Say it isn’t so, for any driving purist this would be like ripping out a part of their heart and feeding it to the fish, but with the advancements already being made this may very well become the future of driving. Currently we see some vehicles, the Tesla Model S comes to mind, which have the ability to drive the car on most roads, although the updates in these cars do not handle the traffic stops or turns by themselves, the fact you can take your hands off the wheel for a period of time and allow your mind to relax is kind of nice.
For those of us who love to drive, who want to hang onto the manual transmission, the naturally aspirated engines and want to disregard power steering and other driving systems that help the driver during the experience this could simply be the last straw before we go crazy. Now companies are trying to take the driving away from the drivers in order to make cars that can drive themselves on any road, where is the fun in that, where is the romance of the road trip with this system going to be?
The simple reality is autonomous driving is going to happen, it’s more a matter of when rather than if. We already have the Tesla updates and the CT6 from Cadillac will be equipped with V2V technology to allow it to communicate with others that have the same technology aboard. We also have the Google machines and the fact that Uber is trying to create driverless chauffeuring vehicles in order to have a unique perspective on this new and already highly successful system of riding and driving. It’s obvious we are going to have autonomous vehicles sooner rather than later.
Yes, there is a lot to be worked out from liabilities, laws, technology and even jurisdictions in order to make this a reality, but the progress is going forward. We really should embrace this possibility. It’s fun to drive and see what a vehicle can do, but in our highly distracted world of instant communication and response to texts and social media we tend to not be as focused on the driving as we should be. It doesn’t help, at least not with this activity that we have all these driver assistance technologies, because it provides us with a false sense of security and feeling we can take our attention off the driving.
With autonomous vehicles there won’t be a situation where the vehicle takes its attention off the driving at all. This will certainly help keep more of us safe and avoid the accidents that occur due to distractions. These systems are on their way and will eventually replace the need for us to drive our own cars. For many of us, especially those dealing with long commutes every day this will be a great relief, for the rest, it will be the heart ripping feeling of losing one of our favorite past times and the death of the road trip and Sunday cruise that so many have loved for years.