Alien in the schoolyard at 0-skunk-30

alienI think it’s because this little snowplow vee-hickle has three eyes (you can’t really distinguish them in this blurry pic) that it freaked me out as much as it did. Plus it was wheeling around like nobody’s business through the SCHOOLYARD. On sidewalks. Where people walk. I didn’t exactly have to dive off the sidewalk to avoid being hit. It just felt like it. In reality, I was able to squelch my totally irrational fear of the “alien” and salute the driver, who waved back at me.

Despite the snow in the pic, the roads were [mostly] wet this morning and nothing was coming outta the sky so I schlepped over to Cubeland with the idea that if it got nasty, I would bail out and work from home the rest of the day. It did get nasty but I bailed out before that happened. When I drove home at 2:30, it was raining and the roads were just fine and I felt like a Big Wimp, even though a LOT of people telecommuted today. I dialed in to my 3:00 meeting and by the end of that, it was snowing to beat the band. I walked to the Plum after work and boy oh boy am I glad I bagged Cubeland when I did because traffic was pretty darn snarled up, so maybe I wasn’t as Big a Wimp as I thought and maybe trusting My Intuition (it’s gonna get worse) was the right thing to do.

News today: a Google self-driving automotive vee-hickle hits a bus (google it). It was a fender-bender and no one was hurt. I am looking forward to self-driving automotive vee-hickles. Yes really. Why? One BIG reason is that it seems like it will allow people who really shouldn’t be driving to have transportation at will whenever they need it. Like I someday (ulp) will. (Kids, remember that I am not 90 yet!)

Viable self-driving vee-hickles are too late for The Commander, who struggled mightily with giving up her cute little Ford Taurus. There were buses that came to her assisted living facility but they came on a limited schedule. There were WONDERFUL people who would drive The Commander places and I am forever grateful to them. Still, she wanted to be able to get out and go wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted and, alas, it was not possible. Take a taxi? TAKE A TAXI? Moom, why don’t you call a taxi? [Insert my name/buzzer sound here], do you know how much a taxi costs? Moom, how much? Five dollars!!!!! !!!! !!!! Oh dear, oh mom. You are not Donald Trump but you can afford to take a freaking taxi around Sault Ste. Siberia whenever the heck you want to. And I remember being a VERY small child and taking taxis with you all the time. And nowadays those taxi guys would probably get a kick outta you and treat you as a preferred customer. Not that they would give you a price break necessarily, just that they would love to pick you up and take you places. I thought about giving her a whole bunch of $5 bills (taxi money) but (alas) I never quite got “a round tuit” before she began to decline toward hospice.

Viable self-driving vee-hickles may not be too late for my future. I am another person who loves to drive and will [someday] have a hard time giving it up. If it ends up being possible, I would love to have a vee-hickle in my driveway that I can rely on to drive me wherever/whenever I want (although I will miss steering and shifting and otherwise operating the car).

Bus fender bender aside, I have often wondered how self-driving cars will deal with the nasty weather conditions we often have in the Great Lake State. Like we’re having here on the Planet Ann Arbor today. It’s hard enough for most human drivers to handle those often constantly-changing conditions. I’m not sure I would trust a robot car to know what to do at any given snow-type moment. I think Google understands that too. Waiting to see.

Self-driving car opinions, anyone?

One Response to “Alien in the schoolyard at 0-skunk-30”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I don’t want to have the prototype self-driving car; I would prefer to wait until ALL the bugs are worked out. I would enjoy being able to read or relax in the car, without worrying about navigating. I have often thought that a brilliant scientist should invent a car material that, should two vehicles hit, would just bounce them off each other. Metal is so unforgiving.