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September 14, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

What’s Driving Pittsburg

Man. 1973 Bill Bixby. NBC-tv. (USPD: pub-date, nocr/

It’s all in the twists wrists.(USPD/

Well, bust ma britches and call me Nancy. This is gonna thrill a lot of people.

Uber’s driverless cars are now available in Pittsburg.

Undeniably handy for bank robbers, drive-bys, mean girls with water balloons…

No more stress worrying that the get-away driver will chicken out and leave you holding the bag.

No need for the difficult decision whether to permanently silence a nervous driver to keep from being ratted for a Crime Stoppers reward or plea deal.

A little planning may be necessary. Nothing too complicated

The cars may have cameras. Nothing a little spray paint or Halloween mask can’t fix.

Uber payment process and records: Any stolen credit card can open an account or just watch for a summoned car, then jump in ahead of the intended passenger.

For a ghostly exit: Β call a friend and have him/her jump out in front of the car after the occasion so it will jerk to an avoidance stop allowing the passenger to escape before driving on to the assigned prepaid location where authorities could be waiting.

Currently there’s a huge incentive to try out the Uber phantom cars:

Right now the rides are FREE. (Eventually, a trip will cost around $1.05 a mile)

Gosh darn.

Emerging technology seems to drive a whole new line of possibilities.

man in suit at desk. 1957 Lyle Bettger. NBC."Court of last resort". (USPD:

“Sorry, ma’m.One more time for the record. The Headless Horseman was driving the car? (USPD/

A brave new world. Are we brave enough to live it?

And then there’s this: “Google’s smart cars will be able to detect exactly where the police cars are”

If cars can be programmed to be aware and respond to certain types of vehicles and actively respond to their presence, is it too far out of the realm of possibility to imagine that one company’s car could be programmed to interfere or aggressively intimidate – even confront – a competing company’s driverless car? I’ll leave what methods could be used by the cars to your imagination.

Could be quite a clash.

Will cops be forced to create a “Bad Vehicle” compound for misbehaving driverless cars…and would that turn into something like Robot Wars arenas?

I can’t be the only one seeing this stuff…..

All I can say is buckle up: a rough ride ahead.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Serious police detective in suit.1957 Frank Lovejoy/ "Meet Mcgraw"(NBC/USPD:, no-cr/

Seeing what isn’t there doesn’t drive detectives.(USPD/




  1. sustainabilitea / Sep 14 2016 4:12 pm

    I’m not excited about driverless cars. For one thing, I like to drive. For the other, I can just see people trying to hack in and cause accidents.


    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 14 2016 4:44 pm

      It could easily be bumper cars out there! Cars gone wild…what was that old horror movie? Christine? People do tend to make even a good thing go bad. Thanks for being game enough to add a dodge car comment


      • sustainabilitea / Sep 14 2016 5:06 pm

        I can see where it would be useful for those who couldn’t drive, such as older people, handicapped, etc.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 14 2016 5:11 pm

          Always a shakedown cruise with new inventions. Got to be better than golf carts being driven by some in our neighborhood. πŸ™‚


          • sustainabilitea / Sep 14 2016 6:17 pm

            Possibly golf, unless you live in a very affluent area? πŸ™‚


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 15 2016 6:32 am

            Here it’s just that golf carts are cheaper than cars, be driven without licenses, and can take the short cuts and go down sidewalks. More golf carts travel to Target and grocery store than to the golf course (which doesn’t allow dogs…and they insist on driving sometimes …) Mild winters and hot sun creates odd things? HA HA


          • sustainabilitea / Sep 15 2016 6:34 am

            It’s like that where my parents live in Arizona, but I was making a joke about the accidental “gold carts” rather than “golf carts.” πŸ™‚


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 15 2016 9:34 am

            That’s hysterical – probably true in well heeled golfing communities.
            Around marinas/sailors (who people always assume are terribly rich) people have a little different view on what’s necesary and important. They will often so without what many in society consider an absolute necessity in order to maintain a boat of any size, shape, or value. Flip flops are cheap, too! HA HA


    • Sue / Sep 15 2016 12:19 am

      I am seriously not excited about driverless cars! Computer misfunction, malware, hackers…yikes

      Liked by 1 person

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 15 2016 9:42 am

        Roadways could mimic cartoons of bumper cars and running wild car chases. (Should there be escape hatches, I wonder?) Thanks for a short circuiting comment

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne Mehrling / Sep 14 2016 6:07 pm

    I’d be a nervous wreck!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 15 2016 9:39 am

      If people short circuit, have problems, and cause difficulties, what change does a machine have? Potential for all sorts aof meltdowns. I’m with you.Thanks for plugging in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Littlesundog / Sep 15 2016 5:39 am

    I do not feel we are an evolved enough population to handle very much of today’s technology. We’re not the most responsible beings in the Universe. And plain old common sense (I mean I think it’s idiotic that we have to be reminded not to text and drive??) has gone by the wayside.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 15 2016 9:46 am

      Your’re right about common sense being MIA so much these days.
      I can see it now: mom at the mall realizes she’s not going to make it to the preschool to pick up toddler without it costing her $10.00 a minute she’s late. Call for that headless driven Uber! The rules say the school can’t release the kid to an unknonw person – but nothing about releasing a kid to a driverless car. Winner!
      Gads. It’s Pandora’s box!
      Thanks for a braking comment


  4. Kate Crimmins / Sep 15 2016 11:15 am

    There are some days when I am convinced that a driverless car would make better decisions and a human at the wheel!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Sep 15 2016 12:08 pm

    …it is mixing transportation modes, but i see the old Bugs Bunny WWII cartoon where Bugs was in a diving C47, inevitable crash mere seconds away, and the robot pilot grabbed the single parachute & jumped. Wonder what happens for flat tires, no battery, out of gas? Again to BB– just inches from impact, that diving C47 ran out of fuel and stopped right there, mid-dive, inches above the ground and disaster, which allowed Bugs to hop off, totally unharmed. May those who venture in a driverless vehicle be so fortunate! 🐰


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 15 2016 1:32 pm

      Flying high with that strong comparison. As one of the local elected officials there said, “Wish they had waited a bit to work all the bugs and legal issues out first.” Thanks for hopping by with a comment


  6. The Hook / Sep 15 2016 8:01 pm

    I miss Bill Bixby…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 16 2016 7:23 am

      Magic only sleeps – it never disappears to those who wish to find it. Thanks for waving a comment through


      • The Hook / Sep 16 2016 10:33 am

        Beautiful response, my friend.


  7. PiedType / Sep 15 2016 9:34 pm

    Not in a million years!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 16 2016 7:32 am

      Parents might love the idea for that pack of cheerleaders out to wrap houses, but who’s going to rat out the charming ones who egg the house?
      Analyse seem to think the earlier than expected reveal is profit driven and out to establish territory first. Ready or not. Reminds me of a Ford Areostar we had that was wonderful except the AC kept crashing ( and in this climate, that’s no good) The entire system was replaced more than once. We finally talked to a company engineer and designer that said the AC was badly designed and much too -iffy from the start, but Ford was rabid about getting into the family van market quickly and brought the model out before it was ready and knowing there was a major problem with the AC. Terrific car – if we had lived in a cooler climate. Big companies are not our friends.
      Thanks for steering a comment this way


  8. colonialist / Sep 16 2016 1:55 pm

    Pittsburgh ist nein der pitts! Heil Pittsburgh! Pittsburgh Uber Alles!
    Actually, while we’re on the racist theme, I think the authorities must be Irish. Driverless cars are allowed β€” as long as they have a licenced driver!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 16 2016 3:08 pm

      Somehow this is all reminding me of Homer Simpson. As mayor, he’d (and Barney) be all in favor of autodriven cars offering a vehicle ride home from Moe’s…Marge and Maggie however will never give up their SUV.
      Cheers for serving up that one!

      Liked by 1 person

      • colonialist / Sep 16 2016 4:03 pm

        I can picture the series – they should do one!


    • heretherebespiders / Sep 17 2016 1:51 pm

      I’m all over the shop with this comment – I moved to Ireland from Cleveland!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. cordeliasmom2012 / Sep 16 2016 6:31 pm

    Does it really matter if the cars are driverless? 99.9% of drivers don’t pay attention anyway.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 18 2016 10:40 am

      Agreed. We think eventually they will just pave over everything and cars will just scramble everywhere just like a mall parking lot (with as much consideration and manners). Personal helicopters and jet packs are looking more and more practical. Thanks for zooming by with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  10. heretherebespiders / Sep 17 2016 1:52 pm

    I so can’t imagine bank robbers escaping at a very legal speed limit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 18 2016 10:43 am

      Depends on the robbers and their level of confidence, hide in plain sight skills, knowledge of the local streets, and the ability to drive stick. The “chases” are always good for comic relief here. thanks for parking a comment


  11. thehuangshow / Sep 19 2016 12:10 am

    Rider #101 reminded me that I would be replaced shortly by driver-less cars. πŸ˜›


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 19 2016 7:58 am

      Lyft is predicting that in 5 years most will not own cars.
      Resons: cheaper not to own/ parking spaces rare in places/ less air pollution with fewer cars/ remote “controllers” can oversee and excercise control if car looks like headed for wreak or trouble/ younger people in cities not learning to drive/ easier than doing it yourself…..
      Of course right now the weather causes some limitations in areas. And there will be jobs lost.
      We’ll see. Sould be interesting to watch. Drop by again if you get any new insights from being behind the company wheels. Thanks for driving in with a comment


  12. RKLikesReeses / Sep 20 2016 11:46 am

    Awwww, Bill Bixby. Wow. Memories!
    Cars driving themselves!! Gah! Can they deal with “black ice?” Can they figure out that blinking brake lights in clusters ahead might mean trouble on the road? Can they see a load shift on the tractor trailer a car length away and then dodge out of the way to avoid being hit by the contents? No idea. But a lot of people can’t handle that stuff either. No winning.
    Super good and scary post. Haven’t read the story in a long time so I may have it misremembered but this makes me think of “The Roads Must Roll” by Heinlein. ::shivers::



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 21 2016 8:35 am

      In an era of “be the first to get the product out there”, sadly many variables are conveniently driven to the side. Self driven cars may be a good idea for selected areas – like very crowded massive cities? Fewer paved parking lots would be visually better and probably cooler without absorbing/reflecting all that heat. But as you say icy cold weather may be a problem with roadways – and the fact that electric cars have half the battery life in cold weather below a certain temperature. Peopl won’t be happy if they are expecting a nice drive door to door in snowy weather when the car stops dead part way there…heels are so not good for tromping in ice and snow..
      And that scary movie/book “Christine!”
      Thanks for parking a comment here

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Paul / Sep 25 2016 1:27 pm

    Wow – I had no idea they were that far advanced. If Uber can perfect this, they will create a value service at much lower cost – they will be unstoppable. The local cabbies are already constantly bitching about UBER – imagine if they could do it without the cost for drivers. Yikes! I’ve been involved with building a number of robots in the lab and the considerations around navigation were huge and we never got them all – constantly surprised. I am very doubtful that Uber has figured out all the issues.Then the whole legal question comes up – who is responsible if the car commits a faux pas? What about insurance? So many questions.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 25 2016 4:14 pm

      I think the sudden implementation caught the city offguard. They had been consulted, but thought they/the state would have time to firm up some plans and legislation. I keep seeing a “I Love Lucy” episode. (Writers! If only we had those fabulous writers. Sigh) Thanks for parking a comment ( Glad you’re up and writing again – Will slide over to see what’s rolling)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul / Sep 25 2016 7:10 pm

        Super = you know you are always welcome. πŸ˜€


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