Self-Driving Me Crazy

Barring any major technical or legal issues, it sure looks like self-driving vehicles are going to be a big part of our future. It's not exactly clear to me exactly when we "decided" that this was the way forward, but we seem to have (most) of the technology in place, and several US states have allowed various companies to carry out testing on public roads. Even Apple is dipping their corporate toe into the self-driving pool, with a new permit issued in California.

Google's self drive, er buggy
As a card-carrying Old Fart, I am a bit leery of the whole concept and yet the techie part of me is intrigued by the technology. Don't get me wrong, I like the concept of assisted driving - I use cruise control a lot, and things like collision avoidance, self parking and even automatic braking make sense to me.

What I am struggling to accept is the very "Sci-Fi" notion of a completely self-driving car, where you get in, tell it to take you to work, and just take a nap or read a book. Kinda boring, but that seems to be the ultimate goal. 

If that pans out, then I can see a future where no one would really even own a car in the way we do now. You'd maybe pay a monthly (or per use) fee and some little robot car would show up when you needed it, take you to your destination and leave you there. Probably more efficient in some sense, but a bit soul-less.

No comments :