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Self-Driving Cars

Not on your life.

Mine neither. I just saw a television commercial of a truck going down the road with four sober passengers on board playing patty cake.

The driver's hands were somewhere else but on the wheel as the vehicle drove itself down the highway and even (gasp) over an old steel bridge.

I did notice that in the commercial the vehicle didn't meet anyone coming from the opposite direction.

How does that happen? How does the vehicle navigate? Is it satellite navigation, GPS?

There is a saying in aviation among the older guys that “GPS will get you more precisely lost.”

Among the younger guys who have not been lost while using a GPS, this is a hard sell. The young ones have “always” had GPS and don't know how to navigate without it.

I never really trusted the auto-pilot in an airplane. I wasn't opposed to trimming the machine up and letting it fly the course, but I wasn't depending upon the airplane to stay on my side of a yellow line. (There isn't one up there.)

Is there a system of maps in the navigation system that can flawlessly go from A to B? I'm a skeptic.

Who is in control? We have one of those robotic vacuum cleaners that scoots around running into things and getting hung up under chairs. If it gets severely hung up, it will call a person for help.

It knows the way back to the charging station.

The little thing isn't perfect, but if you remember to turn it loose a couple of times a week, it can do the job. Somewhat. It is better than not having one.

A few cars not only can drive themselves around but can park themselves as well and parallel at that.

Will the system find a parking place at the grocery store and not park you in a restricted spot?

Somebody has to be in control of all this. Who? Who is watching you?

Who will know all about where you have been, your comings and goings, how long and how fast?

Will the car be able to fuel itself up like the little robot vacuum?

While this is just a man musing along with nowhere special to go, the subject does bring up some questions somebody ought to ask.

Humm. I think I'll wait another fifty years before I leap on this.

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