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What Aggravates Me John Knight

The Human Factor

Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”

Spent the week car shopping. Haven’t made a purchase yet, let’s just say the vultures are circling. It’s not something I look forward to because I always feel like I’m getting screwed. That’s why there are always years in between new cars.

I don’t go so long that I’m still driving around with a cassette deck but the technology has advanced. Of course they update these things every year to keep the people who need to be current in constant debt.

We never did get the flying cars that we are supposed to have by now. When you think about it, this is probably for the best. You’ve been on the roads and see how people drive. Do you really want them over your head?

According to an article I recently read, we are getting close to seeing self-driving cars. Let me just say I read a lot, which I never thought was weird. That was until a woman I encountered recently who acted like I was insane. Three times she said to me,

“Wait, you’re telling me that you read every day?”

I explained to her that I try to gather as much information as I can, so I can make rational and informed decisions.

“This way, I don’t believe somebody is telling me the truth just because they have their right index finger raised in the air.”

That was the end of our conversation.

Anyway, back to the self-driving cars. They are currently being developed and tested and could be on the market in less than five years. Without having to pay attention to the road, people will be able to apply make-up, comb their hair, text and surf the web. You know, pretty much the same as they are doing now.

Once all the cars are self-driving, it will supposedly eliminate traffic congestion and accidents. The problem is, when these cars first come on the market, most cars will still be driven by humans. Can scientists develop the technology needed for these cars to survive?

For example, let’s say somebody is coming at you in the wrong direction in the parking lot. Even though there are arrows pointing in the direction that you are supposed to drive, a special person decides they can go whatever way they choose. Will the self-driving car stand its ground and make that person back up? Or will it be polite and move aside and make you look like a wuss?

What about when you get suddenly cut off? You know, a driver looks up from a text just in time to realize they are ten feet from their exit. So without even looking, they just jump over into your lane. Does the car have the technology to slam on the breaks while laying on the horn at the same time?

I’m sure scientists are working on a counter move for every possible scenario these vehicles can encounter. The problem being, just because it’s not possible doesn’t stop a lot of these idiots from trying. In this battle of man versus machine, I don’t think the machines stand a chance.

They’re not here yet though. This means if you’re on the highway and you look over and see a car going eighty miles an hour with no driver, don’t worry. It’s not a self-driving car. Somebody probably just dropped their phone.

Follow John on Twitter @jknight841