I almost killed someone today.
It really shook me up. And it made me realise the future can’t come fast enough.
I’d just picked up my car from the Audi dealership. I was getting a dash cam installed. And bloody lucky I did!
I’d been considering getting a dash cam for a few weeks now. I was going to get one for my wife’s car and one for my car.
The sole reason for getting these is because I don’t trust people. I don’t trust others ability to drive. I don’t trust pedestrians’ ability to pay attention. I don’t trust cyclists’ ability to stick to the road rules.
Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age. Or maybe it’s just that the most dangerous thing on the road is people.
Actually, if I could have my way no human would ever drive a car on public roads ever again. It would be a complete banning of people from taking the wheel of a car.
This does go against my very fabric. I love cars. I love driving. But I’d forego that love if it meant everyone everywhere was safer and more efficient on the roads.
Now back to the reason I don’t trust people…
Idiots on mobility scooters
As I was coming back from the dealership I was heading along a local dual carriage road. On the left side of the road is a huge Sainsbury’s mega store (that’s a supermarket here in the UK).
And because of the size of the Sainsbury’s, it gets a lot of people crossing the road to get to it. Fortunately the local authority has put a pedestrian crossing in place with traffic lights.
When people want to cross the busy road, they push the button, wait for the little green man, ensure the cars are stopped, and then cross the road. Happy, safe, on with your day.
Except as I was coming down the road the traffic lights at the pedestrian crossing were green as Kermit the Frog lying on the grass at the MCG.
And I was just happily motoring along at 30mph — the speed limit in that area.
Except just as I was nearing the lights an imbecile on his bright blue mobility scooter decided now was the appropriate time to pull out across the road.
My traffic lights were clearly green. His pedestrian lights were clearly not. Yet for some reason he thought it would be safe to pull out directly in front of me.
I squeezed the brakes hard as soon as I could see he was going for it. Fortunately, I was going the speed limit. Fortunately, I was aware enough to apply the brakes on the limit of the car’s traction. ABS would have kicked in anyway if I was slow to react and really jammed on the brakes.
But if I wasn’t paying attention, if I had been speeding, if I was just another second slower to react, I would have wiped out the crazy old fool and his mobility scooter.
I would have certainly killed him. And who knows what kind of damage I would have done to myself with a goddamn mobility scooter tearing through the front of my car.
I was fortunate enough to be able to slow down in time though. I was able to drive around him and boy did I give him the biggest spray. You don’t want to know the level of expletives he received. It wasn’t pleasant.
And for his sake he’s lucky I was doing all the right things. I’ve seen plenty of other idiots on the roads around there speed. I’ve seen just as many run through those pedestrian lights while they were red (and fortunately people had already crossed). I see people always running red lights, taking a chance on amber lights and driving like maniacs.
I might also point out in general as bad as most drivers in the UK are, they’re worse in Australia. I now hate driving on the roads in Australia. Apparently doing the speed limit in Oz is akin to treason. Tailgaters, road ragers, horns, abuse for no reason — Australian drivers are some of the worst I’ve ever had to deal with.
And I’ve driven in Spain and Italy…so that’s saying something.
This is all exactly why I’ve got dash cams now installed on both our cars. In the event of an incident I want digital eyes on the road to prove exactly what happened.
It’s also why I can’t wait for autonomous cars to hit the road. The day when every car operates on full level-five autonomy is a day that can’t come soon enough.
Cars then will have more than just dash cams installed. There will be infrared, radar, sonar, lidar, cameras, sensors — and this will be inside and outside the car.
They will see and anticipate idiots on mobility scooters crossing roads when they shouldn’t seconds ahead of what a mere mortal can. They would have seen it coming and processed the risk well before I ever could.
This world full of self-driving cars is coming. There’s already far too many benefits for it not to. It will be safer. It will enable people to be more efficient with their time. It will change how we get around and how we interact with each other.
To change the world you have to look at the world
It’s possibly the biggest change society will face since the car replaced the horse. Now what’s really interesting about this shift to self-driving cars is that the investment opportunities aren’t where you’d expect them to be.
You’re not going to find the latest in self-driving car tech solely on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). There might be one or two, but most of them exist on overseas markets.
You don’t find companies like Mobileye on the ASX. Companies like Denso, Seeing Machines, Delphi and Cypress aren’t on the ASX either. They’re global stocks on a range of global exchanges.
One of the biggest changes to the world is going to be driven by companies that exist around the world. This is what you must understand as an investor. When you’re looking for the best stock in the world — you need to look around the world for them.
You won’t find the answer just on the ASX. You must open your eyes and look to markets like the London Stock Exchange, Börse, Euronext, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Singapore, India, Vancouver Stock Exchange, and the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture market, and yes even the lower rungs of the NASDAQ.
These are the hunting grounds for the next wave of global pioneers. And all you have to do to get a slice of the action is just open your eyes to it all.
Editor, Secret Crypto Network