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Autonomous Cars: Is it too soon for you?
By:  Christopher Tersigni 6/17/2015


Here I am, just trying to get my morning coffee down the gullet, and out of my nose it comes. That’s not normal, of course, but I keep reading spot after spot about autonomous cars, and I get that quick vision of the Johnny Cab driver from Total Recall (the real one, with the Austrian Oak) getting ripped out from behind the wheel for not driving like a human, still jabbering as he’s tossed in the back seat. Now that’s art...


Self-driving dilemmas:

Autonomous cars (cars that drive themselves) are getting a lot of play lately. For those unfamiliar, that’s the legal way to text or eat a pizza while driving and still get to where you are going –allegedly. Well, I have a few questions before Artificial Intelligence (AI) Johnny rushes me down the road:

- Ken Block called, and wanted to know if we can still drift and do burnouts?

- Will Johnny drive where I tell him, or will the “interweb” choose my route…past their favorite businesses, restaurants,etc.?

- Will my insurance rates go up, down, or sideways?

- If I was a regular drunkard – and I’m not saying that I am – would I still get a DUI?

- If I had young kids, could I just strap them in and send them to Grandma’s or the Day Care?

- Can the Johnny dodge potholes…without hitting another car or a guard rail?

- Can my vehicle be hacked, and take me on a literal “joy ride”, or to a chop shop?

- Am I responsible for speeding tickets or accidents?

- Who will race NASCAR?

- Will this negate the need for recalls, since the factories will send out a “return for service”message to the vehicle, and it just shows up at a dealer for repairs?

- Who will program Johnny’s driving style? (I am already applying for this position, along with Ken Block)

- Will advertisers buy space on my tele-screen, and punish me with adverts?

- Will this nullify the need for a stylish car, since it will just be “transportation” now?

Sooner rather than later…

Obviously, my list is snark-filled, but be advised, it’s on the way, and it will be sooner rather than later. I won’t even get into the regulatory side as I see the jaws of over reach grabbing onto this like a rat terrier in a laboratory. We all know Google has been testing the waters, Apple is now on board, Tesla’s platform has the technology built in –even if not active yet. We have parallel parking technology now, automatic braking, lane avoidance sensing, why not autonomous drivers? Picture this: auto manufacturers are now technology companies. Who didn’t see this coming?

Enough of my rant, I have to pull over and get a refill.