Self-Driving Carphobia

Unlike a lot of people who are afraid of relinquishing control, I am excited for when the self-driving cars take over…but not the first year. The first year is when things need to be worked out. Like, what are we going to do with all of the solitary goons whose job it is to spend an inordinate amount of time alone driving trucks and cruising for Lot Lizards? We can’t just seamlessly integrate them back into society! Maybe they’d be good candidates for the first manned mission to Mars? I don’t know, but it’ll have to be worked out. And what happens when the first person who really fell into weed culture way too hard puts a “Coexist” sticker on his/her car followed by fifteen dozen more pointless stickers and the self-driving car experiences shame for the first time?

self-driving-car-specs
Self-Driving Google Car image source

There are a lot of logistics that I know they’re working on currently, but there are too many things that will just pop up, unanticipated obstacles that will lead to horrifying consequences. The human animal is unpredictable. What happens when some blisteringly stupid hillbilly adds giant over-sized wheels to the car? Will there be self-driving demolition derbies or NASCAR races without drivers? Who will we adorn with thousands of advertising patches!?!

This was one of the first cars. What a treat to be riding behind a horse.
This was one of the first cars. What a treat to be riding behind a horse. Image Source

I’m optimistic we’ll overcome all obstacles and I’ll be able to take a nap on the way to work and get drunk as I’m going home, but there are growing pains to any new technology. There was probably a huge adjustment period when cars were first introduced. “Well, that pack of horses running in front of us sure kicked up quite a lot of manure into my top hat, and my manacle is simply poop-glazed! I say, we must develop a type of manure-shield.” Then the “wind” shield gets invented and the horse poop impairs vision for a new reason, “Hortence, do tell the young ragamuffin over there that we shall pay him a half a shilling if he allows us to tie him to the hood and wipe the manure-shield while we drive the jalopy to the coal station.” (Did cars run on gas right away? Where did they get gas at first?)

first year car
What happens if you make a quick left turn? Bye bye, passengers.

Those first few years there were no paved roads either so anyone, like me, who gets motion sick easily was completely screwed. Before there were cupholders hopefully there were puke-catchers. In these self-driving cars, I hope there are giant puke vats or a funnel that spits my motion-sick output through a port out the back with the exhaust (enjoy the visual of driving behind that).

Those first few years of the existence of cars were probably perilous for a number of reasons. Spilling hot coffee is a hazard now, imagine what it was like during the first years of car creation, I bet the coffee, without the technology to regulate temperature or probably to even take a temperature, the coffee back then probably melted through the floor boards…and children who were definitely not strapped in and rooting around the floor mats for some sort of sustenance.

Why are they trying to make autonomous cars look like Segways for fragile people or exaggerated diving helmets?
Why are they trying to make autonomous cars look like Segways for fragile people or exaggerated diving helmets?

I’ll take a ride in a self-driving car, no doubt about it–unless they invent Star Trek beaming technology between now and then–but I will absolutely have the patience to wait through the first year of the new tech as they work out the surprising kinks. Kind of like how I would never be a couple’s first attempt at swinging. They gotta work out the kinks first. Thank you, tip your waitress.

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17 Comments

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  1. I know they’re reaction time is better than humans and all that but…these things freak me out. I do like the koala car, though. Looks like it belongs in a pixar movie.

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  2. Nice Freudian slip! All these references to kinks and swinging and a poop-glazed MANACLE? Pip pip, old pickle, I think you mean “monocle.”

    Or DO you?

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  3. Let me know when you get your self-driving car, so I can drive somewhere else! Not a fan of that technology.

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  4. Actually, unpaved roads would be preferable to some of the streets in Houston. Seriously. I was driving down West Gray last week and there’s no way that simply throwing down gravel wouldn’t be an improvement.

    I don’t know how I feel about self-driving cars yet. It pains me to think all my excellent road rage might be directed at an entity that can’t appreciate it.

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  5. I think the first cars ran on steam (this leads me to believe one had to employ the use of at least two young ragamuffins: one to wipe the manure-shield & one to shovel the coal).

    There’s actually a Japanese comic series about a program to send society’s outcasts to Mars on the promise that, should they return alive from the mission, they’d get a ton of money. Of course, the chances of them actually coming back were next to zero since Mars was at the time overrun with cockroaches they’d sent up a few centuries before which had evolved into super-strong killing-machines that brutally & mercilessly slaughtered humans on sight. Still, it’s an option, I guess.

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  6. Poop-glazed, huh? Puke-catchers and exaggerated diving helmets, too. Reading your post makes me realize how much faith I have in mankind.

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  7. I can’t relinquish control I’ve never had. I have no control over anything–machine or human. I don’t think I control me most of the time.

    Love,
    Janie

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  8. How far the humble car has come, I also look forward to the day when we have self drive cars hopefully that will mean less accidents but only time will tell

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  9. Hi human, Pickle,

    They tried to self-drive cars over here in the UK. Unfortunately, they were programmed for driving on the right side of the road instead of the left.

    My alleged human, Gary, is still waiting for the flying cars we were assured would be around by the year 2000. He blames everything on the Jetsons!

    Pawsitive wishes, Penny!

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  10. we should probably start slow… Like a hover board or some shit.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  11. I don’t understand why it’s so stunted and looks emasculating. Why would any man want to sit in it, and cruise chicks or lot lizards? It looks a bit like the tiny Ford Festiva I used to drive. Once, a guy who was trying to impress me actually lifted it off the ground with his bare hands. I was impressed, but he never asked me out. Not sure what my point is. I have no luck with men. But we already knew this.

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  12. Looks like it might be difficult to do it in the back seat, so teens will never buy into the notion. Is there a manual override option available for control freaks? Drinking without care on the ride home from work might be fun, though, and totally worth the loss of control. Especially if they can make the seat a comfortable place to sleep it off.

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  13. I actually like driving. I don’t fear these so much as I don’t want to give up my rumbly muscle car in lieu of a koala bubble car powered by Elon Musk’s farts (I assume that’s how they work). And for the record you don’t have to Paul Walker your car around a corner to enjoy it. I just like the sound and the experience of operating it.

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