Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
Lyft

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

September 7, 2017 The thought of a lot of computer-driven cars on the road with me scares me
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

A couple of early things here. First, congratulations on the football team getting off to a good start. I haven’t seen all the volleyball scores, so don’t really know how they are doing yet. I’ll have to look that up. Also, the Lone Tree Museum will be closed this Sunday so people may feel free to go to the Old Settler’s Picnic in River Junction at Walker Park.

Now, on to other things. I saw a news item on TV last week about computer-controlled cars. I think it was on the Today show early in the morning, but I don’t remember for sure. Anyway, a reporter was riding down a highway someplace with somebody who was driving a computer -controlled car. I don’t even know what kind of car it was, but the driver was with the company.

As they motored down the road he had his hands off the wheel and all was well for awhile. Then, disaster almost struck. All of a sudden the reporter said, “Watch out! Stop,” or words to that effect. They were coming up behind a car and their super great computer brakes weren’t working. It wasn’t like the car in the commercial where this family is driving through a reconstructed jungle someplace with all the elephants, hippos, etc., and Dad, behind the wheel, is not watching the road. All of a sudden the brakes come on and the car stops before they hit the car in front of them. The computer -operated brakes in the car in the news story weren’t braking like they are supposed to in an emergency like that. THE DRIVER HAD TO APPLY THE BRAKES HIMSELF. WHAT A CONCEPT! THE DRIVER ACTUALLY DRIVING. That’s the problem with computers. Like all other man-made machines they sometimes don’t work. The computer on which I am typing this has a lot of idiosyncrasies that often interrupt its progress in getting the message across.

The thought of a lot of computer-driven cars on the road with me scares me because of the possibility of a computer malfunction. If the driver is alert and can take over in an instant there might not be any problem. But how many accidents might be caused because the driver has the car on ‘automatic pilot’ and is texting on his phone and is not paying attention. Do you think drivers would not take advantage of this opportunity to text their buddies? If you believe that then I have some ocean front property for sale in Arizona. He (or she) doesn’t have to pay attention to the road. The computer is doing it. Using a GPS the car has even been told where to turn, what direction to go and where to stop. As cars get older their parts start to wear out. A computer is a part and will do that sooner or later. Just in case I didn’t make it plain enough I’ll tell you straight out, I don’t like the idea of computer driven cars on our more and more crowded highways.

I made a telephone call to the Snow to Sun Resort in Texas last week and got some really good news. They had absolutely no rain in Weslaco. That really surprised me. I thought there would be some showers to the side of the hurricane that would reach the Valley, but Elena said there had been no rain at all.

The Thought For The Week this week comes from Fred Rogers. It is: “The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.”

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