Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Autonomous Auto

Google, whose mission is "to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful" have created a car that is autonomous, using satnav, cameras, sensors etc to operate the car in a real world driving situation. The aim of this project is to reduce collisions.

The idea that machines can do things more reliably and safely than humans is a hard one to accept, as witnessed by Ben McLeish's story about the woman who was terrified in a Docklands Light Railway train in London (trains which have been computer driven since 1987) and was only consoled when a human "driver" was put in place (he just pretended).

In an RBE, we would extend our capabilities as much as possible using technology. If this saved us doing work, we would welcome it. Why do we want to do something a machine can do. And if tech can produce cars that don't crash, can't crash, then safety laws become irrelevant.

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