Del Rey | 30 May 2019 | 416 pgs
After reading John Marrs' phenomenal The One and loving it, I decided to check out his other books and came across this book. The blurb read: "Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide." Sounds absolutely intriguing, isn't it?
So it begins with the backstory that manual cars would be abolished under the UK laws and replaced by self-driving cars (also known as autonomous cars) that's capable of travelling without human intervention. They could perceive the environment, monitor important systems, and control, including navigation. Drivers are now referred as the passengers; and although accidents still do incur under circumstances, choices made by the autonomous car are often weighted according to the victim's contribution and importance to society (e.g. an ordinary citizen versus a mayor, you get the picture.) This is a grey area and thus has sparked many people questioning about the moral issue though there's no official addressing to it.
It then took someone to hack into the systems of eight self-driving cars and set them on a fatal collision course for worldwide attention. Each of these individuals carries a different role and secrets and it is up to the jurors, amongst them is Libby (who's one of the narratives and is not a believer of autonomous cars) to decide who should die or survive.
This was an intense and a fast-paced read, so to speak. I was in awe of John Marrs' creativity of concocting a different take of autonomous cars in this thriller, although the reading journey was dark and a scary one. While there are thrills and somewhat a cinematic entertainment to the story, there are parts that allow the reader to think deeply about the morality issue and how terrifying that would be if it happened in reality. I find that the decisions/actions driven by keyboard warriors and mob mentality especially in social media was well written and thought-provoking, too. Overall it was a great read; and as much as I was impressed by the technology in every aspect, I think having no manual control of the car is terrifying and I'd think twice about taking a ride.
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