22 January 2017

Would You Ride in #AutonomousVehicles? #SelfDrivingCars #OnBoardComputers #EV #AI

I don't drive. It's not that I don't get cars --- I am an engineer and a gearhead --- it's that I never had reason to learn how. Don't get me wrong, I understand the logistics, but it takes practice to become comfortable with and proficient at operating a vehicle, and I've never really had the opportunity to practice.

(I grew up in a small town where pretty much everything was within walking distance. I had an over protective mother who drove me wherever I needed to go when the car was working in order to assure herself of my safety and keep an eye on my activities. We were poor and often any vehicles to which we had access were unreliable. Most of the guys with whom I grew up had cars and willingly chauffeured me around. I learned to rely on my feet to take me where I needed to go. All of these things contributed to my not learning to drive prior to going off to college. And then the college environment brought its own set of limitations. Starting with the fact that freshmen weren't allowed to bring cars and it was a fairly self-contained private campus. Taken all together, I was never pressed to learn how to drive, or more accurately, to put in the time to become accustomed to driving. I am also a big proponent of public transportation.)

With the Age of Autonomous Vehicles nearly upon us, I've decided that I'm OK with being driven and am waiting for self-driving car actuality. Recently, I saw a survey asking "if you would ride in a self-driving vehicle" and a good portion of respondents said "no." There's always an adoption curve with new technology, wherein the layman has to become accustomed to it, but I'm often a bleeding edge early adopter where tech is concerned, so I say bring it on, I can't wait! Autonomous Vehicles will provide a chance for me to become self-sufficient in one of the few areas where I need to rely on others. Being a green technology advocate, my self-driving automobile will, of course, also be an electric vehicle that I will charge via designer solar panels that I plan to have installed on my home. (And yes, I do lust after the Tesla Model S.)

The future of transportation is coming, or it may already be here, depending on whom you ask. It's going to be a watershed for people like me, who want to reclaim our independence.

NOTE: Above, I use the term car loosely, as a stand-in for any vehicle, be it a truck, bus, plane or train.

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