The future is here, Miami: Self-driving cars are coming to our roads.
The question is: Will they be able to survive? And will we?
Ford announced on Tuesday that Miami-Dade County will be the first large-scale test site of its new self-driving cars, according to the Miami Herald.
“The cars will be traveling throughout the county to test their readiness to handle a challenging urban environment like Dade — and give residents a sense of what the future of transit could look like,” the Herald reports. “Though they will be controlled by computer, the cars will feature a human ‘safety driver’ as backup.”
Miami-Dade County seems pretty hyped about it:
— Miami-Dade County (@MiamiDadeCounty) February 27, 2018
But there are so many terrifying statements in that Herald paragraph. “Challenging urban environment” doesn’t even begin to describe the hellscape of the Miami highways. What does a computer know about the lane change sweepstakes that takes place at rush hour? For that matter, what does that “safety driver” know about it, unless he’s from Miami? And he’s not because who would let a Miami driver near an expensive prototype? We are the worst.
We hear those commercials about trucks being “Ford Tough.” But is Ford tough enough to face down the worst traffic nightmares of Miami? They’re terrifying enough to send technology screaming back to the ancient days of Dot Matrix printers and AOL.
We’re not sure. But we do know one thing: driving in Miami can make any self-respecting technology run quivering to the nearest therapist. Here are the top five Miami things most likely to flummox a self-driving car.
Mysterious “construction” on I-95
The Great Pyramid of Giza took 20 years to build. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome took 144 years to complete, which was nothing compared to the York Minster Cathedral, which took 252 years. The ancient Mayans spent 400 years constructing Chichen Itza. None of these building projects took as long as whatever the hell it is they do at night in the I-95 Express Lanes.
We love driving slow in the left lane
If computers operate on logic, any self-driving car is going to be puzzled as to why drivers in the left land drive 30 miles below the speed limit when they are allowed to go faster. Even though it is illegal and oh my GOD, why can’t these idiots get out of my way?
Note to Ford: You might want to program your cars with a weather system that can detect any rain cloud within a 10-mile radius. Because when Miami drivers see one, they slam on their brakes and slap on the flashers.
A self-driving car won’t respond to shouts or obscene gestures. But what happens when someone attacks it with a baseball bat?
Forever and always the absolute ground zero of horrific driving, angry motorists, disastrous construction and random halting of traffic. The Palmetto won’t cause Skynet to become self-aware. It’ll cause Skynet to have a nervous breakdown and shuffle off to a cave, beaten and whimpering.