Friday, April 27, 2018

Vehicular Autonomy

I think we've all been impressed by the theme park ride, if we've had the pleasure.  I'm talking less about the rollercoasters than what I called "noisy doors" in remote childhood.  The car rides on a track, with passengers not responsible for steering.  Sometimes the track veers unexpectedly, part of the fun, and a reminder of helplessness (these rides can be scary).

We understand that a swarm of vehicles, controlled by the same software, could fly down the freeway, not touching.  A small town might implement the "Disney" system.  I think of it that way because of the rides, the Wild Ride of Mr. Toad in particular.

So where are the EPCOTs for testing these technologies?  We see the Hyperloop experiments.  Prototypes are important, nor must they stay under wraps.  We're doing science here.  Science evolves through "many eyeballs".  We're a Bazaar, not a Cathedral.

From Al Gore to Donald Trump, the rhetoric has been similar:  infrastructure needs upgrades.  With president Obama, we got the surge, the economic stimulus package, a shot in the arm.  But the public sector is locked out.  Investors want to keep it all proprietary.

The Grunch, in the meantime (a word we use, for "supranationals as a group"), needs human subjects. I know that sounds evil.  Now I'm thinking of Guinea Pig B, another insider reference.

Bernie Sanders:  give everyone a job.  Reality TV might have a more serious purpose, to show life in an EPCOT.  Let people decide for themselves if this is a future to favor.  Product placement might happen even sans commercials.  We see the artifacts in action.  We talk about the brands we use.