Self-Driving Cars – Coming to Your Highway in June

Steam powered car from 1771

Steam powered car from 1771

I included self driving cars in my science fiction novel, Glitch. That book is supposed to be a vision of the future, but I’m barely ahead regarding cars. (They should be called self-driving, not driverless – something is driving and it’s a combination of hardware and software created by human beings.)

“All Teslas will get an over-the-air update this summer, probably around June, allowing them to drive in ‘Autopilot’ mode… we’re not talking about some far-off future Tesla. We’re not talking about Google driverless car prototypes or government road tests. This is a car you can buy today, which will be given the ability to drive itself in a few months via the same setup that updates your iPhone.” mashable

Not only will self-driving cars allow me to read or nap or whatever as I travel, they should also make car-sharing easier. Imagine a computer system moving cars around for maximum efficiency and minimum wait-times. Private car ownership will decline, and that will change America. The automobile industry is a pillar of our economy, and the car is a pillar of our culture. Your driver’s license means leaving childhood behind, offers freedom, and you never forget your first car. Losing your driver’s license is more than inconvenient, it’s shameful. All that’s about to change.

The self-driving car is a change I’m looking forward to – I can imagine exactly how it will improve my life. Since nothing is perfect, there are probably problems coming, too. Bring it on.

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” That applies to the future, too.

Kate Rauner, Hanover, New Mexico, USA

Kate is a chemical and environmental engineer, and Cold War Warrior (honestly, that’s what Congress called us), who worked in America’s nuclear weapons complex. Now retired on the edge of the southwest’s Gila National Forest with her husband, cats, llamas, and dog, she’s a volunteer firefighter, and writes science fiction novels and science inspired poetry. She also shares science news that strikes her fancy (and finds it odd to write about herself in the third person.)

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