Originally posted on CleanTechnica
The Toyota Prius used to be the green car of choice for celebrities, but it is slowly but surely being replaced by the Tesla Model S. Among the Hollywood A-listers that drive a Tesla Model S are Cameron Diaz, Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, and Cedric the Entertainer, who was on Conan last night talking about a test drive he took with blind songsmith Stevie Wonder.
Cedric reveals that after meeting the legendary R&B singer, Stevie insisted on being taken for a test drive, having not “seen” a Tesla before. According to Cedric, Stevie even tried to convince the comedy legend to let him drive the Tesla, to which Cedric replied “It’s electric, not magic.”
Here’s the thing though; in the not-too-distant future, a blind man like Stevie Wonder may be able to enjoy the benefits of personal transportation through the magic of autonomous vehicle technology. Tesla is launching its highway Autopilot system this summer, and other companies like Mercedes, Audi, and Google are bringing to bear their own self-driving car systems. The next decade will be huge for autonomous cars, and the benefits will go far beyond reduced emissions and traffic congestion. Autonomous cars can return a greater degree of freedom and independence to handicapped people who may be blind, paralyzed, or just too old to drive well anymore.
Driving is one of those things I find myself taking for granted sometimes, and while Cedric’s story about Stevie Wonder is mostly him just being “the Entertainer”, it still struck me that not everybody is able to drive themselves. Autonomous cars will change that, eventually, and Tesla aims to be at the forefront of the next big automotive breakthrough.