This is a good time to talk about cars. There are many people. Environmentalists point out the damage they do. A tough certified care worker finds that he cannot work without gasoline. Rural people admit that there are buses they can take, but only once a week on market days.
All of the above is important, but what I am concerned about is the future. The future that Big Tech is planning for all of us. The future of algorithms that are not alternators. Traditional car companies have been challenged and overtaken even by tech companies whose expertise surpasses the greasy celebrities who have been totally covered in the past.
This is an industry on the verge of dramatic turmoil, and some believe it to be far greater than the anxiety of chargers and range for all of us. It’s about who we are.
I recently hired an ultra-modern car and was amazed at its “support”. In particular, cruise control that effectively links my vehicle to the vehicle in front of the freeway: slowing down slowing down, accelerating and accelerating. I did almost nothing.
It’s a modern car: the car is taking over. Or, more accurately, the car maker has taken over. Like a rallying wave, it starts with my luxury car rental, but it ends with what technicians call “level 5”: full automation.
Some have said that they overestimate the impact of technology in the short term, but underestimate it in the long term. The immediate future of motors is still visible to us and hasn’t changed as much as some companies claim. All talk of releasing and zooming is likely to be clumsy and familiar, such as road blockages and expensive parking lots. Even my luxury car rental got stuck in the M4 roadworks.
But in the long run? Automation can change every aspect of modern life in an unpredictable way.
Some examples: With automation, car accidents are rare. It affects the types of injuries that occur in hospitals and therefore the types of specialists we need. Also, the way cars are manufactured will change. Why do you suffer from everything that is resilient to crashes when your car doesn’t crash?
Also, you don’t have to park your car. You can call it when you need it. As the BBC Origin program pointed out a few years ago, there are 100 million cars in the United States, spending 97% of parking time. What if they were on the road? How does it work? What do they do in the parking lot?
And who is responsible, of course, to do so occasionally when they crash? You are? A Stanford-educated algorithm designer currently living in Bora Bora? And does the car hit an old man on the left or a young woman with a baby on the right? Can you program to select it?
You also cannot opt out of this world. As someone who had to insure 17-year-old twins, I know something about how insurance companies set prices. The Weapons Survey Map will be blown to your face.
In other words, once technology is with us, it will be inevitable.
And here we are beginning to see some serious objections. A philosopher and machinist, Matthew Crawford published a great book last year about the future planned for us and whether we might decide we don’t want it. I have written.of Why we driveHe points out that self-driving cars are “an example of a wider change in our relationship with the real world, where capacity demands are replaced by promises of safety and convenience.”
We will be passive. management. Hugged. And this is very important. We are not too difficult, but we are deprived of our ability to do physical things that require a little effort. Driving is good for our hearts. I’m not driving. We replace the cooperation currently needed for operation with machine-generated certainty. As Crawford suggests, it involves not only our skills, but also the atrophy of moral values. Automation reduces us. Eventually you will live in the “Techno Zoo for Losers”.
I’m not sure if Crawford is perfectly correct. I love technology and certainly love safety. But in a world of gas shortages and battery range turmoil, it’s not a bad thing to open a debate. Given that some form of car driving stays here and public suspicions about the behavior of the tech industry are growing, we should probably think of our own routes.
This week I …
One of the great pleasures of writing a book is that the publisher sends you a copy of the efforts of others to create a kind of micro-community of effort after the reader, as well as fellow effort after the sale. It’s about creating and acknowledging the efforts involved. I don’t necessarily have Tom Chivers’s London Clay or Richard Beard’s Sad Little Men, but both are gorgeous and delicate works of humanity. Keep in mind that when the giveaway stops, you have to keep buying books and take the time to think about it. I don’t understand opera and I’m embarrassed by theater (arguing everything), so it’s the only proper art I can relate to.
Speaking of art, thank you for the new season of rugby. How fun it is to look at BT Sport’s excellent coverage and see the stadium full and bloody. I love rugby union beyond my ability to explain it. It has to do with the combination of the ballistic rotation of the body from tackle to space and the rattling of big men when the rotation stops. I also love the fact that 24,000 people can play in the game and are not quarantined in the local derby in Bath Bristol. Rugby is civilized in a different way than any other sport.
Train spotting …
I’ve loved trains since I was little. I haven’t collected the numbers, but I love the idea of traveling by train and the sight of engines and carriages. It’s strange. Like rugby, I can’t really explain it, but I live with it and it can take over even later in life. So I was at the opening of the new London Underground station at Battersea Power Station. This was much more interesting than the development itself. And now I’m preparing for the big one. Next year, a very late crossrail will open in London and I’m going to use it to go home even though I’m not near where I live. It’s called the suffering of your art.