Monday, May 13, 2013

The great autonomous car debate

Paul Leroux
When it comes to cars that drive themselves, are you for or against? Either way, you're bound to find fodder for your arguments in Six reasons to love, or loathe, autonomous cars, a recent CNET article co-authored by Wayne Cunningham and Antuan Goodwin.

Wayne is for, Antuan is against, and they both score good points. For instance, Wayne argues that autonomous cars will reduce accidents and help the elderly remain mobile. Antuan, meanwhile, warns of the potential for reduced privacy and the likelihood that driving will become less random — that last point may not sound like a drawback, but I found myself nodding in agreement.

Actually, I found myself agreeing with both writers on several points. Does that make me a fence-sitter or just someone with a balanced perspective? Read the article and tell me what you think.


  1. Read Arthur C. Clarks "Imperial Earth".

    This is the guy who predicted communication satellites, surgical robots and space elevators.

    In Imperial Earth they talk about how people used to drive cars with a horror equal to that which we experience today when talking about the practice of bloodletting.

    1. Love it. Reminds me of a short story I read in Road&Track magazine back in the (mid?) 1960s. It was set in the future and was about a guy who takes out his (non-self driving) internal combustion car for a spin. His excitement builds as he speeds down the highway, his speedometer blowing past the 100 mph mark. The authorities take a dim view of his behavior (as well as his atavistic vehicle) and they hunt him with some sort of flying machine. To make a short story shorter, the guy gets hauled in front of a judge, and the judge condemns him to exile on earth, where, apparently, such behavior is still condoned and such vehicles are still allowed. :-) - Paul