One of the arguments used by automated car pushers (I use the term deliberately, to convey the fact that the market isn’t asking for automated cars any more than it is electric cars; both are being forced upon the market by parties who are frustrated by the market’s reluctance to “embrace” either thing) is that they are saaaaaaaafer than cars controlled by us.
In a sense, this is true.
If you begin with the premise that “us” consists of the typically dumbed-down 18-year-old driver. Whose driving has been dumbed on purpose to create the pretext for automated cars.
This process has been under way for a long time but desultorily – until fairly recently. Something changed for the much worse in the early years of this new century.
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It used to be both common – and legal – for 15-something-year-olds to drive. One got one’s learner’s permit that year and in many cases, had already learned how to drive years prior. Parents – fathers – usually being the instructor. Dad would take son – or daughter – out to the shopping mall parking lot, or maybe a mostly empty back road – and begin the schooling.
That was before kids were strapped into Hannibal Lector saaaafety seats in the back seat, of course. They rode up front, often in Dad’s lap – holding the wheel while he explained.
That would get Dad arrested today, of course.
But back then, most American boys, at least, had some behind the wheel experience before the government-prescribed minimum age. Just as most also had some familiarity (and this they still do) with beer before the government gave its royal okay.
Regardless, by fifteen and change, American kids – boys and girls –…