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  • Kate Forest

Welcoming My Robot Overlords

Recently, a friend of mine expressed horror over driverless cars. Her concern was that the computer would go haywire and run people over. I tried to calm her down by explaining that being run over by a texter doesn’t hurt any less than being run over by a robot. She didn’t think I was funny.

And to everyone who says “I hate not being in control”, I say “You already don’t have control.” Did you set the traffic patterns or speed limits? Can you predict where the accidents will occur? Nope and Nope. So, you’re already a slave to the highway and transportation system laid out for you.

I cannot wait until I can stop driving and give that mundane task over to the robot overlords. Here are the things I will not miss about driving:

  1. The DMV: I’ve lived in 5 different states and have yet to find a DMV that is fast and easy to navigate. Let the robots take a number and give up their Saturday to sitting in molded plastic chairs bolted to the floor.

  2. Arcane driving rules:Let the robots clog their storage with facts like how many feet from an intersection you need to begin signaling a turn. Also, I won’t have to listen to my newly licensed teenager critique my driving. “Mom, the proper merging technique is—” “Shut up, I was driving before you were even a thought. In fact, I was probably driving while your dad was thinking about making you a thought. That’s how many hours of my life I’ve wasted driving. I could have been having sex, but no, we had to drive to the restaurant first on our date. Then I couldn’t drink because I was the driver, which meant that your father drank for both of us and he fell asleep on the way home. Which meant you didn’t become a thought that night. You could have been a month older if it weren’t for driving.”

  3. Car maintenance: I have nothing against the mechanics at our local garage. They’re fine people and have always been kind as they swipe my credit card again and again for tires/brakes/inspection. And then there are the catastrophic repairs like a new “head gasket”, which can’t be a real thing. They make that up to tell dirty joke about after I leave. Let the robot take the afternoon off of work and sit in the garage waiting room watching Judge Judy on the TV.

  1. Traffic: Why should I have to stare at the traffic lights on Broad Street? I can use that time to take up knitting or write blog posts. Bonus thing I gain: Not missing out on being a Lookie-loo for accidents. If I don’t have to watch the stop and go movement of the bumper in front of me, I’m free to gawk at the crushed car at the side of the road. I’ll never again miss a chance at a gory sight.

There are plenty of other things I will relish in giving over to the computers. Here’s one thing I will miss: Being able to scream obscenities when a dumbass cuts me off without even using his turn signal. Or even just rolling up next to a bad driver and giving “the look” through the window. Maybe they can program a few robots to be assholes.

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