© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. “Drive carefully! Remember, it’s not only a car that can be recalled by its maker.” Anonymous
We need self-driving cars and we need them now. A generation of our kids are set to die and they may take a bunch of us geezers and geezerettes with them. I am not kidding. We need self-driving cars.
Why? A whole generation of our kids are driving and texting constantly. Yes, I know it is against the law and so do they. But they are addicted to texting and cannot stop.
Example: If you are at a stop light, several cars do not move when the light turns green. The drivers are engrossed in their online texting conversations: “You a poo-poo head. No, you a poo-poo head. He’s a poo-poo head. She’s a poo-poo head. I hate you poo-poo heads.
On and on it goes with them happily flaming each other and then being enraged by the flame backs. Meanwhile, I am listening to a nice song on the radio and waiting for them to come back to driving which may take a light or two depending on how many people they are calling poo-poo heads.
Gee Michael, why don’t you engage your horn? I was born in New Mexico and have spent much of my time in a ranching environment. We blow our horns to warn of danger and not otherwise. I don’t blow my horn to wave, chide someone or to announce I am in the driveway waiting. I just do not do it.
So I sit peacefully until they come back to consciousness in their car. Often, they look up and see that the light has turned green so they drive through the yellow light or even the red. After getting through the intersection they glance down to see someone has called them a poo-poo head so they text while driving.
By golly, that behavior is dangerous. And if you want to write the word “Stupid” on your forehead you can spend some time telling them that they should not text and drive. They will do until death, which is closer to them than if they are in a war zone.
This is why I want self-driving cars and I want them now. It is the only thing that will save our youth. They could spend the whole trip like they spend the rest of their time: you a poo-poo head. No, you a poo-poo head. All these current people know how to do is to flame. You cannot have a conversation with them because all they know is to flame people.
I am not kidding. Every day there are more tragic deaths because texting and smart phones are an addiction. It’s amazing to watch a young person if my smart phone rings and I don’t answer it. First they start sweating. Then they get restless leg syndrome. They can’t stand that I am ignoring a call or text. When I get where I’m going I’ll check it but not before.
If we put the vast resources of our great country into having self-driving cars it will take a bit of trust that the technology really works. But I see problems for the youngsters. First, it will be programmed to go the speed limit and no more. Many youngsters have never gone the speed limit. It will be a shock to them.
Next, it will be hard to do scummy stuff like road rage. The self-driving cars will ignore the command to cut someone off or menace a car. The rage-addicted drivers will need sedation because the programming will not allow those behaviors.
But now we can go down the road eating nachos and drinking an adult beverage if we so desire. I don’t know anyone who can drive and eat corn-on-the-cob. It takes two hands and then some. The programming could even enforce seatbelt laws. Wow, think of how safe we will all be.
Me, I would prefer to drive myself since I have driven for fifty years without an accident or ticket. Partially, it is because I am a calm driver and part just luck. But my luck would increase if we put those texters into self-driving cars.