NOTHING WILL MAKE you hate humans—capricious, volatile, unplanned, erratic humans—like sitting in the back of self-driving car. When I hitched a ride in one, a white and orange General Motors Cruise autonomous vehicle during a press event in San Francisco on Tuesday, every movement was a cause for alarm.
Two walkers darted out in front of the car during my roughly 20-minute, 3-mile ride, blissfully ignorant that they were trusting their lives to a piece of software. Two cyclists made unexpected but sweeping turns. Human-operated vehicles whipped around corners and rolled through stop signs. Why couldn’t they be like this autonomous vehicle: extra cautious, considerate, aware?
But this chaos—this unpremeditated waltz of oops, no, you go and nope, buster, me first—is reality. It’s how cities work.