I recently read an article about the driverless vans that made a trek of over 8000 miles from Italy to China. While this is impressive from a technical standpoint, all I could think was “Where’s the fun in that?”
It was hard enough for me to give up my manual transmission when I inherited my wife’s Honda as my daily driver. I felt I had been removed from truly being a part of the driving experience. I was no longer a driver…I was a steerer. (And don’t even get me started on how much I despise cruise control.)
Now this. A car that doesn’t even need a steerer. Blechh! Does anyone really want to be merely a passenger in their own car? Who has ever, when hit with the sudden impulsive desire for a spur-of-the-moment road trip, called up a cab? Or, upon seeing a beautiful, winding country road, thought “Man, if only someone would drive my car down that road for me!”?
So, if and when this technology becomes available in consumer vehicles, buy it if you so desire. But just know that there will be at least one car out there actually being driven by a human. One who has a BIG grin on his face as he downshifts into third and giddily steers his car into a backroad hairpin turn.