“Oh no you don’t; not without an argument, a fight and a lawsuit!” That’s what I’d say if they ever tell me to relinquish my driver’s license. They’d probably claim that I’m a hazard on the road. They’d reason that I could hurt myself and everyone passing, driving or thinking of entering my space. They’d say that they have no choice for the sake and safety of society but to get me of the road.
I’d be grounded: permanently. Condemned to a life at home except for the distance to which I can walk. Or totter. “Oh, Fie,” to quote Shakespeare.” Or as Mercutio said in Romeo and Juliet, “A plague on both your houses.” Shakespeare understood these feelings even though he couldn’t have known that this stage of life was approaching. Nobody had these problems with the horse and cart.
Do they plan to provide any compensation? Will the town provide compromise? Will they offer free Uber service? A pogo stick as an honorarium? A bicycle as payola? No, of course not.
But now that scenario never has to be be played again! We are fast-forwarding to a world that has invented self-driving cars! You’ll be the non-driver in your own driverless car, free to come, go, or stay in your car for as long as you’d like. Never again will there be a need for higher mathematics, figuring out how much of a tip to leave for a taxi cab driver. No more fears of “Road Rage.” No more facing the perils of backing into too small parking spaces.
And it won’t stop there! Maybe some day soon the car industry will re-partner with the computer industry and configure a vehicle for snowy, rainy, foggy days. It will drive you to the supermarket, the drug store or the shoemaker. And whether you’re a baker, butcher or candlestick maker it will park itself and go inside to manage your errands while you relax in the warm, dry car!
Downton Abbey has run it’s course so we can no longer be part of the scenario as footmen, butlers and maids see to it that everyone in the household is properly served. But we can maintain the freedom to move about independently and relish the joy of freedom. The future is bright and active!