Visions of automated cars and trucks filling our roads have excited the masses in recent months, but there is a war coming between America’s love of technological advancement and its passion for cars.
Some believe we’re headed for a time when all cars drive themselves and we sit back and watch video, listen to music or even sleep during our commutes or errand running. Others can’t stand the thought of not having control behind the wheel. They live for it, in fact.
So how will this all sort itself out?
It’s a safe bet, in America at least, that another great love will have its say. Americans love their freedom. They love making their own decisions. It’s tough to see a day coming any time soon when we give up our control on the road to be shuttled around like parts in a factory. The same sense of love for self reliance and independence that has thwarted so many cities’ plans for mass transit systems at taxpayer expense is likely to have a voice in how this all shakes out, or, at least, in how long it takes to get to a standardized automated system running smoothly.
Times change and attitudes and passions change with them. Just look at how different the world was in so many ways just a half-century ago. It’s not impossible to see anymore a day when automation is king a la The Jetsons. But how many who are 30 and older now will be around to see it? Only time will tell.