Andreessen: The immorality of not letting a robot drive your car

I’m scared humanity will place too much control of societal infrastructure in the “hands” of computers and robots and grow too dependent on them, but there is one area I can’t wait for robotics to dominate: driving. I’d love to be able to read while “driving.” But I’m far more interested in making the roads safer. I’m astonished daily by how inept, incompetent, reckless, law-breaking, rude, and distracted many of my fellow drivers are. I’ve nearly been hit by cars driving full speed through red lights and stop signs. Some drivers seem blind to lane dividing lines. People can’t park properly. Many are obviously inebriated or on drugs. Many more are — I still can’t believe this — too busy texting or chatting away on their cell phones or putting on makeup to bother to drive properly.

So I enjoyed Marc Andreessen’s comment and hope it proves prescient:

Google is working on self-driving cars, and they seem to work. People are so bad at driving cars that computers don’t have to be that good to be much better. Any time you stand in line at the D.M.V. and look around, you’re like, Oh, my God, I wish all these people were replaced by computer drivers. Ten to 20 years out, driving your car will be viewed as equivalently immoral as smoking cigarettes around other people is today.

Posted by James on Saturday, July 30, 2011