The first self-driving cars to be operated by ordinary British drivers will be left deliberately unmarked so that other drivers will not be tempted to “take them on”, a senior car industry executive has revealed.
One of the biggest fears of an ambitious project to lease the first autonomous vehicles to everyday motorists is that other road users might slam on their brakes or drive erratically in order to force the driverless cars into submission, he said.
This is why the first 100 self-driving 4×4 vehicles to be leased to motorists as part of a pilot scheme on busy main roads into London will look no different than other Volvos of the same model, said Erik Coelingh, senior technical leader at Volvo Cars. The scheme will start in 2018.
Americans wouldn’t talk this way:
One driver interviewed for the survey said: “I’ll be overtaking all the time because they’ll be sticking to the rules.”
Another said: “They are going to stop. So you’re going to mug them right off. They’re going to stop and you’re just going to nip around.”
Well, I am here to tell you: that’s OK. We’ve all had it drummed into us from infancy that humans bullying cars = bad.
But we can’t let our bourgeois notions of propriety in auto-human interactions stop us from letting out our inner Johnny from Karate Kid.
We must, rather, get on with the vital and necessary work of bullying, haranguing and insulting these contraptions every chance we get. Because I cannot stress this enough: these cars must not be allowed to develop self-esteem.
From another corner of the world, I can tell you that Kiwis do not drive as politely as they talk.