THE INSANITY OF SELF-DRIVING CARS

Ken Berwitz


Let me begin by pointing out that I am not against technological progress.  I am thrilled by it, amazed by it and supportive of it.  

Illustratively – just one example – I had solar energy in my house over 35 years ago (in its infancy, all we could get was solar for hot water, and that is what I had – two large, cumbersome, heavy panels, using anti-freeze – which wouldn\’t even be legal today.  But it was state of the art then).

But the fact that we can accomplish things technologically does not mean they are good for us. 

Which leads me straight to self-driving cars – a technology I not only reject for general use, but, other than in the most controlled of circumstances, I consider borderline insane.

Do you want a computer system in charge of making decisions on the road?  Of changing lanes?  Of dealing with tailgaters or traffic conditions?  Of deciding to suddenly speed up or slow down based on anecdotal road conditions (e.g. a deer running in front of the car, an unexpected accumulation of water at the bottom of a hill, etc.)?  

I know I don\’t.

Am I ok with in-vehicle computer systems that monitor road conditions, warn of potentially problematic situations, from traffic jams to serious accidents?  You bet I am.

But am I OK with in-vehicle computer systems that literally take over the driving?  Absolutely, unequivocally not. 

Tell me:  what happens if the computer suddenly develops a glitch? For example, our Honda has been known to suddenly change screens while the radio is on and the only way to bring it back is to stop the car and restart.  

And what about the guy who flew into a road-rage a mile back because you dared to change lanes and get in front of him?   What if he is computer-savvy and has equipment in the car that would be capable of “teaching you a lesson”?   

Do you really want those possibilities hanging over you every time you get into a car?  

I wish technology – that is created for the general good, of course – every success.  But do me a favor and spare me the technology that takes over my decision making for me…..and, maybe even more important, for the people driving near me.

1 Comment

  • And what about when you’re in the car with your wife and kids and the North Koreans hack into your cars computer system at 65mph and send you right into oncoming traffic? Who pays for your funeral, them or you?

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