Self-Driving Miss Daisy by Bill Storie
I was watching a short video earlier today about driver-less cars.
It showed a nice car with the steering wheel essentially turning itself while its two passengers checked their phones and one who was yawning, looking bored. It looked weird, but they tell me this is the wave of the future.
So, I started to think of what could be done with a driverless car.
If I understand it correctly you get in the car tell it where you want to go : “the supermarket” ; “the gas station” ; “mum’s house” ; “Florida”.
Maybe the car is smart enough to know where mum lives, maybe not. Maybe you have to give it longitude and latitude coordinates – OK, who knows where Mum lives now with that information being needed?
Maybe you drive it there one time yourself then tell it to remember how you got there. But what if you stop off at McDonalds on the way to Mum’s house to get fries and a big Mac to take to her? Does that mean that every time thereafter the car will swing by McDonalds before going to Mum’s house?
What if you are a young lad with a girlfriend and you drive over to her place then ask the car to remember the directions. OK so far. So, next time you’re hot to trot, you get in the car, check your shirt and tie, put on more after-shave while the car is driving you over to her place. How cool is that? But what if you fall out with the girlfriend but forget to tell the car – or do you have to explain to the car not to go there anymore? What if the car objects and each time you go on a hot date, the car takes you to the old girlfriend’s place first.
What happens if along the route to wherever the car is taking you, there are roadworks, and the car can’t work out how to get you to your destination? Does it stall and sit there in the middle of the road stubbornly saying, “I am NOT going through that, I won’t I won’t I won’t”. Temper tantrums from a BMW. Hmmm.
Imagine starting a road trip in Philadelphia and wanting to go to Florida.
Do you have to tell it every highway to take? Do you need to tell it to go through “Georgia”?
More to the point, would you comfortably sit in a car without any hands-on driving and let it drive you to Florida for several hundred miles?
What if you fall asleep?
Picture the reaction from other drivers on the road watching you whizz by at 60 mph in the outside lane and seeing you fast asleep in the back seat.
If you go over the speed limit, do you say to the police lady who stops you, “Look ma’am, it wasn’t me driving, it was my car flying solo.” Who pays the fine?
I wonder if you could go out to the car in your driveway and say, “Go to the pizza parlor and pick up a pepperoni pizza.” I assume you would have called ahead to the pizza place and said, “Hey I want to order a pepperoni pizza but I’m sending my car over to pick it up. It’s a blue Chevy.” The pizza guy goes out to the car and places the pizza on the front seat and the car comes home. Cool huh?
Or how’s about a family day out.
Pops loads up the car with just the kids in it, tells the car to “drive them around for 2 hours, stop at McDonalds, then bring them home by four o’clock”. Meanwhile pops and mumsy catches up on some quality alone-time without kiddy interference. !!
Maybe this driverless idea will catch on after all.
By Bill Storie