Blog Post #321 Self Driving Cars (again)

Blog Post #321 Self-driving cars (again)

Okay, I am fixated on autonomous cars.  I see so much good that is going to come out of the switch to these cars.

I read this article from Bloomberg Business week this morning:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-05-07/who-s-winning-the-self-driving-car-race

According to the article Google’s subsidiary Waymo is definitely ahead:

“In the race to start the world’s first driving business without human drivers, everyone is chasing Alphabet Incorporated Waymo.
“The Google sibling has cleared the way to beat its nearest rivals, General Motors and a couple of other players, by at least a year to introduce driverless cars to the public. A deal reached in January to buy thousands of additional Chrysler Pacifica minivans, which get kitted out with sensors that can see hundreds of yards in any direction, puts Waymo’s lead into stark relief. No other company is offering for-hire rides yet, let alone preparing to carry passengers in more than one city this year. “

THIS YEAR were the last two words from the quoted paragraph.  THIS YEAR – Waymo is making commercial moves this year!!!

Now I see self-driving cars through different lenses.  Senior lenses if you will.

With many seniors, the taking away of the car keys is one of the significant steps to death.  Seniors lose their independence without the car keys. I’ve even experienced it is a backward way.  When the car is in the shop for services, my mind races with things I need a car for. I could be driving to the grocery store for those ingredients for dinner, to Lowe’s for plants and some hardware item, to KFC or Taco Bell for a quick lunch, to the library for something to read – and I’m stuck at home with no transportation.  (Actually never quite true – all of the above are within three miles of our house, so I can walk – what a concept!!!)

I’m thinking of our daughter-in-law’s grandmother.  Her eyesight has dimmed, but she still gets around in her town (during the day).  With a self-driving car, she can continue all the activities she currently enjoys.

Ultimately I am anticipating lower insurance rates – when all cars have the various sensors, accidents will just not happen (not sure for snowy / icy weather).  When all cars have the sensors there will be no speeding tickets or the crazy drivers that weave in-and-out of traffic. (That might be a hard pill to swallow for some people!!)

Grandpa (or grandma) can go to church or the grocery store or to play cards at the senior center by just telling their car “go to <location>” – or by having an autonomous car pull up in front of the house without a driver (and probably cheaper rates than a taxi).

How about truckers?  Autonomous vehicles should be able to go 24 hours a day (other than getting fuel) – deliveries should be quicker and convenient.

Back to the article, this sentence does pop out: “ Most of the others [car makers] trying solve the last remaining self-driving puzzles are more cautious, targeting 2020 or later.”

Ultimately in ten years, (by the time I’m 80) the reality will be there – and I’m looking forward to it!!!

What do you think?

Have a great day!!

Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce White

Leave a Reply