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In a different lane

Motoring is nice; motorists always give each other room to change lanes and nobody behind the wheel ever suffers from road rage. Motoring may be like this in the future, when smart machines are in charge of driving and people are only in traffic as passengers

Soon there will no longer be any sense in yelling at other people in traffic. Accusations about other people’s ineptitude will no longer be directed at individual drivers, but at car models that are programmed to act in a certain way.

“How could someone have programmed a car to function so stupidly?” The sound of tooting will disappear from the city soundscape when every vehicle flows smoothly forwards in harmonious mutual understanding. The last people driving in old cars will of course try to increase the speed of their vehicles by honking the horn, but I doubt that the cool logical smart cars will react to the impatient attempts of humans to provoke them.

Nobody will stop at gas stations any more other than to fill up, since you can enjoy a picnic in peace in your own car when a computer is handling the driving. Of course, old hillbilly types may still be found in roadside diners in small towns in the future, with time on their hands as the tractors work independently in the fields.

At car shows, you won’t be admiring the cars any more, just the computers. Software programmers will tune up the cars in dark rooms throughout the night, and the only oil on their fingers will be from potato chips.

The best part about cars becoming smarter is that there will be no need in the future for age limits for driving. Why would you need age limits if steering is done by a computer? After all, you don’t need a driving license to be a passenger.

So let’s enjoy our own strange traffic culture as long as it still exists. In the future you will only see passengers fumbling with their smart phones in cars. Road signs, speed limit signs and roadside advertizing will be roadside trash, which will be scrapped. So toot at the idiot in front of you - tomorrow it may be a computer.

COLUMN SAMU RINTALA