Being stuck in heavy traffic on your way to the mall to get last minute gifts can take away your Christmas spirit FAST. Thousands of accidents (and deaths) could be avoided every year if cars drove (and parked) themselves, and several automakers are actually developing this technology, which would also save on gas (because cars would drive THEMSELVES more efficiently than we do!)
For instance, cars that park themselves, something General Motors is working on, would save fuel by eliminating the need for drivers to circle the block waiting for a parking space to open up. Instead, the car would drop its owner off and go park itself. When it's time to leave, the owner would call the car with a smart phone, and it would pick him or her up.
And if everyone drove self-propelled cars, there would be less need to safety equipment, saving on both expense and gas. In Technology Review, Kevin Bullis quotes GM's Nady Boules as saying, "You could remove the weight dedicated to crash protection, using very light materials for the skin instead of metals." But this wouldn't work unless these new vehicles were ubiquitous or else you'd still be vulnerable to being crashed into by an old "classic." And if you got into an accident, would your insurance company blame the car?
We know who to blame if this website crashes and burns, and--alas--that's YOU, if you're one of our many readers and listeners who enjoys our site every day, but doesn't support us. The truth is, there's no tomorrow for us without more support from you today, so the next time you get in your car to go to the coffee shop, remember this: You can get a month's subscription for less than the cost of a single latte! So drive down the right path and subscribe today (and drink your coffee at home one morning out of a Dreamland mug--THAT helps us too!)