Self Driving Cars…The Finnish Approach


Self Driving Cars…The Finnish Approach

The folks in Helsinki are planning to have only self driving cars on the road by 2030. That’s only 15 years away. They are certain it is happening, their only concern is that Google may be running the show. Read about it on

I have spoken to a number of folks who seem to know about this and they think that the self driving car concept may be a tad further out than that.  One of the main concerns is liability, and where state and local governments will place it.  If a self driving car has a wreck who is to blame? Is it the manufacturer, the software engineers, the owner? One could probably make a case for any of these but its still a major issue, and remember most politicians who will make those decisions are lawyers. Its going to take more time to sort that out than ensuring they don’t hit one another.

I have come concerns —

First — Driving is Fun. Many people aren’t going to want to give up their cars because they like driving them. Sure it may not be a rocking good time on the 405 at 5 pm on Friday, but on Saturday morning when the open road beckons, stand back.

Second — I hope they aren’t running these suckers in a cloud. I just turned on my PC and found that the ‘net was down — or was it. At least it took a couple of ‘goes’ to get on the air, so to speak. And although it appears that Google is fast, is it fast enough to get the brake engaged before hitting the semi that just stopped in front of us?

Third — I’m as egalitarian as the next guy, but maybe I don’t want to go to that black tie dinner in the next rust bucket that comes down the line. Will we have VIP cars, standard, and minis based on how much we want to pay.

Fourth — Control. Do I really want to give up control to some nameless company living in a cloud with software geeks deciding how fast I am going to go and just what route I’m going to take. OK maybe their way will be better than mine, but so what.

My great grand children will probably never have driven a car. They will never have experienced ‘new car smell.’ They will never have to think about ‘breaking in’ a car and whether or not to ‘red line’ it before 1000 miles. Of course, they will never have to pay a parking ticket either.

The new generations miss so much. Its sad one of the things will be the freedom driving a car brings. The Finns probably don’t care — after all their have Reindeer to pull their sleighs.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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