Friday, October 27, 2006

The "Automatic" Car

It's a rainy day in Georgia, and I'm sitting in my trusty neighborhood coffee shop. Well, I live in the middle of nowhere, so technically it's more of a countyhood coffee shop, but whatev. I saw a commercial last night for a new car (Mercedes? I don't pay attention to brands) that parallel parks itself! This is pretty exciting, no? Think of the possibilities...

Code Monkey recently had an opportunity to enable the GPS chip on his phone and use it for a free trial period. This actually came in handy, because we live roughly 3 hours from each other and usually end up meeting halfway, in a city that neither of us knows very well. The three places we can get to with absolutely no problem: the mall, one of the four movie theaters in the area, and a kick-ass Indian restaurant (YUM!) During our last rendezvous, we decided to see a movie but didn't like the choices at the first movie theater. So he pulled out his phone, got show times for other theaters, picked which one we wanted to see (Man of the Year, which: eh), got directions using the GPS navigation, and then his phone TALKED US TO THE LOCATION. It was beyond cool. Every time we came to an intersection, the phone (which is apparently female) would tell us which way to turn, and even how far we were from our destination. Pretty sweet.

So, if cars can park themselves for us, and we have GPS that navigates us to where ever we need to go, I'm thinking pretty soon we won't even need to drive cars anymore. Pop some sensors in those babies (so they know when they're getting too close to another vehicle, thus avoiding accidents) and I'll be more than content to let them cart me around.

Of course, we could also invest that money and research into more alternative fuel sources and public transportation, and that would be even better, but I'm doubting that'll happen before the self-driving car.

Next stop: getting those suckers to fly!

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