Articles perkily highlighting how all those stupid employees can be replaced with the latest technological whizz-bang gizmo are nasty and vicious at heart. A Next Gov article gushes about about the US Postal Service could replace employees with driverless cars, and won’t that be grand!
How a self-driving car will be able to walk up the steps to my condo building, unlock the door, and put mail in my mailbox is unexplained. Instead, the authors gush about fuel savings, lower maintenance costs, and most especially getting rid of those pesky employees. So does Google with their self-driving car. It’s not self-driving car technology that I’m opposed to but the deliberate ignoring of its economic ramifications by companies like Google and the Next Gov article. They simply don’t care that self-driving cars will put millions of out work. All they care about is cost savings. And some of their suppositions are simply wrong.
Google reported that after driving 300,000 miles, its driverless cars were not involved in any accidents. Computer control of cars mitigates against human error, such as fatigue or distraction, leading to greater safety.
I’ve gone 300,000 miles without an accident too. Basing safety estimates on a tiny amount of miles like 300,000 is meaningless. And I guarantee that, sooner or later, a self-driving car will malfunction, people will be killed, and the whole concept will suddenly seem very dicey indeed.
But hey, as long as workers can be eliminated, they will be, under guise of techno-perkiness. And that is doing evil.