I would buy a self-driving car in a heartbeat. Would someone please produce one?
Now, will it happen in my lifetime? Perhaps not. Unfortunately, people love their autonomy. Some folks will probably interpret a self-driving car as some sort of violation of their civil liberties. However, when I look at the convenience and potential cost-savings of such a device, it is exciting to think about. Sure, there are always going to be those that enjoy driving. I am not one of those people. Driving just isn't worth the cost, and with the price of gas, it would be nice to have a better transportation solution.
Getting stuff done
Since I live in the greater Los Angeles area, there are few mass-transit options. Busses are few and far between and there are just a handful of trains. I am stuck driving my car many miles to work, just like millions of my fellow residents. This is expensive, and frankly a waste of time. How much work could I get done if I could get that time back? The possibilities are endless and as a professional I am always looking for more work time. Right now, I spend 60-90 minutes on the road going back and forth to work. That is actually much better than many people in Southern California.
Gas is just plain expense. In Southern California, it ranges from under $4 to almost $4.75 depending on the station. Automobile fuel is costing our household several hundred dollars per month. There is no getting around that. Every time I go to the pump, I wonder where this is going and whether it will ever have a happy solution. As a consumer I am basically stuck, and there is little that I can do to drastically save on gas. A self-driving car would probably still cost a significant amount of money, but a lighter car that drove at a consistent speed has to be cheaper. Bring it on.
Adjusting to a new lifestyle
There is certainly freedom attached to owning a personal vehicle. However, I am finding that freedom to be a bit overrated. It is nice to be able to get from place to place, but when I look at my household budget, it is incredible how much is spent on transportation. Again, this type of technology won't make the cost go away. However, if we can solve some of our energy crisis while making life a lot more convenient, I am in.
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