If you value your independence you need to ride a motorcycle.
Or so says Bob Lutz.
“Toward the end of his talk… Bob Lutz implored anyone under 40 to hang on to their motorcycle if they like controlling their own vehicles. He expressed gratitude that he won’t be alive when nearly all surface transit is automated, and that anyone under age 40 has that to look forward to. He said it couldn’t be done to motorcycles, so they’ll be the last vestige of autonomy for humans in the future, aka The Singularity.”
In my constant hunt for motorcycle related news I came across this quote in an article from Susanna Schick on Clean Technica when she was covering the ACT Expo this year. It’s from Bob Lutz‘s presentation “Global Growth Throughout the Clean Transportation Sector”.
I thought this was newsworthy by itself, then just a few days later Google announced that it’s making 100 autonomous test cars. The combination of the two articles (and other related ones) really got me thinking.
As motorcyclists we know that part of riding is asserting our independence. Hearing other people say that riding a motorcycle might be our only way to be independent and in control while operating a motorized vehicle in the not so far future is interesting. It’s something that I’d not really thought much about, but it’s seems true. With Google (by themselves or in partnership) being probably only five years away or so from making a car that will be driving itself it’s not crazy to imagine automated roadways becoming reality, while I still am young enough to ride.
I am in fact looking forward to self driving cars, I think we (motorcyclists) will be safer surrounded by them than our horribly distracted fellow humans. I also look forward to using autonomous cars to keep my independence when I’m too old to drive myself. Watching my grandparents lose their independence was hard and I’m really hoping that autonomous cars are around in time for my parents as well.
I want to enjoy speeding down the road under my own skills until I physically can’t do it anymore. I will miss being able to do it in a car, but I guess motorcycles are too small and complicated to be automated (so far), so hopefully they’re safe from it. If Mr. Lutz is right and motorcycles become the only independent way to zip around I wonder if it will convert any of my “car” friends to motorcycles. If it does I’ll try to be the bigger person and not say I told you so.
No promises though.