Thursday, May 11, 2017

Back & Forth


On Wednesday I picked up a rental car in the morning and made my way through all of the morning traffic on the Gardiner and the QEW to the 401. I was headed to London to help my mother buy a new iPad, because the old one she had was according to her, "bewitched." On the way I decided to head up to Georgetown to pick up some pies and scones for her from Miller's Scottish Bakery. They make everything on sit and Mom loves the quality and taste of their food. 

Driving north on Winston Churchill Boulevard you have to take Highway 7 through the area of Halton Hills, which with all the rain last week had most of its road destroyed. This meant a half an hour in traffic because the road that was left was reduced to one lane as construction crews waived one side through at a time. Finally arriving I picked up the pies and headed south on Mountainview Road unsure if it met up with the 401. It didn't, but it met another road that eventually did, allowing me to continue West to London. The rest of the trip there, while busy, didn't have any other traffic tie-ups. 

In London, we traded in Mom's old iPad for a new one, then had a nice lunch at Archie's before I made my way to Toronto. On the drive back the traffic was heavy and then stalled just west of the 427. So I too Renforth Drive south to Bloor Street then Kipling south to Lakeshore allowing me to bypass most of the traffic. From there I was able to drop off the rental car and make my room. All together I spent 3 hours both ways, meaning a total of 6 hours in the car going back and forth for a short 4 hour visit, which was crazy. 

Every time I make the trip I think how our current car and transportation system is woefully inefficient. We really do need to make the change to driverless vehicles. So many of the problems of our current car use on roads would be eliminated with driverless cars. Imagine not owning a car and just calling one, like car shares when you needed one. Imagine then that each car was connected to all the other driverless cars on the road allowing them to travel closer together and at higher speeds. They would also be aware of all traffic patterns in present time allowing them to make decisions about how to travel from point A to point B in the most efficient manner decreasing traffic problems. So many of the problems we have on highways and roads really relate to choices made by people that result in traffic jams. Driverless vehicles wouldn't make decisions based on emotion or a lack of knowledge allowing for more cars on the road. It would also make for less stress for passengers as they wouldn't be at the mercy of other drivers, making for a more enjoyable trip. In the end, the only obstacle we will face is the North American love affair with the car and all it symbolizes, wealth, status, freedom and individualism. 


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