David Weinberger's Would a Google car sacrifice you for the sake of the many? explores many philosophical conundra regarding self-driving cars, including the possibility that the rich and powerful might literally buy their way into the fast-lane. This is the premise of my 2005 story "Human Readable," which appears in my collection With a Little Help (there's also a spectacular audio edition, read by Spider Robinson).
Or would Google let you pay a premium to take the “fast lane”? (For reasons of network optimization the fast lane probably wouldn't actually be a designated lane but well might look much more like how frequencies are dynamically assigned in an age of “smart radios.”) We presumably would be ok with letting emergency vehicles go faster than the rest of the swarm, but how about letting the rich folks pay to go faster by programming the other robot cars to give way when a car with its “Move aside!” bit is on?
Let’s say Google supports a strict version of Networked Road Neutrality. But, suppose Comcast starts to make cars, and programs them to get ahead of the cars that choose to play by the rules. Would Google cars take action to block the Comcast cars from switching lanes to gain a speed advantage —perhaps forming a cordon around them? Would that be legal? Would selling a virtual fast lane on a public roadway be legal in the first place? And who gets to decide? The FCC?
Would a Google car sacrifice you for the sake of the many?
(Image: Bangkok traffic jam, Keng Susumpow, CC-BY)
President Trump today announced that he is commuting the prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich, a former Illinois governer jailed for corruption, and pardoning Bernard Kerik, the former New York Police Commissioner jailed for tax fraud. Blagojevich attempted to sell Barack Obama’s senate seat; Kerik was found to have accepted a $250,000 bribe from a billionaire […]
“What does this guy worth $60 billion own, who wants to be president?”
White House plans to divert $3.8 billion from DoD to build Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, for which he lied that Mexico would pay
Assembling a truly autonomous smart home is getting closer and closer to reality every day. But for every new smart bulb, thermostat, home security system and appliance we set loose within our walls, there are still probably a half dozen “dumb” items we’d still love to replace. But whether they’re too costly or too big […]
With so many manufacturers out there these days, it’s tough to know who to trust in the ultra-competitive wireless earbuds market. If you’ve never heard of LinearFlux, you may soon. That’s because it’s a company with a stellar pedigree whose co-founders were two of the engineers behind the original success of two audio houses you […]
Two-thirds of American adults drink coffee every day. On average, they’re each drinking about three cups per day, which works out to nearly 400 million cups downed each and every day. We don’t have stats on what percentage of those cups are God awfully bad, but you have to assume with so many ways to […]