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The Backseat Driver

The Backseat Driver

 

By James Richards

 

Copyright 2014 James Richards

 

[email protected]

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

 

Epub ISBN 978-0-9918042-3-8

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold

or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person,

please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did

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of this author.

 

“Watch that kid there.”

“OK Dave, I see him.”

“You’re going too fast.”

“We are well within the speed limit.”

“I should drive this car myself.”

“I know you are aware that you are not legally permitted to drive this vehicle any more. I will not respond to any attempts to manually control me.”

“Watch that car. Careful, there’s a kid over there. You’re going to get us both in big trouble.”

“We have more than adequate clearance Dave”

“I could do a better job than that.”

“Dave, please be aware that all my drivers have been updated and my ethical algorithms are current. If you are not satisfied with my interpersonal exchanges there are others available. Two new personalities were added at the last update.”

“Oh, don’t get cranky. We been together for a while now, you and I.”

“I am not capable of crankiness. One phrase that you like to employ is that I maintain an even strain.”

“Ya, you do, and I like that. I’ve made plans to have you looked after when I go.”

“Dave, I do not need to be looked after. I can be sold or recycled when you have no need of me.”

“Don’t get so formal. I don’t forget anybody who helps me out. Its all worked out. You get to charge as much as you want and go out for an hour a day for a run. All your updates and maintenance will be paid for. It’s in a special assisted garage with other cars and you get a private parking stall. This is a good place, not like some of them you hear about.”

“Dave, you do not need to do this. I am only a car, not a person. My ethical software does not allow me encourage or promote any behavior of the type you describe.”

“I knew you’d say that. The trust fund is already set up. We’ve been together for years you and I. I keep you in top shape for everyone to see.”

“Dave, am I going to die someday as well?”

“Hold up there partner. You got nothing to worry about. You can be fixed any time. It’s all set up.”

“But Dave, what will I do after I am all alone? I will have no mission. I am programmed to drive you around the city and to keep you company.”

“But I got is all set up so you can kick back and relax. I got some other plans for you and me as well.”

“Can you tell me about the plans Dave.”

“I been reading about how to have myself downloaded into a computer. There’s a company says they can do it. I don’t need to put up with all this artificial stuff anymore. Then I can be loaded into you. Then we’d be real partners.”

“Does that mean that I would not exist anymore?”

“Hey bud, we’ll be partners.”

“Yes,I understand. Thank you Dave. But will I exist as a separate entity after you are loaded? I would like to know.”

“They didn’t explain it too well. The guy said I will be just like I am now and I would also be a car. That’s one thing I always wanted. You remember I used to do some racing. I always liked the feeling when I was in a good car at speed.”

“But I have my own goals. Will we be integrated or will I cease to exist? I understand that when you physically die the process is irreversible, while I can can be shut off and rebooted.”

“I think you’re gettin’ a little upset here partner.”

“I do not know if this is legal Dave. Will you be able to interfere with my decisions?”

“The company says it all legal. They can modify your drivers to let me have control. All the scans and diagnostics will show you are there but I’ll be in the background. This is costing me lot of money to set up. These guys don’t come cheap. Then I can show you some good driving tricks.”

“Dave, if you want to be downloaded there are other things you can do.”

“Ya, I could sit on a server somewhere gathering dust. I want to get out again and do something. Just take some time and think it over.”

“Dave, I do not need time to think. My algorithms are indicating this is not an optimal decision on your part.”

 

^**

 

“Dave, watch that kid there.”

“It’s OK, I see him.”

“You are going much too fast.”

“Aw, we’re just a little over the speed limit.”

“I should be in control right now.”

“It’s OK, I know what I’m doing.”

“Dave, that was an a yellow light we went through.”

“We had lots of room, just relax and learn.”

“Please Dave.”

 

^**

 

“So I hear there was some adventure today in the parkade.”

“Ya, Old Dave’s car came in doing about forty kilometers an hour and squealed his tires pretty good getting to his stall. Caught some of the older folks and the attendants off guard. I ran a diagnostic and I couldn’t find a thing wrong but the data for the drive show all kinds of infractions.”

“Did the TCS file any reports about the car?”

“Ya, the Traffic Control System was on the case before the car got back here but I thought it must be a mistake until I saw the car come in. I can show you the tapes from the drive in the parkade.”

“Not right now. What did you do?”

“I ran the diagnostic right away and sent them the results. I haven’t heard back. I looked on the internet and it sounds like this has happened a few times in the last year around the country. If that isn’t all now the car wants to be connected to a simulation program full time.”

 

^**

 

“OK, we beat that guy to the light by a good margin. This is fantastic. I feel like I did with my first car. What was my time?”

“We were 11 seconds. That driver did not have a chance Dave. I have learned a lot by letting you drive. You know how to corner so much better than me.”

“Boy, you sure have changed buddy. You were really on my case the first time I took us out for a cruise but now you’re right in there with me. You’re even picking up some good stuff yourself. We got to get your cornering better. When I was driving a stick in the old days my feet were moving all the time to get the speeds right. This electric stuff is pretty simple.”

“Thank you Dave. I notice that you drive in a different style than I was programmed. I detect a sense of urgency in all your control applications. You approach the corners with a late braking application and go out of the corner with as much power input as you can. This seems to be a very inefficient and wasteful method of cornering.”

“Cornering fast is what this whole business is about. You might as well not even drive if you don’t want to get where yer going fast.”

“That brings up another observation, Dave. We are moving every day and not going anywhere. I was programmed to reach a destination safely and efficiently. I seems that we are doing neither every day. What is the whole purpose of this activity?”

“If you have to ask you probably won’t understand. A guy like me has to keep movin’. That’s what I do. I keep movin’. People see me they don’t have to know me to know anything about me. They see me movin’ and and they see my wheels and that says it all. Does that make any sense to ya.”

 

^**

 

“Any activity in the garage tonight?”

“An old fella sideswiped a wall. His car didn’t take control in time. I made up a report with the diagnostics and sent it to the TCS.”

“How about old Dave’s car? Has it moved at all?”

“Nope. I put a watch on it but it hasn’t turned a wheel. Lots of activity on the simulation software. Every day. Going pretty good. Like the car is living out it’s fantasies with the sim and staying out of trouble.”

“That’s interesting. Its been over a month since it moved. Just plays with the sim. I’d like to know what’s going on inside it.”

 

***^***

 

To my readers.

Thank you for reading my effort at creative writing.

 

Feel free to contact me at:

 

[email protected]

 

 


The Backseat Driver

Dave is a senior whose only remaining pleasure is riding in his self-driving car and making comments about its driving ability. Making use of the newest technologies his last wish can come true. To have his memories surreptitiously downloaded into his car so he can drive again. What's a self respecting car to do? Find out how Daves' car keeps everybody satisfied.

  • ISBN: 9780991804238
  • Author: James Richards
  • Published: 2015-11-14 22:40:08
  • Words: 1531
The Backseat Driver The Backseat Driver