Spam Autonomous Cars And Philip K. Dick

A terrifying and unsavory possibility was mentioned in the blogosphere this past weekend: what if autonomous car technology was combined with billboard trucks?


(Billboard trucks are an eyesore)

It's an idea that was raised by Reddit user CombustibleCitrus on the SelfDrivingCars subreddit, and it's one that serious thinkers in the industry have already pondered:

"If driverless cars become common, I wonder if there's the possibility that some types of unmanned vehicles could become a nuisance. Will our neighborhoods be patrolled by driverless ice cream trucks, food trucks, vending machine trucks and Google Streetview cars all day long? What about driverless billboard trucks? What's to stop them from clogging up the highways during rush hour?," the Redditor wrote.

Frankly, this is bad enough. However, SF great Philip K. Dick has always gone to a darker place, earlier, than you or I have.

In his 1963 novel The Game Players of Titan, Dick refers to homotropic news vending machines that not only advertise their wares, but autonomously seek out human customers:

At the door of the restaurant an automated news vending machine appeared, with a late edition of the Chronicle. It's Rushmore Effect bleated out "Special coverage of the Luckman murder case." The restaurant, with the exception of their party, was empty; the news vending machine, being homotropic, headed toward them, still bleating.

The last thing I want to see is a homotropic billboard truck that autonomously cruises in search of crowds of people.

If you think this could never happen in real life, take a look at these existing homotropic devices.

An even darker possibility exists - an autonomous billboard truck with your name on it. Targeted to you in particular - maybe a message from a creditor. Again, we have Philip K. Dick to thank for this device from his 1964 novel Lies, Inc.:

A creditor balloon.

"Oh, there you are!" the balloon piped at the amorphous mass of living tissue confronting Rachmael; it descended, tropic to the eye-eating creature. Obviously, it had located its target.
(Read more about Dick's creditor jet-balloon)

Via Motherboard.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/20/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters." - Jack Williamson, 1931.

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'- Robert Heinlein, 1985.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.