Wednesday, 18 March 2015

bell-hop or pole-position

It struck me as an odd coincidence that I would be addressing the same subject about driverless cars with a co-worker on the way into work this morning—first commiserating how the lanes and the concept of right-of-way kind of get tossed aside when people are in a rush, and then moving on to the feasibility of self-driving automobiles and the question of fault for misjudgment and malfunction.

I declared, with auto-pilots already being tested in trucking, once, just like with the horseless-carriage, the infrastructure is established, human drivers won’t be street-legal for very long, operating under impulsive and unpredictable protocols. Like with those swarming insects or birds of a feather that someone manage to avoid collisions amid the chaos and guided by an instinct or perception that we cannot penetrate—in fact, the only accidents that seem to transpire end up on our windshields, the traffic of the future won’t admit any margin of operator-error. How do you feel about that? Are we being robbed of a freedom, leisure or will the idea of allowing people to maneuver lethal machinery without controls in place seem barbarically irresponsible and a dare-devil stunt that no one would voluntarily attempt? I especially liked futurist Mister Musk’s analogy to an old-fashioned elevator (lift) operator and how those bedecked and courteous engineers were replaced by push-button automation. I think this machinery behind the scenes is a good comparison for what we may be leaving behind.