This is how we get self-driving cars

A TTAC commenter named “conumdrum” writes to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:


We, the undersigned car manufacturers and advanced technology companies want you to know that many prominent and extremely wealthy citizens and pension funds and venture capitalists, who insist on early return of capital, have invested billions of dollars with us on our earlier projections of deploying autonomous driving vehicles by 2020.

We must therefore insist that you allow us to test our autonomous driving prototypes on the public highways in these United States free of all restriction, petty or otherwise, so that we may deploy half-assed technology untrammeled by regulations of any sort. That way we can more rapidly make and sell sort-of-safe autonomous vehicles to the general public and receive the return on capital our investors demand, as soon as possible.

If not, publicly elected lawmakers will be pressured by some incredibly important and self-centered private interests to abolish the NHTSA and its recalcitrant and irritating staff, who are currently insisting on safety rules for prototype autonomous vehicles. We know better than these regulators how desirable it is that return on capital not be delayed by a nanosecond longer than necessary. Anything preventing immediate return on investment must be overlooked as detrimental to the private good.

We insist you understand the ramifications and abolish your petty restrictions at once and leave our experts to experiment freely on the public immediately.

Or else.


Every car industry and advanced tech manufacturer and AI researcher that matters who need to return investment to keep investors satisfied.

In fact, I suspect this is how we get a lot of things we’d probably be better off without.

1 comment

  1. McGehee »

    31 August 2019 · 7:05 pm

    One wonders how anyone so cheeky manages to have only half an ass.

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