Driving Blind

I still miss being a driver. I miss the independence and the convenience driving used to give me. I miss the alone time, going places that I need to go on my schedule, in my way. I miss driving down winding country roads and driving in the snow. I miss being able to be a relief driver for my husband and volunteering to be the designated driver. I miss the thrill of finding pull-through parking spots. Of course, I don’t miss traffic or driving around distracted drivers.

Whenever I catch a story about driverless cars, I listen. Like this CBS Sunday Morning piece. Many companies are working on driverless technology. The option to park your car with the push of a button appeals to many, parallel parking anxiety will be a thing of the past. Imagine commuting to work while you eat your breakfast or you talk on the phone or you pretty much do anything because you don’t have to drive. Imagine driverless buses and trains. Revolutionary.

I embrace the change. I’m not worried about driverless cars malfunctioning. I’m worried about the guy on the cell phone speeding past us at 75 miles an hour. I’m worried about the people who blow through stop signs and red lights. I dream about having a–unfortunately illegal–cell phone scrambler in our car just so we could drive next to people who focused on driving. Is it easier to be distracted rather than consider the consequences and stay focused behind the wheel?

I dream about the future and the great possibility of driverless transportation. Although, I might miss the clever car insurance ads like Mayhem. But there is time to enjoy the era of cars that must be driven by a person as the driverless system still has a few things to solve. One quote that stayed with me from the Sunday Morning story:

“But it isn’t fool-proof. The high-tech system, just like a driver, can be blinded by something as common as the sun reflecting off a rain-slick highway, obscuring the lane markers.”

Sun glare off raindrops? I know that problem well even though I’m a walker not a driver.

What do you think about driverless cars?

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Trisha says:

    I welcome driverless cars. Like you said, I worry more about the distracted people who are trying to do other things while driving more than tech malfunctions. Plus, there are days when I shouldn’t be driving and still have to. Putting it on auto pilot would be such a relief!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don’t look forward to driverless cars Susan…..technology isn’t foolproof and has no common sense! I like to be in control! Surprised??

    1. I worked in Customer Service long enough to realize how rare common sense is. I’ll still be eagerly anticipating driverless cars.

  3. Joy says:

    This is a great post. I’ve been following the articles on the cars google has been testing for awhile and find it hopeful and excitiing. I would love to have that independence (I’ve never been able to drive, but I sitll feel like I really do know what I’m missing since everyone around me drives!) I’ve heard some people say that society still wouldn’t let blind people get licenses even with automatic cars, but I hope they’re wrong!

    1. Joy: I’m sure there would be a period of time as systems evolve where technology would not fill all gaps and depend on a driver to take control in specific, rare instances. But eventually, I expect full, driverless vehicles to exist since people don’t seem to want to bother focusing on driving, rendering the need for licenses obsolete. We will ALL be riders instead of drivers!

  4. Wow that video was eye opening. I hadn’t considered the impact that driveless cars would have on car industries, ambulance chasers or law enforcement. I can see that there would no longer be a need for a steering wheel but it’d be interesting to see what’s planned in the event that windows would go away. Even as a passenger I enjoy the changing scenery It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come I remember being excited when cruise control was a big deal.

    1. Who knew cruise control would be outdated so fast? It still seems new to me.

      1. I know. It seems like yesterday but then I still remember the wind up windows lol.

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