August 25, 2016
An article came out, describing how researchers are defeating auto-driving-enabling sensors, to make automatic driving less safe or less effective. This is only natural research. It doesn’t mean that the automatic driving systems will be less effective than human drivers. You can already very effectively disable human drivers.
I don’t see this becoming a common hazard. After all, the prosecution for such activity could be quite harsh, with heavy penalties, such as manslaughter. After all, bad guys like to drive around too, and it would be all too easy to turn the tables.
More likely, I see this being done (still, illegally) by teamsters in support of long-haul-trucking workers to help keep wages afloat. Of course, it won’t work. It’s nearly impossible to stop progress. However, these teamster-types may engage in such sabotage.
According to legend, the term “sabotage” started when workers, feeling threatened by mechanical automation, would throw their wooden shoes, called “sabot” into the machinery to sabotage it and break it down. Actual etymology research suggests that this legend is fiction and that sabotage actually refers to slowing work output in retaliation to employers slowing the wage payouts.
After all, one of the end-game goals of retail companies is to build up fleets of fully automated shipping, to send goods over land by robot. Fuel is still a cost, but manual labor costs become reduced after the initial outpay.