Thursday, January 10, 2008

In not too distant future, cars may drive themselves

Of all the associated losses that accompanied my onset blindness, the one that has probably bothered me the most over this timespan was the loss of independence. When I say this, I mean the overall independence that comes from being “able-bodied” and includes the ability to jump in a car and go wherever I want, whenever I want. That independence means that I wouldn’t have to coordinate my schedule with anybody else, that I wouldn’t have to wait until it was convenient for somebody else to take me where I need to go.

Even if it was just down to Dairy Queen to grab a Blizzard, I want the ability to do that and, I’ll bet that most people with a severe disability would like this same ability.

From what General Motors is reporting, it may not be too long before we c a
car that drives itself.

It is neat to envision a world like the one being described in this article, one where human error is taken out of the transportation picture. Some have claimed that when we remove the human factor from driving, our roads will be exponentially safer.

About ten years ago, I heard Paul Harvey reporting in one of his daily commentaries about a car that did all the driving and the people in the car just rode along to the destination they gave it. This was, of course, on some safe and secure test track, but Mr. Harvey reported that the car performed flawlessly. The only downside was that the passengers who would have normally been driving the vehicle said that they did not like it. Their complaint? They had nothing to do during the trip and the drive was now very boring.

I don’t know if the drive will be boring, but, I for one, will look forward to the day that I can get in a car and go where I want to…without my wife cringing at the thought of me alone in the car.

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