BOSTON (CBS) – When you do commentary for a living – and you’re realistic about it – you know that sooner or later (preferably later, and infrequently) you’re going to say something stupid, with a high likelihood of getting it thrown in your face years later.

Since this is unavoidable, I’ve chosen to just embrace it.

So without hesitation, let me go on record as saying driverless cars are the worst idea to hit Boston since the Olympics.

The Globe reports on a new study of how self-driving cars are supposed to work in Boston, and offers up some pros – cleaner air, and maybe less congestion – and some cons – it may lead to even more traffic and promote urban sprawl.

Put me down with the cons.

According to the Globe, two local companies are currently testing driverless cars down the Seaport, so let’s start there.

NuTonomy’s self-driving car in front of the Boston Public Library. (Photo credit: City of Boston)

How can you really test the feasibility of self-driving cars in a part of the city where the traffic rarely moves at all?

Plus, the Seaport feels like a good case study in why it’s probably a good idea to have humans driving the cars. If you’ve ever been down there when the bars let out, you realize why it might not be a good idea to have the passengers interacting strictly with a computer.

And what if some felon makes a break for it out of the courthouse? The driverless car’s driver won’t make a good witness in court.

The very idea of driverless cars in Boston is appalling, which is weird because the drivers are so bad.

But there are reasons why our driving is so bad – terrible roads, horrible weather, vicious pedestrians, and so on – that aren’t likely to be forgiving to self-driving cars.

Yes, this is the worst idea to come to town since replacing Fenway Park.

If I recall, they wanted to stick that one in the Seaport, too.

Comments (3)
  1. Perhaps your peak at driverless cars, Jon, has more to do with your tendency towards road rage.

    You’ll have no one to whine about since it is the algorithm that is driving the car, not a sentient being. You will have nowhere to aim the finger.

    1. Actually, I am not breaking anything. I’m merely pointing out that Jon’s peak may well be because he realizes that one on his favorite past times won’t fall on tired eyes, or even eyes.