490 Driverless bliss

I have been wondering about driverless cars for a while, have you? We know they are coming … well, they have been running for about 1m kilometers in Silicon Valley, but we know they will be in use in everyday traffic in somewhere between 10 and 30 years. Some people are saying, “oh, I donno, that’ll take the fun out of driving.” Myself, I’ve been saying for years, “the next car I'll buy will be driverless.” (I don’t own a car); except, by then we won’t buy cars anymore, owning a car will be a thing of the past ... sooo last millennium, as Elizabeth Farrelly explains in the SMH.


The thing with those new machines is that they’ll be a lot safer; most car accidents are caused by human error. But that’s only the first thing … there is so much more to it, in fact, driverless cars will change our lives more than any other gadget, since the invention of the wheel itself, methinks. In the age of electronics and - soon to come - artificial intelligence, we will enjoy auto-transportation to rival the internet and world-wide-communications. Just imagine, you'll want to leave for the office at 8:10. Your car awaits you in front of your door exactly at that time and drops you at the doorstep of your office, then parks itself. 

Actually, think a little outside the box: It will not be necessary, nor desirable to own that car. When you order a car to pick you up - or your elderly parents who can't drive anymore, or your wife with your three little children, or your invalid neighbour, or your son who has to be taken to football practice etc etc, you get the idea - it really doesn't matter where the car comes from, where it will be parked or indeed, who owns it. All you need is the car - a car - to be there in time, take you to your destination and disappear. Either you have the same car wait for you or pick you up (if you have left stuff in its boot) or you have any other car that's available. How about that for a change in life-priorities ... our entire car-culture will be shaken up. Driving will not only be less dangerous, but also cheaper and much, much more convenient; and - dare I say - more fun (especially when - in due time - we have cars that levitate too, like in The Fifth Element). 

Myself ... I can't wait! Read the article, Ms Farrelly has a good grip on the idea.

Which maker will be first? Google? Apple? Or maybe a car manufacturer ... BMW, Mercedes, Tesla? Interesting times, very interesting (we're lucky to be alive now).