Driverless Car Journal

The First 100 Days

March 29, 2020
Davis Divan Unknown Copyright

Day 1

Hands down the eas­i­est car pur­chase I ever made. I just Googled around with the idea idly for a few weeks until the search engine nar­rowed it to two SUVs based on a holis­tic assess­ment of my online activ­i­ty.” It came down to the Apple iCar and the Way­mo The Way­mo was an Ama­zon’s Choice,” so the only real deci­sion was which shade of gray to choose. I swiped through all the paper­work on my phone, and scanned the QR code at the dealership.

The sales­man looked so sad and dis­rupt­ed that I let him upsell me rub­ber floor mats.

Way­mo Day 3

I did­n’t real­ize how big this thing was till I got it into the garage, bare­ly! Why did I get the SUV? I felt for sure I want­ed a hot hatch. Then I remem­bered my knee arthroscopy and PT appoint­ments were all on my Google calendar.

Way­mo Day 9

Today Rachael said the Way­mo looks like its being dri­ven by a ghost. She named it Casper.

Casper Day 12

I called the deal­er because Casper start­ed up all by him­self in the garage. No one was there. Turns out Joey’s friend had hacked it dur­ing Latin class – from two miles away! How cool is that?

Casper Day 12

The man­u­al said Casper needs to deep learn for a few weeks. So I’m deep teach­ing him the route to school. The kids usu­al­ly bike, but I fig­ure they get plen­ty of exer­cise at recess.

Casper Day 18

Casper and I are com­mut­ing! He learned the way pret­ty eas­i­ly – almost all high­way. But he’s not pick­ing up on my spe­cial maneu­vers. Like you have to sneak up in the slow lane at the inter­change and then casu­al­ly drift over to the left lane. It saves, I think like three min­utes every day. That adds up to a whole day of found time every year.

Casper Day 28

Casper has learned a lot but still takes that mid­dle lane. I blocked out two hours Sun­day to search the user forums. 

Casper Day 35

The com­mute’s got­ten slow­er because of the 95 on/​off ramp thing. All the guys on there swear by this pro­gram­mer in Tal­la­has­see who sells a box to let you per­son­al­ize you car’s dri­ving style,” but you have to know Java and any­way it voids the warranty. 

Casper Day 42

The kids like rid­ing Casper alone to school, but Joey was putting on weight and Rachael got all moody. It was a fight, but they’re back on their bikes. Appar­ent­ly school recess is only sev­en and a half min­utes long.

Casper Day 60

First col­lege vis­it today: Mt. Holyoke! Traf­fic on the Mass Pike was bad, which is to say nor­mal. Human dri­vers are so stu­pid! They do 80 and then hit the brakes on a curve as if it jump scared them. Was I ever like that?? Casper knows bet­ter but what can he do? The Berk­shires are pretty.

Casper Day 68

Casper refused to start this morn­ing. Tech sup­port said a Way­mo 3.12 AI had pre­dict­ed a pile­up on I‑93 at 7:12 that morn­ing. I think the car saved my life.

Casper Day 70

The graph on my phones shows my lane swim­ming was adding half a minute. So, I now I get to work thir­ty sec­onds ear­li­er, which is awesome.

Casper Day 77

Casper said my free soft­ware updates would end on Memo­r­i­al Day. I didn’t want to get stuck dur­ing dri­ving sea­son. The deal­er answered the phone this time. He said he could fold the soft­ware sub­scrip­tion into my Ama­zon Prime and I’ll nev­er notice the added expense.

Casper Day 92

Bob from account­ing always asked every­one their floors like he’s the ele­va­tor cap­tain. Thanks to Casper I’m there right before him. Some­times I’ll say, Buck­le Up!” when the doors close. He hates that.

Casper Day 100

Bad Mon­day, so of course Casper gets pulled over, which is to say Casper pulled him­self over and wait­ed for the high­way patrol. He turned on voice recog­ni­tion (soft­ware update 3.0.11, first tran­script free):

Do you know why I pulled you over?”

Bit you did­n’t! My car– uh, no.”

Yeah, me nei­ther. [Inaudi­ble] Cruis­er lit up a kid on a bike the oth­er day. I’ll let you off with a warning.”

Wait! How can you let me… sure, thanks a lot.” 

I did­n’t want to argue. He looked so sad and dis­rupt­ed in his Smokey the Bear hat.