Perhaps you’re the type who loves being behind the wheel. You crave the rev of the engine, whipping around turns, and if you’d admit it, the flash of rage that springs up when other motorists are failing. You take pride in giving someone a deserved bird and considering the countless ways you are just a better driver than anyone else. You are a car guy (or gal).
But for the rest of us, cars are a remarkable invention which we appreciate but we mostly see as utilitarian. To us, cars are simply large pieces of metal with rubber tires and oil and stuff, and when we turn the magic key (or push the magic button for you fancy types) the conglomeration of metal starts up and takes us somewhere. That’s it. If my engine revs and I can get around a turn with the wheels staying on, I’m happier than a NASCAR fan at a KFC drive-thru.
That’s why I’m so ready for a self-driving car. The little pleasure I derive from driving comes from making it through a string of yellow lights, and that’s hardly a thrill worth mentioning. I’m ready for my car to do what cars should be doing in the first place, and that’s taking me places while I do whatever the crap I want. This is part of the American dream, for us to gain back lots of time so we can be lazier.
And just what will I do in my self-driving car? I can think of a few things.
Take a nap. What young parent has space for a nap anymore? You certainly can’t accomplish one at work or at home, which are the two places I pretty much spend 100% of my time. But a car is the perfect setting for a nap. I’ll be rockin’ the ear plugs, eye mask, jammy socks—all that crap—and be droolin’ right into my driveway.
Kiss my wife. Car trips would be great times for spousal smooching. The weather is mild, the kids are strapped in, and we have time to make out. No one can interrupt our kissing. If the kids start to make noise we’ll just crank up the Whitesnake. In fact, I’ll tell Google to do it for me.
Watch a movie. Move over kiddos. Daddy can now watch Frozen with you instead of listening to you enjoy it while I count smashed bugs on the windshield. Isn’t this amazing that road trip drives will become fun for parents? And I won’t even have to threaten to pull over. My undistracted, unlimited, in-complete-control-of-the-entire-car presence will be threatening enough.
Have a beer. Why not? Google would have things under control. I can relax with a cold one and listen to sports. If I’m driving with a buddy it would be like hanging out at the bar. “Hey man, you wanna go get a drink?” “Sure, let’s pack a cooler and hit up I-40.” For the commute home, this would be a dream. In fact, if I could have a beer and a nap, I’d easily be the best Dad ever walking through the door into Crazytown.
But I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface. What will you do in your self-driving car?