Will Self-Driving Cars Ever Replace the Classics?
As Silicon Valley would have us believe it, in a decade none of us will actually be driving our cars anymore. That job will have been taken over by artificial intelligence and the concept of actually getting behind a wheel will be laughed at as an antiquated bastion of the old world.
Yes, it’s true that technology is advancing at an alarming rate and self-driving technology is indeed within reach. But just because we can do something does that mean we should? Would you be as likely to step into a car without a driver as you would be to step into a plane without a pilot?
Taking baby steps
Self-driving cars are reported to be legally allowed on UK roads later this year, though with some rather significant restrictions. For example, the technology is legally limited to controlling the speed and position of a car in a single lane and it won’t be allowed to drive faster than 37mph. Not only that but the driver will legally be required to stay alert so they can take control within 10 seconds, if requested. So no sleeping behind the wheel. It’s more cruise control than self-driving if we’re being honest.
The major argument for self-driving cars is that the vast majority of accidents are caused either directly or indirectly for human error. Autonomous vehicles take that possibility almost completely off the table. The theory is that complete automation could save thousands of lives over the next decade. However, there are still many among us who would simply not trust a machine over a flesh and bone driver.
You can’t replace the classics
The final argument, of course, is that this new generation of self-driving electric vehicles could completely replace the glorious classic cars we’ve come to know and love. However, we honestly can’t see that being a problem. Yes, classic car insurance might be costly and yes, some of the older models might guzzle gas a little more greedily than is perhaps dignified in 2021 but there’s a certain charm and magic to these cars that will never be replaced by computer-assisted identikit drones.
We might be moving into an increasingly automated future with the likes of Tesla leading the pack as far as that tangent is concerned, but classic cars are not going anywhere anytime soon. These kind of beauties are never going to be retrofitted as automated or even automatic vehicles because the engineering behind them is too complex and too unique.
As such, as long as there are car enthusiasts and petrol heads willing to keep the love of four-wheels and the open road alive, there will always be classic cars and they will always be driven by you and me.