The Ten Best Uses For A Robot Driver

Maybe the whole “driverless vehicle” concept isn’t all bad. Perhaps there are some circumstances where they could potentially make our lives a bit easier.

10.) Performance Driving Training


Imagine being able to follow a ghost car driven by an extremely precise robot, just like in Forza. It would be the best way to improve your real world lap times and dial in that fast racing line. No instructors would ever have to be put in danger again.

Suggested By: Party-vi, Photo Credit: Bertron8 via Flickr

9.) Farming And Agriculture

With robots on the job all day and all night, agricultural production rates could probably increase tenfold. “Grown with love and tender, local family farms?” Meh. Get some massive robotic farming equipment in the hands of those local family farms and you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Suggested By: midwest-philly, Photo Credit: David Wright via Flickr

8.) Pre-Production Testing


Before a new car model is released for sale to the public, automakers test its reliability by putting down thousands of rigorous miles on test mules. Because rolling roads and test facilities can’t exactly replicate real world conditions, automakers are forced to send out actual humans with their prototypes. Cool job, sure, but it’s also time consuming and expensive. Stick some engineering bots behind the wheel of these mules and they’d be more produtive.

Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: Christian Zdebel via Jalopnik

7.) Errand Running


No one actually enjoys going out and getting laundry, running to the bank, grabbing groceries, or picking up their children from school. It’s a sham. Life would be so much easier if we could just let a trustworthy robot take care of it all and allow for a little more personal time.

Suggested By: toomuchcommuting, Photo Credit: Omar Bárcena via Flickr

6.) Getaway Car Driver


With a robot at the helm of your getaway car, there would be no concerns of splitting the loot from your heinous crime, you could focus on taking out the good guys one by one, and you probably wouldn’t have to deal with any “loose ends.” Reader Justin Hughes can explain his robot-involved criminal schemes further.

All of the advantages of faster reaction times and precise, consistent control inputs would allow the robot driver to outrun the cops without the emotions and adrenaline rush that cause most human getaway car drivers to make mistakes that get them caught. At some point, the human occupants can escape with the loot from the bank robbery while the robot keeps the cops busy chasing it. Eventually, as with all police chases, it will get caught, but how do you arrest a robot driver? Traditional felony stop procedures wouldn’t work. If the driver is armor plated, it can even take a bullet or 50 better than a mortal, fleshy human driver.

Joking aside, that would be a pretty scary scenario, especially for the police. Presumably a robot getaway car driver wouldn’t be programmed with Asimov’s laws of robotics, and may not care about preserving human life.


Suggested By: Justin Hughes, Photo Credit: AP Images

5.) Airport Cargo Logistics


Maybe, just maybe, with a completely automated robotic luggage handling system in use, your air traveling luggage might actually make it from airport to airport.

Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: Magic Madzik via Flickr

4.) Pizza Delivery


Domino’s, please take note. Put a robot behind the wheels of the fleet of your new Chevy Spark, teach the robot how to make pizza, and station dozens of these little robotic pizza vehicles around cities, suburbs, and college campuses. You’re welcome.

I’m pretty sure college students would just order the pizza for the novelty of dealing with a robotic pizza delivery guy. I know I would.


Suggested By: Margin Of Error, Photo Credit: Domino’s via Jalopnik

3.) Taxi Driver


Is it just me or have taxi drivers been getting more friendly and talkative lately? Especially Uber drivers. Sometimes they concern me with how interested in my life they pretend to be. Maybe it’s because they know and fear the inevitable robotic takeover!

Suggested By: Stig-a-saw-us-wrecks, Photo Credit: Tomás Fano via Flickr

2.) Interstate Cargo Hauling


With robot-controlled 18-wheelers and autonomous road trains, cargo delivery could be made quicker, safer, and less tedious for human operators involved with supply chain logistics. Let’s just hope no one figures out how to reprogram one of these robots to become an autonomous drug or gun runner. That’d probably end poorly.


Suggested By: burglar can’t heart click anything, Photo Credit: frankieleon via Flickr

1.) Designated Driver


Yeah, you could take a cab home, or, you could ask your friendly robotic co-pilot to hold onto the keys and take the wheel after you’re a few brews deep. No more worrying about leaving your car somewhere it might not belong or endangering others if you’re stupid enough to take the risk of driving under the influence. Your robot buddy has your back!

Suggested By: SirPoopyPants, Photo Credit: James Palinsad via Flickr

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky/Jalopnik


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