La Satira News Service
Police in Manhattan have identified the victim of an accident involving a self-driving car as Lars Gynt, 34, of Oslo, Norway. Mr. Gynt, a computer systems integration consultant, was attempting to cross a street outside a crosswalk when he was struck by the vehicle, which apparently failed to register the presence of a pedestrian.
The human occupant of the vehicle, Nadia Driver of Lower Muttering, Vt., was not injured. Ms. Driver reported that Mr. Gynt had stepped out in front of the car without looking. The car, an electric-powered model, would have been inaudible in the busy street.
Some witnesses have suggested that the car, rather than braking, accelerated slightly as it hurtled toward Mr. Gynt.
The company responsible for developing the car, GGM, has declined to comment pending an investigation into the car’s control software, sensors, and telemetry.
The accident highlights continued concerns over the safety and reliability of self-driving cars in the chaotic road environment. While proponents continue to point out the advantages of computer drivers–faster reaction time, the ability to “see” in multiple directions simultaneously–skeptics often counter with doubts about the computer’s ability to distinguish what it sees or make moral judgments about how to react, as well as the potential for the computer to fall under the malicious control of computer hackers.
In an ironic twist, the hacker category is one that includes Mr. Gynt himself. Records indicate Mr. Gynt, operating under the handle 1G0Tch@10101010, had worked with a number of hacker organizations over the past decade. He was also under investigation by the FBI for his suspected involvement in a previous cyber-attack on control systems developed by GGM.
Rumors that the police are considering the case as one of justifiable homicide by the computer on grounds of self-defense have been flatly denied by police spokespersons.