SAN FRANCISCO—During an investigation Tuesday into the first pedestrian fatality caused by a driverless automobile, an Uber representative reportedly told a National Transportation Safety Board detective, “As you can see, they are quite harmless,” while showing him a warehouse full of sleeping autonomous cars. “Look around if you’d like, detective, but I’m sure you’ll find all our driverless vehicles to be docile, gentle machines wholly incapable of any real harm,” said Uber spokesperson Jonathan Michaels, who calmly gestured to the thousands of dormant cars lining the dark, sprawling facility and told the investigator their programming prevents them from “hurting a fly, let alone the humans they are designed to serve.” “You have nothing to fear, I assure you, as these unmanned cars are built in accordance with sophisticated directives that ensure they strictly follow my voice commands. I would be glad to offer you a demonstration, but with all due respect, you’re wasting your time here.” At press time, the discouraged NTSB detective was turning around to leave when one of the autonomous vehicles suddenly awoke from low-power mode and, as if winking, flashed a single headlight at him.

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