Rolling back, CA- Techna Automotive is withdrawing a self-driving car with a problem. Well, to be fair, all self-driving cars have problems, but Techna's car has a particularly vexing problem: it's racist. To make matters worse, Techna's self-driving car, the Imperial Wizard, shares its moniker with the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
In trials on closed courses and over the road, the aptly-named Imperial Wizard has shown a penchant for running down people of color. "Originally, we thought it was just a fluke, but we completely reprogramed the vehicle, added more cameras and sensors, and ran endless simulations, and still the problem persists," said Michael Dorn, chief technologist, who wished to remain anonymous. "At this point all we can say is until the problem is solved and we can issue a recall, only drive your Imperial Wizard in areas with an overwhelmingly white population.".
Not helping matters is an internal decision to only offer the vehicle in one color, Lily White. "In hindsight," Mr. Dorn lamented, "that was an unfortunate decision." Techna promises to offer a better choice of colors when and if production of the Wizard ever resumes. "We are looking at colors such as African American Brown and Native American Red"
That's not good enough for several anti-discrimination groups who have filed suit in federal court. "The very idea that a racist car would be able to share the road with those who seek racial and social equality is repugnant." states one such motion, "We seek an immediate withdrawal and apology."