“Look Ma, no hands!”
The driverless car will soon be on the streets of Gothenberg, Sweden. You might think you’re happy that you don’t live there, that you prefer having control of your car, that you love driving and will never give it up. Maybe…
That’s what the cowboys and the stage coach and horse handlers thought, that they preferred the slow-poke mode of transportation and horses would never be replaced.
Look around, technology continues to move us forward, whether we hold steadfast or let go, our predilection is not our anchor. Especially when logic is applied, that is if speed is a goal and a prize is to be won, then hands off the steering wheel!
From Ford’s Model T to today’s SUV, cars have been our pride and joy. Getting to a destination clean, safe and sound has always been the goal. But technology itself has jeopardized safety.
Reading and streaming have become the new distractions; our attention for detail has taken our eyes of the road. We tinker instead of focusing, drift out of our lane and cut other drivers off. We engage in bad driving decisions, last minute turns and don’t use our signaling devices.
Fingers that were once flipped the bird at a passing motorist, are all too often swiping touch screens and texting; leading to an unprecedented number of accidents. Road rage is increasingly becoming more common and driving is more dangerous. A driverless car just makes sense in a world that’s mesmerized with its technology.
Recently I overheard a guy complaining that young people can’t drive. He was at a family gathering and asked his twenty-something year old licensed nephew, to move a car. He went outside, but promptly returned without having moved the vehicle. The nephew said he couldn’t drive a stick shift on a standard transmission car.
Well, neither can I. Which brings me back to the issue of innovative technology, which begs the question why install a manual transmission into a new car, when an automatic transmission will do? Why would anyone want to squeeze or step on a clutch to engage gears, when it’s easier to have the car do the shifting?
(Is it me, but why pump water when you can turn a faucet?)
Still, there’s the sound of the car’s gears being shifted that just sounds cool. The revving, the down shift the changing of gears that makes you think that in a New York minute, you’ll be whisked into another time zone!
The truth is, rarely do you get out of second or third gear in the city– those pesky stop signs, traffic lights and pedestrians always seem to disrupt a fast engine. So, maybe it’s just makes sense to find something new to do with our hands. Like calling a Lyft or Uber driverless car.
No chit chat, just Muzak playing the recorded sound of a fast car’s gears s they shift. The car pulls away from the curb and the experience of excellent driving.