It was a beautiful morning so I set my sights on walking two loops at Council Point Park. The lure of the natural setting amidst the hustle and bustle of the City keeps me returning there as much as possible. Another draw for me is the ability to walk on the asphalt path without having to constantly sidestep uneven sidewalks, potholes in the streets and distracted drivers to whom the average pedestrian is seemingly invisible. Invisible – not so much, but sometimes I feel like I should be when you see how most people drive anymore.
And, morning drivers are the worst! Nine times out of ten, they are leaving the house behind schedule, so they are in a hurry and not mindful of others. I can’t tell you how many times while walking in the residential areas, someone just backs out of the driveway without a care in the world, never looking to see if someone is behind them. For that reason, I generally wait, anticipating their next move, before I make mine. I’ve never heard of so many vehicle versus pedestrian accidents either until the past few years, a fact that worries me somewhat. In the Summer the pace is more leisurely and you don’t have the moms (and dads too, of course) hurriedly backing out of the driveway without looking both ways, because the kids are running late for school, and need to be dropped off … sometimes at multiple schools, before the driver continues on to work or whatever else is on their agenda.
That is why once I’m on the Park perimeter path, it is just walking … taking in nature or letting my mind wonder and wander while I walk.
So, it was with dismay I listened to the radio interview this morning about the new “mini city” in Ann Arbor where autonomous cars go to practice and perfect their moves. Mcity bustles with activities and vehicles blitz around the streets where they must encounter robots, like Sebastian, who purposely cross their path to see if the vehicles will react on a dime. Sebastian even walks with a gait – he swings his arms as he is striding along, just like a person would. If the driverless car stops, Sebastian’s “life” is spared … if not, he becomes a twisted metal pile on the road and it is back to the drawing board. For my out-of-state followers, if you want to read more about Mcity, go to this link: http://gizmodo.com/welcome-to-mcity-the-fake-town-built-for-testing-drive-1719142309
It all sounds fascinating, but once autonomous cars become the norm, I think I’ll get a treadmill for the basement. In the meantime, I added another five miles toward my total walking miles – smoothly and safely.