Self-Driving Cars: Programmed to Fail
The next big life changing advancement in modern society must be the self-driving car. When I was growing up I thought cars would fly but that practicality has never materialized. The idea that a car could drive itself is even now at this moment something many may scoff at. Except the technology is already here. Cars are on the road driving themselves based on destination information provided by a user. The technology is being integrated into production cars at a fast pace. In production now are cars that will stop on their own to prevent a crash, cars that will parallel park themselves, and cars that auto pilot once on the interstate. This technology is a game changer. A car could be ordered and it would arrive at your location without the need for a driver to bring it. The application of the technology in long haul trucking or other businesses is far reaching. Proponents claim that computers will be safer than human drivers and that may well be the case at some point however self-driving cars will still never be perfect. There have been deaths in the past due to errors in the computer programming and there will be deaths in the future.
However, what is more interesting about this technology is that developers will need to make ethical choices in the computer logic. They have programmed the car in the right situations to crash endangering the driver verses a crash that might hit something else.
Self-Driving cars will never be perfect. They will always fall short of being perfectly safe. Just like the self-driving car that will never be perfect we are not perfect. We fall short before God’s perfect expectations.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23 ESV
It is a sad state that is hard accept. All have sinned. All are broken. All fail. All are second place. There is no way that we can be perfectly safe any more than 100 years of self-driving cars can be programmed to be 100% safe.
But God is better than the best programmers. Programmers are stuck working with the laws of physics and limited knowledge of what other cars or people are doing. So they must write code that could decide death for the passenger. God does not need to deal with the ethics of programming failure. God is literal perfection and his solutions will always be perfect. He knows all things so there are no surprises that he must account for. So what is the solution? How does God break out of our earthly failure to give us heavenly perfection?
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Romans 3:21-22 NLT
God’s solution, his heavenly perfect solution, is to save people apart of the laws that highlight our failures. No longer is second place a problem. No longer is my brokenness a hinderance. My sins are no longer held against me. God has made me right when I placed my faith in Jesus Christ. It is not works, privilege, power, money, or family. Faith in Christ is freely available to all no matter where or in what time.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 ESV