January 04, 2018

Autonomous vehicles are about to collide with the American way

Dana Mathewson

I very much like the writing -- and thinking -- of Charles C. W. Cooke. I first became acquainted with his articles in "America's 1st Freedom," one of the NRA's monthly magazines, wherein he writes about how America's long tradition of keeping and bearing arms has come about. He's the editor of National Review, and is one of those people with whom I'd love to attend a party with. I really like how he's structured liberal "argument" in this article much the same as their "reasoning" in the gun control debate. At some point in the future, be it years, decades, or a century hence, the federal government will seek to ban driving.

This, I’m afraid, is an inevitability. It is inexorably heading our way. The dot sits now on the horizon. As is common, the measure will be sold in the name of public health. "Now that robots can do the work,” its bloodless advocates will explain, "there’s no need for human involvement.” And from then: On, the snowball will roll.

Each time there’s a bad accident, the utilitarians will squeal: about the stupidity of the American people; about the enormity of theretofore innocuous groups — "F*** AAA!”; about the antediluvian "fetish” that is costing American lives. "In Sweden,” they will gripe, "they already . . . ” Besides, we regulate trains and airplanes. Why can’t we outlaw the driver’s license?

Our debate will rest largely upon charts. The American Medical Association will find "no compelling reason to permit the citizenry to drive,” and Vox will quote it daily. Concurring in this assessment will be The New England Journal of Medicine, the Center for American Progress, and the newly rechristened Mothers against Dangerous Driving, for which outfits "dangerous” will have become a lazily supplied synonym for "human.” Atop this endless statistical beat will be a steady stream of mawkish anecdotes. "Joey was just 17.” "Sarah had three kids.” "Not a day goes by in which . . . ” And pushed into the corner, as "flacks” and "extremists” and the owners of bloodstained hands, will be the dissenters. "But what,” they will ask, "about liberty?”

As usual, the opponents of prohibition will be correct. Indeed, the threat to individual freedom that the driverless car is set to pose is at this stage hard to comprehend. For a century, the automobile has been a bastion of liberty, freeing up almost everybody from the tyranny of other people’s schedules. Trains, planes, and even taxis are run to their owners’ clocks: I cannot tell Amtrak to pick me up at 9; Delta won’t stop in Fayetteville if I ask nicely; yellow taxis have a habit of disappearing in the rain. But the car — oh, the car. The car is mine. I can get in my car when I want, and get out when I want. I can oversleep or undersleep, and still it sits there waiting, as might a Labrador or a loyal slipper. My car has no luggage restrictions, and I know exactly what it’ll fit. In my car, I may play what I want on the radio. And, best of all, I may choose the other passengers.

Crucially, I need no special permission to drive my car — at least not beyond a basic license and a plate screwed into the back. At my choosing, I can go around the block, or I can go to California. Nobody cares. There are no tickets, no inspectors, no medallions to subsidize. If I want, I can use a satellite or a map to help me find my way, or recruit my smartphone to the cause of cutting traffic. But I don’t have to. In fact, I don’t have to have a clue where I’m going, or a clue when I’ll get there, or to remember where I’ve been. I can get happily, gloriously, deliriously lost — a weekender shuffling toward nowhere. My car, God bless it, has no logbook, and no timetable. It is a steel extension of my feet.


And so forth. It's wonderful, and it's all to be found at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455018/autonomous-vehicles-will-spark-government-efforts-ban-driving

A NOTE FROM TIM:

I argued the Left was gearing up to steal our cars in a 2008 piece at Enter Stage Right.  It's impossible to control someone who can get away from you, and so the automobile must die!

A NOTE FROM DANA

Mr. Cooke doesn't address this particular issue, but it should be pointed out that, at least at their current stage of development, autonomous automobiles do NOT "play well" on the same roads as "normal" vehicles, and need their own exclusive roads for their potential to be reached. Surely our Lords and Masters in the government are, or soon will be, aware of this and it will factor into their thinking as they begin to plan their program(s) to pry our car keys from our not-yet-dead fingers.

I hate to say this, especially in print, but I fear it may come to a time when those among us who prefer to drive ourselves to our destinations, and who also keep and bear arms, may find it necessary to exercise our Second Amendment rights to ensure our ability to control our own transportation. We can prevent this by paying close attention to those whom we vote into office, especially at the state and local level.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:00 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 901 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Unfortunately, that's very very common.

The establishment wants the cops as their hitmen and they don't want them to be inhibited.

The prosecutors are just as bad or worse, they have immunity for the perjury they commit in court; their evidence tampering, etc Iphone speaker repair mississauga.

Posted by: rosejenifferjohnson at February 09, 2018 09:55 AM (h8yX6)

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