Self-Driving Ubers Are Now A Thing And I Can’t Help But Think This Is Stephen Hawking’s Fault
The Verge — Uber’s self-driving taxis will get their first real-world test in Pittsburgh this month, with the semi-autonomous vehicles assigned at random to customers using the company’s app. According to a report from Bloomberg, the test fleet will consist of modified Volvo XC90 SUVs, with each car supervised by a human in the driver’s seat (a legal requirement) as well as a co-pilot taking notes. The trips themselves will be free, with a tablet in the backseat informing the passenger about the car’s capabilities.
As Bloomberg reports, full autonomy for Uber’s vehicles is still a way off. For now, supervising engineers will sit with “their fingertips on the wheel,” with chimes sounding when they need to take control of the car — like on bridges, for example. Volvo has so far delivered a “handful” of the self-driving test vehicles, with 100 due by the end of the year. The automaker also announced today that it has signed a $300 million agreement with Uber to develop a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021 — the same target set by Ford for its own self-driving car, announced earlier this week. The future, it seems, is coming on fast.
Alright, don’t get me wrong, I love new technology. Give me anything that’ll make my life easier, and I’ll embrace the shit out of it. With that being said, I am not prepared to accept self-driving cars.
The concept in and of itself sounds amazing. I can think of nothing better than taking a nap or ripping 30 pizza rolls in the back seat of a self-driving car. But, I don’t want to imagine a world where there are robots that can kick my ass. I don’t want Stephen Hawking to be right, and this is the first step.
You can’t have 90 year olds and man-made super robots driving around at the same time. Can’t do it. These two vehicles are operating on two entirely different levels and it’s only gonna result in bad news. You have to go all out on super robot cars or none, there is no in between. I’m terrified to think of the first time someone “hacks” into a self-driven car and then an innocent person ends up at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Either way, the future is here. I’m gonna be upset when a robot picks me up drunk now because now I won’t have a stranger to yell at/have a heart-to-heart with at 4 in the morning.