We Have Met the Enemy, and It Is a Self Driving Car

I am an unabashed car guy.  Speed, handling, the smell of semi-screeching tires, the push of G-force in a well-executed turn, the whole nine yards.  But this story from NextGreenCar.com about Google’s self driving car is a glimpse of the car guy’s enemy.

I do not like the self driving car.  But I understand that it could play a big role in the longer term future of transportation.  And I hate that.

I watch the above video on Google testing the self driving car with real people, and a few things go through my mind.

  1. I can see a lane set aside for these in 10 years in New York, LA, San Fran.  I could see the working class of New Dehli, Shanghai, and Beijing shuttling to work in them.
  2. I could see them increasing the safety of driving in the mountains in winter, or the desert anytime.
  3. I do not see self driving cars in the City of Chicago.
  4. If I were in one, I’d sleep.  Maybe do work.  Probably sleep.  With the music cranked.
  5. I see the self driving car or bus as the greatest way to navigate around large expanses like college campuses, theme parks, corporate campuses, military bases, etc.  I would imagine the fine people at Del Webb would be ready to put these into use at their senior resorts.
  6. Although I don’t see them replacing the traditional car, if current generations don’t buy cars at the same rate as previous ones do, the traditional car could be outré by the end of the century.
  7. They look to be very Spartan and oriented to short trips.  Still not sure how they can fit a parent, 2 kids, their friends, and their sports equipment.  But I’m sure they will be able to figure it out.

These are great times, where technology is enabling many, many options.  The self driving car can maintain our need for personalization.  The self driving car is a key to growing a nationwide network of electric cars, high-mileage gas, or fuel-cell vehicles.  The self driving car can help save the planet, but don’t say that too loud.

But, as a car guy, it is the enemy.  Even though I welcome some of the changes it could bring.

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Sebastian James

sebastian@sebastianwjames.me

Accept no substitutes

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