Fireball Rant of Day – The End of the Driving Your Automobile Is In Sight
In the beginning there were no automobiles and there was darkness along the roads. And man said let us have cars that will move us along the road more efficiently than the horse. At first man created basic transportation vehicles. Once two cars were created, they raced them to see which was better. Man then designed cars to reflect specific needs; functionality combined with beauty and style. The brothers August and Frederick Duesenberg, Henry Ford , Louis Chevrolet, Ferdinand Porsche, Enzo Ferrari all designed and built cars to go beyond transportation befitting our dreams of how to drive and what to drive. I’ve been a car guy all my life. My first car at age 3 was a pedal car very similar to this photo (below right). David Dikowski lived two houses down from us. He had a fire engine pedal car (below left). We raced each other routinely ‘cause that’s what guys do. I worn out three sets of tires on that pedal car. The first car I bought was a tangerine orange ’69 Porsche 911 E Targa. I purchased it from my high school French teacher, another car guy. I’ve had Porsche 911’s ever since. That’s mine below right. Why? Because they’re fun to drive; they were built to drive; to drive fast; to take corners with ease; to make a statement; to be the statement. I’ve also had a couple street rods over the years and as most of you know I’m building a ’31 Chevy 5 Window Coupe. (photo of a 3 window coupe – not mine) Your imagination and your wallet establish the design parameters for these most personalized vehicles. Today’s cars are already being homogenized so as to look nearly identical. They’re either black, white, one of the 50 shades of grey with one red and one blue car per 100 thrown into the mix. I noted that on 07 November, Waymo, a subsidiary of Google has partnered with several other big name corporations to introduce driverless ride-sharing within the next few months, beginning in Phoenix. Those partners include: Fiat-Chrysler for minivans, AutoNation for vehicle service, Avis for fleet management and Lyft for their ride-share technology. Every big name automobile manufacturer is employing all available technology to create driverless ride-share. It will only be a few years until driverless vehicles are accepted as the norm. Children born today will never need to obtain that rite of passage – a driver’s license.
When these blob vehicles reach a critical mass of say 75%; governments will say, driverless cars all obey the speed limits all the time, they reduce the number of accidents, cars driven by individuals are responsible for 90% of vehicle accidents; therefore you have five years to cease driving your vehicles on public roads – you may keep them in your own personal museum – under certain qualifying rules of course. What I see developing is a culture where we can’t and don’t drive. Vehicles will be owned, operated, maintained by conglomerates. People will just pay for a service provided ride from point A to B. The building of great automobiles and the experience of driving those automobiles will be gone forever. I will be both mad and sad. Comments please!