Welcome to the future! Google’s robot car is like driving an elevator!
Do you remember when you were a teenager, eagerly looking forward to driving? Do you recall the fun, the freedom, the speed, the ‘grown-up-ness’ of it all? Initially, it may have been fun. The freedom of the open road with the wind in your hair was a novel experience. However, after a few months, the novelty wore off, and along with it- so did the excitement.
Sitting stuck in traffic, getting lost, dodging bad drivers with their unpleasant attitudes, along with the potential dangers of potholes-all tend to contribute to a disagreeable and stressful driving experience. To top it all off, the commuting day is usually a huge waste of your valuable time. If you commute 30 minutes to work each day, and another 30 minutes on the return home – all this amounts to five hours a week wasted doing nothing but driving!
Auto Week published a review of the Google self-driving car- comparing it to driving an elevator. You get in, push a button, relax, arrive at your destination safely, and get out. The tone of the article may suggest that this is undesirable – harking back to just how much FUN it is to drive. Nevertheless, comparing the daily stressful, time-wasting commute to an elevator experience is exactly what most busy commuters want and need. In addition to reducing stress, riding in a self-driving car allows you to do productive things while being transported. The commuter can casually read a book, do some yoga, hold a teleconference, or even knit a cardigan!
In addition to the above benefits, self-driving cars would be expected to eliminate fatalities, and considerably reduce the number of persons suffering from disabling injuries. According to the CDC, car crashes figure as one of the leading causes of death – particularly among the younger set. Human error inevitably, is a major contributing factor to practically all car crashes.
By removing the human factor from the driver’s seat, such errors can be all but eliminated. Drunk drivers can get home without killing anyone, and exhausted drivers can safely nap on the way home. People addicted to texting can text the entire ride without risking anyone’s life.
Of course, as a bonus, the self-driving car also opens up the road to many of those who are trapped at home due to their inability to drive safely. Such individuals include the visually impaired, the elderly, and the disabled. You also won’t have to plan your day around who is going to go pick up the children, or drive them to and fro- because the car will do it for you!
Google doesn’t plan to become a carmaker itself, but more of a technology partner.