Could Google’s Self-Driving Cars Ruin the Road Trip?

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  10.25.10 | 1:48 PM ET

I’d never thought about the implications of a pre-programmed vehicle doing my navigating for me, but Budget Travel blogger Nicholas DeRenzo is thinking way ahead. He outlined his concerns in a recent blog post:

Stumbling upon off-the-beaten path destinations—from random roadside attractions to gas station barbecue joints to small town drive-in theaters—is what makes road trips so popular. Unless you remember to punch the world’s largest jackalope or the Cadillac Ranch into your GPS system, you’re all but guaranteed to miss these icons of Americana if you’re in a self-driving car. In a sense, you’ll lose the ability to get lost.

A more optimistic commenter responds:

The high-speed freeways running across the country made Route 66 obsolete, but there are still those of us that make it a point to go off the beaten path and embrace the spirit of discovery. Even if the Google self-driven car becomes standard, there will be a way to “go manual”, I’m sure.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

2 Comments for Could Google’s Self-Driving Cars Ruin the Road Trip?

Flexicover 10.26.10 | 10:14 AM ET

I agree, surely the concept of a car which is purely self driven could be fairly dangerous? There must be a manual over ride function.. That being said, I would love a road trip in a self driven car. Much more relaxing! Granted I am not a big fan of driving, those who are may disagree…

Saver 10.28.10 | 2:20 PM ET

I’ve definitely taken some wrong turns using driving directions, so the future road trip might still have some interesting stops.

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