Would You Own a Self-Driving Corvette?
Do androids dream of driving Corvettes?
For the past several years, talk of a stylish, homogenized, self-driving Apple Car has been popping up in articles all over the internet. The idea of a wheeled iPhone is of interest to everyone, from general interest news writers to tech bloggers, and of course, automotive journalists.
Back in June of this year, Apple announced that they are refocusing on the self-driving technology itself, basically giving up on the idea of building a complete car. That’s a good thing. Apple is focusing on their strengths without having to learn about building cars and competing with companies that have done that for over a century.
What this technology likely means is a modular system that can be attached to nearly any car and allow it to drive itself. The bulk of the system is made up of twelve LIDAR units, six up front, six in the back. These become like the car’s eyes, allowing it to see the environment around it in high resolution.
Theoretically, this system could be used to allow your Corvette to drive itself. Why you’d want to let someone–or in this case, something–else to have all the fun is beyond us.
Maybe it’d be useful for your Corvette to drive you to the track while you prepared mentally for your next autocross or track day. It could also serve to drive you home when you’ve had a bit too much or you’re a bit too tired to continue on a long trip. Short of these very specific situations, we can’t imagine ever willfully giving up control of our Corvettes.
That said, we’re looking positively toward an automated future. The people most likely to adopt this technology are the sort of people that, for whatever reason, view driving as an unfortunate chore, instead of as a privilege or a joy.
While it’s easy enough to feel pity for these folks, one must remember that these drivers are among the most dangerous. They’re likely to be poorly trained, disengaged, and likely glued to the screen of one smart device or another. Simply put, at best they’re likely to get in your way; at worst, they’ll cause an accident that could harm you or destroy your Corvette. While cars are safer than they’ve ever been, accidents are as prevalent as ever, possibly more so since the advent of the smart phone.
Many racing drivers have stated that driving on the street is scarier than driving on a track, because racing drivers are more predictable than the unwashed masses. We’re talking about a populace that has overwhelmingly picked the crossover as their car du jour because they ‘like to sit higher’ despite the safety risks and reduced performance of a taller vehicle.
So what say you? Would you own a self-driving Corvette? Would you rather the general population adopt this technology so that you could have a safer, more fun commute? Let us know in our forums.