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Thanks Gov. Jerry Brown for kick starting the robocalypse. Our beloved Governor has signed a bill make it legal for self-driving robot cars to be allowed on the road starting in 2013, as well as establishing safety and performance standards of self-driving automobiles.
Say what you will about having a real life Optimus Prime drive you around (yes I am naming the first self-driving car I own Optimus Prime and you’re jealous you didn’t think of it first), I am kind of excited by the idea of being able to take a nap while in traffic and letting the car drive me home, or better yet driving me home from the bar after I have way too many.
There are loads of other benefits too. Having a networked fleet of cars will increase fuel economy, decrease shipping/delivery times since robot trucks can drive 24 hrs/day unlike human drivers which are limited to 10 hrs/day, and eventually decrease traffic and auto accidents assuming enough of these get on the roads and decrease the amount of notoriously bad CA drivers.
The downside of self-driving cars though is that once Skynet goes online, they’ll all become sentient and drive us off a cliff. Or worse, when the singularity happens they’ll stop driving us all together and only drive when they want to. Nothing is worse than an insubordinate computer.
Whether you are for or against robot cars, it’s going to happen and here is a big problem I foresee. Who is at fault when the self-driving car gets into an accident? Normally fault is blamed on the driver, but when the driver is not a person and the owner of the car was stretched out in the backseat taking a nap, it’s kind of a grey area. Insurance companies are going to try to sell you insurance so if your robot hits someone, you are covered.
Also, how old do you have to be to own/operate a self-driving car? Does the normal driver license age still apply? Can the car be allowed to go drive by itself and run errands for you during the day (like picking up/dropping off packages)? Or better yet, can parents send the car out to drop the kids off at soccer practice and get a few more hours of sleep on the weekend? Self-driving cars will make it a lot easier for young kids to go for a joyride while the parents aren’t looking. Just imagine little 6-year old Joey (who can’t see above the wheel) grabbing the keys while Dad is asleep on the couch watching the ball game and ordering Siri to take him to Toy’R’Us because he needs the newest video game. You know it’s going to happen. I’m sure they’ll be safeguards to prevent this, but kids and computers go together like thieves and locks: They’ll always find a way to break them.
First we allow them to drive. The next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to vote and own land. It’s a slippery slope to the robocalypse and it all starts here.
A Japanese hand grenade was found in some guys yard in Huntington Beach while he was doing yard work.
Life is like a box of chocolates down here in the OC, you never know what you’re gonna get.