As one who spends a lot of time in his car, I’ve had this recurring dream of getting on the Interstate highway, punching in the desired exit number and sitting back for awhile. An article in the Wall Street Journal last weekend said the idea deserves serious consideration.
Randal O’Toole, a senior fellow with the Cato institute and author of “Gridlock: Why We’re Stuck in Traffic and What to Do About It,” see “robocars” as a better approach to revolutionizing transportation than high-speed rail.
In fact, we may be late getting there. O’Toole noted that futurist Norman Bel Geddes promised this transportation method would be enjoyed by his grandchildren. He made that proclamation in 1940.
Not being an engineer, I don’t know all that is involved — but sure like the concept. GPS technology, said O’Toole, would allow the robocars to travel at high speeds and in close proximity.
With auto manufacturers scoring less than perfection these days, some people might worry about traveling without being in control. But, as O’Toole notes, the failure of one robocar would not create a massive problem since the others would avoid collision.
But at least the robocars would be focused on one thing rather than attempting to read, text or apply makeup. And maybe these computerized brains can grasp what apparently human minds cannot: the concept of “slower traffic keep right.”
My hope is to see this come into being soon. It might even eliminate a little road rage — although technology, thus far, has had no impact on creating better human beings. That change must come from within us.
Executive editor / publisher at Good Faith Media.