Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Who’s Driving, Now?

They’re saying that in just a few years there will be cars that drive themselves…presumably with you in them.

Well, not you specifically. I mean all of us, which will lead to a very crowded situation.



But seriously...folks such as Google, Nissan, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, my cousin Lenny…are all working on cars that require nothing from you but to take it out and get its motor running.

I suggest you talk up their rear fenders, and mention those new tires, because, well, who doesn’t like to hear nice things about their rear end and new tread wear.

Apparently, there are still quite a few kinks to work out, which accounts for the still several years down the roadso to speakdelay before their release; things such as figuring out how to avoid running into bikes and motorcycles. But once they get that down, they’ll be good to go.

Of course timeline projections, when it comes to these ground breaking innovations such as self-driving cars and fat free potato chips, can be somewhat unreliable.

Can you spell Olestra?

Oh, wait. I guess I just did it for you.

Fact is—or what passes for my version of fact— there’s already some of this driverless technology in place.  Cars are able to stay in their lanes and brake themselves, all on their own, just in case the driver has just made it through to the three thousandth level of Candy Crush and is too busy to brake themselves.

There’s also talk of some sort of system where the car will somehow alert unaware pedestrians, via their smart phones, that they are about to get run over.

I guess if you’re crossing the street and a distracted driver doesn’t see you, or does see you but doesn’t like your new haircut, the approaching car will somehow send you a text of some sort.

I guess something along the lines of … “WATCH OUT!!!!”

Which should help…somewhat

Then there are the more conservative prognosticators that say driverless cars really won’t be common place for another 20 years or so.

To be honest, that’s more than okay with me since that should be right about the time I start driving around with my right hand turn signal set on “Always”. 

Of course, like every exciting new innovation that comes along, there will be drawbacks to such convenience.

First, who will “one’s” spouse know to “gently suggest” to slow down, turn here, and watch for the red light…“one” or the computer?

Personally, I hope the computer, because the computer can exact its revenge in much more subtle ways than I can, such as messing with the heat setting in the passenger seat. 

Currently, “one’s” only recourse is to respond in a civil, dignified manner, alerting said spouse to the errors of his or her’s ways, while trying to remove his or her's foot off of mine—er, I mean “one’s”—on the brake peddle.

The other thing is who’s to say the computer driving the car will enjoy my stories, especially on long trips.  What if it insists on playing the radio loud, to drown me out, or worse, refuses to let me play my “Best of Leo Sayer” CDs.

Then there’s also the matter of comfort and convenience along the way.

What if the computer thinks pulling into the rest stop every 5 miles is excessive?

What does a computer know?

Has the computer ever been to a urologist?

Does it carry a “Frequent Voider” card?

And what if it’s attracted to the wrong kind of artificial intelligence? 

Is it going to want to pull over to the side of the road and do whatever it is computers do to show off for all the cute mother boards passing by?

All genuine concerns.

In the meantime, I think I’ll just be satisfied with my new smart ass phone for now…

Once I figured out all its ins and outs it pretty much just does what I tell it to do.

Except like now, when it’s telling me I forgot to do the breakfast dishes again, and to not even think about having lunch until they're done!

But I don’t mind that kind of thing, too much; I deserve it.

Just don’t tell it I forgot to change my socks again.


  1. leo sayer??? that's almost as good as my mom's BREAD record...

    1. I'm ashamed to say that I actually did buy a Leo Sayer record. Hey, the early 70's was an odd time for music. And my mom actually won a Bread album at work, which I secretly enjoyed... "Baby I'm a want you....."

    2. i always thought "you make me feel like dancing" was sung by a woman!! until today.

    3. Like I said, the 70's was a weird time for music. Can you spell Bee Gees? Luckily the Boss rose out of the swamps of Jersey to save us all from ourselves....


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