Okay, so here’s the thing. “Auto towing” refers to towing automobiles. I thought that this much was obvious, but apparently it wasn’t. I got a call today at the call center from a highly confused person with a lot of strange ideas. Now, I’m used to clarifying for people that we focus on long-haul towing. We aren’t in the business of towing broken-down cars to mechanics. But this was a different case. Apparently, caller #9 thought that we used robot trucks to tow cars–hence, the word “auto.”
I knew that this was going to be a live one when I picked up the phone and heard shouting in the background, combined with the clanking of pots and pans. The caller couldn’t have been older than twenty; I could practically hear the zits on his face. He was excited to the point of hyperventilation, and he talked at about a thousand words a minute.
His first question threw me: “Did Google make your tow trucks?” I didn’t say anything at first, it took me a second to process. Then, he asks me how we managed to get our tow trucks legal, and if we still had to keep a driver behind the wheel in case anything went wrong. Then, finally, I figured it out. Apparently he was thinking that we have tow trucks that are like Google’s self-driving cars. I had to explain to the kid that, no, our trucks are not robots; they are driven by humans.
Ok, so here’s the problem with the idea of automated car towing, at least as I see it. How would the robot tow truck line itself up to the car? What if it grabbed the wrong one? I can’t imagine what it would be like to find out that my car’s been towed 1,000 miles, when it was supposed to be my neighbor’s car! Who knows, though; maybe robot tow trucks are coming sooner than I think.