Quick Post: Car EN-V!

Dear Reader:

This is just a quick post in between the Dumpster Diving Parts One and Two. For a few months now I’ve been yearning for a car. Not just any car. I want a compact, fuel efficient, easily parked vehicle. In contemplating the future of driving, I’ve often thought that someday we won’t even have to drive our cars–they will drive us. It seemed to me that with the satellites, GPS technologies, and the advent of cars that can parallel park for you, it would only be a short step to all vehicles on the road being hooked into a computerized “net” that would guide the car over the road, avoiding accidents, conserving fuel, and allowing the “driver” to basically sit back and enjoy the ride. It would be like taking the train . . . only in your own personal bubble.

So, today I ran across this article about a car-in-the-making, designed by GM for the Chinese market. May I introduce the EN-V. The small size and weird shape was enough to intrigue me, but as I read further in the article, I discovered that I’m not the only one imagining little cars being manipulated around the roadways by computer. The article reads, Apart from its diminutive size and light weight — 880 pounds including the passengers — the vehicle would offer drivers the option of “autonomous driving:” letting the car drive itself via an elaborate system of GPS systems, digital maps, roadway and vehicle sensors, cameras and other devices.

Will we ever really see something like this in our American cities? Or out here on the rural by-ways where we can never hope to have access to trains and mono-rails? Without the threat of accidents, the safety issue would be moot (until the computer glitches, I suppose.) What do you think? Is this something you would ride around in, say, around 2020? Click HERE for some photos at the official GM EN-V site.

4 responses to “Quick Post: Car EN-V!

  1. WOW Shelley! I dont know about you but I would love for the kids to have these….fewer accidents and I would even be able to breath when I knew she was on the road. But I dont see this car being available when the kids are driving…too bad!

  2. Tina–Absolutely! But, yes, 2020 is a-ways away. Who knows, though. If oil gets scarce and we come up with some great solutions for electricity generation, we may see things speeding up (while the cars slow down. This one’s top speed is 24 mph.)

  3. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever. I can’t tell you how badly computer controlled things creep me out. Those computer glitches that you mention are a given, they will exist, just as they do now with computer controlled brakes and with GPS systems suggesting that people drive into lakes and off of bridges that no longer exist. Add to that the thrill of “drivers” who have been lulled into passive inattention and response times would suffer so badly (use it or lose it) even a manual over-ride would be unlikely to be useful enough fast enough (perhaps that’s why they only go 24 MPH?). The cars would also have to be much, much bigger as becoming that passive seems unlikely to have a positive effect on our current obesity trends (I’m having flashbacks of the movie Wall-E)!

    • Good points. If only we could get the passenger trains up and running again . . . although I read some opinion that they really weren’t the best kind of travel option for our country considering the wide-open spaciness versus, say, Europe. Not sure what the answer is. I don’t think horse and buggy will quite do the trick anymore.

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