The car is driverless. Fine. So more laws would have to be re-written to cover this new invention, right? Because for instance, if the car bumps into someone or something, who would have to take responsibility? The driver? The manufacturer? Or No one? And I can imagine how precise the technical specifications would be. I read that the car has been programmed to create a picture of the external world for proper navigation while it downloads traffic data and other things out of its reach from the clouds… and so much more. But my main issue isn’t with the laws or the technicalities of this future invention. I’m more concerned about the necessity behind this ‘lounge on wheels’.
First of all, I know it would be beneficial in a number of ways. Like when we are too tired to drive back home from work or we have to take care of an emergency while driving, it would be a perfect time to be driven around by the machine. And yes, some of us just like to re-enact the ‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ movie on our roads. Speeding is our hobby. But sorry, yeah? The self-driving car will sadden your hearts soon the moment it begins to decide for you the speed at which you should travel on the road. So not only are we looking at reducing the tendency of human errors, reckless driving will also be taken care of. I’m not trying to lavish too much praise on the car. There can be software errors too. I own a smartphone and a laptop so I’m conversant with the ‘Not responding’ phenomenon, Virus attack and Hacking.*Just saying* But on a more serious note, what else do we plan to do while the car drives us around? Play cards? I thought we could save that for later. Watch a movie? Urm, how about you wait until you get home. Sleep? Well, unless I’m old school but I’ve always known beds to be in places like homes and hotels where the rooms are specially furnished for relaxation and sleeping. Or do we want to Skype/WhatsApp/Tweet/Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat with a friend? I thought all these things could wait. I thought there was AN APPOINTED TIME FOR EVERYTHING just like the writer of Ecclesiastes said. But No! we live in the ‘microwave world’ era. There’s no time to wait. There’s no room for patience anymore.
Do you see what the likes of these development are doing to us? I can’t even tell anymore if they give us more control or take away some precious values like purpose and responsibility from us. I for one think that this kind of technology will do what it does best nowadays–give more people the opportunity to get distracted in life unnecessarily. Most people will start to misplace their priorities once they own one of these cars. We know it’s unacceptable to drink or smoke or make calls or text and drive at the same time. The thing is once you are on the road, you are a potential hazard so you have to drive with precautionary measures. Now that we may have ‘someone’ to take over the wheels from us, these once-upon-a-time unsuitable practice will become a normal attitude amongst us. Responsibilities will be shifted and unnecessary multitasking will ensue. We want to be at more than one place at a time wherever we find ourselves. Look at how distracted we’ve become in life. We can’t even learn simple values like patience and concentration anymore because our ‘strange’ neighbors want to either know ‘whatsup’ with us or tell us ‘whatsup’ in life. Ironically, we itch whenever we are alone and undistracted by these ‘news update’ from our gadgets. In my opinion, this is TECHNO-INVASION!
I wish, I so wish the car could take a full scan of its interior and perhaps say, “Sir/Madam, per the information I gathered after a full scan of this car, I deem you fit to drive yourself home. Thank you”. At least, we won’t have to shirk the responsibility of driving ourselves around when it’s necessary. We don’t want to be lazy people. And we don’t want to be irresponsible too. You may want to examine the seriousness of this trend. The question is, ‘is it changing our lives for good or worse?’ Well, once you know your purpose in life, answering such a question is not a difficult thing to do. If your main purpose in life is to taste every single material good that creeps into the market, then you can evaluate yourself per that aim. If the effect of technology in your life (based on how you handle it) constantly interrupts that which you intend to achieve in life, need I still go ahead to advise you to be able to tell the difference between what is significant and what’s insignificant? Or what is temporal and what is permanent?
But a programmable machine built to drive us around needn’t be the only development to wake us up to reality. The frequent pings and push notifications from our phones, the beeps from our tablets and pcs…Seriously, this should tell us something: Technology is speaking a new language and we are gradually yielding to its dominance.
Technology will always be a part of us. We cannot totally do away with them and that’s a fact. However, we can set some limits to control their usage within our space. I’m not against technology entirely. I will readily embrace it as long as it doesn’t threaten my purpose in life. These gadgets are inanimate objects. I-N-A-N-I-M-A-T-E. We make them what they are once we decide to control them. We all know that but ‘book knowledge’ isn’t enough. Get practical. Build an inlet/outlet system to filter the things that enter and exit your internal world. Be the master of your gadgets. Don’t be mastered by it. Be a consumer alright but be wise so that you aren’t consumed!
If we’re people with goals, dreams, purposes or whatever we may call it, we better start asking ourselves this question, “Is the aim of technology and the aim of my life running counter?” Once we know our status, we can chart our course appropriately.