Unease about Self-Driving Cars April 3, 2018

Just recently, Arizona [a more progressive state than California, in the non-political sense] experienced its first pedestrian death at the hands [pardon the expression] of a driverless car.   My unease was thereby justified.  Computers and machines, for all their ‘artificial intelligence’, are not very bright.  And specifically they do not have, and never will have, what we call the Imago Dei, the Image of God.  They simply cannot make all the calculations that a human mind can make.

And even if this problem can be solved, are they going to give us the urban or suburban paradise some are hoping for?  A driverless car, moving down the street, takes up just as much space as a car with a driver, and creates just as much traffic.  And parking?  These cars are not going to circulate endlessly in the street.  They will have to go home at night [or maybe during the day, for some] to humungous garages where they can recharge.  And does anybody want one of these garages near their house?  Clearly a Locally Undesirable Land Use.  Not only will the structures be ugly and lower property values, the fact that most of these cars are coming in and out of them at some time or another will create very heavy traffic [and worse, traffic not bearing the Imago Dei] on the roads near them.

I also read that a truck without a driver successfully delivered a load of Budweiser beer in Colorado.  Well, I suppose that’s better than a driver who had been consuming a lot of the product.  I would still not rejoice at being in front of such a vehicle.  I wonder if the truck has been taught to say, “10-4, breaker breaker, good buddy, there’s a Smokey Bear” to its fellow trucks?  [I think I just gave away my real age, if I can remember stuff like this!]

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