It seems that industry is going to force us to accept “driverless” cars whether we want them or not. “Driverless” means there is someone in the car, but he/she is not manipulating the controls.
There are about 50 self-driving cars cruising around California, and four of them have been in accidents since that state began issuing permits for companies to test them on public roads.
My big question is, why do we need them? And will owners, drivers, passengers ever accept them? And what advantage will they be? Will an invalid be able to get a license he may not otherwise qualify for?
Will we have “punch cards” available that may say “library,” Sam’s or the first Mexican restaurant you come to? Will our car be susceptible to an “evil” virus that would empower them to challenge an 18-wheeler or Greyhound bus? I can imagine lying in bed some night and hear my car start up and creep down the driveway. No telling what it might have in mind. Maybe a neighborhood Subaru.
My wife drives to Tulsa, Oklahoma, each year to visit her sister. What kind of preparation will be necessary for her “driverless” car? Will they understand that a certain number of “potty breaks” be necessary, or will they be programmed to get to destinations the shortest and quickest way possible, damn the flooded roads and barricaded rest stops.
If you succumb to death’s call one day when you are riding along on the way to an LSU basketball game, will the car automatically recalibrate and drop you off at the undertakers?
Fear of the future will not deter me from continuing my mastery of turning on my computer and the mystery of Microsoft Word!
Joe F. Cannon