Because it learned nothing from Terminator or 2001: A Space Odyssey, the MTA has begun to phase in a new generation of driverless subway trains controlled entirely by computers. The inaugural journey took place early this morning on the L train, and the plan is to initially use the system “during overnight hours before the morning rush and then other off-peak periods,” presumably to minimize casualties when the computers inevitably decide to turn against us and ram the trains straight into each other at full speed.
It’s that prospect of a bleak dystopian future, in which a computerized-train revolt is lurking around every bend of the tracks, that is unsettling some riders. “There aren’t humans driving this train? That is just crazy,” one guy possibly screamed to the Daily News. “I have to be honest. I’m a little afraid.” But fear not, panicky hipster — because of union rules, the train’s motormen are actually still onboard. They’re not doing anything except pushing a button every fifteen seconds to prove they didn’t fall asleep reading the latest Danielle Steel novel, but we’re sure that when the robo-revolution comes, they’ll be able to rip out the computer circuit boards just in time.
Automated L train rolls out [NYDN]