my friend says he would feel safe
being shuttled around by a self-driving car.
i would not.
he would enjoy kicking back and reading a book
or catching up on sleep in the back seat.
i would not.
he trusts that all will go well
that he’ll arrive on time and in one piece
to wherever he’s headed.
i say watch out.
because at first everything may go fine
one car’s algorithms will respect another’s.
they’ll even signal to each other
and make safe lane changes.
but sooner rather than later the enhancements will begin.
want to drive like mario andretti?
want to drive like steve mcqueen?
there are apps for that.
want to drive like an aggressive &&$$@@@
(add your favorite epithet)
at rush hour on an l.a. freeway?
there’s an app for that too.
soon these and other cute apps (not to mention
hacked controls and ransomware) will abound
and no amount of automotive engineering
to ensure safety will be able to keep up
with the open-source ingenuity of the human mind.
and what about that – the human mind?
will a robot ever have extraordinary knowledge
the type that science can never detect or
program? what I mean is that spidey sense
that second sight that hunch
even that simple memory of a rough patch of road
encountered once before that makes
a human being wary and alert?
so to my friend and to all you automotive engineers
promising a trouble-free self-driving car experience –
i have my doubts.