"Cruising and playing the radio ... with no particular place to go."
— Chuck Berry.
America always has loved cars. Cars haven't always loved America back.
In 2015, 35,092 Americans died in auto accidents. That number actually is an improvement. In 1972, 54,589 Americans died in wrecks. Cars are safer now. More of us wear our seat belts. Drunk driving has been cracked down upon.
For perspective, we watch enthralled during "Shark Week," but the nation averages one death from a shark attack — that's one every two years. West Nile virus killed 94 Americans in 2016. We do not always think rationally when it comes to health.
That came to mind when reading a story that said Domino's Pizza and Ford are teaming up for a test. Robot cars (no driver inside) will be programmed to deliver pizzas in Ann Arbor, Mich., the home of the University of Michigan.
This is no little foot in the door. The estimate is that 1 billion pizzas are delivered each year, many of them by teen boys with their family's oldest car. We wonder if the robot cars will have a slot for you to drop in a tip.
It might interest you to know that an attempt was once made to form a union of pizza drivers — the Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers. It failed.
This is, presumably, a first step toward robot drivers of all kinds. This could have two big pluses for society. The robot cars will have radar that looks both ways. They also can drive around the traffic jams. In the long run, these driverless cars should conserve energy and be safer.
But will the driverless car find its way up to lover's lane? Will it hang fuzzy dice from the rear view mirror? Will it pull over at the Dairy Queen on a warm summer night?
We move toward a safer world. We move toward a more efficient world.
We also, sadly, move toward a duller world. The cowboys probably felt the same way when they had to give up their horses.