California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, has signed legislation that will eventually lead to the legal operation of autonomous autos on the state’s many, many, many roads. By 2015 California will have guidelines to govern cars that drive themselves. I shared this news with Wally, proprietor of Wally’s Intimida – home of the Sherpa sport utility vehicle.
Here at Wally’s Intimida, we are thrilled about the coming age of driverless cars! I believe it will bring back the Hugeness Imperative! The H.I. was an important part of the car buying equation back in the ’90’s, when people sought vehicles that were increasingly larger and heavier as a safety measure. The thinking was – “if my car is bigger than yours, it will be harder for you to hurt me”. A line of reasoning that is undeniably true in terms of physics, and truly undeniable as a sales pitch! Oh how I miss those days!
In the years since, people have started to place more value things like fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gasses.
But I believe that turning control of your car over to Robbie the Robot is going to bring back the H.I. with a vengeance, because if Robbie goofs up, the sheer bulk of the vehicle will become your last line of defense! We’re already working on a Sherpa “Impervious” package – marketing the car cabin as a watertight, reinforced, self-contained life support system that cannot be compromised by any sort of impact.
Yes, it will be considerably heavier than the current Sherpa, which is already as hefty as a fleet of motorhomes. But don’t worry about gas mileage, because Robbie will be able to drive it sensibly. He’ll accelerate gently from stoplights and follow other cars at a safe distance. He won’t gun it on yellow lights and he’ll actually come to a full stop before turning right on red! You won’t notice because you won’t be paying attention anyway. The car will simply turn into another place to “be”, and driving will be just another thing that happens nearby while you neglect it. Even if laws are written to make the licensed human responsible for monitoring the trip at all times, you know what’s going to happen. People will do (and get caught doing) everything that humans can indulge in while riding around in the it-drives-itself car.
Just let your imagination run wild with that one.
Autonomous Autos? I can’t wait! Pre-order your Sherpa Impervious at Wally’s Intimida today, and let our circuits do the driving tomorrow!
What one rule would you be sure to include in the laws that govern driverless cars?