Tuesday, 21 July 2015

drivers’ education

The nonpareil BLDGBlog offers a fascinating and ponderous contrast between autonomous, driverless cars and one of select pilots qualified to operate planetary rovers who ply and steer in a similar sort of headspace.

While the unmanned automobiles navigate through a virtual recreation of our reality, the ensemble of Martian rovers—with the aim of allowing the little robots to ultimately exercise their own innate sense of curiosity, manoeuvres with a unique but directed compromise between their human engineers (the featured pilot honed her skills first operating tractors in India) of projection and instinct, as the distances between worlds are too great for real-time, defensive-driving. As our vehicles of both exploration and personal transit gain greater self-sufficiency, I wonder if those skeuomorphs, placebo-buttons and other vestiges of feeling in control will be retained even after choice or necessity is taken away and people are just back-seat drivers.