December 22, 2014
[People] ignore the smarter questions. They ignore the fact that 45% of disabled people in the US still work. They ignore the fact that 95% of a car’s lifetime is spent parked. They ignore how this technology could transform the lives of the elderly, or eradicate the need for parking lots or garages or gas stations. They dismiss the entire concept because they don’t think a computer could ever be as good at merging on the freeway as they are.
The unfortunate part of something this transformative is the inevitable, ardent stupidity which is going to erupt from the general public. Even if in a few years self-driving cars are proven to be ten times safer than human-operated cars, all it’s going to take is one tragic accident and the public is going to lose their minds. There will be outrage. There will be politicizing. There will be hashtags. It’s going to suck.
Google’s self-driving cars are the particular model being discussed in the Oatmeal’s latest “comic”, but really this is about technology in all self-driving cars; the long and short of it being that these technologies will make our lives better. Also, being that I was born and raised in Chicago, I have a general distaste for driving, so bring on the self-driving cars (for those unlucky enough to lack accessible public transit)!