Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum  

Go Back   Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum > National Motorists Association (NMA) Discussion Group & Forum > NMA Articles
Radar Detectors Forum Logon:


NMA Articles National Motorists Association (NMA) Articles

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2010-11-11
NMA Reporter NMA Reporter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: 2008 Feb
Posts: 125
NMA Reporter is on a distinguished road
Exclamation Why Cars That Drive Themselves Are A Bad Idea

NMA Article: Why Cars That Drive Themselves Are A Bad Idea

Cars That Drive Themselves

By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist


People seem to like this idea. It makes my flesh crawl.


Well, maybe not that extreme. But the idea does depress me.


A big part of what makes driving enjoyable is the freedom and control it gives you, the individual. It is your car and you are in charge of directing its course, of deciding how to get there. You can choose your route and proceed at whatever speed seems reasonable to you. If you like, you can stop for a cup of coffee. Or to admire a scenic view.


You control your destiny. You are a driver.


If cars drive themselves, then you become a passenger. A passive pound of flesh transported by the intelligence of and under the direction of someone (or some thing) else. You get there when someone else decides you get there. You travel at the speed someone else (or a machine) determines to be the “right” or “safe” speed. There will be no stopping along the way; no taking the scenic route just because.


The only difference between an automated car and taking the bus is that you don’t have some stranger sitting beside you coughing his flu all over your face.


But the essential thing is identical. You have surrendered your autonomy; for the duration of the trip, your fate is out of your control. You are now a member of the Mass. One of Many, another sardine to be filleted and packaged and sent on its way.


How is this appealing?


Oh, I know. It is more efficient. Automated cars can be slotted in tightly, perhaps just inches away from one another — and moved in synchronicity at high speeds, getting us there sooner and faster. More people can be moved more rapidly from A to B.


There will be fewer accidents. More predictability.


And much less joy.


Psychologists (and common sense) tell us that an important part of being human — or at least, an essential part of the human experience — is the exercise of personal mastery over external circumstances. To be able to do what you wish, according to your own lights. To enjoy the satisfaction that comes with learning a skill and exercising that skill. Of being competent.


If you like to drive, you will understand what I mean.


There’s the early thrill of being permitted to climb behind the wheel of a car for the very first time; of learning to shift and work a clutch. For many, this is a big step on the road from teenagerdom to adulthood. It is one of the first “grown-up” things many of us get to do during our adolescence.


Once the basics are down pat, we begin to acquire skills. We get better and better at timing our merges; of learning to judge in our heads just how much room we’ve got to pull into traffic — and how much speed we’ll need to do it properly.


A smartly executed fast pass or perfectly timed corner exit is a form of art in motion.


Knowing you are a good driver — that you can handle it — is immensely satisfying.


Automated cars would take that all away. In effect, we’d be reduced to the state we were in as young children — when our parents buckled us in and took us for a drive when and how they wished. Our role was to sit quietly and await our arrival — more or less shut down in the meanwhile.


That’s the Brave New World in store for us — perhaps just a few short years down the road. The gadgeteers are hard at work. Google — a new Dark Empire if ever there was such — has been field-testing driverless cars for months, apparently.


Probably many people will welcome it.


They’re already half-dead anyhow — sleepwalking through life with reel-loop videos of last night’s game (another passive, life-through-others “activity’) and a vague hunger for another fast-food meal rolling through their minds as they slog back home to the underwater McMansion from another day being told what to do and how to do it by impersonal others in their cubicles. For them, driverless cars are the logical end point. Why not?


But not for me.


If the day ever comes when I am no longer permitted to operate my car myself, that will be the day I give up on driving — as such will have ceased to be possible anyhow.


Maybe, in tribute to Edmund Ruffin, I will wrap myself in my shop manual and beat myself unconscious with a torque wrench. The New World isn’t something I want to be conscious for anyhow.


Comments?

www.ericpetersautos.com


Are You A NMA Member? If not, read about the benefits and then join!



Why Cars That Drive Themselves Are A Bad Idea


Further Reading:


© 2009 NMA
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Will Old Cars Eventually Be Banned? NMA Reporter NMA Articles 0 2009-11-29 14:22
Pros & Cons: Rear Drive, Front Drive Or All-Wheel Drive? NMA Reporter NMA Articles 0 2009-02-14 14:07
If We Really Wanted To Save Gas… NMA Reporter NMA Articles 0 2008-07-10 19:51
If We Really Wanted To Save Gas… NMA Reporter NMA Articles 0 2008-07-10 19:51
The Best Used Cars For Older Drivers NMA Reporter NMA Articles 0 2008-06-17 08:17


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 17:03.


©2019 SpeedTrapHunter