I was alarmed when I read of the county’s plans to use “autonomous” vehicles on our roads in the future (Nov 29). That strikes me as an extremely hasty, ill-advised and hazardous course of action. The reason given is that “80% of the cost of operating transit comes from labor.” That’s why governments are pushing this risky technology; they don’t want to contribute to people’s health insurance or retirement accounts anymore.They would rather put people out of work.
There have already been various fatalities in the Bay Area due to the use of “self-driving” vehicles. No robot can substitute for an alert human driver. Now you might say: not all humans are alert. I seem to remember last spring when an alcohol-impaired driver turned on the autopilot to get home, went to sleep but was arrested after his car crashed into a median. The robot vehicle didn’t kill anyone.
Now we have the additional polemic of whether it’s OK to play video games as your car drives you home (Dec. 10 and Dec. 11). Maybe we should encourage Mr. Musk to make his Lear Jet “autonomous.”
That way he could play video games and smoke marijuana as his plane flew itself back to Austin. But the Texans probably would not let it land itself there. They are much more sensible and more concerned about safety than we are. No wonder everyone is leaving California and going back there.
South San Francisco