Summertime blues...driving is dead.
The end of summer is always a time of conflicting emotions. Disappointment, because it marks the end of those warm lazy days, and excitement because the next great "thing" could just be around the corner. This excitement has always helped pull me out of the reveries of summer....until this year.
I started giving my 15 year old daughter driving lessons, only to think "why bother?" It is increasingly clear to me that the skill of driving a car is rapidly becoming useless. For someone who loves cars, the realisation that the next great "thing" will put an end to cars as we know them is like a cold shower. The cruelty of this realisation hit home sometime in August....
For so long the aspirational value of the "drivers license" signified freedom and maturity. As a teenager, it was a rite of passage, a stepping stone to adulthood. No more. Technology is stabbing us in the back and robbing us of that joy.
Within one generation, cars will become fully automated led by fierce competition between incumbent car manufacturers and new age companies such as Tesla, Uber and Google. It is a done deal, a foregone conclusion. In a handful of years driving will be mocked and I can already hear: "can you believe that once upon a time, people actually drove cars?"
Of course, I welcome innovation. Driving today has become completely utilitarian. It is a task billions of people perform everyday around the world with little derived pleasure and it is otherwise completely unproductive. This makes it ripe for change.
When nostalgia kicks, I take comfort in knowing that I am not the first to feel this ways about change. Its part of life and the great benefit of technology. Technology will always win....its how you adapt that matters. For my part, I will keep giving my daughter driving lessons in the hope that we can extend the pleasure as long as possible.