Self Drive/Electric Cars? – No I Don’t Think So!

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the main accent seems to be on driverless cars as people become more and more fascinated by them. We are hearing pundits say that they are the transport of the future, but to be honest I doubt it, at least not in the form currently envisaged. It’s just like the electric car that many people say will be the main mode of transport in the coming years. Sorry but I don’t believe a word of it.

Survey

Survey

First of all, let us take the driverless car that is supposed to revolutionize our future transport system. Can you honestly believe that in cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Beijing and all the other major cities in the world known for their massive traffic jams, that people will travel around these cities in a driverless car. Not a chance.

With a human at the wheel a vehicle will get through dense traffic far quicker than if it is automated. All such cars must have certain safeguards built into the system to prevent us humans from being hurt in an accident, so you will never see an automated vehicle pushing its nose into a stream of traffic at a junction for example. To get through traffic jams today you have to be cheeky, or you will never reach your destination, and that is something automated cars are not good at.

They may be fine for travelling from Madrid to Paris or from New York to Las Vegas for example, but that is not something the majority of people do every day. In cities and towns most people use the car to get to and from work so it is clear that will be the main usage, and I just don’t see the driverless cars catching on for this purpose.

To me what is far more likely is a completely automated system of  passenger transport with no cars on the road at all. It would be like an automated taxi service where you call up a small automated vehicle, give it a destination and it takes you there. Just like in the sci-fi movies.

Charging

Charging

When it comes to electric vehicles I think they are even more unlikely in great numbers. The electricity generating companies in many parts of the world are currently struggling to satisfy the power requirements of major cities across the globe, and yet, people think that electric vehicles as a mode of transport will take off. I can tell you now that ain’t likely to happen folks.

Even if we had only fifty thousand electric vehicles in London the power companies would not be able to keep pace with the demand, and that applies across the world. As we all know, electric cars are severely limited in their range due to the necessity of recharging the batteries, and the simple fact is we do not have sufficient power generation resources to have millions of electric vehicles charging every day.

But this is not all, for what do we do with the car batteries when they are no longer needed? They are not exactly environmentally friendly are they, and as electric cars have accidents or get scrapped what do we do with the batteries?

Last but not least, has anyone worked out the pitfalls with car insurance in these scenarios? No! I thought not!!!

I’m afraid that when it comes to the all-electric vehicle the demands will be too much, and don’t forget the massive electricity bills you will have to pay each month.

Flying CarThere is just one more mode of transport that is circling in the background, and that is the flying car. This I find totally impractical for the simple reason that every owner would be required to follow a course to obtain a flying licence. But more to the point, such a thing would be very dangerous. Can you imagine cars taking off and landing on roads and flying willy-nilly across the skies. It would be impossible to maintain a flight plan system for car drivers which would mean chaos, and they would be falling out of the skies like leaves from a tree.

It all sounds very fine, but none of this will come to proper fruition now or in the future. The future will be a lot different. Who knows, we may run out of oil first, and then we will end up back in the Middle Ages.

Roy.

2 Responses to “Self Drive/Electric Cars? – No I Don’t Think So!”

  1. Ever relied completely on SatNav to get you somewhere, but not arrived until you threw the SatNav out the window and looked at a map? Ever had to choose between running over a cat or running into a tree? I’m not the best passenger in the world when there is a driver; I’d have to be on some serious medication to be passenger to a computer which could crash at any moment!

    Like

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