Recently, Nevada became the first state in the United States to issue a license for the driverless car. It's powered by -- surprise, surprise -- Google. That's right, the ubiquitous search engine that has taken over our research capabilities and memories now is taking over behind the wheel.
Other than my complete and utter lack of faith that this could work too well outside test tracks, I am completely and utterly in favor of cars that drive themselves. If I had the money, I'd hire a chauffeur to drive me everywhere. Of course, if I had that kind of money, I'd probably have enough money for a driverless car. Besides, what chauffeur is willing to drive a pickup truck?
However, I have a whole lot of questions about how this driverless car operates. I'd research it myself, but my computer's down and I can't Google it. Therefore, I'm left to ponder many questions about this, such as:
Will I be able to lie in the back and simply tell my car to take me to Los Angeles?
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When my driverless pickup truck gets stuck mudbogging in the bottom of an old bauxite mine, does it know how to get in touch with my Cousin Freight Train to get itself pulled out?
Will it get mad when I throw empty soft drink cans on the floorboard? And will it have my back and take the blame for the empty soft drink cans on the floorboard when my wife fusses about it?
If I put an Alabama license plate on it, will it still understand such concepts as four-way stops, right-of-way and merging? (The ones with actual drivers in them can't seem to.)
Will it know the difference between animals to avoid hitting (deer, drunks) and animals that should be run over (snakes and other snakes)?
How do I know my driverless pickup won't sneak off at night to go hook up with that hot little Mini Cooper down the street? (She's got a reputation, and I don't want my pickup catching anything an oil change can't cure.)
Will driverless cars be able to better understand the tinny mumbling from the fast-food drive-thru speaker?
What happens if my driverless car doesn't get along with that lady on my GPS and tells her, "Go recalculate yourself!"?
If my driverless car gets pulled over for speeding, can it get out of a ticket by popping its hood ("Oopsies, officer.") or misting its windshield?
Will it say things like "OK, who did that?" and roll down the windows automatically?
If it gets a nail in the tire, will it scream "owww!"? And will it change its own tires?
When I'm driving around back home, will it understand instructions like, "Go yonder way when you get to where Skeeter used to live."?
I have many more questions, such as whether it can pay for its own gas and whether it can vote when it turns 18. But my computer's back up, so I can just Google them. Oops, my truck just cranked up.
"Hey! Where are you going? You stay away from that dang Mini Cooper!!!"
Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org