It seems like everybody and anybody connected with the automotive industry is just beside themselves with glee that the technology for self driving cars appear to be here. You have to understand that for the longest time, science fiction theorists and pop culture speculators made a big deal of a robot-driven world. In fact, if you read a lot of sci-fi novels from the 1950’s all the way up to 1970’s, self driving motorized vehicles seem to be always part of the plot line.
This long standing human obsession with cars that drive themselves really is just an outgrowth of our modern evolution towards a fully automated system. You see, when machines got invented to save a lot of human labor and to work around the clock, the whole discussion behind such machine’s designs, as well as maintenance and operation, boil down to issues of efficiency.
How can you make a machine operate 24/7? How can you make a machine produce the same quality all day, every day? This has always been the holy grail of manufacturing theorists, manufacturing machine designers and everybody else in between. This whole rush towards a fully automated system has been the mental candy that has driven innovations in that technological field.
With that said, there is, of course, a lot of room for improvement in the past. There’s a reason why a lot of sci-fi writers and also theorists made a big deal of self driving or self executing machinery because, by and large, they didn’t exist. The technology simply wasn’t there.
Now, I’m not saying that the integrated circuit chips and rudimentary computer chips were not present, but their processing power was so primitive compared to the actual number crunching and data management required by these extremely sophisticated operations that it is literally the stuff of science fiction.
Well, fast forward to 40 years later, and all that eye popping and mind blowing ideas regarding helicopters that fly themselves, trucks that make it from California all the way to Florida without a driver, as well as cars that steer clear of accidents due to area-wide radar, are not only feasible, but they’re actually being produced. You only need to look at the Tesla automated driving feature to see this in action.
We live in a brave new world. The future is now. And this is why a lot of car enthusiasts are beginning to think twice about this technology.
For the longest time, they’ve been salivating over it, they’ve been beside themselves regarding the technological leaps required to make this a reality. Now that we have reached that particular historical and scientific moment, we’re having second thoughts.
This should not be a surprise because whenever humanity collectively aspires for something, the moment it becomes a technical reality, people start getting cold feet. This goes hand in hand because it’s one thing to dream up all sorts of amazing worlds, it’s another to actually live in it.
You see, for the longest time, all sorts of theorists and people with fancy degrees, as well as high IQ’s, have been predicting the death of humanity because we simply became the victims of our own success. Well, that hasn’t come to pass. These doomsday predictions keep getting made, books keep getting sold, but the end still hasn’t come.
Well, a lot of that happens in reverse when it comes to self driving cars. So it’s really very interesting to notice that a lot of automotive forums are actually having second thoughts about this technology. A lot of people are saying, maybe this is not such a great idea. Not only is there a chance that over 8 million Americans will lose their jobs, but this might lead to all sorts of social unrest.
You have to remember that, for the longest time, for Americans with only a high school degree, truck driving is the most lucrative career path for them. As a truck driver, you can make up to $60,000 a year. And you only need a high school diploma. Well, the self driving truck is going to kill that dream.
Not surprisingly, a lot of people are saying that the automotive culture, by and large, will die off due to self driving cars. I wouldn’t go that far. It’s definitely going to change, but it’s anybody’s guess as to how drastic and how extensive the change would be.