The Future of Driving

Soon, ladies and gentlemen, driving as we currently know it will be gone forever. Vanished. Already as we speak, silent, electric cars gently hum as they pass along my street outside. My ride in a Tesla a few weeks back confirmed the future of motoring - and it doesn’t involve driving at all.

This sounds dramatic I know, but have a real good think about it. Ford confirms it will be releasing a car minus a steering wheel. Tesla claim every car on the road bearing their badge is all ready to go in terms of being a driverless vehicle. This I can vouch for. In the USA, Uber sent a Volvo minus a driver to pick its passengers up. This is 2018. By 2020, it is not unreasonable to expect that Uber will be back with it’s driverless cars and experience, something they have envisioned since their inception, and that Tesla would have finally dropped the Model 3 and its abilities to self-drive, into the mainstream. Others will follow to meet and improve the standard.

What will follow are years of unrest as self-driving vehicles battle with manned-vehicles out on our roads. Social-media images of Teslas in hedges and in the side of buses will emerge as the poor things attempt to defend themselves against awful driving by us mortals. Like oil and water, we will not mix, one will only serve to aggravate the other, and very quickly knowledge will emerge online that if you swerve into a self-propelled vehicle, it will automatically slam its brakes on hard and spill the occupants organic-cornflakes and macchiato. All over their e-version of the Guardian.

War then, is inevitable. 

As commuting drivers see the benefits and lessen, the self-driving experience will improve and it will begin to dominate. This, again, is inevitable. It’s progress, guys, its the unavoidable future. And why would we avoid it? It makes great sense, I for one see no point and reap no joy in sitting in miles of school traffic everyday battling for the few inches available at junctions and scraping through amber-lights. It’s horrible out there and it will worse before it improves.

But what about actually driving? What about those lazy-summer afternoons, speeding along an A road with your top off? Hearing your V8 burble resonating off the walls of tiny picturesque town as you look for a suitable lunching spot? Until the government ban all non-driverless cars long into the future, this may be the only way of enjoying driving. Combustion-engined cars will become rarities and only those who enjoy the sensation and thrill of owning one, despite probably the ridiculous tax and insurance costs of owning one, will care that it exists. Probably much like steam-powered vintage vehicles today.

Ultimately, the future is out there and will dominate, condemning older technology like fossil-burning cars to fossilation themselves.

Think it wont? My 4 year old son came across a DVD and asked what it was. He can effectively work our Amazon stick and stream whatever he wants. It’s not new to newer-generations, it just is. Anything previous requires explanation and ultimately wont stand-up to the newer-tech. I’m 33 and when I moved last year, handed over all but a few DVDs to a charity shop. They didn’t really want them, but took them anyway. That’s progress. 

Your car? Heading the same way. In the same way that you wont look outside now and see a queue of horses at the junction swerving around ten-men attempting to change a 40” spoked-wooden wheel drenched in horse manure, you soon won’t see a queue of combustion-engined cars. Thankfully, there wont be a queue either, as the technology enables cars to seemlessly-integrate at junctions. Not all bad, then.

My point here, as my posts often end with, is a plug for my driving event next June, the 4BallR 2019. It’s an opportunity to enjoy driving our cars as we currently know them, to grasp the steering wheel, to manhandle the gearstick. To feel. In our future, an event like this will ultimately be one of the only ways to get out there and enjoy our smelly, death-inducing cars again.

Unless, of course, piloting a V12 isn’t as enjoyable as the time saved sipping your skinny-latte whilst putting on your socks in the back-seat of an automated car is every morning. 

Will my sons ever know what it was like to hear a V12 scream? On YouTube perhaps. Will they ever know what it was like to actually drive a car? Yes, as long as my event, and all the other driving events, persist and thrive.

Let’s get out there and enjoy the sights, sounds and feels that our cars give us. 

See you in June.