Opinion

Let computers and your dog help you party during Derby week

In order to take the Internet to the next level we totally need robots.

Where is the problem with the Internet’s development into the future you say?

I would suggest most of the issues involve changing services that already exist so that they may provide a better end user experience.

How do we do that?

We develop robots to bridge the gap where the performance of humans in services that otherwise are automated, is the weakest link.

Composite image of Churchill Downs on Derby Da...

Composite image of Churchill Downs on Derby Day, 1902 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Kentucky Derby and all the parties surrounding it are on the horizon here in Louisville, KY. Downtown hotels will be charging $1,000 a night for rooms during Derby week. Outlying hotels will fetch as much as $500 a night.

People want to party and they don’t want to fight for their right to do so.

Most of the time, the biggest obstacle to parties in Louisville during Derby week are transportation-related. You can’t officially, nor reliably reserve, an Uber ride in advance. You are left to hope that a ride exists for when you need it.

English: Montage of Louisville Ky

English: Montage of Louisville Ky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why is this? Because there are only so many human drivers available to ferry the hordes of passengers from Party A to Party B to Party C during Derby week.

For that matter, the weeks leading up to Derby pose the same issues. People want to have a good time. There just aren’t enough sober human drivers to enable them.

Google, Apple and other companies are developing driverless cars. I should say human, driverless cars. The cars are driven by computers that, evidently, are able to learn and retain knowledge of all things related to navigating the open, closed and otherwise congested roads we traverse.

Sure, plenty of people still enjoy getting behind the wheel. But, at the end of every trip in a motor vehicle that a human makes, a prayer of thanks should be uttered for having arrived safely. With computers controlling the wheel, the matter of luck is not so much in play. Everything, including unsafe situations that arise enroute, are prepared for in advance by the computer.

A lot of people should not be driving in the first place—even sober. You know who you are, or maybe you don’t.

People think driverless cars are a ways off in the future. The future always seems so far away. But, really, it’s not. The future is here. Driverless cars are technology that is becoming more and more mature each and every day. The testing is diligent, it has been covered by the likes of 60 Minutes and it’s not a matter of “if” it will happen, but when (just like your internal hard drive crashing).

Fireworks display at 2006 "Thunder Over L...

Fireworks display at 2006 “Thunder Over Louisville” show from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mainstream adoption of driverless cars cannot get here soon enough for me. I’d love to be able to concentrate full-time on yelling at fellow commuters during my morning drives, rather than making sure I avoid a pothole or an all-too-conservative driver in front of me.

Additionally, I’d like something self-serving to be considered regarding driverless cars (other than the self-serving fact that you wouldn’t actually need to drive). Airplanes have auto pilot and so will cars.

Autopilot on driverless cars would allow my dog to get behind the wheel of my vehicle. I think he would enjoy taking the car out for a spin. He’d press his paws into the horn occasionally just to hear its foreboding honk (man that sounded hauntingly poetic).

He’d also smile and if the mood struck him, he’d lay down in the seat and take a nap—waking up only when he arrived safely at his destination.

I think that’d be pretty cool. He could drive a car and so could I. So could my wife.

Hey wait. I think this totally solves our dilemma about how the whole family can enjoy the Kentucky Derby live, and safely, too.

But the dog is probably really the only sensible one in the family. He doesn’t much like crowds. He just likes being with us. So, he might just stay home, watch it on TV and wait for us to come home. It’s the fastest three minutes in sports or something like that, but it takes all day to get through for some reason.

Together really is the best place to be. If we all don’t have to drive to get there, so much the better.

Party on, Garth.

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