This is an open letter to all the men who tell me, “I will never drive an autonomous vehicle. I will never give up control.”
This is also for the men who are sure they will be dead before the first autonomous vehicle hits the roads.
And for the men who tell me that masculinity is dead when we go total self driving.
Nope. Your testosterone fueled life is not and never has been tied into your car. If you think that’s the way its been, try saying this to someone: “No, I don’t have a car. It’s greener without one. If I need to I can Uber/Lyft.” Trust me, you will be the bad ass cool guy sure of himself who doesn’t need a car to be a man. ( This is just a hypothetical. Don’t sell your car to try it out. Just try it and see how you feel after seeing how you are perceived.) Ok, I’m not saying you aren’t cool in your Model X in Ludicrous mode or the Mustang of your choice or fill in the name of your dream car, you are, but you are more than that.
As far as being dead before the tech is ready – well, can’t guarantee you won’t be, but I’d take odds you will be alive and kicking when the first autonomous vehicles arrive in your city. Here’s the thing – you think self driving cars are going to replace yours. No. That’s not the scenario. First, there will be 3 or 4 passenger vans in use. They will be like shuttles . Here are some examples. One AV might be from a local university to the train station, another from the city itself to transport residents and others from one place to another, another might be owned by a local shopping center and takes people to and from the center. The hospital might own a fleet of autonomous vehicles and pick up people scheduled for appointments.
Imagine this: a 6 block core of a downtown area is now only for autonomous vehicles. No personal cars allowed. Imagine over time the use of self driving passenger carry vans increases and we no longer need all the real estate formerly housing cars. I’m talking garages and parking spaces. Parking lots. Imagine garages becoming micro apartments and parking lots becoming parks. Imagine all that real estate for humans. Not cars.
You still have your car. You can still drive it. You can even race. Just like the head of Palo Alto’s GM High Tech Innovation division does. She loves driving – you can too. (shout out to Frankie James)
Ok, one day we will be autonomous, (almost) totally. But not yet, not totally for a long time. In the future the power cars of today will be available for pleasure driving. Before we get there, you will be taken to the airport in a self driving vehicle.
I can’t be sure I’m 100% correct but close to it. I don’t want you to worry that you are less than a man if you aren’t driving. Just learn a few key words and you’ll be as complex and manly as can be – lidar, sensors, camera, last mile problem…go ahead, try it. Dude, you will be cool and I don’t care how young or old you are.
This minute of futurism is brought to you by a former owner of an original Shelby Cobra. I understand your pain. But it’s ok, really, this is cool stuff. Your testosterone is safe, go ahead and use it.