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Betting your life on a computer… or just another cab ride?

August 22, 2016

The misty rain combined with old tired eyes, the night sky and headlights from oncoming vehicles made driving very interesting as I passed through yet another unfamiliar highway construction area. The wipers on delay made those oncoming headlights spread to starbursts, at times obscuring visibility of the nearby concrete highway dividers. After an hour of this I called it quits and decided to look for a place to spend the night before continuing my journey to Dallas from my home in Alaska.

Over my lifetime I have driven the 4,800 miles from Alaska to Pennsylvania 9 times, with side trips from Pennsylvania to outdoor shows across the country and have done this while driving not only my truck but even a big rig for Schneider trucking company. I have done this in almost every weather condition from tornadoes in Kansas to sleet and black ice on interstate 80 in PA and that is why when I read the news article about Uber launching a self driving taxi fleet I almost fell off my chair.


Uber announced it will be putting a fleet of driver-less taxis on the road in Pittsburgh this summer, but I must ask why on earth would anyone put their lives in the hands of a computer to drive them around? We all know what it takes to drive to work, go shopping or on a road trip with the constant interaction of other drivers who at time may not be paying attention to what they are doing, so why would we trust a computer to make the correct, life saving, decisions while driving?

The results so far derived from the few cars on the highway that are at present ‘self-driving vehicles’ like the Tesla are definitely not promising. Though only a limited number of cars now on the road have reveled numerous accidents and even a death, so can you imagine what might happen with a fleet of Uber driver-less cars weaving in and out of traffic in your city?

Arnold Schwarzenegger may trust driver-less taxi’s
like he did in ‘Total Recall’
but this is real life not a movie.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Jon permalink
    August 22, 2016 5:14 pm

    Just think of the ramifications if someone with not so good intentions hacks the car’s computer system & takes over.
    They’ve already had this problem with driver cars; don’t quote me but I think it was Jeep that could be hacked up to 10 miles away.
    If this happens & you went on a joy ride, even with no harm done just think of the cost of the fare by the time the car was brought under “control”. Wonder if you get reimbursed for this debacle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kris permalink
    August 22, 2016 8:09 pm

    I’ve seen too many computer run worlds gone bad movies to trust one of these.


  3. August 22, 2016 8:21 pm



  4. Dwight permalink
    August 23, 2016 1:38 am

    Nice blog, Pete. I enjoyed all Alaskan photos in the side bar too.

    I am not one to stand in the way of progress, but driverless cars are not yet ready for prime time! I cringe at the thought of 70 MPH on the interstate in a computer controlled car!


  5. August 23, 2016 5:46 am

    Just the continuation of this bizarre need to automate every aspect of the human existence. Just like spaceflight I suppose we’ll see some real benefits from all the money and research being thrown at ‘driver-less vehicles’ but I suspect it will require another generation of humans to really accept them…assuming they can ever be truly reliable and safe.


  6. August 24, 2016 5:52 am

    Yeah I’ll pass on these for now. I see them on our freeway quite often. I always speed around it LOL.


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