Another Shocker from Automatic GPS Navigation

You probably read the story about the Tesla driver who was fast asleep while his car was hurtling along the road in Canada at 150 km/hour. The Mounted Policeman who chased the car on his horse said that the front seats were fully reclined with the driver and his passenger snoring peacefully. So self-driving cars are indeed a boon for the world. Can you imagine how many people would have died if the driver of an ordinary car had fallen asleep while driving at that speed?

This weekend in Finland, we have our own fabulous instance of an autonomous navigation system guiding a huge ferry that plies between Stockholm and Åbo in Finland. The ship managed to hit a rock that was sticking up on the sea bottom. The captain, who was obviously sound asleep or playing poker with his beer-drinking mates decided to turn the boat quickly to the shore of the nearest island a few hundred meters away to stop the ship from sinking…

Now, if you visit any modern ship today you will know that they are “chock-a-block” full of navigation equipment that makes sure that the boats follow precisely the right channels to avoid accidents like this.

The ship in question (pictured above) is a big passenger ferry that takes some 1000 or more passengers every day on trips between our two countries. The automated guidance systems must have malfunctioned, (not likely because they have several systems) or the continental plates must have moved a few meters overnight (unlikely), or the captain and his crew were busy playing poker in the engine room with one too many beers (more probable…).

In any event, digital systems and automated navigation are lowering safety standards and we will be seeing many more accidents like the Boeing 737 MAX in the future.

The drive today from Ekenäs to Helsingfors (Swedish for Helsinki) (115 km) illustrates quite well that you can’t trust the Tesla boys. They are always overtaking every Tom Dick and Harry with really fast acceleration and going well over the speed limit…

One can understand why Elon Musk wants to explore space – he just wants to meet up with all those (current and future) dead Tesla drivers…

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