The Trump Administration apparently hates brown undocumented persons in the United States and states like California and New York are issuing special drivers licenses for the people already driving on our roads. Now we know who they are, they understand our driving laws, and they can legally buy insurance. But, Trump wants to attack that.
I’ve been writing about, and been supportive of, autonomous or self-driving cars for years now (see HERE). This move I do not support.
In airplanes, the auto-pilot controls the aircraft, but the pilot or co-pilot is still at the controls. I have always seen autonomous cars in the same light. We still sit behind the wheel and have the capability to take over at any time.
While the auto-pilot in the car drives, we can safely talk on the phone, eat food, shave, put on makeup, text away, all while listening to our favorite personalities on the radio or podcasts.
Once you remove the human from the picture, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now going to allow, we are solely dependent on a piece of software from a corporation who will get the government to grant them immunity from their failures, much to the detriment of all of us in the end.
I have insisted that autonomous vehicles NOT be Johnny Cab from Total Recall, and this move is in that direction.
Individual humans still need a level of control on our roadways as long as other humans are driving, since we are the ones who behave in unexpected and erratic ways.
I reject this move by the NHTSA and see it as a move to undermine California where are proposing a law requiring a human driver behind the wheel.
Further, making software algorithms equivalent to a person has some really problematic potential outcomes. Our robots will demand rights as people.