Every time I look at Elon Musk's picture now, I hear that Talking Heads song, "Run Away."
Psycho Killer Qu'est-ce que c'est Run, Run....Run, Run Away!
Musk built a robot car "Auto-pilot" system that killed a Navy Seal in Florida in June and, as Chinese Television revealed recently, a driver in China earlier in the year. The video of the death from the camera in the Tesla itself in China is grisly and devastating evidence of the dangers of robot car technology when it's deployed too early.
Watch how the car runs right into a street sweeper on a foggy road and realize Musk is treating human beings like human guinea pigs.
Instead of apologizing, Musk just doubled down with comments on a conference call late-Wednesday, when announcing software for all his new Teslas that will immediately automate them, essentially turning them into a robot car for a $5,000 to $8,000 fee. He said irresponsible journalists kill, not automakers.
"You need to think carefully about this," Musk said in pissy tone. "Because if, in writing some article that's negative, you effectively dissuade people from using an autonomous vehicle, you're killing people."
Musk's "Auto-pilot" has killed people. Watch the China crash yourself and see if you think this is human error.
Musk is a mad scientist unrestrained because the federal government has yet to implement Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards requiring performance standards of new autonomous vehicles. This psycho-killer is the poster child for why we need rules for the cars before they hit the roads, not a 15 point check list that could be turned in to regulators on a toilet paper roll right now.
That should be the business of the next president and the free press: holding automakers like Musk accountable for ambition run awry and engineers that treat human beings like rats in a laboratory.
The point isn't whether robot cars will kill fewer people than human drivers, it's which people will die and who will be accountable when it happens.
Human ethics dictate that calculations about whether robot cars will make choices that kill pedestrians, drivers or passengers need to be part of a public debate before the killer cars hit the roads. Unlike reckless drivers, you cannot throw a reckless software engineer in jail, or a corporation for that matter.
Tesla has denied accountability for its "Auto-pilot" failures. Until it and other car makers agree to accept legal responsibility for their cars' failures, then they shouldn't be allowed on the road.
We should all "Run, run, Run, Run A-w-a-y!"