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 ")

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976.

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...' - James Blish, 1957.

InMotion Glide 3 Electric Unicycle For The Last Mile
'...gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

 

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

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

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.