Trump lost

Hail to the generals

By Mark Luedtke

More and more, we’re seeing developments in the marketplace that are not driven by market forces. We see it with the internet of things (IoT) and electric cars. Now it’s self-driving cars. Nearly every day brings a new story about self-driving cars. Two years ago nobody was talking about self-driving cars. There was no demand. Today, everybody and their dog is developing one. Like the internet of things and electric cars, the push for self-driving cars is driven by government, not consumers.

A number of stories make this clear.

Google, Apple, GM, Ford, Uber, Lyft, Tesla, even Nvidia, and everybody else is developing a self-driving car. This isn’t how markets work. In a market, an entrepreneur identifies a potential demand for a good then develops a product to meet that perceived demand. When every crony corporation begins developing a similar product at the same time, government is behind it. It’s a good reminder corporations work as agents of the government.

Independent auto reviewer Eric Peters disputes a study claiming the move toward programmed cars is organic. “[The study] also mentions not a word about the real reasons why people are becoming disillusioned with both driving and owning cars – the expense and hassle. Both creations of government – its endless rules, fees, and mandates,” he notes. “The first creeping and now galloping nannyism, always in the name of saaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.”

It’s ironic that people believe an organization that exists for the sole purpose of threatening violence against others cares about safety. We can dismiss that claim right away. Britain’s Daily Mail reports, “The House [of Representatives] voted Wednesday to speed the introduction of self-driving cars by giving the federal government authority to exempt automakers from safety standards not applicable to the technology, and to permit deployment of up to 100,000 of the vehicles annually over the next several years.”

The bill passed unanimously. Government’s corporate cronies need not follow safety standards when developing something rulers want, and rulers want to control people. They can control people by controlling their programmed cars.

The Daily Bell exposes, “Researchers within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have been creating tools to hack into consumer vehicles. While the spy agency is within its alleged charter to create tools for espionage designed to keep Americans safe, their actions surrounding this technology have done the exact opposite.”

In 2013, investigative reporter Michael Hastings was killed in a freak car crash in which his car inexplicably accelerated out of control. Hastings was putting the finishing touches on a story about CIA, NSA, and their corporate spy cronies.

Infowars reports, “U.S. Army brass told Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings that he would be hunted down and killed over his story that led to [former Afghanistan War commander] General McChrystal’s downfall, according to Hasting’s closest friend in the June 26 bombshell interview on the Alex Jones Show.”

Whether government agents hacked Hastings’s car to kill him or not, the frightening reality is they can hack and take control of self-driving cars for their own purposes.

There’s another insidious danger with self-driving cars: government is pushing to have manual controls removed from the vehicles so people in the car have no way to save themselves when something goes wrong. Peters wonders, “Without, say, a steering wheel – which Ford is talking about removing from its automated cars just a few years hence – what happens when the car decides to steer itself off the road? If there is no brake pedal, what will be the fate of an automated car – of the people inside the automated car – when mud obscures the camera that feeds the data to the computer that automatically applies the brakes when the car ‘sees’ traffic stopped ahead, or a red light – but doesn’t see it, this time?”

We know programmed cars will malfunction. The code will have bugs. The programs will face unforeseen circumstances. They will get hacked. But passengers in the car – there will be no drivers – will be powerless to save themselves. This is reminiscent of the airbags rulers forced automakers to deploy in spite of knowing they were deadly to children and small adults.

Canada’s CBC exposes a more mundane issue, “A car dealership in Sherbrooke, Quebec, is this the right way to write Canadian cities? may have broken the law when it used a GPS device to disable the car of a client who was refusing to pay an extra $200 fee … .”

This is our self-driving car future.

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Mark Luedtke
Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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