So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, July 27, 2017
Behemoths in the night
Self driving cars are in the news a lot. Some people are more than a little uneasy sharing the road with a computer driven two ton vehicle.
One big game changer is going to be self driving trucks. Sharing the road with computer driven cars make you nervous? Imagine how it's going to be when the big rigs are automated. Truck driver is one of the few decent blue collar jobs out there. There's big incentive to automate those jobs away.
What makes me really nervous is the push to automate shipping. Imagine huge container ships plying the world's oceans. As a boater the very idea freaks me out. It's bad enough that ships already have tiny crews due to automation.
There are tales of people on life rafts watching container ship after container ship sail right by them. The skeleton crews on those ships don't always keep a good watch. If they do stop to help a small boat in trouble, they are ill equipped to do a rescue. At least they can call it in so that rescue services or other boats can help.
I'm guessing those self driving boats won't be programmed to perform rescues.
So what's going to happen in the future? Well, big businesses have the money to buy politicians. Rather than make sure self driving vehicles can operate safely in the human driven world, they'll just ban humans. Maybe it will start with a few roads or lanes being designated self-driving vehicles only. Certain sea routs could ban human piloted ships.
The trend is for humans to change their behavior to makes things easier for computers. If you've had to deal with an automated phone system you know how that goes. Now picture that same kind of thinking planning our transportation networks.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.