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Driverless Cars – a Petrolhead’s View

An accelerating car with no one at the wheel and the driver picnicking on the back seat.

Without wanting to sound completely past it, are we the only ones who are more than a little freaked out by the prospect of driverless cars?

Google autonomous car

 The death of the driver

Aside from the safety issues, our real bugbear about driverless cars is in the name: a world without drivers. In the past year we’ve seen an explosion in media coverage of “The Google Self-Driving Car”, the electric, autonomous robot car. Indeed, last year we reported on Vince Cable’s proposal that they be allowed to test them on Britain’s roads from January 2015, and the idea is getting ever closer. Everyone is beyond excited about the notion of sleeping, making toast, and holding a meeting all on the way to work, while we at Chungcuredep go all nostalgic and protective.

Interior of Driverless Car

We love our cars here at Chungcuredep (just in case you hadn’t noticed), and we are usually all a-quiver with excitement at the latest in automotive tech, but this one feels a little uncomfortable. We feel a bit like the horse did when the first engine-powered car was launched – put out to say the least. We’re not entirely sure if we want to be chauffeured around by a (albeit very clever) robot, being driven by other people is bad enough! What pleasure is there in being trundled around? Call us old-fashioned but we actually enjoy the act of driving, and what the driverless car hype seems to have forgotten is that not all of us see it as a necessary evil, or just a means to an end. We like holding it to full-throttle, the noise of the exhaust, the feel of the road – all clichés of course, but clichés are more often than not true.

Meeting in Driverless Car

 A vision into our motoring future 

The thought of traditional driving becoming some sort of niche hobby for the quaint older generation is terrifying. What will become of all those rites of passage that shaped our youth: the driving test, your first naff car, and learning not to stall at a roundabout? The vision is that we will be branded old cronies, refusing to move with the times, preferring our demonstrably inferior “self-drive cars”. Like the elderly who just don’t trust internet banking and prefer to pop into town.

A708 Selkirk To Moffat

What are your views? Are we just being negative and scared? Or do you too fear for the death of the Sunday drive? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on social media.

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