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The Top 5 Reasons why the Car will never go Driverless in America

The American love affair has developed the way that most long standing passions have, when the car first appeared on the market we hated it. Cars were deemed a “menace to society” and a threat to our children’s wellbeing. It didn’t take long for attitudes to change as the automobile slowly began to shape American life and culture. While there is a lot of noise made about the new driverless car technologies, it will never be a major player on the American road. Here are the top 5 reasons why the car will never go driverless in America.

Reason #1 – Our culture fears technology we can’t control – Just take look at the most successful movies, like The Matrix, Terminator and the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Any movie that features the machine as the villain grips the American public. We have an innate fear of being replaced by machines or overcome by them. Much of this stems from the automated assembly line and the impact it had on the worker. The last thing we want are driverless cars zooming around, that is the stuff of the American nightmare.

Reason #2 – We may have routines, but we don’t have enough patterns – European cities are set up better for driverless cars because a car is used more for pattern driving. In America, we have routines of driving but the pattern in the routine may always change. We go to work every day, but we may not drive the same route due to appointments, errands and after-work schedules. European cities tend to be smaller in size and have better developed public transportation systems. It is easier for a European to not drive whereas our distances, even to the store, would put us into the next city in many continental countries. Without that kind of predictable pattern of driving, a driverless car would have to be capable of on the fly adjustments that will keep the technology out of favor.

Reason #3 – Our cars are an extension of our personalities – The American car is as much a part of the person as the clothes they choose to wear. It is a part of maintaining our individual identity and one doesn’t give that over to a computer to drive around. Keeping manual control of the vehicle is also about keeping control of our lives.

Reason #4 – Cars keep us busy – Just imagine this, suppose you didn’t have to pay attention while driving your car on your 45 minute commute – what would you do? Driving is a full out engagement of the senses. Americans spend so much time in the car driving that if they didn’t have something to do, the option would be utter boredom. There just isn’t a vehicle or roadway in existence that would allow us to do something else while being driven that would occupy our time.

Reason #5 – The car is our chance to relax – You relax most when you are engaged in what you enjoy on multiple levels. People love their cars and driving because you are physically and mentally engaged. Add in music and communication systems and for many, it is the only time they get to delve fully into their adult lives. Once they are out of the car, their life is taken over by other people’s needs and demands. The act of driving for many is the only alone time we have to be ourselves.
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