What was the most treasured piece of paper we ever received after birthday # 16 ? I’m betting most of you would answer the driver’s license.
Later this year, it will be a half century since I got mine, following my one and only test of driving skill. These days, I share a vehicle with my beloved Janice, and I have discovered how much I enjoy leaving the driving to someone else, especially during pothole season.
Perhaps one day, both of us will get into our space age buggy and leave the driving to a computer. Driverless cars suddenly appear to be closer than we might have ever thought possible. Lexus and others have been producing cars that park themselves for a few years, and the folks at Google have been testing such vehicles for even longer.
California may well be the place where a lot of important decisions are made. At this very moment, the state is holding hearings to establish what the rules of the road will be when the future arrives.
There are so many questions, legal and otherwise to be answered. Who would be at fault if a driverless vehicle smacks another car, with or without a driver ?
We had better come up with answers soon because the marketing folks are hoping to have these ultimate smart cars on the road by 2020 ! Before that happens, hopefully other jurisdictions besides California will be allowed to make some of the important decisions.
Is there a more challenging place to drive than the Canadian prairies in winter? Will those super computers be able to factor in variables like icy pavement and zero visibility in blowing snow?
If everything can be made to work, the potential pluses are truly awesome. Deaths and injuries in traffic accidents might some day be stories we read about in the history books, along with lives that are tragically ruined by someone driving drunk.
Who woulda thunk it ?
I’m Roger Currie
Photo by Norbert Aepli