- Politics and Social Issues
Google's Autonomous Car
The price of progress?
I would like to start by saying, "I am in no way against the advancement of technology",but.......This actually struck a cord and actually brought about this hub's creation. In an interview with NPR on "Google's Robotic Car";http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/02/17/147006012/when-the-car-is-the-driver,Steve Jurvetson makes a few comments that I personally find rather disturbing.When NPR's reporter commented on Google's testing of the Autonomous vehicle on public roads without any type of license or permission to do so,Jurvetson said,"There was no permission granted for any of that to happen by anybody." He went on to add," It's essential that there be a place to do tests. There's two ways to do it - the seek forgiveness strategy and the seek permission strategy. Frankly, the 200,000 hours I think that have been driven here in California, that's a seek forgiveness strategy. Right?"
Hmmm........So apparently if you have lots of cash you can put the safety of the unknowing public at risk.This is very irresponsible at best,and in my view borders on criminal.We are talking about a motor-vehicle cruising down the road at 70 mph that's totally controlled by electronics which were apparently untested in a "controlled" real-world environment.Now that's putting a lot of confidence in software and electronics that are man made and as we all know beta releases always have bugs to work out.
Is public safety now out-weighed by technological and commercial progress?I'm just glad I don't live in one of the several states that are implementing laws to issue "Learners License" to robotic vehicles so they can test them on public roads and highways.Am I the only one to feel a certain amount of concern over this?Please comment I really want to hear the opinion of the public on this issue.
Another part of this interview that I personally found alarming was another statement made by Jurvetson,"One day, we may be asking ourselves if humans should still be allowed to drive."
Now ,personally I like to drive through the country side.Is this the direction in which we really want to go?
If you take an objective look at this and some other cutting edge technology that will be common in a very small amount of time,it is clear to me that we stand on the edge of a new world order. Unfortunately I don't think it will be an order we will prosper from,to the contrary our now struggling economy will be devastated by this and other technology such as,Three Dimensional Printing. These two technological advancements alone could put millions of people out of work and into poverty almost overnight. Imagine all of the big trucks you see on our roads and highways with autonomous driving system taking the place of the drivers. How many jobs will be lost to 3-d printing ? This is not just an issue to alarm lower middle class and below,it will put everyone below the super rich into poverty. Our economic system depends more on the spending of the middle class and lower to thrive,so what happens if that spending totally disappears? I may be over reacting to these issues and would like to see what everyone's opinion on this is. Please post your thoughts,thanks.