Why My Next Car Will Be An Autonomous (Self-Driving) Vehicle

I love my Tesla, but I hate driving it.

Let me explain. Every weekday morning and evening, I slide behind the wheel of this fancy-pants car and proceed to spend an average of 45 minutes commuting. This is not the exhilarating, windows down, rock-music-blaring type of driving. It’s just driving; it’s navigating traffic ebbs and flows on my way to the office.

I know there are better uses for that hour and a half of my day. That’s why my next car will be an autonomous (self-driving) vehicle.

I’m counting the days until I can use my morning drive to plan for my first meeting. I’m dying to spend my afternoon commute writing thoughtful email replies or getting caught up on the latest research report.

I know what you may be thinking. “Geez. This dude needs to chill out and enjoy the ride. Quit being so type A!” But that’s not it. I’m not just a professional – I’m a husband and father. So, I’m looking forward to this new technology because it offers the opportunity for me to be more present with my family.

Today’s ever-changing, ever-accelerating technology gets a bad rap. Folks have pointed out that it can diminish our personal relationships and make it impossible to truly leave work at the office. Ever heard of “Phubbing?” It’s a hybrid word for snubbing someone you’re with in real life by being engrossed in your smartphone. And believe me, I know that in today’s world, so many of us are expected to be on call for our clients, team members and employers 24/7.

But ultimately, how we use technology is on us. Technology isn’t inherently alienating – it’s not good or bad. What creates these issues is how we harness and manage technology.

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For me, I am already a better family man because of technology. I try to leave the office at 5:00 EVERY DAY. I can do that because I save all of my non-critical emails for the evening. So, when I get home, I engage with my family. That means having dinner together, getting the kids bathed, and putting them to bed. Afterward, I respond to those routine emails before powering down for the night. Were it not for technology, I may be at the office until 6:30 or later, and I could miss out on important family time.

If I could wrap up the day on the way home from work, as my car handled the driving, I wouldn’t have even that intrusion into my evenings. Similarly, If I could use the morning commute to plan for my first client or team meeting, I would start the day ahead of the curve and less stressed. For me, the idea of self-driving cars holds so much promise to increase both my effectiveness at work and time with the family.

I know sometimes our drive home is a time for peaceful decompression from the day. True alone time, or downtime, is a scarcity for some of us, and many folks look forward to the time in their commute. But even this would be enhanced if we didn’t have to worry about driving and traffic. We could lean our seats back, close our eyes, and really unwind.

I’m not sure how long it will be before self-driving vehicles become generally available, but on that day, I’ll be willing to make you a great deal on a Tesla.

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