It’s getting easier and easier to imagine Space Age scenarios these days. And social media just constantly reminds us of all these crazy ideas and technology improvements because everybody gets to talk about them online and spread the word like rapidfire. Soon enough, we might be able to take advantage of another huge development — robot cars! — and be able to talk about it while we’re casually riding in them, not having to pay attention to the road. Let the tweeting and driving begin.
These self-driving cars already exist, and they are one of many Google projects. Google announced that it was working on these vehicles, which do not require passengers to do any actual driving, last year, and right now, the company is working to lobby the Nevada legislature to allow people to use them legally in that state. Google has already tested the cars on highways in California, but they are not legal for anything but test-driving at this point.
If our nation does slowly become one in which robotic cars are the norm, it’s easy to imagine a social media explosion. What with texting bans becoming more and more common, cars that do not require human mechanical or mental power to drive would allow passengers to use their mobiles and smartphones safely on the go. We already see transportation time as lost time — we desperately rely on our morning radio shows and mix CDs to entertain us on our morning and evening car commutes. Self-driving cars would make car commuters into something more like the train commuter, only without the distractions and inconveniences of traveling alongside large groups of people.
There are already many Twitter accounts that center around commutes, giving updates — but for the millions of car commuters, how are you supposed to get updates on-the-go if you are driving safely? Messages from sources like @commuter will suddenly be a lot more accessible. Cool accounts like @commuterreading, which delivers cool tweets that provide concise reviews of things to read while on your commute, will suddenly be a lot more relevant.
Not only would Nevada drivers, and maybe eventually drivers everywhere, get to receive more tweets, but they will also get to send more messages of their own into the universe. Will tweets get more contemplative? Will people suddenly find more peace in their daily routines if they are able to just sit back and relax in the intimacy of their own private robot car?
Would you use Twitter more if you had a robot car?