To drive or not to drive

By Tebogo Moropa

This one is a love or hate topic really, autonomous driving explains itself really. It’s when you add a bunch of 1s and 0s to the ECU along with some sensors and optical recognition software to get the car to handle itself, basically rendering the driver a dummy. I’m just gonna say it straight off the bat that I don’t like it, I don’t like it one bit. See, petrol heads are a dying breed, there’s less and less of us as technology takes over cars and eventually we’ll end up extinct. What would kill us? Our very own passion, well, the lack of it.

There’s a quote by Jeremy Clarkson that reads : ” it’s what non car people don’t get, they see cars as a ton and a half or two of wires, glass, metal and rubber, and that’s all they see. People like you and I know we have an unshakeable belief that cars are living entities. You can develop a relationship with a car and that’s what non car people don’t get.” When a car has foibles and won’t handle properly, that gives it a particularly human qualities because it makes mistakes and that’s how you can build a relationship with cars that other people don’t get. ” in my personal opinion every car has a different personality, some are more aggressive than others, some are for speeding, others for going sideways and others for drifting. All of this is enhanced and this personality is invoked by modifying the car in one way or another. It’s in this tweaking and teasing that you give the car a personality that you fall in love with. The point of cars shouldn’t be getting you from point A to B. It’s about the distance between A and B that matters. And once you remove the driver you remove a certain factor from the equation. Call me old schooled but I for one am anti autonomous driving. It’s starting off with self parking, lane and distance control. Where’s it gonna end?

I don’t wanna have to go to a museum to show my grandchild what a proper car is, well.. was. My ultimate gear grinder is the fact that if it continues it’ll evolve and grow to a point where licences are irrelevant. One day a kid will never experience the feeling of executing a wheel spin start wether on purpose or not. They’ll never experience the shaky knee effect of driving a manual on your own for the first time, nor will they experience the thrill of stealing the car one night to go for a joyride and breaking a few speed limits.

I’m writing this with a sore heart not of what autonomous driving is but what it can cause, the end of our kind.

Tebogo Moropa.

Petrolheadhub 2016


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