Dale, Elon, Jesus: What Should We Name Self-Driving Technology?

Everything has to go by something.

Slow News Day

The human race has an insatiable need to name everything. No gadget, technology, creature, building, or scientific method is complete without a name that catches the imagination, and one technology that does just that is without a memorable moniker: autonomous cars.

History is on the side of autonomous technology names. The autopilot in airplanes goes by “George,” which was a popular name back in 1913 when the technology was first used. Autopilot in ships used to go by the moniker “Iron Mike,” or “Otto.”

Those names work, but are hardly up to par in 21st century standards. Here are five names people should consider calling their autonomous drivers when they finally get here.

The man, the myth, the legend.


1. Dale

This one is obvious. Autonomous cars are going to be better than the average driver, so what name is more fitting than the first name of the most famous NASCAR driver of all time: Dale Earnhardt.

His full name can be a bit of a mouthful, so just Dale would work. Or for people who are really in the know, “the Intimidator,” “Ironhead,” or just “Three” would suffice.



2. Elon

Few people in the tech world have the name recognition of Elon Musk. His name has the power to incite rampant fanaticism among Tesla owners (and want-to-be owners). Musk’s Tesla is also one of the leaders in the race to full autonomy, so it makes sense that the company gets naming dibs.

Not ideal.


3. Trump

When trusting something with your life, Trump is either the last thing you want it to be called, or the only thing. Unfortunately, people might not have a choice on this one. Everything will be named Trump if he wins the White House if Trump’s tendency of naming everything after himself is any indication.

Not ideal.

Almost an example of what happens when governments trust the internet.


4. Car-y McCarface

This what will happen if you let the internet decide. Britain denied the trolls of the internet the satisfaction of naming the most important British research ship in years RSS Boaty McBoatface, but autonomous technology doesn’t have the backing of a former empire.

5. Jesus

Autonomous technology was definitely not what Carrie Underwood meant in “Jesus, Take The Wheel.” But take a look at the lyrics:

“Jesus take the wheel / take it from my hands / cause I can’t do this on my own / I’m letting go … “

Sounds pretty applicable to autonomous cars.

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