Consider this. The NTSB has recommended lowering the allowable Blood Alochol Content (BAC) for drivers. Meaning, anyone driving after consuming even a modest amount of alcohol will be subject to ticketing, fines, and higher insurance rates. Even the august attendees at my monthly tastings will likely be over the proposed legal limit. Perhaps that’s not true for the spitters, but the swallowers won’t stand a chance. Wring your hands with me as we say in unison “Something must be done!”
Enter an unlikely savior – the “driverless” car. Though the NTSB standards are likely to be approved before such cars are readily available to the average 99%er, a recent NYT article (and blog post) highlighted the disruptive influence of driverless cars on city planners, insurance companies, and highway engineers. If the nation’s roads were left entirely to these vehicular robots, traffic lights, parking meters and downtown garages would become as quaintly outdated as the buggy whip.
Accidents would decrease dramatically, impacting insurance rates and saving up to 42,000 U.S. lives each year. Seem unlikely? Consider that driverless cars are immune to fatigue and human distractions like texting, attending to kids (“don’t make me come back there!”), changing radio stations, spilling hot coffee on their lap, or applying makeup/shaving/flossing while driving (come on, you know you’ve seen all that, and more!) And because robots have lightning-quick reflexes they can drive at higher speeds AND with less distance between vehicles, thus reducing the need for expensive highway expansion. The whole concept boggles the mind as much as a weekend TED conference. See more about driverless cars on Google’s YouTube video here or on the (Vaynerchuck-stylized?) Tech Feed here.
OK, so you see where I’m going. Not only could a driverless vehicle make you safer and more productive during your rush-hour commute, you could enjoy a drink with friends or family and arrive home safe and sound and DUI-free.
And all the other potential benefits aside, I find this the greatest of them all. ;-)
Dave the Wine Merchant