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sinclair car

19 April 2018  •  By: Perry Robb

Driverless Cars – the New Sinclair C5?

I know I’m closer to meeting my old ‘maker’ than many people, but is it me or are those ‘clever’ people who are currently rushing to persuade many of the world’s car manufacturers to build ‘driverless cars’ not direct descendants of the designer of the ‘Sinclair C5?’

Now, I know Sir Clive Sinclair was a brilliant man, but the C5 was not his proudest moment.

You see when you looked at the ‘C5’ (assuming you were a normal human being that is), it was immediately apparent that this vehicle was a monumental risk for not only the driver, but also other road users. You thought to yourself  – this thing can’t possibly be real – did I dream this up myself when I was at primary school?

The driver of the C5 basically lay on his back between two bicycle wheels, and so, therefore, it was very difficult to see by cars both behind or in front.  He had no real protection from other vehicles as the ‘C5’ was enveloped in a plastic or fibreglass shell. On top of this, the risk offered by large trucks and vans was also horrendous because of their height, length and manoeuvrability issues.

So, to say any C5 user was a ‘sitting duck’ or asking for trouble by venturing out in one would be have been an understatement.

And now that we have the real prospect of driverless cars, one question comes to mind – would they become the C5’s of the 21st century?

Why do we need such vehicles?

What possible use can they have for us normal mortals?

I can’t really find any reason why we need such vehicles. Well, I suppose people who could utilise this technology to commit crimes would, but logic defies me as to why they are being produced.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve asked many of my friends, and not one of them can think of a reason or use for buying one either.

Computer geeks can build in virtually thousands of scenarios into a car’s ‘brain’, but as any driver in any part of the country can testify, there are only too many ‘egits’ on the road – both young and old, whose driving does not conform to anything other than the mist enveloping their brain at that particular moment.

I know I personally would rather be alert to any dangerous situation whilst driving my car than to entrust my future to my car’s computer.

When my children were small, I used to connect a plastic toy steering wheel to the back of the passenger’s side front seat. Both Neill and Louise would get great fun from ‘steering the car’, just like Dad. The thing about this driving device was that fortunately, it was just a toy.

I’ve been wrong about many things, but somehow I think that these driverless cars, aka “the new Sinclair C5’s”, will be destined for the same motor trade dustbin.