More Opinion by The Springboard

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Driverless Cars Are Dangerous

Perhaps it is the "driver" in me that does not like the idea of self driving cars. I mean, this is not to say that driving is always desirable. Certainly when you find yourself in gridlock on the freeways this is more than frustrating, and even when you take longer road trips, about three hours into it I'm about done with the whole thing.

But driving still appeals to me. And I never enjoy being a passenger.

So in just that respect alone the idea of self driving cars really does not appeal to me. But there is another aspect to the whole idea that actually quite frightens me. And the latest crash of an Uber car in Arizona, which according to Uber's policy, also had "safety" drivers in the driver's seat and the car still crashed when another car failed to yield to it, is precisely a good part of the reason I just don't want cars to be driving themselves.

The self driving cars are not able to foresee trouble it appears. And while I am sure the "brains" can work faster than a human brain can, and while the cars won't be distracted by smoking, eating, hairstyling, shaving, or turning the dial on the radio...

And certainly the car won't be texting or talking on a cell phone either...

It still seems to me that nothing can and nothing should replace an attentive driver in the driver's seat calculating and making split second decisions. One could argue, of course, that it is not the self driving car that is the problem, but human driven cars getting in the way.

Still, the whole idea just seems problematic, and I can't help but think there will be many more crashes reported in the future the more common these cars become. And I suspect the death toll will begin to ramp us as well.

I am all for technology, and I get that the car makers and others surrounding the whole of our nation's roadways are wanting to opt for something to take the driver out of the equation thereby somehow reducing traffic accidents...

But I still think there is no replacement for a human driver in the cabin.

Besides, I am also an investor in the auto industry, and something tells me that if you take away the driving aspect from the car experience, the whole industry becomes boring and there is no reason to market power, performance, or even design. The whole industry goes kaput.

In any event, I just don't see this technology as being all that appealing to the average car buyer. So what's the point anyway? If you don't want to drive, why not take the bus?

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