Welcoming our autonomous masters

So these self driving cars. Just for the record, I’m for them. Not because I believe they will operate with an unblemished record. People are going to get hurt, people will die. Which is awful. Of course, what’s even more awful is accepting the current state of affairs where I can absolutely guarantee, people will get hurt and people will die, lots of them. I can even tell you how many. On average, tomorrow in the UK, 61 people will have their lives irrevocably changed for the worst (not including all their family and friends who will be severely impacted by this), and 5 people will die, family members, friends etc. That’s sounds properly awful. And that’s why I’m for self-driving cars, while they won’t be perfect, they will be better that human drivers, much, much better. And for every mistake they make, the people who program them will learn, and re-program and for each death and injury, these cars will get better and better until the amount of people getting hurt and dying on our roads will reduce to be barely statistical registrable.

But that’s not what I’m writing about here. Because I know humans. The worst thing about autonomous cars is not that they will reduce deaths and injuries to (hopefully) negligible amounts. What autonomous cars will do, as with many technologies, is bring out the worst in humans.

What I’m writing about here, is how humans will abuse this technology. I might run a book on which ones get convictions first.

People are a bit shit. Oh I’m know we’ve done lots of great things. Really, there’s some amazing people out there, but most of us are shit. So I know autonomous cars will get abused, terribly. Let me count the ways.

Drive me home
No doubt the initial rules will be that a human must be sat behind the wheel, even if they’re not driving. Can you see people driving down the pub and then letting the car drive them back while they’re pissed? Of course you can. What copper will pull over a self-driving car? Once that precedent is set, why bother with any pretence? Just go on a pub crawl. Drugs? Fill your boots. No copper will pull over a self-driving car.

Drive my kids home
Once you’ve worked out the car will bring you home when you can’t remember your own name, you can let the car do the jobs you really don’t want to have to do, like looking after your kids. I’ve no idea if there will be any technical controls to ensure a trained adult is sat in the car but it’s unlikely to be anything more intelligent than a weight measurement device in the drivers seat. Pop a bag of spuds in there and set the course. Jeremy Kyle while you’re doing the tough stuff.

Pick my stuff up
Just send the car to the supermarket. Some of them already do a pick up service in the car park. It seems pointless you having to waste your valuable time by actually driving a car there if it can do it itself. Set the program, wait for the crisps and cake to arrive. You’re brilliant! The big supermarkets will love this shit. They’ll b e pushing massively to remove their expensive retail premises and replace them with efficient and cheap retail self-drive outlets. It’ll be like a production line.

Park up, chicken.
It’s so busy in town. And parking is so hard to find and so expensive. Simply let the car drop you off then send it out of town. Maybe let it do the shopping while you’re busy working.

I’ve got a very important meeting
Forget all the normal things people will do when in their self-driving cars like having phone calls and going to sleep. People will get their computers and phones out and work while the car is moving their highly important body around the place. After all, sales people are incredibly important and must utilise every single second of their lives, I dunno, by buying self-tying trainers on amazon or something.

MMMMMMMmmmmm…..
Sex. It’ll happen, I absolutely guarantee it. Your car will be driving you home, you’ll be pissed, the person sat next to you will be looking very nice indeed and you will want to have sex with them. Why wait? Get jiggy on the way home. No copper will pull up a self-driving car. The car can deal with the easy bit, time to get on with the hard stuff.

TV
I mean, really, If you think anyone sat in a self driving car isn’t going to watch series 19 of Game of Thrones, you’re not very aware.They do this when the car *isn’t* self driving so it’s a sure fire, bob notch boogie.

Sorting the Noms
Again, people eat and drink all the time when driving, and people die from this. At least once a computer that is a fraction of the size of the human brain is in control, less people will die. I mean, when humans are eating and driving, they can’t be expected to do both of them well, can they?

Take the blame
This for me is the number one. Whether the human is in control, or not, shagging, eating, sleeping or watching Jeremy Kyle. If anything at all goes wrong, they will 100%, certainly, positively and indubitably, blame the car for whatever went wrong. And the courts will believe them and people will die and the people who did it will walk free. The future is here, people. Enjoy.

 

 

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