Everyone and their brother is working on making a self-driving car, but Tesla's Autopilot feature is one of the best ways to get a taste of the future right now. Not only does the traffic-conscious cruise control keep on the gas and change lanes for you, but unlike other self-driving systems, you don't even have to touch the wheel. Ever. It's impressive, but then also kind of terrifying.
To illustrate this point, take the experience of this lovely woman, a grandmother that the folks over at CarBuzz decided to put behind the wheel of a self-driving Tesla and then film. You can tell she's impressed, though that's not quite the chief emotion in the mix. I'd call that something more along the lines of "enthusiastic horror."
Obviously it is pretty stunty—but also amusing—to . But the clip illustrates an underlying truth of self-driving cars that is easy to forget when you're just reading about the tech and incremental advancements: This stuff is viscerally terrifying!
Yes, when you look at the recent advancements in sensor technology and consider the extreme falliablity of human drivers, it makes sense that cars would at least be able to keep themselves on the highway at this point, and maybe do a better job at it than humans. It's easy to grasp, intellectually, that in five or ten years, cars will drive themselves better than you could drive them. Still, until we can learn to trust the tech with our gut—which is no small task—we're all destined to be Grandma, screaming with terrified joy behind the wheel of a car that's got a mind of its own.
Personally, I can't wait.