Autonomous vehicles have many pros and cons. Those on either side of the issue have very intense beliefs as to why autonomous vehicles are human saviors or why they are the ultimate evil and should be feared. I am here to remind you that all influential technologies are tools that can be used for good. I am writing this because I saw a shockingly disturbing news article that one of my Facebook friends sent to me. A woman was hit by multiple cars in Pennsylvania and no one stopped. Her remains were dragged for miles.
People share these stories and then forget about them. We as a society are becoming desensitized. What if that was your daughter or someone you loved? They never called back, never came home, and you have no idea what happened to them. You don’t find out until days later after the police identify her remains — remains that have been dragged for miles along the highway.
Woman hit, killed by multiple cars on Pa. highway; none stopped, dragging her remains for miles https://t.co/rSJmvhEaAY PA, HOW CAN YOU DO THIS????? PA DRIVERS ARE THE WORST! What is GODS name is wrong with you?
— judy johnson (@jaeu2) March 5, 2020
A life was lost — a woman was hit by more than one car and no one cared enough to call 911. Surely someone had to have seen the car dragging her remains. The woman, who was identified, was struck by more than one vehicle while trying to cross the highway.
It’s rough out there for pedestrians. That woman could have been me. Last month, while I was crossing at a crosswalk with my light green, a car ran a red light and what happened next could have literally killed me. Fortunately, I am always aware of my surroundings, especially at crosswalks, and I jumped out of the way. The driver stopped, rolled down his window, and yelled, “You shouldn’t have been in my way.” I immediately replied, “You shouldn’t run red lights,” and added some very colorful words. I should have taken video or photos, but I was in shock and had moved out of his way and into oncoming traffic — this was a very busy intersection. There were people honking, screaming, and cursing. No one stopped to ask if I was okay.
This is why autonomous vehicles are needed. I see distracted drivers all the time while walking to the store. People drive off of I-10 and don’t even look before they hit that right turn. They just go. They don’t stop and think, “Oh, that’s a human life there. That could be a mother, or wife, or someone whose death would be tragic.” Artificial intelligence, however, can be programmed to stop for pedestrians or swerve around them if one is to suddenly jump out in front of them. Automatic emergency braking, such as what Tesla has made standard, has done this multiple times for humans as well as animals and birds.
One of the many cons of autonomous vehicles is the jobs they will replace. I think we should balance that by finding ways to create jobs in industries that will utilize autonomous vehicles. As humanity evolves, so will technology — it is inevitable.
In regards to the woman who was killed, witnesses said they heard a lot of backing up, beeping trucks, and thought it was an accident, but none of the drivers who hit and killed the woman have been identified. The investigation is spanning Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
Again, instead of judging someone for crossing a highway at odd hours of the night, think about life for a moment. You don’t know her story. She could have been on drugs, which is what many would automatically judge and dismiss, or she could have had car trouble. She could have been running from a murderer or robber. Each and every person on this planet is alive here for a reason — we are all valuable. Even pedestrians like me.
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