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In a Robot Car Future, What About Those Of Us Who Love to Drive?

"It's really interesting. I found that it enriched my sense of the road and heightened my awareness."

- Lee Simmons for Wired Magazine

American classic muscle car.jpg

We've written a lot recently about self-driving cars, a.k.a. autonomous vehicles, a.k.a. robot cars. Whatever you want to call them - companies like Tesla call them the future - their promise is none other than a sea change in the way we get around. No more "wasted time" on commutes; no more dangerous driving by fallible humans; no more road rage. If autonomous vehicles reduce accidents, for example, so the number of injuries and deaths falls dramatically, this would be a tremendous benefit to society.

But for those of us who love to drive, or who would prefer to remain in control with two hands on the wheel, the prospect of robot cars - and a transportation system that presumably allows only robot cars in the name of safety - is not a future everyone can believe in.

For those who love to drive, is there a better future?

Lee Simmons, writing for Wired Magazine, says, "Get ready to physically merge with a car." This sounds a lot more science fiction than it actually is - less sci-fi, in fact, than robot cars doing all the driving and navigating. When Simmons writes about physically merging with a car, he means cars that give heightened feedback to the (human) driver, a car that "uses technology to engage the human driver more fully in the operation of the vehicle."

Rather than checking out, as the operators of robot cars do, you'd check in, so to speak, because the driving experience is more urgent and enjoyable - especially for those who'd prefer to keep their own two hands on a steering wheel. Read Simmons's article through the link above.

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