The Autonomous Car: Do You Want One?

One of the most popular topics (and obsessions) today is the autonomous car.  There are two directions this topic can go.

In one direction, there are those who think that cars shouldn’t be totally self-driven.  Even though a car’s main function is transportation, you may be driving something that makes it thrilling to get from point A to point B. Whether you enjoy a sport energetic ride, lots of horsepower, or a smooth, comfortable quiet ride, the fact that you can own a car that suits your liking and is enjoyable to drive, makes transportation all worth the effort.  For those in that category, of which I am one, an autonomous car would be like riding in the back seat of your car all the time.  My car is no limo and I’m no millionaire.

Then there are those who can’t wait to have the car do all the driving, since driving has become so stressful lately.  Traffic jams have become commonplace, and we spend a lot of time sitting in traffic.  Why not read, or catch up on email, or make some calls?  What a great way to get something done and be productive, or have some family time with the kids, instead of being alert and ready to move when the traffic picks up.  This sounds great to some people, and the concept may eventually catch on. It sounds just like riding the bus or the train. However, for those of us who have been driving a car for years, we may never get used to a situation where we are the only passenger in a vehicle where there is no-one in control. There would be the constant fear of an accident if the automated features don’t work.

In this blog, I’m going to share a series of videos that show how automotive technology has progressed over the years, particularly, the past few years.  This safety technology has become some of the foundational building blocks for self driving vehicles.

First, here’s a video from GM’s Motoroma in 1956 that showed their concept of what future autonomous cars would look like – similar to the picture at the beginning of this article.  This is sort of like their version of Back To The Future.  The singing family takes you to the futuristic time of 1976….


Next, we see explanations of some recent technology in our latest cars, and how that ties into the autonomous car……


Here is something I thought was pretty exciting back in 2015. This video was a summary of a series of ads called the Hyundai Genesis 2015 Blind Test, in which stunt drivers demonstrated safety technology of the new car in 4 videos – The Gauntlet, The Spikes, The “Slalom,” and The Stop.  Look them up on YouTube, they are kind of thrilling, they even get the stunt driver’s a little nervous…


In this video, I think Hyundai took the Blind Test idea too far to create this Driverless Car Convoy.  I’ll bet the lead stunt drivers had to sign all kinds of legal waivers before doing this.  I find it disturbing. Especially when you consider that the height of a flatbed’s platform is about where a driver’s neck or head would be when riding in a sedan….


Finally, I leave you with a documentary titled The Future of Driverless Cars.  Lots of interesting ideas based on recent technologies, but like the 1956 GM Motorama and the Back to The Future movie series, let’s see what ultimately does become a reality further down the road….


Will Schirmer’s passion and knowledge of cars extends almost 40 years. Will has been a certified sale professional with three car manufacturers, and is now an Insurance Advisor, providing coverage for client’s automobiles, homes, specialty items, as well as financial protection for families.  Contact Will at