Unlike a lot of people who are afraid of relinquishing control, I am excited for when the self-driving cars take over…but not the first year. The first year is when things need to be worked out. Like, what are we going to do with all of the solitary goons whose job it is to spend an inordinate amount of time alone driving trucks and cruising for Lot Lizards? We can’t just seamlessly integrate them back into society! Maybe they’d be good candidates for the first manned mission to Mars? I don’t know, but it’ll have to be worked out. And what happens when the first person who really fell into weed culture way too hard puts a “Coexist” sticker on his/her car followed by fifteen dozen more pointless stickers and the self-driving car experiences shame for the first time?
There are a lot of logistics that I know they’re working on currently, but there are too many things that will just pop up, unanticipated obstacles that will lead to horrifying consequences. The human animal is unpredictable. What happens when some blisteringly stupid hillbilly adds giant over-sized wheels to the car? Will there be self-driving demolition derbies or NASCAR races without drivers? Who will we adorn with thousands of advertising patches!?!
I’m optimistic we’ll overcome all obstacles and I’ll be able to take a nap on the way to work and get drunk as I’m going home, but there are growing pains to any new technology. There was probably a huge adjustment period when cars were first introduced. “Well, that pack of horses running in front of us sure kicked up quite a lot of manure into my top hat, and my manacle is simply poop-glazed! I say, we must develop a type of manure-shield.” Then the “wind” shield gets invented and the horse poop impairs vision for a new reason, “Hortence, do tell the young ragamuffin over there that we shall pay him a half a shilling if he allows us to tie him to the hood and wipe the manure-shield while we drive the jalopy to the coal station.” (Did cars run on gas right away? Where did they get gas at first?)
Those first few years there were no paved roads either so anyone, like me, who gets motion sick easily was completely screwed. Before there were cupholders hopefully there were puke-catchers. In these self-driving cars, I hope there are giant puke vats or a funnel that spits my motion-sick output through a port out the back with the exhaust (enjoy the visual of driving behind that).
Those first few years of the existence of cars were probably perilous for a number of reasons. Spilling hot coffee is a hazard now, imagine what it was like during the first years of car creation, I bet the coffee, without the technology to regulate temperature or probably to even take a temperature, the coffee back then probably melted through the floor boards…and children who were definitely not strapped in and rooting around the floor mats for some sort of sustenance.
I’ll take a ride in a self-driving car, no doubt about it–unless they invent Star Trek beaming technology between now and then–but I will absolutely have the patience to wait through the first year of the new tech as they work out the surprising kinks. Kind of like how I would never be a couple’s first attempt at swinging. They gotta work out the kinks first. Thank you, tip your waitress.