Driverless Cars: The existential threat

IDG.TV | Feb 11, 2016

Today's driverless car is tomorrow's "floaty chair," and that's bad news for humankind.

I don’t have a problem with driverless cars on principle. But when they start making us dumber, and less alert, and less involved with transportation in a tactile, human way, then, yes, I have to sound the alarm.

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OK, so yesterday I learned a new term: It’s floaty chair! One of our readers sent us the following tweet: “Aren’t these smart cars etc just leading us to the Floaty Chairs?”

Now back up a second. What the hell is Floaty Chair? Well, it took some digging, but we realized Virgilio Corrado was making a connection between so-called driverless cars and the high-tech hover vehicles from the movie Wall-E.

I want you take this in. What you see on your screen is a Floaty Chair. It’s sort of like a cross between a first-class airline seat, a Google Car, and those airport sleeping pods where you can shut yourself off from humanity, just to be left the fuck alone.

So that’s the Floaty Chair. But the tweet really got me to thinking that Virgilio Corrado might be right. The Floaty Chair really could be the natural evolutionary extension of driverless cars. And that says something about human condition. Thanks to the driverless car, we might be looking at a dystopian future where we’ve lost all ambulatory function.

Now, I don’t have a problem with driverless cars on basic principle. They present numerous upsides for public safety, as well as for people who just don’t want to drive. But, still, I have to raise a few red flags.

Number one, driverless cars are poised to destroy car culture. It may take 10, 20 or even 30 years, but when Ford has invested all its infrastructure into the design of Floaty Chairs, there won’t be much R&D left for high-performance Mustangs and Ford GTs. And that’s bad news for me, because I like to go fast.

[Ricky Bobby sound-up :”I wanna go fast”]