To Drive, Or Not To Drive
The age of autonomous cars is fast approaching. Will today's car enthusiasts be left in the dust?
"Absolutely not," states Jason Torchinsky, artist/writer/designer, and an editor for Jalopnik (just crunch together the words "jalopy" and "beatnik"), an often humorous weblog operated by Gawker Media that covers cars, car culture, and the automotive industry.
"We are, however, probably experiencing the last generation of cars that humans will actually drive," he reflects. "Now is the time for those of us who genuinely love cars-engineers and enthusiasts alike-to step up the dialogue about what performance driving will mean when we're not the ones driving anymore."
Torchinsky will explore the future of autonomous cars from the perspective of people who have a passion to drive as a featured Tech Hub speaker at SAE's 2016 World Congress & Exhibition at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI. (He is scheduled to speak on Thursday morning, April 14.) His discussion, Still Driving and Still Here: The Future of Gearheads Among the Robots, will focus on how the complexity of our relationship with cars is going to become even more complicated in the age of autonomous automobiles. The art of driving will soon become a choice, and those who choose to drive in the future will be looking for a ride that's both interesting and engaging, refining the demand for tomorrow's performance vehicles.
According to Torchinsky, there's a great connection between car lovers and automotive engineers, who exchange innovative ideas about mobility online every day. Each month, about 8 million engineers and gearheads visit jalopnik.com-"Drive Free or Die"-one of the most popular generalist car sites on the Internet. The commentary Jalopnik's articles inspire often provides laugh-out-loud moments, but are also thought-provoking.
"Car culture should always be open and inclusive of everyone's passions and interests," he explains. "It's awesome for me as someone who approaches cars from a more artistic/conceptual/stupid mind-set to conduct thought experiments and introduce seemingly ridiculous ideas online, and then to receive direct, immediate input from real engineers who can apply those concepts-defined by the rigor of physics and science-to consider real-life solutions."
Torchinsky's discussion in SAE's Tech Hub will provide the perfect environment for engineers and car lovers to consider the role of drivers in the coming age of autonomous vehicles, what driving teaches us, and how to balance the increasing role of technology with human control.
The Tech Hub, which debuted in the center of the Innovators Only exhibit floor at last year's SAE World Congress, spotlights provocative, innovative, and disruptive ideas intended to engage and challenge attendees to examine the future of the mobility industry. For more information about featured Tech Talks and other enlightening Tech Hub activities, visit the SAE website at www.sae.org/congress