Photo: via Google
The self-driving car is a reality. Google’s efforts to put an autonomous car on the roads look like they are going to be successful. While it will be a major achievement, it scares us to death.
What’s even more amazing is that people are very much interested in getting them on the roads. Governors are behind the idea and a recent report from JD Power says that 20 per cent of car buyers would be interested in a self-driving car.
But we aren’t so sure.
Of course, we are in favour of some of the new tech that is going to allow cars to behave autonomously in annoying, bumper-to-bumper traffic. The issue we have is with a fully computerized way to drive around.
First and foremost, this is a sign of the sloth and laziness that is overtaking our society.
Driving -- which isn't all that hard in the first place -- is now being automated to make it even easier for people who need to stare at cell phones, read a Kindle, or stuff their faces with food. Instead of putting effort into doing something correctly, we are now expecting it all to be done for us.
Can you imagine a time in the future where someone says they can't drive a leg of a trip because they only use an autonomous car? Because it's coming.
Google has bragged that in its testing, the autonomous car hasn't had major issues or huge accidents. That's all well and good, and it's actually very impressive.
But that can't continue forever. And especially if there are people in the future that don't have experience driving themselves.
Let's say 50 years down the line, the autonomous car is the norm. There would still be a wheel and brakes to override the system in case of an emergency. But if the person wasn't trained on them in the first place and they needed to be used to react to an incident, we can't imagine that the person would know what to do.
Furthermore, GPS and electronics fail. How many times have people driven into lakes because they were following a GPS? Probably too many to count. There are just so many variables that could go wrong.
To put it another way: Autopilot can do almost all the jobs a pilot does. Would you fly in a plane without a trained pilot? Probably not.
Up front, the cost is expected to be around $3,000 per car that the technology is applied to.
But what about repair costs? All of this tech in a car is sure to be uber-expensive.
And what are insurance prices going to do? In the event of a crash, who is responsible? We can't imagine the insurance premiums going down for a car that isn't 100 per cent controlled by a human behind the wheel.
But then again, with the way some people drive, they might.
You probably use Google for many, or all, of your internet related needs. Google search, GMail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Translate, Google Wallet, YouTube, and even for blogging. Maybe you also have an Android phone.
Do you really want them to know exactly where you're going as well?
They're a great company with great ideas, but something about having them in every single facet of life is a bit disturbing and, frankly, frightening.
To add to the laziness factor, self driving cars are just flat out boring.
Driving is not only a good skill to have, but a lot of great stories come from events that occurred while you were driving.
What's cooler? How you avoided a tree that was sitting in the middle of the road or how a computerized, satellite guided car, drove straight into it?
Granted, there are cameras on the cars, but we aren't convinced that they will be able to react quickly enough to uncertain situations that pop up on the road.
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