Why the Hard Sell for the Self-Driving Car?

Why the hard-sell for self-driving cars?

The other day, Ford and Volvo announced they are forming a “coalition” — along with Google — to push not only for the development of self-driving cars, but for federal “action” (their term) to force-feed them to us.


The reasons are obvious: There’s money — and control — in it.

To understand what’s going on, to grok the tub-thumping for these things, it is first of all necessary to deconstruct the terminology. The cars are not “self-driving.” This implies independence.

And “self-driving” cars are all about dependence.

The “self-driving” car does what it has been programmed to do by the people who control it. Which isn’t you or me. Instead of you controlling how fast you go, when to brake — and so on — such things will be programmed in by … programmers. Who will — inevitably- program in parameters they deem appropriate. What do you suppose those parameters will be?

“Safety” will be the byword, of course.

But the point being, you will no longer have any meaningful control over (ahem!) “your” car. You’ll pay for the privilege of “owning” it, of course. But your “ownership” will not come with the right to control what you “own.”

It will be a tag-team of the government and the car companies who control (and thereby, effectively own) “your” car.

And thereby, you.

Not only will how you drive (well, ride) be under their control, they will also know where and when you go. It will be easy to keep track of you in real time, all the time. And if they decide they don’t want you to go anywhere at all, that’s easy, too. Just transmit the code and the car is auto-immobilized.

You only get to go when you have their permission to go. It will be a very effective way of reducing those dangerous “greenhouse gas” emissions, for instance.

If this all sounds paranoid, consider the times we live in. Reflect upon what we know for a fact they are already doing.

For instance, making the case — in court — that we (the putative “owners” of “our” vehicles) ought to be legally forbidden from making any modifications to them. The argument being that such modifications could potentially affect various “safety” systems and they do not want to be held liable for any resultant problems that may occur.

This argument easily scales when applied to the self-driving car, which we will be forced to trust with our lives at 70 MPH.

For at least 30 years now — since the appearance of anti-lock brakes back in the ‘80s — the focus of the car industry has been to take drivers and driving out of the equation. To idiot-proof cars. This is easier — and more profitable — than merely building cars that are fun to actually drive.

How much profit margin has been added to a new car via (6-8) air bags? We pay more for the car, more to repair the car (and so, more to insure the car).

This also scales.

The technology that will be necessary to achieve the “self-driving” car is very elaborate and very expensive.

Thus, very profitable.

Which by itself would be fine… provided we could choose. But we will be told. Like we’re told we must have 6-8 air bags and all the rest of it.

This is the “action” Ford and Volvo and Google are seeking.

I personally have no doubt that, in time, they will make it illegal to own a car that is not “self-driving.” Well, to actually drive the thing. Static museum displays may still be permitted.

Tesla, the state-subsidized electric car — already has the necessary “self-driving” technology and Elon Musk is pushing it, hard. He says it’s a gotta-have because people cannot be trusted to drive themselves. There’s a clue for you as to the mindset of our masters.

But the current price of the least expensive Tesla is just under $70,000.

This is not economically viable when the average family’s income is in the neighborhood of $50,000. And keep in mind, that means half the people to the left of average make less than $50,000.

They cannot afford to buy $25,000 cars.

But maybe they can afford to rent them.

This appears to be where we are headed. The perpetual rental. It makes sense, too — from an economic point-of-view. Why buy that which you don’t really own because it’s not under your control? It would be absurd to buy the bus that you ride to work in. It is arguably just as absurd to buy the car you are driven to work in, too.

The object of this exercise appears to be perpetual debt-servitude as well as placing almost everyone fully and finally under the complete control of the powers that be. Who are no longer just the powers in government. The distinction between state power and corporate power is so blurry now as to be almost impossible to parse. The two are effectively the same thing, working hand in hand for their mutual benefit.

Remember Il Duce:

All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

Sadly, there is no push back. Or doesn’t seem to be. The cattle appear to like the idea of being herded. It is depressing.

The passivity and acceptance of it all.

Must be something in the water.



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