For most petrolheads the thought that one day in the not too distant future we will be sitting in our electric cars being driven to our destination by a computer fills our heart with sadness.
This is because we love driving and the freedom of being in control of where we are going, at what speed we want to travel and the destination we will end up at, if any? As we may just be going for drive, not knowing where we will end up. How are we going to tell our autonomous car just to drive, somewhere, anywhere when we need that release.
My love of cars was born from my grandfather, who was an avid collector of vintage cars and a lover of driving them all around Australia. He was able to keep driving until he was over 90, but eventually for the safety of himself and others on the road he had to stop driving.
Taking this away from him was hard for the family and even harder for him, for the first time in his life he couldn’t just get in the car and drive wherever he wanted to go and this made him somewhat depressed.
I think this is when a petrolhead would actually want to drive an autonomous car. Being able still to have that freedom of leaving your home when you want home to visit friends or attend a doctor’s appointment would do a lot for maintaining the mental health of elderly people or those with a disability and not able to drive.
In Australia, the Government encourages elderly people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. This saves them money on providing nursing home beds for those people who could be cared for at home still.
For elderly people to have an autonomous car would be one way to facilitate this policy of more in-home care. Obviously there would still be safety considerations, such as where the car can go etc. But these could be programmed into the car in advance.
So here’s to many more years of driving for us petrolheads! But when the time comes for us to hang up our keys there may still be an option available for a private mobility option. Maybe by then they may have the technology sorted as well?
Happy driving to you all!