer-operated objects in our life and simply reboot, turn the car off… unless, of course, Google wants control of that function, too.


Butler Hyundai Has a New Foundation!

May 19, 2014 3Concrete was poured on the new foundation at Butler Hyundai this week. While that stops construction so workers can let the concrete dry, there’s still excitement in the air because we know the next step will be framing, and that means this remodel is really happening! Here are this week’s photos.

May 19, 2014

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May 21, 2014

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Butler SuperSaver Rent-A-Car to Assist in American Band College’s Summer Session

ABC 1One of the perks of being in the rental car business is the opportunity to build relationships with people and organizations you might not otherwise even know exist. Such is the case with the American Band College (ABC). While the master’s degree program for band directors is located right here in Ashland, Oregon those of us who work outside the collegiate or music world would have had no idea such a unique program was offered so close to us.

ABC offers intensive three week master’s program that allows band instructors to get the schooling they need without spending months or years away from their normal, every-day lives. They come from all over to attend the brief session in Ashland and then complete their school work from home.

Butler was introduced to ABC when they approached us about donating vehicles to help transport students. Once again this year we’ll be arranging for their use of a van and possibly other vehicles to get students and instructors where they need to go…including the Ashland 4th of July parade and Craterian Theater where they’ll be performing (for more information visit! We love being able to assist organizations that make our community unique and bring people from all over the world to our beautiful little valley. So, thank you to the folks at ABC for all you do and for allowing us to play a tiny role in your success!

To learn more about ABC click here.

Butler Employee Coaches for Local Year-Round Basketball League

Dustin (middle) and Manny (right) at Jam On It in 2013

Dustin (middle) and Manny (right) at Jam On It in 2013

If you’re out and about on Memorial Day weekend keep your eyes open for a van with Butler plates loaded with high school basketball players. Chances are it’ll be Butler detailer Dustin Vaughn and his MBA team heading for the Jam On It competition in Reno.

MBA – Manny’s Basketball Association – got started 20 years ago when longtime basketball player and coach Manny Crump realized there weren’t many opportunities for kids to play hoops outside of normal school schedules. So

Dustin and his 2013 Jam On It team

Dustin and his 2013 Jam On It team

he started, and continues to run, the only year-round basketball program in Southern Oregon. Dustin, who played for Southern Oregon University and Linn Benton College before going semi-pro, loves coaching and is proud to pass his skills on to the younger generation. “We didn’t have this stuff so it’s nice to give kids guidance I didn’t get until college,” he says, adding, “These kids are incredible.”

Butler Auto is also proud to donate transportation to get the teams to their far-away tournaments. If you see ’em Memorial Day weekend give ’em a honk and a thumbs up! And if you’re interested in learning more about MBA Basketball Leagues visit

Mannys bball