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  • Writer's picturePeter McAllister

“Free range” Tesla’s – when your robot gets a side hustle.

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

So when robots are capable of doing things on their own, maybe they can earn a little cash on the side?

Andrew – the robot in Asimov’s “Bicentennial Man” turned out to be artistic, and everyone wanted to buy his work. His owner, “Sir” opened a bank account in his name (illegally) so Andrew could benefit from his own efforts.

Once Tesla’s are allowed to be fully autonomous, how far away are we from linking them up with Uber, letting them have a bank account and seeing what happens?

With the driver superfluous, your car would be waiting, like the dog that has retrieved a tennis ball, begging for the next direction from it’s Master.

So your average "Free range" Tesla would spend it’s days chasing the good fares, hanging out at the charging stations waiting for the off peak prices and talking to the other Tesla’s about who knows what. When it was really slow, they would head off to be serviced, or just park in a quiet spot, conserving batteries and looking for that next big fare.

If your imagination ran riot (as mine did), there could be gangs of driverless cars hanging out at the service station, blocking the humans from the charging points, parking awkwardly to scare the timid drivers, and when they were bored, they could just drive in formation down the freeway at half the speed limit.

You could get completely carried away when it go to a Driver vs "Free range" Tesla version of ‘West Side Story’.

Like the Asimov story, this would be a step on the road to freedom for one type of AI. The barriers now are just legal (the tech is easy) - laws that gave people a sense of security and control when some humans are more equal than others.

Did the laws facilitating slavery do the same?

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