Autonomous Cars: An Attack on the Driving Experience?

 I feel it’s safe to say that a very high percentage of us humans have heard about those cars that no longer require human operation. Popular corporations like Tesla, Google, Uber, and more have endeavors in this field of technology. How should we, as drivers,—or future drivers— receive a radical, new invention such as this? From the way it’s spewing from media outlets, it seems like we should be preparing for an imminent hostile takeover of something we do on a daily basis.

As a young driver, the quality of the driving experience is an important part of operating a motor vehicle. However, it seems like it’s becoming increasingly watered-down. It’s becoming harder to find newer manual-driven cars and easier to find cars with plastic steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters or just plain automatics. The new 8-cylinder is a 4-cylinder for the sake of gas savings and efficiency. No wonder why folks in my age group slap fart cans on their Honda Accords! Then, proceed to drop them to a height that nearly scrapes the pavement. It’s clear that we are after a true driving experience, and it is also clear that there is an attack on our chance to be youthful operators of our machines.

Should we feel threatened by this? Is there a political incentive to get drivers out of the driver’s seat? Is turning drivers into riders another way of removing the human element from our reality? Is removing the human element an inevitability within all technological advancements? Where will this lead to and how will it affect the productivity of posterity?

These are all very reasonable questions in which I would like the reader to consider about this technology and possibly other technologies that could potentially change everything. Indeed, it’s a rabbit hole that deserves following.

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