Welcoming Google’s self-driving car and the end of driving

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Anything that takes guesswork of ordinary commutes can only be a good thing. More often than not, driving is a pain in the seat.

When pictures of the Google autonomous car prototype started flashing through my feed on Tuesday night, I immediately thought: This is it. The car of my dreams has arrived.

It wasn’t because of the design. The prototype looks like a Tamagotchi, or, at worst, some kind of futuristic suppository. And it wasn’t because of the minimal performance details that Google announced. Twenty-five miles per hour is school-zone speed, or empty-parking-lot speed. When I think of autonomous cars – and I think of them a lot when I’m in stalled highway traffic, two miles from home but 30 minutes or more from a cold tall boy – I like to imagine that they can at least approach current highway velocity.

As for the no steering wheel, gas pedal, brake, or gearshift, well, that sounds fine to me as well. Anything that takes guesswork of ordinary commutes can only be a good thing. More often than not, driving is a pain in the seat.

Neal Pollack is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction, including Alternadad, Stretch, Jewball, and Downward-Facing Death. His journalism, essays, and humor pieces have appeared in Vanity Fair, Wired, GQ, Esquire, Slate, Salon, and just about every other English-language publication except for The New Yorker. When it comes to cars, he’s definitely an industry outsider, but he enjoys writing about them. He lives in Austin, TX, with his wife and son.

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Welcoming Google’s self-driving car and the end of driving originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 May 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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