On Conan, Google's self-driving car kills cat

When you have no steering wheel, sometimes your self-control is challenged. With fatal results for a cat. And others.

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The moggy is about to become soggy. Team Coco screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Many rejoice at the idea of delegating their driving to a Google bubble car.

As unveiled only recently, this delightful little thing has all the charm of a comic-book car and all the ruthless control of a comic-book villain.

Not everyone is quite on board with the idea of being a permanent passenger through life. It falls, therefore, to Conan O'Brien to redress the balance and reveal some of the dangers.

Death, for example.

You see, Google's self-driving car is no different from your laptop. It's a bunch of software and software can be buggy.

Now when the software that drives a car gets buggy, the effects can be brutal.

So in merging Google's own optimistic video of its car with some more-realistic depictions of potential downsides, Conan is merely providing a public service.

"There's nothing that makes you feel in the least bit threatened," says one of Google's guinea pigs, shortly before he breathes his last.

I'm sure there's no intention of scaremongering here. And I realize that handing our lives over to technology is something we do on planes, in trains, and every time we attempt to express ourselves in public.

We are an oddly trusting species.

Somehow, though, there seems a certain joy in controlling one's own destiny behind a steering wheel. When there's no wheel at all, we're at the mercy of someone else's dream.

This may have disturbing consequences.

 

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