I, for one, welcome our new self-driving car overlords. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over the coming advent of self-driving cars. I think many of the fears are overblown. The move to autonomous vehicles are actually great for those of us who, eat, breathe, and have sweaty dreams about motorcycles.
Lane Splitting Will Be Easier
During lane splitting, or filtering for my U.K mateys, cars are not an average width apart. At all. So you have to zig-zag a lot, and judge distances. Being squished between two semis isn’t really my bag. You also have to watch out for Crazy Ivan moves in traffic that can catch you by surprise.
I bet you a dollar that computer driven cars won’t do any of that. They will maintain proper lane position, and won’t feign mock outrage and a self-righteous sense of moral superiority if you split in a state where it’s not specifically legal. They definitely will know you’re coming up the lane instead of texting their bestie about last night’s boyfriend drama and not paying attention to the road. Everyone wins.
Less Drunk Driving
I have it on good authority that folks have been drunk driving for centuries. Nothing like crashing your Roman chariot on a night of drinking too much mead after long day working at the Colosseum.
Being able to hop into a driverless Uber, or personal car after a night on the town has great benefits to society at large. Drunk driving would quickly become a thing of the past. Hypothetically, if you’re on your motorbike, and have had a few..beverages…you could be able to summon your autonomous car to come get you, should you own one. This keeps the NIMBYs happy and everyone safe.
Removes People Who Don’t Like Driving
There’s a very good reason Toyota sells so many beige appliance-mobiles. Most folks, truth be told, don’t actually LIKE driving. They do it to get to where they want to go. That’s it. Removing folks who drive as a necessity rather than for actual enjoyment makes things a lot safer for them and for us motorcyclists. Who likes to put effort and passion into things they don’t enjoy? Not me. That’s like me taking a class on cooking broccoli, or learning to neatly fold my boxers into an origami owl. Not gonna happen.
I’ll be glad for the day when those who don’t want to drive, don’t have to. Many cities make driving an absolute need, due to terrible planning, or woefully underfunded public transit (looking at YOU Dallas). In well planned cities, cars are less of a necessity. The dawning of the age of driverless cars or automated public transit options will curb that option even further.
Cuts Down On “I Didn’t See Him” Accidents
Distracted driving causes 9 deaths and over 1,100 injuries PER DAY in the Unites States, according to the CDC. That’s too damn high. Self-driving cars already do a much better job of monitoring the surroundings, and well, just paying attention to the damn road. I bet you a dollar that if you get in a wreck with a self-driving car, it’s not going to say “Sorry I didn’t see him.”
Self-driving cars monitor the surroundings many times a second,, and can pick up things a lot smaller than a motorcycle. They literally have “eyes” in the back of their digital heads, unlike humans who only look forward at the radio, or their cell phones.
Will Cause A Rise In Recreational Vehicles
In the 80’s motorcycles split into several sub-categories. This was the first time we had cruisers, sport bikes, touring bikes, and standards as we know them today. Many people own different bikes that do different things. I’m wagering that self-driving cars will do something similar. Families and affluent single individuals will own one practical or commuter vehicle, and one fun vehicle. With motorcycles becoming overall safer as noted above, and the relative inexpense of motorcycles, sales of motorbikes will rise.
I wager the same thing will happen with cars. People will buy a practical commuter vehicle that whisks them off to the office in the morning. And next to that in the garage will be a Porsche 911, vintage Mustang, or Miata. (To be fair, a Miata is not The Answer and a crappy substitute for a motorbike. Article coming soon.) (Miata Is Always The Answer. – Ed.)
What say you? Do you think self-driving cars will be good or bad for those of us who love two wheels?