Our parents were called upon to drill for natural resources, generate electricity, build the Hoover Dam and storm the beaches at Normandy under heavy gunfire. One day in the future, if our children were called upon to drive a car, they may jump like a scared cat. Assisted driving and self-driving cars are two steps in creating a new Girlie Man generation, an Americanized version of the Japanese hikikomori who plays computer games all day long and never sets foot outside, unable to accomplish anything useful in life.
The prospect of future Americans becoming incapable of driving a car is a sad statement about where our society is drifting. Will there be anything left for the human being to be able to do?
Remote Monitoring of Cars
The ability for some entity to locate your car and turn it off has truly scary implications. Have you seen the movie Red Dawn (1984), in which the U.S. was invaded by the Soviet army? Imagine if a foreign power were able to locate our vehicles and turn them off! We would become totally defenseless. We would be unable to offer any resistance.The potential for hacking, car disabling, and spying is just too great. My point is this: By the time we don't want someone to remotely track or control/disable our cars, it will be too late. It will be like not having had the sense to leave Germany by 1939. We are of course told that our data is safe and that it will not be used or misused by our own government, let alone a foreign power. Come on! If there is something we should have learned over the last couple of years with the whole NSA debacle, its that those who have those databases -- whether AT&T or some equivalent company -- will be forced to surrender their networks to the political power when they are told that they must. I propose that we create a surefire off-switch in our cars that will disable all of the car's communication with the outer world. I would like to see a large manual switch in the dashboard, perhaps looking like one of those old analog tube amplifiers where you could pull a lever and create a visible air gap between the tubes. That way, you could actually see that the car is now off-net and beyond the reach of remote tracking and disabling. To many in the car industry, my skepticism and warnings about the perils of the connected car may sound completely Looney Toons. This is also what was said about British Parliamentarian Winston Churchill in the 1930s, as he warned about the perils of the German leader with the funny moustache. "For what purpose does the right honorable member rise?" My answer: "Mr Speaker, I rise in opposition to the connected car!"
At the time of publication, the author was long on GOOG and AAPL, but held no positions in any of the other stocks mentioned. Follow @antonwahlman This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.