Buzzfeed’s Autonomous Auto Enthusiast: “So Go F*ck a Tailpipe if You Love Cars So Much”, Vox Echoes: “Ban Human Drivers ASAP”

#hashtags: #Buzzfeed #Matt Honan #Cars #Uber #Honan

There’s a post over at Buzzfeed in which Matt Honan tells us that the future of automobiles is autonomous and how it’s going to be awesome. His conclusion makes me think that he’s not part of the car enthusiast tribe: Cars are giant, inefficient, planet-and-people-killing death machines. Self-driving cars — especially if they are operated as fleets and you only use one when you need it, summoning it Uber-style — would mean we could have fewer vehicles per person, less traffic congestion, less pollution, far fewer vehicles produced per year (thus lowering the environmental impact of production), and, best of all, safer streets. The blind, people with epilepsy, quadriplegics, and all manner of others who today have difficulty ferrying themselves around as they go through the mundanities of an average day will be liberated. Eliminating the automobile’s need for a human pilot will be a positive thing for society. So go f*** a tailpipe if you love cars so much. Your love for cars doesn’t supersede the lives of 1.2 million people who die in automobile accidents every year. It’s not more important than the energy savings we’ll get from not manufacturing 60 million or so vehicles every year that spend most of their time idle. Turned off. Parked. Perhaps we should use communal ovens and showers too. After all, those appliances in our homes spend most of their time idle. Come to think of it, maybe using words like showers and ovens might give Honan ideas — bad ideas. Honan apparently has a fan in Vox’s Dylan Matthews (the irony of Matthews using an avatar taken from one of the most car-loving shows on TV, Archer, is surely lost upon him). While composing the headline above, I almost typed “autonomy enthusiast”, but what Honan and Matthews are advocating is the opposite of autonomy. My guess is that their definition of need in “you only use one when you need it,” is different than yours or mine. I understand that TTAC friend Alex Roy tore Honan a new one at Alex’s TED talk, but it will be a while before video of the lecture is online. Discuss authoritarian autonomous advocacy amongst yourselves. Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS