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Kelly's World | No thanks, I'll drive myself

Published:Monday | October 17, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Uber employees stand by self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid cars during testing of the vehicles.

Now I have often been accused, and at times roundly chastised, for being resistant to change.

If you've even browsed this column a few times, you would realise that change is, indeed, not my favourite concept or topic. For the record, I just believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But that's another matter. There are some changes I'm just sure most of the world's citizens are not ready for. Among them are self-driving cars.

For years, the technology has been trending in that direction. As humans continue to make advances in technology, at some point, the concept of cars moving by themselves was always going to happen. Well, there have been a number of tests, including some recently in the United Kingdom. Autonomous cars, as they are also known, can sense their environment and navigate without human input. Autonomous cars can detect surroundings using a variety of technology including radar, GPS, and computer vision. They have advanced control systems that interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage.

 

A MATTER OF TRUST

 

Here is my problem. I don't really trust the vehicles that humans have control over much less ones that we don't. We all know that sometimes when wi ready fi mash brakes, we nuh find none. Sometimes you're turning the steering wheel one way, but the car isn't following suit. Or how about when the 100 trillion sensors that cars have these days are going off at once, and when you take the time (which you didn't really have) to go to the mechanic and run a full diagnostic, it turns out there's nothing wrong with the car. It did jus' get a likkle wet up when rain did fall.

So explain to me, if you can, why I should trust a vehicle in which yours truly has very little control? Now the test vehicles all have a human engineer just in case things go wrong. But, ultimately, the goal is for the car to be completely independent. Now, I understand that sometimes you just want to get in the car and say "Home" and leave it up to the car while you sleep. But I just envision the car ending up in a ditch or worse. Plus inna Jamaica, there ain't no road signs for the car's computer to read because the scrap metal man dem gone wid dem. And mi no trust GPS out yah so either.

Plus, we all worry about artificial intelligence and computers becoming self aware. So suppose the car knows you don't like it anymore and decides to sabotage you before you can sell it? See what I mean? Hey, if they can drive themselves, surely they can think by themselves. But none of that will matter for yours truly. Price is probably going to be an issue anyway, and I know I couldn't afford one of those autonomous cars if they were available right now.

But even if I could, leave me out of that. Mi nuh need di computer help fi dash weh mi car. Later.

• Drive with me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com