Playing In The Sticks: Self-Driving Cars And Rural America
Mitch Turck

Your view of the future has a lot going for it, but as a fellow who created some of the technology you enjoy, I suspect the timetable for such a wonderful new world of transportation is not as close to reality as you may imagine.

You’ll see by some of answers on Quora that I believe based on my own mistakes as a programmer and entrepreneur that failures of technology are based on unrealistic faith in the infallibility of programmers and engineers.

Yes, I agree that autonomous technology can make transportation safer and more efficient, especially in densely populated regions of our country.

But it will take a great deal of work to handle the exceptions, and huge amounts of money to upgrade our roads, bridges and signage, including electronic “signage.”

I know how many mistakes I and my collaborators make during the 90’s and the aughts creating and improving our marine navigation program.

Now I am retired, and more able to understand how my hubris at times endangered the lives of our customers.

Technology is created by fallible humans, and we all need understand that.

Thank you for writing such an interesting and thoughtful essay, Mr. Turk.

However, please remember that many rural folks need to drive through blizzards on poorly marked and often muddy roads to get to a hospital 50 or 60 miles away at 2 a.m.

The sensor technology that can more safely deliver that rural pregnant woman to the hospital is not yet available.

Let’s hope my my pessimism will not be warranted a few decades from now.