Ode To Tesla: One Day I’ll Leave Epilepsy Behind And Regain My Independence

This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from June 1 through June 30. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!

Oh Telsa, my Tesla
My Beautiful Car
Who will take me long and far
You are within arms reach
I beg you DMV please listen to my speech

There has been a lot of talk surrounding autonomous driving, or self-driving cars. Companies like Google, Tesla, BMW and Mercedes are all working fast to make the first safe automated car. Automakers predict that by 2020 cars with either automated features like emergency braking to cars that completely drive themselves will be on the road.

I’m excited about this for a couple reasons.

Safety First

Elon Musk, my hero! The technology is that of the Jetsons which makes the whole idea exciting. But, what a smart man to say that main reason for making autonomous cars is to save lives. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in the middle of the crosswalk (with the crosswalk sign) when a driver is not paying attention and nearly hits me. In recent years, studies have shown that car accidents due to distracted driving are on the rise.

According to http://distractivedriveraccidents.com “Sober, focused drivers took an average of 0.54 seconds to brake. For legally drunk drivers four feet needed to be added. An additional 36 feet was necessary for reading an e-mail, and a whopping added 70 feet was needed for sending a text.”

Freedom

I’m excited about autonomous cars because I will gain independence, privacy, and freedom! I will no longer have to rely on someone to take me to the store or wait for a bus in the middle of a blizzard. To have the right to “drive” again would be a dream come true, not only for people with epilepsy but for anyone with a disorder that prevents them from driving.

But what will this mean for people (like me) who have been restricted by the DMV from driving?

In an NPR interview  with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx voiced his concern, “When I came out of high school I was ready to get my driver’s license and the expectation at that time was the driver would be fully engaged 100 percent of the time when he or she was operating a vehicle. In a world where the vehicle is doing more of the driving task, we are also asking questions of ourselves how we train people to drive in cars like that.”

So I guess until the technology meets people’s standards that an autonomous car is safe for anyone to use, people will still need a license to drive.

I have waited a long time already. 2020 is only four years away, I can wait a little longer.

NEXT UP: Be sure to check out Monique’s post tomorrow at livingwellwithepilepsy.com for more on Epilepsy Awareness. For the full schedule of bloggers visit livingwellwithepilepsy.com. And don’t miss your chance to connect with bloggers on the #LivingWellChat on June 30 at 7PM ET.

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