Sunday, December 5, 2010

The hot debate about computerized cars

I watched the president of Google talk, and he was talking about computerized cars. These are cars with sensors and software that can drive instead of the driver. He basically said that the car software is really buggy right now, but gave the example of someone who's completely drunk, driving home. He said right now the buggy software is a better driver than a drunk.

Ray Kurzweil, the futurist, said Europe is going to adopt computerized cars before the US, because of the future overage of lawsuits in the US, preventing these cars from being on American soil even though safe computerized car technology will exist.

I think it's really interesting how people react violently to violent car death. People horrifically dying is super sad. The interesting thing is there's nowhere, really, to put the emotions, and there are tons of emotions.

It's kind of like people with memory loss getting totally obsessed about their lost memories.

When someone dies violently in a car, I've seen people ask the unanswerable question of, “Why?” They then try to come up with a reason, any reason. It's interesting how quickly and emotionally the answers get slapped together.

Everyone involved in this hurried diagnosis has the best of intentions.

Mothers don't want other mothers to go through the same thing they're going through. Or maybe they're exhibiting mama bear syndrome and trying to kill the thing that hurt their kid.

Kids at the school of their deceased compeer get temporarily derailed from leaning toward anarchy and  take up another, just cause.

The churches want their parishioners alive so they can do what parishioners do more.

And, I'm guessing well-meaning police officers, who want to send a cautionary warning, look through the autopsy reports and see an extremely low alcohol content in one of the victims and release to the press the verbiage of “alcohol contributed to a fatal crash.”

This quotation gives an answer to “why?” and gives people a direction to focus their tidal wave of energy. I'm just not sure it's the most effective thing we could be doing. I think most people who get totally hammered and drive are feeling at least a little suicidal.

It's only a matter of time before someone gets run over by a computerized car, and angry mothers change the direction of their fury from alcohol to software.

But here's the happy ending to the story. A guy staggers out of the bar, 20 years from now, completely wasted. He steals a couple of cement bricks and puts them on the driver's seat so his car will start. He presses the autopilot button, crawls into the back seat, and goes to sleep.

And the computerized car drives the drunk safely, and uneventfully, home.


Photo purchased on istockphoto

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