Matthew Inman writes the popular Web cartoon strip The Oatmeal and in a brilliant strategic PR move, Google gave him a ride in “the first real build” of its self-driving car.
The result is a well written piece on the optimism and pitfalls of this brave new technology. Spoiler:
The unfortunate part of something this transformative is the inevitable, ardent stupidity which is going to erupt from the general public. Even if in a few years self-driving cars are proven to be ten times safer than human-operated cars, all it’s going to take is one tragic accident and the public is going to lose their minds. There will be outrage. There will be politicizing. There will be hashtags. It’s going to suck.
But I say to hell with the public. Let them spend their waking lives putt-putting around on a crowded interstate with all the other half-lucid orangutans on their cell phones.
I say look at the bigger picture. All the self-driving cars currently on the road learn from one another, and each car now collectively possesses 40 years of driving experience. And this technology is still in its infancy.
I say ignore the anecdotes, embrace the data.
I’m ready for our army of Skynet Marshmallow Bumper Bots.
I’m ready for the future. I’m ready for the marshmallows.