I think this post needs a soundtrack.
I heard rumours about this months ago, but they were only rumours. Now it is happening. Uber is testing using driverless cars.
There was a small part of me that thought “Well, at least a driverless car won’t get allergic to my guide dog.” But when I thought a little more, that thought went away and was replaced with “blind folks, and anyone with special needs of any sort, are screwed!” I think of how many times I need to ask directions, get a little help to the door, or even have the driver tell me where his vehicle is. A driverless car would just come, wait, and if I don’t connect, leave.
And how on earth would they cope in this construction? Hell, the humans don’t do very well, circling around a one-way street over and over again, yelling into my phone that “We’re at King and Erb, can you see me? I’m in black car!” Would a driverless car just give up and drop me off somewhere and tell me to figure it out?
If they go this route, will we have to choose that we want a human and get charged for it? Could I only use it if my city had Uber Assist?
Companies forget that customer service can’t be done by machines all the time and it can’t be the only option. Sure lots of people go to the self-scanner things at the grocery store, but lots of people go to the humans. Just because I like to use an app to request an uber doesn’t mean I don’t want any contact with another human. Also, don’t charge me for the human interaction. I need it, I’m not doing it because it’s a luxury.
I just wish I knew what their plans were. I like Uber as an option, but I’m suspicious of Uber as a company.