Tags: Emerging Threats | cars | driverless

Driverless Cars Limit Freedom

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Friday, 01 July 2016 02:14 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating the death of Joshua Brown, who died in Florida when his driverless Tesla Model S crashed into a tractor trailer.

Who could have predicted this?

Imagine the characters in "Grease," starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, tooling about town in driverless cars. You can’t. Such a premise would have been laughable and lame.

The car, as personality marker and sex symbol, was central to this 1978 iconic movie and is likewise central to American life today. According to Bloomberg, infatuation with SUVs is only growing stronger.

The driverless car still is laughable and lame, but not for Millennials, the safe-space generation: many of them are shunning drivers’ licenses, driving, and owning cars.

And, when Millennials sneeze, the world gets a cold.

Accordingly, all car companies — and Google and Apple — are in various stages of designing and making these computers on wheels.

Hence, I hereby dub this ill-conceived vehicle the MillennialMobile.

The impetus for driverless cars is not choice, want, and need — core branding ingredients. It’s control. Promulgators believe humans are too error-prone to drive. Want and need don’t matter. And, evidently, we’ll have no choice.

Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, thinks that people should welcome driverless cars and not fight them. Fight them? Apparently, Brin is on a power-trip and prefers supine, passive customers.

Disturbing is this latest Utopian desire, in a long series of Utopian desires, to perfect and/or bypass imperfect humans. Driving a car is a sign of freedom, independence, and individuality — all of which Utopians hate.

Instead of building companies and products to solve real problems, many technotopians are hell-bent to change the world — as they wish it to be. Alas, they don’t meet much resistance. Worse, many applaud their tyranny.

In “The End of Self,” I observed: “Reliably, technology — socialism’s barometer — symbolizes the populace’s willingness to be monitored and controlled.”

In his 1951 masterpiece, "The True Believer," Eric Hoffer articulated that many eschew freedom, finding it burdensome. As the member of a mass-movement, one can blame his personal failures on the movement instead of himself: “Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape from individual responsibility or, in the words of an ardent young Nazi, ‘to be free from freedom.’”

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, gleefully made three troubling statements at a Gartner Group symposium in Australia, revealing his agenda of control:

  • “In 20 years, no human drivers will be allowed, except for the young kids at Disneyland.”
  • “Self-driving cars is the biggest technology for the future.”
  • “In the future, self-driving cars will avoid problems humans make.”

No human drivers allowed? You want government to limit freedom more than it already does? You want a submissive society of brainless, spineless wimps on wheels? This is tyranny, Mr. Wozniak. Your car for the cowardly is an affront to the individual and individualism.

Wozniak’s assertion that self-driving cars will avoid problems humans make is both absurd and devious, as the Tesla crash proves. First, fallible humans write, debug, and update the cars’ software. Second, car computers, like all computers, are hackable. Third, electronic components enabling the software will malfunction at some point — from heat, age, and manufacturing flaws.

Sorry, Wozniak: Humans must control their lives, their cars, and their governments.

The more computerized the car, the more power government has to control and monitor the driver. Brainless and spineless customers don’t see this but must grab that steering wheel — before it’s too late. Think about that when flipping burgers, guzzling beer, and watching fireworks on July 4th.

Marc Rudov is a branding adviser to CEOs, and is the author of "Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO's Guide to Branding." He is the founder of MarcRudov.com. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.






 

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The more computerized the car, the more power government has to control and monitor the driver. Brainless and spineless customers don’t see this but must grab that steering wheel — before it’s too late.
cars, driverless
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2016-14-01
Friday, 01 July 2016 02:14 PM
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