TO THE EDITOR:
Thank God I had a live human behind the wheel of my taxi on the night of Oct. 1.
A friend and I were returning to the Mandalay Bay Resort at approximately 10:10 p.m. We were traveling south on Las Vegas Boulevard in front of the Excalibur when we heard the gunfire. We followed our instincts and within seconds instructed the driver to turn on Reno Avenue. A few seconds later, we instructed him to pull over. We got out and entered the Luxor on foot, where we made our way through to the Mandalay and up to the safety of our room. We were a lot luckier than those poor people who lost their lives that night because of a senseless act.
I would love for someone from the autonomous vehicle community to tell me how that would have been possible if we were in an autonomous taxi. I assume giving vocal commands in an emergency would have zero effect on the autonomous vehicle. An autonomous taxi would have continued traveling down Las Vegas Boulevard and taken us right into the gunman’s field of fire.
In retrospect, we never got a chance to thank our taxi driver that night, let alone pay him. So, if by chance you’re reading this, please contact me so we can settle up the bill. I have a big gratuity waiting for you.
JIM SCOTT, Vice president and managing partner, Jarrett-Scott Ford, Plant City, Fla.