Category : technology
Earlier this week, I was thinking back to the first computer I owned over 30 years ago, and I was reminiscing at just how clunky it was in comparison to modern technology. But then, I don’t have to think back that far to see how much my life has changed due to new technology.
It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I was carrying around a Nokia brick, great for phone calls and text messaging but little else. Now I spend a lot of my day looking up things on my Internet and app-enabled phone. It’s not like I’m doing anything new – I had the ability to check the weather 30 years ago too. It’s just becoming a lot easier to do it.
Do you want to see a movie? No worries, I’ll just buy a ticket now and we can skip the queue.
Order pizza? These days I order pizza on a phone app and it’s ready by the time I drive past. I just walk in, pick it up and keep going.
I got to thinking about what is next? What is the next bit of technology that is going to change my day to day life?
Driverless cars seem to be all the rage at the moment. Many car manufacturers, and even a few other players like Google and Uber have come out and said that they’ll have something ready for 5-10 years from now.
Of course they’re not really new are they? Michael Knight was driving around in one years ago..
Driverless is one thing, but to really be useful, I’m going to push the envelope and go for unsupervised driverless cars.
Here’s a taste of how my life would be different.
[If you would rather know how they work, skip to the bottom of this article!]
1. No more picking up the shopping
The shopping is one of those chores that are hard to avoid. After all, we’ve got to eat! I haven’t made the transition to online shopping yet. One of the reasons is that I really don’t want to commit to being home to receive the delivery.
But how about if I could just send the car?
Some supermarkets already have a click and collect arrangement where I can order my goods online, then drop into the store and pick it up.
I’m sure they could make that a “send your car over to collect” service. Beats me having to do it!
2. No more walking to sporting events
My wife and I regularly head off to watch the footy (Go Cats!). This usually means parking a fair distance away and hiking to the ground. Even in Geelong, we’re parking a good ten minutes walk away from the ground. The walk to Etihad stadium and the MCG in Melbourne is worse.
I would love to be able to get out of the car right next to the ground, then just tell it to go and park itself somewhere.
Afterwards, I can just give it a call and have it pick us up somewhere near the ground.
3. No more expensive airport parking!
Speaking of parking – there seems to be nothing in the world more expensive than an airport car park. The Melbourne airport in particular is a long way from home, and getting someone to drop us off is often a struggle. So we end up driving ourselves.
When we get there, we’re often parking miles away and trying to juggle kids and bags through the car park, onto a long term car park bus and into the terminal.
I love going away, but the parking at the airport really brings the mood down.
I would love to get dropped off at the front door, then just send the car home for the week. It can come back and pick us up when we get back.
No more expensive airport parking!
4. No more paying for parking anywhere!
Actually, why not extend that? Why pay for parking anywhere at all? We can just drive into wherever we’re going and get the car to go and park itself wherever there is free parking. Do I really care if it has to travel 5kms to find some?
No more city parking at $48 for a few hours!
[At this point, I wonder about how airport parking and other parking industries will survive in the world of driverless cars?]
5. Pick up the kids from the train station, sporting events, etc.
By the time driverless cars are available, my kids are likely to be teenagers. It would be great if the car can go and pick them up from their regular sporting events, or when they get back to the train station from a late night out in the city.
If anyone could make an automated way to drop off the kids to school and pick them up, all the while supervising them properly, they would be very, very rich!
6. The car can take itself off for a service
This one is a bit of a problem in my family. We have two cars. The family all fits in one, but doesn’t fit in the other. When we want to get the main car serviced, we have to drop it off and pick it up when we don’t have all of the kids at home. This is a real pain to organise.
I would love the car to be able to drive itself off to the mechanic’s and bring it back when it’s ready!
7. Catch up on sleep during those long drives
We have a lot of friends in Geelong, and are constantly driving from Melbourne to Geelong and back. The activities when we get there are limited somewhat by how awake I am. After all, I need to be alert enough to drive home late at night.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could stay out late then just sleep while the car drives us all the way home?
That would be awesome!
So how would a driverless car change your life?
What technology has made the biggest change for you?
PS – If you found this interesting, please share it with your friends by using the share buttons below. Thanks!
PPS – I can’t let you go without saying something about how driverless cars actually work. Here’s a nifty little overview, thanks to The Economist.
About the author
Leon Troeth is a Melbourne-based freelance technology copywriter. Leon loves turning complex tech jargon and concepts into articles that everyone can understand.