I have been plagued with a lead foot since my first time behind the wheel of an automobile. Now I realize that this is a plague I have brought upon myself; nevertheless, I have had more than a few speeding tickets in my driving history. So, when Google first announced its ‘driverless cars’, they certainly had my attention. I could get myself one of those and never have to worry about another speeding ticket in my life.
The first day I heard about this wonder, I ‘googled’ it. I found that what this car is called is an autonomous car. This means that it is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. In other words, I can read a book, take a nap, enjoy the scenery or talk on my phone and get to wherever I am going even if I am the only one in the car! Marvelous! Then, in my research, I found this article: Google’s Autonomous Car is Programmed to Speed Because It’s Safer.Oh No! Just when I thought my speeding ticket days could be over, I find that Google has purposefully programmed these cars to actually break the law and travel 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. It is a safety factor, they claim, because the average driver drives about 10 mph over the speed limit, if they programmed these cars to obey the law and drive the speed limit, it could cause accidents because they would not be going with the flow of traffic. Which brings me to an interesting question: If I am on my daily commute to work enjoying a movie on my portable DVD player and I am interrupted from said movie by the red and blue flashers of a police car behind me, who gets the speeding ticket? Me? No, I was not driving. The car? Hmmm, interesting concept, but no, there is no way for a car to go to court or pay a fine. Google and its engineering staff? I highly doubt it, even though they were the ones that put this flaw into the system.
I can plainly see that there are a few glitches in the system that must be worked out before I can say my speeding days are over. Until then, I must just get the lead out of my foot.