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Computer take the wheel?

Technology is moving at a fast pace and computers are rapidly taking over the place of humans. We’ve seen Kiosks for ordering your meals, self-checkouts at stores, and now self-driving cars. John Deere has had GPS guided tractors for some time. I’ve ridden in one and it’s pretty amazing. But you still have to map your field before using. I happen to watch the news and heard an interview from developers at BMW and Tesla, they stated that their goal was to develop cars that would make drivers into riders. No longer would we be labored with the task of driving. You can be more productive or your focus could be placed on enjoying family time. I have gone on several family vacations in a car, and there might be some truth to that one. I’ve been on more than one family vacation that was similar to the Griswold’s vacation in the Family Truckster.

Uber recently bought Otto, a self-driving trucking company, and plans to develop this technology further. I tell you what, the day that they take driving from me, is the day that they pry my cold, dead hands off the wheel of my 1965 Chevelle SS. I live in the country and can’t imagine how they could plan for cows, pheasants, cats, tractors, and who knows what other obstacles get in the way of driving. What about a tornado? Yeah, I’ve been there. Does it program it do drive away at the right angle or right into the storm? All the miles of roads, paths, and backwoods in this country, I just don’t see how this technology can be safe for all environments.

For me, it’s fulfilling to drive. I enjoy the speed, shifting, wind in my hair, and listening to and feeling the motor through the steering wheel. You’re in control, and directing the path of the car. How in the world could you do a burn out or donut in a self-driving car? Also, I don’t know if I’m totally comfortable with a semi that is self-driving sharing the road with me in my classic car or my pickup for that matter. We have always looked for better ways to make things easier and smarter, but is this one of them we really should have? I know that they would have a manual override, yeah yeah, but is this a necessity? I remember the Jetsons and in high school talking about flying cars. I guess some people might find this as a safely issue and that control by the computers is best. Others might find it as saving time and allowing time for more work. But for me, I think I’d like to enjoy the “work” of driving for some time. As regards to the classic cars, will they become dinosaurs in the eyes of the “Tech” world? Will we have to adapt, or will they become eye candy and not be able to share the road. I hope that the day doesn’t come when sharing the road with my 1965 Chevelle won’t make me feel like a “Bigfoot sighting!” Technology is great and I use it every day, but I think I’ll pull over and watch where this one is going.


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