Thursday, August 1, 2013

Destination driven destiny

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
I feel only one emotion towards Google and some German car manufacturers' research into self-driving cars. Hate. As someone obsessively fond of driving for hours through unknown roads, the idea of being only a passive passenger on a trip through the open road drives me bananas. When it comes to driving, I am a control freak.
Sadly enough, I have to admit that this is an idea whose time has come. There is nothing more tragic than a death in a car accident, nothing more needless. The veteran of many a epic road-trip (often all by myself), I sorely accept that driving is mainly a mechanical task. Keep moving forward and avoid hitting anything encapsulates the basic logic of daily driving. Such cold, hard, simple logic is something a computer will always beat a human at. Always.
In the early 20th century, when strange mechanical contraptions called automobiles first began clattering across carriage paths, I am sure they got murderous glares from men who loved riding their horses to their daily tasks. How can a nuts and bolts monster replace the emotional connection that a man has with his horse, they asked? 
I find it distressing to think that the very next generation of humans will laugh at us, we who controlled the magic wheel of direction that took us down winding streets, using only the limited combination of our hands and heads and feet. Why did we trust our prone-to-fatigue human senses, they would wonder, when microprocessors can determine the right moves in pico-seconds every time without error?
Basking in the bright lights of the future, the past seems odd-ball and needlessly 'inefficient'. I hear you now, Mr. Horseman, I feel your pain.

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Kumar Bibek said...

Haha. History would repeat itself :D

Think about those people who hate driving, all because of the mercuric dense vehicles on the roads. They would leave the car to itself, to do all the calculations and maneuvers while they sit inside, posting to facebook and twitter.

Roy said...

@Psych: Agree. Most people seem to hate driving/riding regardless of traffic conditions. Efficient... yes. Something I like... no.