Have we seen the end of rush hour madness?
Its a fact of daily life, or a least it was until the world got turned upside by this ‘flu’. There’s little more frustrating than sitting in traffic jams, I should know as I’ve been in more than my fair share of them. They’re just such a waste of life. However, the only surprising thing about them is that we remain consistently surprised whenever we encounter one. We know full well that ring road will be choc-a-bloc between 5pm and 6pm yet we still try to navigate it believing that somehow this time it will be different.
In my long hours sat in this tortuous crawl from traffic light to traffic light I’ve often wondered why all the other drivers are there. Can’t they drive at some other time? Do they really need to take this route? Is their journey essential? If it wasn’t for them I could pass straight through! It took a virus to arrive to prove that I was absolutely right all along. Just the other day I did the usual route around the ring road at 5.45pm and it was a journey of pure pleasure. Just enough other road users around to give me peace of mind that the world had not come to an end but never one that was remotely in my way.
A New Norm?
So where were all these other people? In lockdown of course? Well, some but certainly not all. Could it be that employers have finally realised that Home Working actually works and the necessity to get everyone to the same place at the same time was never really necessary? Just think of the possibilities? We could save time, reduce stress, save money and save the rainforest all at the same time. Traffic will inevitably begin to return to pre-lockdown levels but surely never to return to the unsustainable levels they once were.
If this is the case then those prone to hyperbole will surely declare ‘the end of the car’ and with it the need to learn to drive in the first place. With this and the holy grail of Driverless cars seemingly round the corner then what is the point in learning to drive in the first place? For me, the answer to this question can be found in an episode of the once great ‘Tomorrow’s World’ which, for the younger reader, was a fantastic series on the BBC looking at the technology of the future. This show accurately foresaw the advent of Alexa long before the internet and voice recognition technologies even existed. However, they also predicted that we would be served our every wish in our homes by socially domesticated robots by the year 2000. Just like those fabulous Japanese robots we see on TV capable of such feats the Driverless car will surely have the same fate of existence but fall short of ubiquitously removing the need for humans to be able to drive for themselves. So get on with learning drive, its a skill you will need one day.