“Did you hear that yet another person was killed by one of those self-driving cars?” Howard asked Ben, the guy in the adjoining cubicle. “I don’t understand why we need to have these robo-cars on the road. It’s dangerous.”
“Howard, we’re humans, and, as you know, we humans are flawed,” Ben said. “I recently saw a statistic that pointed out that human error is responsible for 94 percent of today’s car crashes. People are driving under the influence, texting, speeding, or dozing off.”
“But if these autonomous vehicles are so good and so safe, why are people being killed and injured by these robo-cars?” Howard asked.
“There have only been a few such incidents,” Ben noted.
“True,” Howard said. “But relatively speaking, there are so few self-driving cars on the road that the number of accidents they have been involved in is statistically significant.”
“You’re so twentieth century, Howard,” Ben said. “You have to be forward looking. Imagine climbing into your car and just pushing a button to go. You don’t have to drive at all. Your autonomous car handles everything. It remains constantly vigilant, seeing 360 degrees all around you, without distractions. What can be safer than that?”
“First of all, technology is fallible, as are the flawed, as you pointed out, humans who develop and deploy it,” Ben said. “And wasn’t your computer hacked a few months back, Ben? What if someone hacks into your car’s computer system and infects it with malware that disables its automated systems while you’re on the road?”
“I am positive that driving autonomous cars will be safer than driving in those operated by people,” Ben said.
“Well, you will no doubt be an early adopter,” Howard said. “But as for me, I’d rather put my faith — and possibly my life — in my own human hands than to cede control of my car to potentially flawed technology.”
Written for today’s One-Word Challenge from me! The word is “autonomous.”