Dr-Fix-It! Notebook Archive:
|Of Wheels and Handlebars. . .
I know you have seen ads for them over the years. There is usually at least one lawn mower on the market at any time that promises to mow your lawn without having to walk behind. As a child, I was enthralled with a "Wordless Workshop" in Popular Mechanics Magazine showing a simple spool and rope tether on a self-propelled lawn mower to mow circular areas of a yard. Today, there are computerized mowers that sense the limits of the yard and reverse themselves to mow the yard in a random pattern.
There have also been several vacuum cleaner models that promise to clean your carpet while you sleep. (YIKES . . . Just the thing I want to hear in the middle of the night !)
The reason that 99.99 percent of all lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners require the presence of a human operator is simply for safety. Yes, we have the technology to manufacture lawn mowers and vacuums that will effectively do their job without any human intervention. Except, the mower will eventually hit a rock and send it through the neighbor’s window or the vacuum will pick up a coin and tear itself to pieces. The human at the controls is supposed to prevent the mishaps.
It is the same for autos, trucks, forklifts, bulldozers, boats, ships, airplanes, jets, trains, etc, etc, etc. The technology is available and, in many instances, in place to allow the vehicle to complete its journey without the help of a human. Yet, people are required to man the bridge / cockpit / engine / driver’s seat just to be certain that nothing goes wrong.
No matter if you are behind the wheel of a a road-grader or a Toyota, pay attention to the JOB at hand. You are there for a reason and the reason is safety. Your JOB is to drive the vehicle. It is not in the JOB DESCRIPTION to tune the radio to an acceptable radio station, or to talk on the phone or to apply make-up! The JOB requires your complete attention.
Please drive safely this holiday weekend. As the Human in Control, it is your JOB.