The problem with self-driving cars.


The ‘self-driving car’ is an idea that’s been knocking around Google for nearly a decade, with the company slowly gaining the legal support necessary to eventually roll out a commercial fleet for the general public to enjoy. After the State of Nevada passed a law in 2011 that allowed self-driving cars on public roads for testing purposes, other US states began falling like dominos, not to mention a few European countries.

Now other companies are entering the robotic race with similar products to ease drivers away from the steering wheel. The recently announced Cruise RP-1 device doesn’t go so far as taking over 100 percent of the car’s controls, but does allow for autopilot in various driving situations.

But if we throw away our ability – and, possibly, our right – to drive, what’s really at stake? A lot of criticisms focus on the safety and accountability of the AI systems, but are these the real issues at hand? Here are the threats Google doesn’t want you to know about:

1. Removes the thrill of potentially crashing and dying as a result of human error.

2. Paul Walker’s robotic replacement in the upcoming Fast & Furious film gives a disappointingly dry performance.


Doesn’t even look like him. (Image: Empire)

3. Loss of ability to capture the hearts of female pedestrians by revving car aggressively and unnecessarily.

4. Leader of the Cheer Squad less attracted to boys who once drove fast cars, preferring to attend prom with car itself.

5. Male robots begin using cars as a way to make up for their inadequacies.

6. Potential for countless jokes made against female and Asian AI modules.

7. The United States automotive industry.


8. Robot about as cool as dad, and driving around with dad is not cool.

9. Did you see I, Robot?

10. Car simply a disguise for planet-defending robot, delivering the sloppy dialogue we’ve come to know from Michael Bay’s films.

11. Siri’s voice was strangely arousing the first few times, but got old.


Also, robots clearly don’t appreciate how easily feelings can be hurt. (Image: Every day of my life)

VINCENT VARNEY is a Sydney-based writer and advocate of Tony Abbott’s ‘Stop The Cars’ campaign. Follow him on Twitter.

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