"Do We Need Driverless Cars?"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, December 4, 2015

Do we really need a car that drives itself? As I see it, this car will create multiple problems which we should explore.

If you travel in a driverless car, do you need a driver’s license? If so, why?

If the driverless car is at fault in an accident, who gets the ticket? The dealer who sold it, the manufacturer, or perhaps the designer.

I know the driverless car is not supposed to be involved in an accident, but what if it is?

Since we no longer fix a flat tire, we just squirt a can of dope in the tire and drive on, who does that?

And, if a driverless car cuts you off, who do you salute? And can they honk their horns?

Does the driverless car run on fuel? If so, the gas stations will have to hire attendant’s that can do more than sell coffee and lottery tickets.

Once the driverless cars are on the road, they could cause more problems than they hope to solve. For example: if the passenger calls another driver on a cell phone or sends a text, will he be cited for doing so? If the driver he called is in a collision, who is at fault? Unfortunately we have no laws against passengers using cell phones.

What if the driverless car wants to park? Can it identify a no parking zone or put coins in a meter? Perhaps the driverless car is taking a passenger home after a few too many at the local pub. Will there be a law put on the books for riding in a driverless car while under the influence?

I suppose the driverless car is just the beginning. Soon the car won’t need a driver or passenger. The lady of the house will just call the grocer and send her automatic car to pick up her order. The autocar could then return just in time to go pick up the kids from school.

Here is another of the problems I thought may occur. What if the autocar picks up the wrong kids? Will it be charged with kidnaping?

What will an autocar do if a dog chases it? And what will happen if the dog catches it?

I find the guided parking, auto braking and notices to alert the driver features very helpful safety additions. I also appreciate many other changes that have been incorporated into vehicle design that assist and enhance the enjoyment of driving my car. The auto windshield wipers, the delayed feature and auto stop when the rain stops. The power and anti-lock brake systems add to the safety of driving and automatic headlight dimmers are very helpful. Self-adjusting mirrors and auto-set seating plus seat adjustment while driving to allow you to not take your eyes off the road are great assets. Auto door locking and seat belt chimes that keep drivers alert are great features.

Yes, I’m sure there are other conveniences such as power window and temperature controls and the rear camera is a great option, but what if the car behind you wants to do a selfie?

I have to admit some of the features on my car have let me down at times. The GPS, designed to guide me to a specific location, after hours of turns and returns put me right back where I started. My wife enjoyed the cruise the car took us on through in old Virginia with its towering homes built on bluffs. What area of Virginia you wonder, I have no idea except there was a lot of it.

I did learn the lesson that you can’t just trust the new gadgets put on the cars. When the GPS got itself lost, I attempted to re-set it and it told me the area I was seeking was not on the map. If it had told me that in the first place, I could have saved the time and fuel driving around. On trips you have never made, it’s still a good idea to check out MapQuest or take a map along.

Considering all the functions a driver still does, I cannot fathom driverless cars on our busy highways.

If you are riding in your automatic, driverless car and it gets lost, will you ever be found?

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