Just thought the article below is a pretty good example of how those who are not "old farts" (as Paul Scott said a few weeks ago) view driving and cars.
I believe the writer probably does represent the majority view, that driving is actually the worst part of owning a car today, and as soon as one manufacturer can lose the driver's seat
, it will be very difficult to sell (or re-sell) non-autonomous cars.
...My generation—the millennials—numbers some 90 million teens and 20- and early-30-somethings. This makes us the largest demographic cohort alive today—and the auto industry's biggest headache. We're supposed to be driving more as we age, yet young people drove 23 percent fewer miles in 2009 than in 2001. Only two thirds of 16- to 24-year-olds in 2011 even possessed a driver's license (the lowest rate since 1963). Meanwhile, nearly a third of us prefer to live in cities, where we can abandon cars for trains, buses, cabs, bikes, and our own legs.
Don't get me wrong; I savor the freedom of cars and happily borrow the one my wife bought before we married. Cars are versatile enough to drive to the grocery store one day and across a continent the next. You can toss camping gear in the trunk, blast your favorite music, roll down the windows, and put a dog in the backseat (and roll down its window too). No other mode of transportation permits the same degree of speed, comfort, and flexibility.
Yet I recoil from the idea of buying one. Cars equal liability. Accidents are practically inevitable, no matter how well you drive. They cost more and more to own and maintain, and (electric or not) they defile the environment. And good luck parking one anywhere without it getting ticketed or towed.
So what would it take you, the automakers, to sell me, a punk kid of the "expectant" generation, a car?
One, lose the driver's seat. Or at least make it optional. Cars should drive themselves. I'd rather sit in the back with some toddlers watching Finding Nemo for the 100th time or take a nap with the dog. You don't want me driving anyway. About 34,000 people in the United States died in car crashes last year. Some of these incidents are inarguably related to the 39 percent of teens who text while driving, even when they know that it's not only against the law, but also remarkably dangerous.
Instead, put robots in charge. Machines can't be distracted by text messages, music, or spilled soda. Plus, they're faster than human brains at computing the mundane information required to safely operate a vehicle. We've already seen the rollout of self-parking, lane-keeping, automatic-braking, and cyclist-collision-avoidance systems—it's time to give autonomy a try....
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;’t-sell-me-car
...It should further be noted that those of us who grew up driving are the only ones with any romantic notions of driving. Many young people these days don't even want cars, much less want to spend time driving them. As we old farts die off, the next generation will gladly sign on to robot cars since they will be cheaper, safer and will allow more productivity.
The reality (for most people, most of the time) today, driving is an experience ranging from miserable to boring, largely restricted either to suburban/urban traffic, or to freeways engineered to be (relatively) safe, even when driven on by incompetent and/or inattentive human drivers.
But does anyone here truly enjoy the monotonous hours of freeway travel, on roads designed to reduce the risks, but also take most of the fun, out of the road miles?
Now that I avoid freeways whenever possible (to save time in my LEAF, up here in DC-less-land) I realize I always used to drive so damn fast on freeways, largely because driving on them is such a depressing experience.
I am old enough to remember when families went for a drive
because it was enjoyable.
And I moved out of the San Francisco bay area, ~20 years ago, in part to be able to continue my hobby
Would many under ~50 years of age today, even understand those concepts?
The good news is that outside the overpopulated regions where most "drivers" live, many of the pre-freeway roads are still there, and often free of traffic (but still very dangerous per mile driven, BTW) and I now enjoy them in my LEAF.
But I also realize how my present attitudes towards driving are eccentricities, not representative of the larger population.