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Wake Up! September 10, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.

Did you hear about the guy driving on the Massachusetts Pike, with a passenger on board, while both appeared to be sound asleep?

Yup.  It happened yesterday.

The couple were in a self driving car and . . . (wait for it!) . . . Massachusetts State Police told WBZ-TV there’s technically no law against falling asleep behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

Say what?!

Just think of the benefit of a self-driving car to people who want to drive while:

(a) applying make-up; (b) shaving; (c) texting;
(d) eating; (e) surfing the web; (f) having sex;
(g) reading a newspaper; (h) painting; or
(i) catching some ZZZ’s.

Time for a nap.  Guess I’ll take a drive.

Aah . . . that’s scary!

To read more:  TESLA Driver Asleep on the Mass Pike (CBS Boston) * Destined to Fall: Auto Safety Expert Calls for Oversight (CBS Boston)

F.N.  In a statement included in the second article, Tesla said the system reminds drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

“Many of these videos appear to be dangerous pranks or hoaxes,” a Tesla spokesperson said. “Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored. At highway speeds, drivers typically receive warnings every 30 seconds or less if their hands aren’t detected on the wheel. Tesla owners have driven billions of miles using Autopilot, and data from our quarterly Vehicle Safety Report indicates that drivers using Autopilot experience fewer accidents than those operating without assistance.”

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Jill Weatherholt - September 10, 2019

As someone who likes to maintain control and won’t use cruise control, I’m having a hard time getting on board with these cars. I’m picturing those Rumba vacuums going around the floor and bumping into all of the furniture.

nrhatch - September 10, 2019

I agree, Jill. It’s disconcerting to see people behind the wheel who are obviously distracted. Seeing a “driver” who is fast asleep would be incredibly scary.

Of course, some drivers are absolute terrors behind the wheel. Having a “Rumba” driving for them might be an improvement. 😛

2. Tippy Gnu - September 10, 2019

You would have to mention “(f) having sex.” And is it coincidental that it’s “f” on the list?

I’ve heard of a mile-high club. Now with self-driving cars, I’ll bet we’re gonna get something like a hundred-mile-an-hour club.

nrhatch - September 10, 2019

Yup. Just a happy coincidence awaiting commentary.

“The hundred-mile-an-hour club” might be a bit too wordy. What about the Freudian Slip club?

Or maybe we can do a play on words with Pike or Parkway?

Tippy Gnu - September 10, 2019

Sounds good. Or how about, The Hot Rod Club?

This could give new meaning to the expression, Pike’s Peak or Bust.

nrhatch - September 10, 2019

The possibilities are endless! 😀

3. Joanne Sisco - September 10, 2019

yeaaaaah …. no. I’m not ready.

nrhatch - September 10, 2019

Maybe on a closed course . . . you know, like a roller coaster! 😀

Joanne Sisco - September 11, 2019

… or a train 😉

nrhatch - September 11, 2019

A~L~L . . . A~B~O~A~R~D!

4. Rivergirl - September 10, 2019

No self driving cats for me thank you very much. I don’t like the self braking or lane assist deal either….

nrhatch - September 10, 2019

I’m with you. I want to make my own mistakes!

5. colonialist - September 10, 2019

I am convinced that autopilot would be a lot more reliable than the majority of our local taxi drivers!

nrhatch - September 10, 2019

You might be right, Col! Auto pilots might be of use in Rome too.

6. Debra - September 10, 2019

I’ve been saying that when these self-driving autos are more frequently found on the highways, I’m going to stop driving. I don’t think I’m kidding. I just can’t see how I’d ever trust the technology. 🙂

nrhatch - September 11, 2019

You and me both, Debra.

Life is moving a bit too fast for me in many ways. I like life in the slow lane. I need to find a small village within walking distance to shops and groceries . . . and stay put! Maybe in England. They know how to do a good tea. 😀

7. L. Marie - September 11, 2019

A friend test drove a Tesla. He went with his grandson to a mall in Boston and was able to take one on the road. He said it was very weird to have the car take over and drive on the highway, even switching lanes and parallel parking later.

nrhatch - September 11, 2019

That would be strange. When I learned to drive, I loved the actual process of driving . . . not just having a car and having the ability to get from Point A to Point B.

On a related note, I much prefer playing the piano to listening to a player piano play the notes for me.

8. Behind the Story - September 12, 2019

It will take some getting used to, but I suppose we will. I like the idea of the car reminding you to keep your hands on the wheel. Thinking of future trends, I notice that my Millennial grandchildren don’t want a car. They walk, ride a bike, take the bus (or when necessary, an Uber), and my granddaughter works remotely from home. So maybe cars will not be the big issue.

nrhatch - September 12, 2019

You’ve raised some excellent points, Nicki. I’ve never lived somewhere where I didn’t need a car ~ too far from stores, shops, and work . . . but as more and more people work from home, cars may become less integral to our daily lives.

9. Ally Bean - September 12, 2019

I don’t have a good feeling about these cars. I tend to want to control the machines in my life, not the other way around.

nrhatch - September 12, 2019

You and me both, Ally. I don’t want any smart(ass) refrigerator or microwave telling me to step away from the pizza. 😀

Ally Bean - September 12, 2019

Exactly. It’s bad enough how overly enthusiastic our clothes dryer is when it has dried the clothes. The darned thing never stops beeping and buzzing– until you pay it heed.

nrhatch - September 12, 2019

Yes! Machines can be so insistent and, dare i say, needy. 😛

10. Luanne - September 13, 2019

Those self-driving cars are scary to me!

nrhatch - September 16, 2019

Me too. They remind me of the Carousel Horses in Mary Poppins (original film) that hopped off the Merry-Go-Round to wander hither and yon around the countryside, without so much as a “by your leave” to their riders. :mrgreen:

Luanne - September 16, 2019

That is a pretty way to think of it!!! We had a fatality here in Phoenix because a self-driving car did not stop in time for a lady walking her bike in the dark across the street. The “driver” was on video ignoring the street–of course, nobody who isn’t driving is going to watch the way somebody driving will watch. or what’s the point of it? So stupid.

nrhatch - September 16, 2019

I saw that on the news. Sad, unnecessary, and stupid. 😦

11. joyroses13 - September 16, 2019

I am soooo not ready for these cars. The highways are dangerous enough with stupid drivers and now we are going to bring on cars that can malfunction and give already stupid drivers another reason to not pay attention ……I am walking everywhere. LOL!

nrhatch - September 16, 2019

BFF and I are thinking about moving to a wee village in the Scottish Highlands (or perhaps the Orkney Isles) where we can walk into the village for neeps and tatties without running into any self-driving cars and without having any self-driving cars run into us!

joyroses13 - September 16, 2019

Sounds like a smart plan! 🙂

nrhatch - September 16, 2019

To Skara Brae!

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