Asleep At The Wheel

It’s thrilling to think about self-driving cars. Imagine rolling like the Jetsons as you glide through traffic…with nobody behind the wheel.

Autonomous cars sound incredible until you read about the horrific collisions and decapitations. That prompted the NTSA to investigate the autopilot systems in unmanned Teslas. They’ve been known to crash into parked emergency vehicles. Then there’s the issue of steering wheels coming off in drivers’ hands.

Still a few bugs to work out, Elon.

Most of the new auto-tech companies have unfamiliar names. But soon you’ll recognize Google’s Waymo, a driverless taxi that’s wirelessly controlled. Then there’s Amazon’s Zoox, designed for dense, city driving. Jeff Bezos even picks up the tab for charging and maintenance. Why? Because you won’t own the Zoox. Amazon just sends a bill for the miles you’ve driven.

Carmakers insist that autonomous vehicles are the future. They gush how self-driving cars will revolutionize everything from Uber to long-haul trucking. They predict more than 33 million driverless vehicles will be on the road by 2040. 

Here’s my take. A recent study revealed what we already know. Most people aren’t ready to hop into a driverless car. The majority of us feel ‘less safe’ sharing the road with driverless cars. Nobody wants to be a human guinea pig.

Something about writhing in a twisted heap of scorched metal.

Autonomous car makers are feeling the pressure to prove they are safe. So, they’ve launched a test program in San Francisco. Yep, General Motors is betting on their Cruise robotaxi service to tackle the nation’s most challenging city streets. Imagine driverless cars scaling Nob Hill and navigating Lombard Street, not to mention cable car tracks.

An accident waiting to happen, as they say. So, pull up a chair.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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