Author: Steve Marshall
My dad likes to tell a story about Grandpa Charlie, who grew up in Pullman in the early 1900s, just as cars were beginning to replace horses. Harvesttime meant getting up before dawn t work, but it also meant Grange dances and parties far into the night. He figured out how to do both. When it came time to leave, he got on his horse and tied his hands to the saddle, and the horse took him home while he slept on the way.
Horses were smarter and safer than cars. They knew their way home, avoided crashing into each other, didn’t run off the road, and when you called them, they would come.
But they were slow. Cars filled a need for speed. They allowed people to do a lot more each day, and they physically connected people to each other faster and more often than any other invention in history. When Henry Ford’s Model T made cards affordable, horses disappeared from the roads within a generation.
Unfortunately, cars and their drivers created a new set of problems. More than 30,000 people die on U.S. roads each year; vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for those between ages 5 and 34. Even minor crashes take a toll in lost time as well as repairs. Drivers are responsible for 93 percent of U.S. vehicle collisions, at a cost of $299.5 billion a year.
Read the full article at http://www.aboutcates.org/AutomatingYourRide-SteveMarshall,May,2013.pdf.