Thursday, January 18, 2018

Driverless Cars, the Good and the Bad

I've been thinking about the new driverless cars that are being tested. Yes, friends, this topic is a change from my usually light subject posts but I find it fascinating since the cars will soon be here. Chandler, Arizona is allowing cars without drivers on its streets and is a hub for testing and developing these cars. Chandler has many wide and flat streets which is a plus for the driverless or autonomous vehicles. This is big news,friends.
Winners. Anyone who is not able to drive is a potential customer for these cars. Many senior citizens (that's me), handicapped people, and also people who might want to have a drink and then drive or are taking prescription drugs that say "do not drive." These people could benefit from having a car that will drive itself at their beck and call. Would people be able to put a young child in a driverless car for a visit to grandma?
Losers. People who drive for a living. Truck, taxi and Uber drivers. That includes people in my family. On the other hand Lyft spokespeople say actually more riders will mean more drivers/hosts will be used to make the experience of using Lyft more welcoming.
Losers. Everyone who values freedom from government watching them. That includes me.
It is predicted that once it is shown that cars without drivers are much safer than we human drivers, within 10 to 100 years, people "for public safety reasons" will be forbidden from driving. Except perhaps the super rich and powerful. Cars driven by "robots" will not be distracted by texting, will stop at each stop sign, will not speed, will avoid hazards, so the potential is for close to zero accidents.
The government surveillance could occur because although you know the way to the liquor store, church, synagogue, etc. the car will not. It will get the directions from a giant computer. That information of every place you go will be available to authorities. In addition, if networks are down, you will be stuck where you are.
I am imagining future scenarios, again "for your own good". The computer notes you have been to a gambling casino once a week. To an ice cream parlor once a week. Too many visits, or too few, to a place of worship or too much gambling or ice cream. Whatever the benign dictators decide.
Do you watch the TV show Humans? It depicts how people are learning to live with synths which are robots which look human. In one plot line a stern synth (human appearing robot) is assigned as his nurse to an old man against his will. The man helped design and create the synths. She/it insists he take pills and eat boring food, etc. and watches his every move in a very tyrannical manner. I recommend the show.
Oh well, this is mainly a problem for the citizens of the future. I do see driverless cars as a boon to many people but with a nasty downside.


justjill said...

Hope I will be long gone by then. Scary.

Frugal in Essex Tania said...

I wouldn't ever put my trust in a robot of any kind. I did watch Humans and I also watched the remake of Westworld on Sky.....scary indeed!

wisps of words said...

I just put this (below), in my blog comments, because I should have said it before.

And I put a "note," on the line under my header, saying where my Sidebar information is. And it has some sort of a "Follow" button, now.

"I should have said,

that my SIDEBAR, is at the BOTTOM of my blog.

Under my posts.

And that I FOLLOW blogs,

with the Blogger Follow Gadget,

on a private page.

So you will not SEE me FOLLOWING you,

on my blog.

But I do!!!! :-)"

wisps of words said...

I totally agree! Every *New And Wonderful Thing,* comes with some down-sides.

Like government Surveillance!

Like mandating that no one can drive anymore.

Like not taking into account, that these grid things, can go down!!!

Ahhh yes! Another part of the *Brave New World,* which will *take better care of us.* :-(((((((

Luckily at present, we are governed by someone who wants less *Nanny State.* But who knows what will happen, come the next election?!?!?! -sighhhhhhh-

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Terra - I can see them being useful in some places ... but can't see them being ubiquitous in our lifetimes .. i.e. for 30 - 40 years yet ... perhaps I'll be wrong! Well interesting times in Chandler: no doubt you'll keep us updated - cheers Hilary

kath001 said...

I agree with the 'lose' ideas. I think a 'win' would be for long job commutes. Many is the time I have bemoaned the wasted commute time and wished I could read or knit! :)

Lady Jane said...

Interesting post. I cant find Humans anymore watched it when it first came out, I didn't realize it was still on. I agree that it will have drawbacks. If you have a credit card we are watched everywhere it is used. Google has us under surveillance also. We are not free and haven't been for many a year. The scary thing is our childrens children could care less. They have been endoctrinated.... Hugs, lj

Jeanie said...

They freak me out. Just freak me out.

only slightly confused said...

Hackers will be able to control your car, abduct wealthy people and government officials. I think it is a recipe for bedlam.

Olga Hebert said...

I don't now about driverless cars, but I do appreciate the technology that allows sensors to let you know if something is in your blind spot or you've wondered out of your lane. My new car has the self-parallel parking feature but I have not used it because I am too afraid to do so. That probably does not bode well for me and driverless cars.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I am glad that I am old and I am glad that there is Lyft and Uber.

Mari said...

I'm not ready for driverless cars. I think I have too much of a control issue for that!
We like the show Humans too.

Crystal Mary said...

I don't like them at all. Can you imagine. In the hands of the wrong person, they might sabotage the controls and you could be kidnapped. Love to you. xx

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

This is a thought-provoking post, Terra. Technology is a mixed blessing, for sure.

Joyful said...

I've been hearing about driverless cars for long time now I'm not sure ow I feel about them but you make some excellent points.

Jo said...

OH MY WORD! This is something I can' get my head around. I'll stick to my own human driven car for now! Thanks for your visit and thank you for the kind words about my recent loss. We were married for 46 years and having met at school in the late '60's, we'd have known each other for 50 years in July this year. Blessings Jo

Dianna said...

Terra, first of all, thank you for stopping by my blog and for the "follow". I so appreciate that...and your kind comment. I am sorry to learn that you 2017 was a year of grief for you. Rest fits you perfectly for that because it will provide a time of healing for you. Drawing strength from His Word will bring such healing. My mother passed away in October of 2017 and so I understand about healing from grief. The morning she passed away one of my brothers was on his way to the hospital to have a tumor removed from his kidney. The biopsy proved that he has bladder cancer and he is currently in treatment for it.

I am with you on these driverless cars...especially where the government is concerned. Our freedoms are slowly being taken away from us in the name of "progress".

Literary Feline said...

I heard on the radio the other day about a pill a person can swallow that will help doctors know if a patient is following their medication regime. I can certainly see the benefits, but it is kind of scary too in the sense that these pills carry digital trackers or sensors.

Like with these cars, there is a fine line between the pros and cons. I imagine we don't have much choice in the matter the way things are going, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we can--speak out--to try to limit the damage to our freedom.

Barbara - said...

Here's my issue. Really good drivers observe more than the car in front of them. We see the tail lights ahead, we look behind us, we look at street lights, and so on. One of the reasons Ihave a small SUV rather than a sedan is for that purpose. I don't want to base my life on what the guy in front of me is doing, rather what the guy five cars in front of him is doing. So while I might trust said driverless/computer car to slam on the brakes if the car in front stops suddenly or a dog jumsmps out, I dont see him having the computerized mental ability to see the car five ahead that makes a wierd maneuvar and then carefully (without hitting my head) correcting for that maneuver. If that makes any sense at all.

37paddington said...

I had no idea Humans was still on TV. I used to watch but then I couldn’t find it anymore. I thought it was canceled. Your musings on driverless cars may be scarily prescient.

Friko said...

I never thought of the upsides to driverless cars, like being able to have a drink and still get taken home. Or for this senior citizen who may soon find driving in the dark or for long journeys a bit beyond her. I don’t suppose driverless cars will be able to negotiate our narrow country lanes, they’d end up in a ditch trying to pass oncoming cars; there is lots of manoeuvring backwards and forwards involved.