Imagine a world where you could just press a button in your car then sit back for the ride, no need to pay attention to the road, just relax and ride. This is the promise of the self-driving car. But the question is, what are we sacrificing to get there?
If you grew up with the all-American station wagon, raise your hand. If you remember summers spent riding across America backward waving at every tailgating roadster and playing “I Spy,” then you might be hesitant in the future to adopt this self-driving car technology.
But the great American road trip won’t change much. And in the next few paragraphs, we’ll show you how your National Lampoon’s Vacation will be even better with self-driving cars.
1. No More Pulling Over to Navigate
One of the most frustrating parts of the great American road trip is the map. Before the invention of GPS, we would have to pull over, grab the map from our self-made navigator, and spend precious daylight figuring out where to go next.
With the invention of the self-driving car, you can navigate on the fly. And you won’t distract the driver from the road by doing so because all the humans in the car are passengers.
In fact, you’ll be more likely to pull over for side attractions because getting to your next destination doesn’t mean driving at night. In fact, with fully autonomous cars, you’ll be able to get some zzzs on the road.
It’s likely that in the future we won’t be able to take control of the wheel because self-driving cars will be safer than human drivers.
2. Go Farther on the Great American Road Trip
You know the exhaustion. It happens after about a day or two of driving. Even if you can switch it up with your spouse or teenage son, all the drivers get tired after a while.
You might even cut your road trip short because of exhaustion. But self-driving cars might mitigate this exhaustion.
We often don’t realize how much stress driving puts on our body. Needing to be constantly alert for hours at a time taxes the brain and the body. Even two hours of driving a day will put your health at risk.
And those of us who subject ourselves to long hauls every summer can actually welcome the advent of the fully autonomous car. While the sedentary nature of riding in a car won’t go away, the stress driving exerts on the brain and body will disappear.
You’ll be able to go farther than you ever could and see more on your road trips. Just think of the things you’ll see.
3. You Won’t Dread Driving Through Major Population Centers
Hitting a major city during rush hour on a road trip is a major bummer. You thought you would get to DesMoine by sunset, but you’re stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in Chicago.
This will never happen in the future of self-driving cars. Vehicles will communicate with each other and traffic will flow like water. No more accidents and no traffic jams.
Then you’ll get to DesMoine by sunset and maybe be farther down the road than you thought.
We could write a whole book on the future of self-driving cars. But we’ll leave it at that for now.
What are your thoughts on the self-driving car revolution? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Let us know in the comments below.