Featuring well-known author and thinker Malcolm Gladwell and facilitated in part by the folks behind “Car and Driver” magazine, the November-released “Autonomy” short-ish film’s through-line is an exploration of how fast-developing driver-assist and closer-to-actual-self-driving technologies are fast-changing U.S. car culture. But it doesn’t stop there.
Featured therein was Walkabout Transport independent owner-operator Debbie Desiderato, with whom regular readers will be familiar. Count her among skeptics when it comes to views on the choice our society will eventually be presented in some form or fashion — whether to fully accept high-speed vehicles on public roads without an operator capable of reason and judgment behind the wheel/manning the controls.
In the end, whose autonomy do we most value, man’s or machine’s? As comedian Trevor Noah memorably lampooned such a binary choice, and I’m paraphrasing here: I don’t want to be killed by a machine! I want to be killed by Dave!
In this week’s edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, Desiderato voices her own skepticism and uneasiness with the rush to “Level 5” full self-driving tech, just as she did in the film that features her and her 2012 Kenworth T660. She also speaks to the many hours of a shoot that were put in for the few minutes that comprise her spot in the film, and the likewise skeptical viewpoints of some of the film’s other interviewed subjects. Take a listen: