There are some of those automatic soap dispensers in bathrooms at the firm. We’ve also got automatic faucets. Both are supposed to be triggered by waving your hand underneath. The idea is to take the messy, germy human element out of the equation, and let sensors and machines do the job neatly and cleanly.
But here’s the problem — the machines are not very precise. Sure, for the most part they dispense the dollop of soap or the stream of water when you place your hands underneath. But 9 times out of 10 another injection of soap occurs after you’ve moved on to the water side, and vice versa. So, a lot of soap and water seems to get wasted.
And it’s not just the automatic soap and water dispensers at the firm, either. How often have you found yourself at the movie theater, or the airport, or some other public place, flapping your hands like a magician having a seizure in hopes that the balky machinery will dispense soap, or water, or a tiny section of paper towel that never is sufficient to fully dry your hands? Typically, they’re not working correctly, are they?
So when I hear about the technological wonders of self-driving cars, and then read about how one of the prototypes had one mishap or another, I nod inwardly and think: “No surprise there. They’re just like those stupid soap dispensers.”
I’m probably not going to be in the market for a self-driving car anytime soon.