PN is Baaaaaaak…..Trending with Self Driving Cars


PN is Baaaaaaak…..Trending with Self Driving Cars

Parknews editor Astrid has returned from her travels to the Middle East and the Christmas holidays with a vengeance. There are 54 new posts at plus four additions to the “trending” column. Check it out.

Two of the trending postings deal with self driving cars. Over at the National Review, there is a bit of a controversy going on, as Charles C. W. Cooke has an extensive piece on his concerns that self driving cars may lead the government to take away our freedom to drive when and where we want in the name of safety. Ian Adams of the “R Street Institute” responds that the concern shouldn’t be over whether or not we can go where we want and when we want, but that with self driving cars the government can KNOW where and when we go. He posits that the freedom from the government using that data is where the concern lies.

In another article posted at PN, City Lab posits that pushing self driving cars on a public that has grave concerns about them to start with, could set the entire process back years, if not decades. Polls show that only about 15% of the public embrace self driving vehicles, and that safety concerns, that is, attempting to prevent the over 100 daily deaths simply isn’t on the public’s radar. Where a commuter plane crash killing a dozen people may get screaming headlines, the deaths on the road simply doesn’t raise to that level. The public isn’t prepared to jump on board self driving vehicles as a reason to saves lives, even though they may be orders of magnitude safes than cars driven by humans.

These are the kinds of conversations we need to have in depth. Blindly embracing a technology simply because it exists or jumping on board for safety or other reasons, may not be the most expeditious approach.

Remember that the law of unintended consequences hasn’t been repealed.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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