For the first time in my life, I feel like a “Cool Girl.” I am 59 years old driving a “Wheego” electric car that serenely sails down city streets. There is no noise. I don my aviators and feel actual joy in knowing that my carbon footprint is greatly diminished. (I have always been a bit of a geek, with bad eyes and poor physical coordination). So when I drive this efficient car, easily zooming into any narrow parking spot, I get stares. I get smiles and just feel plain old “cool.”
The other thing that makes me excited is that I feel as if I am driving the future. I know the electric autos can easily be morphed into “driverless cars.” This will be a big boost for people with disabilities, people who cannot see well, people who are aging…and then of course there are those with altered senses. There won’t be any excuse for drunk driving, with driverless cars.
More than half of all 18-24 year olds admit to texting while driving. (I have observed my husband, who is hardly a teenager, have one hand on the wheel and a thumb on his I-phone.) Eighty per cent of young adults consistently drive while talking on the phone. Hands free driving will feel comfortable to them, since they are doing it already.
The technological advances are astonishing. Volvo already has a fleet of driverless cars and trucks on the highways. Watch video here.
By the year 2017, the City of Gothenburg in Sweden will have 100 cars driving themselves, in an effort to eliminate accidents. In the United States, there are 32,000 fatalities and more than a million crashes.
In Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, driverless electric cars are the only vehicles on the rode. Read more here.
Google already has a huge stake in the future of driving. Google wants to develop electric cars that are better than drivers. The Google test car has now driven more than a half a million miles without crashing. That’s twice as far as the average American drives before having an accident. Read more here.
Our 24-year-old son, who is unable to drive, has a deep attachment to the all-electric Wheego. Phillip calls it his car, and can’t wait for the day that he can punch in where he’s going, and then get there on his own, without being reliant on highly undependable public transportation or someone to drive him. Then it will be his “cool wheels.”