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IoT and Smart Cities Converge: Waymo to Test Self-Driving Cars in NYC

by Jesse Smith | Truth Unmuted

The plans to control all aspects of life including how you travel continues to accelerate as Waymo, an Alphabet company and cousin to Google has been testing its autonomous cars in dozens of cities. This glimpse of the future manifesting in the present may seem like progress, but it carries dark overtones of the completely controlled, technocratic society envisioned by people like Klaus Schwab, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk.

Self-driving cars were cute when they were just a fantasy as seen in a Jetsons cartoon, but now that they are invading the real world the future doesn’t look so bright. The plan to have us “own nothing and be happy” is further solidified with cars controlled by AI algorithms backed by the all seeing eye of Google Waymo.

Once again we are faced with the dilemma of technological progress that is pitched to make life more convenient, but it may come at the expense of our privacy and independence.

Waymo is now gearing up for one of the biggest tests of its self-driving cars in New York City. Here are excerpts of the story from the Waymo Blog:

The Waymo Driver has tested in dozens of cities spanning a diverse range of climates and topographies. Starting tomorrow, we’ll build on these learnings as we begin to map in New York City for the first time.

New York City is the most densely populated city in the country, with bustling avenues, unusual road geometries, complex intersections, and constantly evolving layouts, and we’ve designed the Waymo Driver to handle these types of complex and dynamic activities that define city driving. Our vehicles will be manually operated by autonomous specialists at all times, to help us scale and advance our technology in support of our mission to make roads safer…

New Yorkers will begin to see Waymo vehicles driving in Manhattan this week, primarily south of Central Park. Our operations will extend down through the city to the Financial District and also out to a small section of New Jersey through the Lincoln Tunnel. …The insights we’ll gain will help the Waymo Driver improve its ability to perceive and predict the actions of other road users in dense urban areas.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve connected with many New York policymakers, regulators, industry leaders, and nonprofit groups to get their feedback, and we’re encouraged by the responses. For example:

  • Mayor-elect Eric Adams said: “Autonomous vehicles hold the promise to dramatically improve traffic flow and expand access to convenient and affordable transportation for millions of New Yorkers. I’m excited to welcome Waymo to New York so that one day we can have safe autonomous technology on our streets.”
  • Tech:NYC Executive Director Julie Samuels said: “The more information we gather about the way our city moves, the closer we get to creating a more efficient, sustainable, and safe mobility network. Tech:NYC is excited to welcome Waymo to New York to help us learn how our streets — from bike and bus lanes to highways and walkways — really work.”
  • Jose Hernandez, Advocacy Coordinator and President of United Spinal Association’s New York City Chapter said: “We appreciate Waymo‘s commitment to strengthening access to autonomous vehicles for the masses, including individuals with disabilities. These are the first steps in bringing New York City into the future of transportation that we can all utilize.”

As the Internet of Things (IoT) and plans for building more smart cities continue to take shape the world seems to be heading down the path of greater centralized control under the guise of greater ease and convenience. Who really benefits (cui bono) from this type of technology? Will it be more to the advantage of average citizens or Big Tech and government? If it’s the latter then these “technological advances” must be resisted!

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