Reader Request Week 2016 #4: Autonomous Cars
Autonomous cars, do they change how you will work in 10 years?
Do they change how I work? No, because I work from home, on a computer, which means I don’t have to go anywhere else to work. A car is generally not involved in my workflow at all.
Which is not to say I can’t wait for autonomous/self-driving cars. Are you kidding? These things will be the best thing ever for me. Why? Let me count the ways:
1. There are two types of people: Those who enjoy driving, and those who enjoy being at places where driving has to happen to get to them. I am in the latter group. Driving, as an activity, doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I drive because I have to go somewhere, not because I enjoy driving to get somewhere. That being the case, a self-driving car takes the part of driving I like the least — the actual driving — and gives it to the car to do.
2. Which means I will have more time to do the things I like to do, i.e., loiter on the Internet, listen to music, maybe do a little writing, talk to other passengers in the car. This will make the drive-time more enjoyable.
3. I get road ragey when I’m driving but not when I’m a passenger, so self-driving cars would make the transportation experience a hell of a lot less anger-inducing for me.
4. Other people on the road are idiots, so self-driving cars being used generally would vastly reduce the number of stupid people behind a wheel that I would have to deal with.
5. I’m getting older, and eventually I’ll get old enough that no matter what I’m likely to be a danger to others on the road. Self-driving cars will still allow me autonomy without endangering others when I drive.
6. Also, come on, let’s face it, I’m already not the world’s greatest driver. The nation’s roads are likely to be marginally safer even now if I’m not the one behind the wheel.
7. Nap while the car drives to my destination? Don’t mind if I do!
8. I don’t drink alcohol, but for those friends of mine who do, the idea that they could get home safely without endangering themselves or others is a nice thought.
And so on.
Now, I do realize that there are legitimate privacy and security concerns that will need to be addressed before full automation comes to cars — we don’t want our cars broadcasting where we’re going to all of the world, and it would do no good to have cars that are crackable so someone can hijack them with us in them. There are also practical issues like who is liable in a crash involving an automated car, whether or not a human always needs to be alert to take over driving, and other such things. All excellent points to consider.
But even so: self-driving cars where is mine I want mine now now now now. It’s fair to say I want a self-driving car more than I want, like, colonies on the moon. Colonies on the moon are nice, but a self-driving car is going to be great for my life now.
Although, again, won’t change how I work at all. Sorry.
(There’s still time to ask questions for 2016’s Reader Request Week — get your requests in here.)