Look folks, I’m all for new technology. Even though I did fight against doing away with reel to reel tapes, 78’s, 45’s, 8-tracks, cassettes, and now CD’s. Only because how many times can I buy the same recording just to have it on a new device. Cripes, I now have 10 copies of ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” on various devices. Bastards.
BUT, that said, which I just did, I’m NOT gonna easily adjust to Google’s new technology of a driverless car. Nope. No way Jose. Or, Juan.
In fact, I may never adjust to having a car drive for me. It’s bad enough my other half tries to drive for me when “I’M” driving. Like what! I need yet something else to tell me how to drive or drive for me? I thinkith not.
“I” want to be in control pal. I don’t wanna be tooling down the Interstate at 70 mph in a driverless car as I sit in the passenger seat reading my morning paper when all of a sudden I look up and there’s a semi blocking the highway and my driverless car hasn’t been programmed to think as I would.
Which is, PANIC!
Do ya think those brainiacs at Google have programmed THAT into a micro chip’s operating system? Or if a wayward seagull decides he wants to use your windshield as a dropping point to break open a clam he just snagged from the ocean.
I mean, just how many scenarios can Google program into a driverless car’s system?
So, we have GPS devices that tell us how to get from point A to point B and all sorts of dials and gizmos that tell us when our car is about to explode, and now we’re gonna have a car that’s gonna drive us too. WTF!
And DID have a problem with my own GPS system when I programmed it to take me to Big Bertha’s House of Intense Pleasure………………..
Why don’t we just stay home and let the damn car drive itself and run all of our errands while we’re at it.
And I take no comfort in Google saying that its driverless cars “have started to master the navigation of city streets and the challenges they bring.”
The key word there is “started.” As in, “Oops, we’re sorry you just ran over that old lady with a scooter but we’re just “starting” to master this street in Boston and for some odd reason it’s not on our micro chip….damn.”
OR….”Cripes, now why didn’t Google program into its driverless car system that TODAY a work crew would be digging a big hole here which I’m, along with my car, now sitting in.”
So ya see, there may be some minor glitches in their driverless cars. Enough so that they announced that driverless cars may not be commercially available until the year 2025.
Now the scary part is this next comment from Google. Which is that their self-driving cars can navigate freeways comfortably, but….(yes there is a but) “with a driver ready to take control.”
SEE! And you thought I was being a panty waist for worrying about things. Fools!
So basically what they’re saying is that, “Hey, no problem navigating the Interstate podner, but, um, ya might wanna pay attention if you venture out onto a city street. You know, shopping carts, street vendors, a stray animal, people.”
And….more than once in this article by the AP and Justin Pritchard, they keep mentioning that “if” need be, human intervention may be required. Like perhaps grabbing your balls as you careen into a shopping mall store glass window because your driverless car is stupid.
As in THIS statement: “In initial iterations, (the act of repeating a process) human drivers would be expected to take control if the computer fails.”
And we all know that computers NEVER crash or fail don’t we. AND….”The promise is that, eventually, there would be no need for a driver. Passengers could read, daydream,, even sleep, or work, while the car drives.”
Which us what most of us do now while we’re driving….isn’t it? Well, at least some of the drivers I come across.
Ok, so you’re still not convinced that I’m right in being a bit squeamish about having a car drive itself.
Look at it from my perspective. Which is, do I have a freakin’ death wish? NO!
Do I wanna see this headline: “Driverless car commits suicide and takes sleeping driver with it.”
Hey….ya never know if some demented sicko at Google might lose it one day and decide to screw around with that computer and program the car to commit suicide just for laughs. Just like Microsoft programs its computers to crash every now and then so ya have to go out and buy a new one. Makes sense to me.
AND…..all computers need constant updates. What if you miss that crucial update for your driverless car? Then what.
“Harry, are you sure it’s safe to let the car drive itself?’
“Martha, stop whining for cripes sake. I told ya, it’s perfectly safe. The car has a computer in it that knows everything….so relax!”
“Then why is that tiny screen on the dashboard flashing that says “critical update necessary before you drive on the Interstate?”
Finally, and this is comforting as well. “To deal with cyclists, engineers have taught the driverless car’s software to predict likely behavior based on thousands of encounters during the approximately 10,000 miles the cars have driven autonomously, (self-governing; independent) on city streets. The software plots the cars path accordingly, then reacts if something unexpected happens.”
Um, like what for instance? Shut its engine off? Sprays water on its windshield in a feeble attempt to mock tears because it’s frightened? Pees it’s tailpipe? Or, shuts down, which is the equivalent of a human passing out.
Google also says that the technology can read stop signs, including those held in the hands of school crossing guards.
Great! But can it read that universal sign………”the bird” as you’re getting it flipped off to you because your driverless car failed to read a “yield” sign and you just crashed into a $200,000 dollar Lamborghini?I suspect, at my age, I’m just not ready to accept that a car will do the driving for me. And I say this out of respect for the number of highway work crews, old ladies crossing the street and various animal lives at stake that would not survive me driving a driverless car.
Which would eventually lead to this……………..
Nope….not ready for a driverless car folks. Sorry. Not me.
UNLESS…….Google can program that car to drag its butt after a crash to the nearest emergency room. Might consider it then.
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