Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Friday Funny? The Onion Imagines the Future of the Hit and Run

Satire is supposed to make us uncomfortable. A recent totally fake news report imagining hit-and-run technology for self-driving cars (called the "Culpability-Evasion System") definitely succeeded there.
April 10, 2015, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

The Onion is no friend of the car and its ill effects on society. Why else would the satirical and totally-not-real news site create a fake news story about a technological advancement that allows driverless cars to perpetrate a hit and run?

"Describing the prototype as a major technological breakthrough for autonomous vehicles, engineers at Toyota unveiled the first driverless car Thursday capable of committing a hit-and-run," claims the satirical article.

"Members of the design team told reporters that the innovative autonomous car, which relies on a system of sensors and sophisticated algorithms to provide it with a split-second reaction after being involved in a collision, has successfully demonstrated the capacity to immediately flee the scene of an accident to avoid legal repercussions without any human intervention."

That such a sick scenario could be perceived as a potential benefit to even one person on the planet is sad, not funny, indeed. But then again, it's hard to imagine an artifact of contemporary life more capable of reducing us to our basest behaviors than the car.

And just in case you thought the article was a statement about a distrust in self-driving technology, and not human nature, the kicker of this totally-not-real news report shares news of another potential technological breakthrough: "Hoping to build on their initial success, Toyota engineers confirmed they were very close to programing the self-driving car to aggressively pursue an asshole motorist who cuts it off in traffic."

Hat tip to Irvin Dawid for sharing this article.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, April 9, 2015 in The Onion
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email