As cars become increasingly driverless, people are already seeking analogue motoring experiences

As cars become increasingly driverless, people are already seeking analogue motoring experiences
Credit: Rattawich Kamal/Shuttertstock

According to those in the industry, and researchers too, driverless cars will totally revolutionise the way we think about individual transport. They will change the way we work and rest. They could herald the end of traffic jams, and have the potential to change the lives of disabled people, to give a few examples. But as the push to get autonomous vehicles on the roads accelerates, there is one factor that deserves more consideration—the changing role of the human driver.

For many, driving is about getting from A to B, but even for those who wouldn't class themselves as "petrolheads," driving can be enjoyable. In fact, researchers argue that drivers can develop emotional connections to their cars and the experience of driving. Others have shown that this to cars is important for brand loyalty, and for many manufacturers emotion, or the emotive aspect of the driving experience, is a key part of their brand.

But we are moving closer and closer to a world where cars will not need drivers. Many new cars on the market, such as the Nissan Leaf or the Volvo V90, already contain some of the elements needed for "conditional automation," where technology can control speed, steering and other functions within specific conditions.

The most advanced systems allow cars, such as Audi's A8, to take full control in certain situations. But as computers take the wheel, what will happen to with cars?

The 'driver-car'

Building on existing research into car cultures, my Ph.D. theses looked at how the driven car is more than just a . It can be understood as a hybrid of human and machine. Drivers use their arms and hands to turn the steering wheel, while legs and feet press the pedals. The is an integral component of the driven car, as important as the engine or the wheels.

Thinking about the connection between car and driver as a "driver-car" hybrid is one way of remembering the people in . After all, as MIT transportation researcher Ashley Nunes recently said, "driverless will not mean humanless". These cars will still be used to transport people, even if they are not driving them.

Until relatively recently, removing the human from the driver-car would be just as drastic as removing the wheels, but increasingly we are moving towards a future where people take a more passive role. Where arms and hands previously kept a car in lane, now a programme can take over. And where legs and feet once accelerated and braked, a computer can control speed. For better or for worse, the human is increasingly being written out of the story of driving.

New car enthusiasms?

The driver-car also describes a complex relationship between humans and their cars, a connection which goes beyond embodiment to include emotional attachments to vehicles. Discussions of increasingly humanless cars have already caused some to reflect on the joys of driving which transcend the niches of petrolheads. Commenting in The Guardian, writer and presenter Victoria Coren-Mitchell noted that driving can be a "liberating and therapeutic activity", which we may lose if we are no longer in the driving seat, as it were.

Of course, there is the possibility that new enthusiasms for non-automated cars will arise out of the move towards fully . Across a number of technologies, more and more people have sought analogue experiences as digital has grown. Sales of vinyl records, for example, have risen despite the popularity of music downloads and streaming.

These non-automated cars could take the form of classic cars from a time before assisted driving, such as the original VW Beetle, or newer vehicles designed to give control more to the human driver and less to computer systems, such as the Ruf CTR.

Already some motoring commentators are talking of analogue driving, building a movement focused on driving experience and connection between the driver-car and the road, and manufacturers are picking up on this too. Alois Ruf, owner of Ruf, mentioned above, has said that their, "customers want an analogue car … a driver's car".

This analogue driving movement in part stems from the perceived negative impacts of technology on the haptic experience of driving. However, some manufacturers use language similar to that of the analogue driving movement in their promotion of driverless cars, suggesting that automated vehicles could in fact contribute to an improved connection between driver-car and the road.

Jaguar Land Rover, for example, say that, "self-driving vehicles will enhance the driver's experience—not replace it." Similarly, BMW presents the driverless car as something which "expands the driver's range of perception and transforms him or her into the ultimate driver."

One thing is for certain: as we move towards a near future where driverless cars become more common, human attitudes towards cars and driving will change dramatically. Only time will tell whether that will end our emotional relationships with our vehicles, or change it into something entirely new.


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User comments

Jun 12, 2019
Whether you and I like it or not autonomous vehicles will soon be the only motor vehicles allowed on the road.
As autonomous vehicles take over, the license fee for non autonomous motor vehicles will keep growing till no one can afford to license and drive a non autonomous motor vehicle. At that time the will become illegal to drive on the road.

Jun 12, 2019
As cars become increasingly driverless

Since when
Did cars become driverless?
Who can claim ownership?
Of a fully taxed and insured driverless car
That they use
To drive to Kroger's
To purchase their weekly shopping
Please enlighten us all
On this phys.org of its make and model
Because
We all want one

Jun 12, 2019
This misnomer: As cars become increasingly driverless

Concerning these drivers of these driverless cars
As driverless cars have a driver
For who can claim ownership?
Of a fully taxed and insured driverless car
That they use
To dive to Kroger's
Because
For your driverless car
Has to be taxed and insured
In case of accidents
For this automaton
Does not work
Does not earn a living wage
It is up to this owner
Of this driverless car
To ensure their legal requirement
It is up to this owner to ensure this car is fully taxed and ensured

Jun 12, 2019

It is up to this owner to ensure this car is fully taxed and ensured

Eventually in the near future, driverless taxi cabs will not be owned by anyone.
Robots will design, build and service robots.
The cars materials will be mined and refined by robots. The mining equipment will be built and serviced by robots. The cars will be built and serviced by robots and the cars will be both free and antonyms.

That is called progress and it has never been stopped in the history of the human race. It is true progress has sometimes been temporarily slowed down but never stopped.

Jun 12, 2019
Rderkis

It is up to this owner to ensure this car is fully taxed and ensured

rderkis> Eventually in the near future, driverless taxi cabs will not be owned by anyone.
Robots will design, build and service robots.
The cars materials will be mined and refined by robots. The mining equipment will be built and serviced by robots. The cars will be built and serviced by robots and the cars will be both free and antonyms.

Rderkis, this is correct
For when robots carry out all tasks
But not in anyone's lifetime who is alive today

Jun 12, 2019
But not in anyone's lifetime who is alive today


Wrong, if you live anouther (guessing) 10 years, death will be optional for you and your then 18 (equivalent) year old body.

Jun 12, 2019
will the police use self driving ?

as for the drivel above ,,,,,

Jun 12, 2019
''As cars become increasingly driverless '' ,

[there are no driverless cars on the road ]

''people are already seeking analogue motoring experiences ''

[ they r seeking them eh? lol , shouldn't be too hard ,,,

Jun 12, 2019
will the police use self driving ?

No question is dumb but some come close.
Of course a police car will be anonymous. But then again the policeman will be a robot.

Another important point is, since we lose more of our privacy everyday, eventually there will be no privacy. While there are many cons to that, there is one big pro. Thanks to face recognition and biorecognition, crime will be almost non existent. If you commit a crime you WILL be caught! A great law book stated somthing like "It's not the severity of the punishment but the certainty of getting caught the deters crime the most."

Now all this progress will happen. No one in history has ever stopped progress. Slowed progress down a little sometimes but never stopped progress.

Jun 12, 2019
rederkulous , a ' brave new world ' enthusiast

Jun 12, 2019
As cars become increasingly driverless

Since when
Did cars become driverless?
Who can claim ownership?
Of a fully taxed and insured driverless car
That they use
To drive to Kroger's
To purchase their weekly shopping
Please enlighten us all
On this phys.org of its make and model
Because
We all want one
I'm just amazed that you guys have Kroger's over there across the pond... :-)

Jun 13, 2019
rederkulous , a ' brave new world ' enthusiast


That's exactly right. We call it utopia.
As for YOU conspiracy theorists, that see a conspiracy under every rock. The ones that still insist the earth is flat and no one ever walked on the moon, they will be able to fix your distorted brain chemistry.

BTW You will notice I am not insulting you directly, that would not be mature. Plus that is a symptom of a distorted brain also.

Jun 13, 2019
As this Pond gets smaller with every day

Whydening Gyre: I'm just amazed that you guys have Kroger's over there across the pond... :-)

Well, WG
Not only the other day
Our president, Donald
In number 10 Downing St
Announced his successor, Boris
While Teresa was by Donald's side

Jun 13, 2019
Quote granville583762 ---"
Our president, Donald
In number 10 Downing St
Announced his successor, Boris
While Teresa was by Donald's side
"

This is fake news. Put up by someone who values their own opinion above what is true and right with civilization. Or perhaps a distorted sense of humor from a warped comedians mind.

Jun 13, 2019
It's a Joke

But it is true
Quote granville583762 ---"
Our president, Donald
In number 10 Downing St
Announced his successor, Boris
While Teresa was by Donald's side
"

This is fake news. Put up by someone who values their own opinion above what is true and right with civilization. Or perhaps a distorted sense of humor from a warped comedians mind.

He just was not supposed to say
But
He's Donald, so just like Boris, he can't help him self

Jun 13, 2019
It's a Joke

But it is true
Quote granville583762 ---"
Our president, Donald
In number 10 Downing St
Announced his successor, Boris
While Teresa was by Donald's side
"

This is fake news. Put up by someone who values their own opinion above what is true and right with civilization. Or perhaps a distorted sense of humor from a warped comedians mind.

He just was not supposed to say
But
He's Donald, so just like Boris, he can't help him self


I repeat

This is fake news. Since you say it's true, you spread fake news. Put up by someone who values their own opinion above what is true and right with civilization. Or perhaps a distorted sense of humor from a warped comedians mind.

Jun 13, 2019
@ rederkulous

'' utopia '' = chinas 'social credit system'

Jun 13, 2019
Do you think so, or is this just more of both your fake news and more of your childish attempt to bully me. Pardon me for asking, but my being a person who never allowed personal bullying without server retaliation, I always wonder where in your mind the desire to bully someone you don't know, never meet, never will meet comes from? Is it just for your twisted personal entertainment?
This is not a personal attack so please don't get mad.

Jun 13, 2019
@ ridiculous , fair enough , no harm intended . [u know what they say about kitchens]

maybe you can answer me this ; what will humans be doing when robots have taken over ?

Jun 13, 2019
@ ridiculous , fair enough , no harm intended . [u know what they say about kitchens]

maybe you can answer me this ; what will humans be doing when robots have taken over ?


That is really hard to answer but maybe I can answer that hard question like this.
What would you do tomorrow if you completely retired today?
fishing, hunting, socializing, painting, reading, writing, experimenting, designing things for personal use, learning and playing a instrument, computer virtual games, hiking, biking, skiing, swimming etc.. Wow, and that is just a start. The list goes on and on.

Money is basically just bartering my time for yours.
When robots do ALL the work there will be no money.
Think of it like this -- How much does a single tooth pick cost?
Free because they are pretty much available everywhere, and very little human work involved. Your car will be like that free as a toothpick, as well as everything else.

Jun 13, 2019
Forecasting the future is not that hard for anyone, if you ca be objective. Which none of us can be. The part that is almost impossible is forecast is when that future will become reality.

For example -- Truly autonomous cars. That will happen eventually. Once lawmakers send their kids to school in a autonomous car, how long will it be till they want to get me out of the driver's seat? I am 72 and a very bad driver. No concentration, pain pills, distracted easily, slow reactions. It is unsafe for me to be on the road with their children unless I to am in a autonomous vehicle.
Robots doing ALL the work. While hard to imagine it is starting to happen now. Not just menual jobs like flipping burgers or making coffee but also performing surgery and diagnosing diseases etc.

Jun 13, 2019
We are both expressing personal desires rather thinking realistically about what is possible. Who knows ? , we have made great progress and live in the best of times .
re hobbies etc. [for life] , the devil finds work for idle minds

Jun 13, 2019
There is a renowned scientist, futurest by the name of Ray Kurzweil (look him up on wikipedia), who did a very scientific study on the speed of scientific progress since the time of Christ till the present. The romans, egyptians, and greeks kept meticulous records of such discoveries.
After plotting all such discoveries on a graph he came up with a formula/timeline, result of the current speed of tech progress( All very scientific with no speculating). His results are so unbelievable a lot of scientists, laymen etc tried to prove the great scientist wrong. They ALL came up with approximately the same answer. The way to figure the error rate for a future projection is to divide the years projected / 2000 study. Example 20 year projection = 20/2000 = 0.01 , so that's a 1% error rate for 20 years??? Very low!

Here is the study
http://theemergin...ment.pdf

One of the things I found interesting was no significant change for plague, wars etc.


Jun 13, 2019
some objections ;

beware exponential curves , in nature [and markets ] they always reverse

the motivation behind some of this stuff , AGW , self drivers , surveilance and control tech , is not about betterment its about control OF US ! by interests that are secret. The denser the population the more it is regulated [ at least in developed nations]

Jun 14, 2019
some objections ;

beware exponential curves , in nature [and markets ] they always reverse

the motivation behind some of this stuff , AGW , self drivers , surveilance and control tech , is not about betterment its about control OF US ! by interests that are secret. The denser the population the more it is regulated [ at least in developed nations]


Tip --the word ALWAYS is absolute and when you use it you are usually 99.9% wrong.

I am not in the least little bit a conspiracy theorist. I am not naive enough to believe conspiracies don't happen but they are small and meaningless in the grand scheme of things. For example the ones you mention. We live in a country where the citizens are better off than 93% of the rest of the world's population. In my book that is great and whatever our government is doing they are doing it right! There is a saying don't rock the boat because you might tip it over.

Jun 14, 2019
they always reverse

so JFK was small and meaningless

so the deaths of US servicemen in the bush/bilderberg wars was '' small and meaningless '

the flood of muslims into EU/ UK is ' 'small and meaningless''

????

Jun 14, 2019
they always reverse

so JFK was small and meaningless

so the deaths of US servicemen in the bush/bilderberg wars was '' small and meaningless '

the flood of muslims into EU/ UK is ' 'small and meaningless''

????


Thank you for proving my point beyond a shadow of a doubt. None of those were conspiracies and even if they were they have no importance now.

JFK who? :-)

Jun 14, 2019
lbj who ? vietnam / whats that ?
'None of those were conspiracies''
so the wars in the mid east and the fallout happened all by themselves , who decided and why ?

who is attcking trump and why ?

Jun 14, 2019
lbj who ? vietnam / whats that ?
'None of those were conspiracies''
so the wars in the mid east and the fallout happened all by themselves , who decided and why ?

who is attcking trump and why ?


I am sorry I should write in easier to understand terms. I NEVER said those things did not happen. In spite of your beliefs, everything that happens is NOT a conspiracy. That is not the definition of a conspiracy. I am done now, I can not intelligently talk to someone who not only believes the world is flat but also believes it is a conspiracy to hide the truth by everyone.

Jun 14, 2019
who is attcking trump and why ?


Now here I am agreeing with you, in that President Trump is being attacked from almost all directions. What I don't agree with is that it is a major conspiracy. Yes, the democratic party and its members are attacking Trump, but that is to be expected. That is not a conspiracy because it open and known by everyone. The news agencies are attacking Trump but not as a organized conspiracy with other news agencies. They are each doing it independently, but it would seem like they are conspiring together but they are not, there is to much competition between them.
As to why they are attacking president Trump, I am sure there are many reasons. The funny thing is they not only dislike his politics they HATE him. That hate is manifested because of a cycle of believing their own propaganda. The more propaganda they publish and then read and believe the more they hate him. So they publish more propaganda which they read. etc. It's a cycle.

Jun 14, 2019
conspiracy or not [haha] , this is intersting to watch [ which makes it true ]

https://www.youtu...0tJBfZN4

Jun 14, 2019
''to hide the truth by everyone. ''

not everyone , just Bilderbergs who r a conspiricy by definition

Trump is not part of ' the plan' , the narrative [ the job of MSM ]

''conspiring together but they are not, there is to much competition between them.''

really ? why is it international ? is French TV expecting me to watch ?

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