Self-driving vehicles seem inevitable. As Kevin Kelly might say, it’s what technology wants. I’m hoping they become a reality by the time I need one. But let’s say that doesn’t happen in our lifetime. Can there be any doubt our vehicles will more and more intelligent?
I’ve been kicking myself a little for going too fast on a snowy/icy highway (http://www.smays.com/2014/02/black-ice) and wonder how it might have gone if I had been driving a car that’s smarter than I am. (Insert jokes here). I would instruct my smart car to use Morgan Freeman’s voice from Driving Miss Daisy.
Me: Mornin’ Doke. Take me to that Japanese restaurant at the mall. I’m meeting a friend for lunch.
Doke: Um–hum. I saw that on your calendar but the roads between here and the mall are something awful and according to your email setting this up, it ain’t all that important. I shore wish you’d call him and reschedule. Here’s his mobile number.
Me: Come on, the roads aren’t that bad. I’ll be careful. Let’s go.
Doke: The safest speed I’d feel comfortable with is 30 mph and you’d be pretty late going that slow. Mr. Brandon’s calendar shows him with no lunch plans the rest of the week. Let’s call him and reschedule.
Me: Are you going to make me use the POC (Programming Override Command)?
Doke: Gimme a second to pull up my original system settings… Here we go. Uh huh, you checked the DON’T LET ME DO ANYTHING STUPID box and agreed to Terms and Conditions. So, you see, I can’t let you drive under these conditions.
Me: So you decide when and if I can go somewhere. Is that it?
Doke: Aw, now, Mr. Steve it ain’t like that. Let me have the House Bot make you some hot chocolate and we’ll see how the roads look in a few hours.