Driverless vehicles are coming. We missed out thus far on flying cars a-la Jetsons but autonomous cars are being trailed on UK roads now and the Queen announced in her annual state recitation the other day that legislation is coming, to enable a move from experimental to ubiquitous. That’s good, right?
There aren’t many horses on the road nowadays (except on the back roads around here, where most of the horses are worth more than a Mondeo). They’ve been replaced by four wheel transportation, and it’s not sensible nor safe to ride one on busy roads. Is that what’s going to happen to driving cars and riding motorcycles?
Ignoring the environmental impact of driving, I enjoy driving cars and riding motorbikes. Both are skills that requires constant honing, and they’re a recreational activities for thousands of folk on two wheels and four. But when a large proportion of the moving vehicles are guided by computer and electronics will it be safe or reckless to self-drive?
Driving to the office, delivering goods and the like… that will be let go in favour of reading your Facebook timeline or doing a bit of laptop work as is done on the train nowadays. No-one will worry about losing the drudge of the Monday to Friday commute.
But all of a sudden it may be impossible, or at least impractical and prohibitively expensive, to drive or ride for fun. Computer cars will improve and get faster, but will they be guided by software and hardware fast enough and responsive enough to cope with the uncertainly of the wetware holding wheel and handlebar?
Will drivers and riders be relegated to back roads and private tracks? Are we seeing the start of the end of recreational travel? Ponder for the day…