I saw this article today
And am reminded of these two earler articles:
I like Elon Musk, I like his ambition exemplified by SPACEX and TESLA. He is a visionary who very much wants to and is, defining the future as today. Making the stuff of long delayed Science Fiction into Fact.
But much of Science Fiction is a cautionary tale, the costly wisdom learned at the end of most is… because we can do a thing, does not mean we should.
I don’t like the idea of self driving cars. But then again neither do I like Smart phones. I still have an old fashioned flip phone. Even though I make my living fixing and keeping technology running, I am very much a luddite.
As someone who knows more about technology than the majority of users, I know enough to have a healthy concern and respect for it. Like someone who knows guns, knows enough to be always in control. This idea of relinquishing control to machines, it is a frankensteinian road, potentially wondrous, and potentially horrible.
At once Musk’s TESLA asks the population to trust his autonomous cars, to relinquish control, and at the same time when that trust ends up with a driver/passenger dead, TESLA’S response is to point fingers at the driver/passenger for not being alert to his self driving car making a mistake. You can’t have it both ways, you either trust the driver or you do not. Having to be always tense and ready in case the driver decides to go crazy, is not being a passenger. You are either a passenger or a driver, trying to be both at the same time is a recipe for disaster. So a car you have to be vigilant about, in my opinion you are better driving yourself.
And Musk’s response is the same, that driverless cars can save lives over self driven cars. Howevet that is a nice sounding theory, in search of the years of real world traffic study… to actually back it up.
In theory technology is faster, stronger, better, safer, … except when it is not. That one day when the system locks up and needs a reboot, or the system crashes, or gets hacked, or needs a power outtage. When that happens sitting at your cube or desk, with your laptop or desktop or tablet, that’s one thing. An annoyance, maybe lost work.
When that happens with a multi-ton vehicle going 60 mph, that is a recipe for disaster and death.
And the idea they want to legitimize this by rolling this out on bus, train routes… a concern.
I hope for the best, but always… prepare for the worst.