This Is the Human Driving Manifesto

Alex Roy:

Do you like driving? I do. It’s not about speed. It’s about freedom. It’s about choice. Car in the garage. Keys in hand. Hands on wheel. We choose where we go and when we go, and we choose how we get there. With the rise of self-driving cars, an army of experts would have us believe freedom and choice are a bad thing. From behind the banner of safety, they claim autonomous technology will save us from the tyranny and danger of human control. Their strategy is to claim that autonomous technology creates an either/or scenario where human driving is in conflict with safety.

That strategy is based on a lie.

Despite a storm of clickbait media reports, there is still little evidence that self-driving cars are safer than humans. We don’t know what “safe” or “safer” means. There is no government regulation defining a safety standard, nor has any self-driving car maker declared what that standard might be.

Unless self-driving car technology is demonstrably safer than humans—and even if it is—human freedom and choice must come first. We don’t need to sacrifice safety for freedom. The same technology that enables self-driving cars will allow humans to retain control within the safe confines of automation. Those that say otherwise seek to profit from reducing our freedoms, rather than make us safer while protecting them.