My intuition is to say that a parachute is not a vehicle. I'm sure most people would agree with me here. However, if we go in and look a little deeper at the question, it seems like this question is a little more loaded than one may have first thought.
First of all: we must have a clear cut definition of a vehicle to know if a parachute counts.
I have been thinking for a while about this and I have come up with a few requirements for something to be considered a vehicle.
|a healthy person looking at you from their vehicle|
To be a vehicle, something must
- be able to get a person or cargo from a clearly defined Point A to a clearly defined Point B
- be at least partially human controlled
- a self-driving car can still be human controlled, so it is still a vehicle
- reduce the necessity of a basic unaided human movement
- a basic unaided human movement is something like walking, running, swimming, or climbing. Something that a human can do with nothing but their own bodies
From here, it is possible to make some deductions as to what does not count as a vehicle.
- Any sort of unmoving object (cannot get anything from Point A to Point B)
- A bottle in a stream (a human cannot control where the bottle goes)
- Moon shoes (you can walk and jump without them)
- Pogo sticks (you can jump without them)
- Stilts (you can walk without them)
- Shoes (you can walk without them)
Now that we have a strong definition of a vehicle, we can see if a parachute stacks up.
Does a parachute get a person from Point A to Point B?
- not inherently, although you can still aim yourself with a parachute better than you could without one, so I'll say it does
Is a parachute at least partly human controlled?
- a human cannot control a parachute if it is attached to cargo, but if the parachute is holding a human, the human does have a bit of control over when to release the parachute and where they direct their fall
Does a parachute reduce the necessity of a basic unaided human movement?
- a human being is capable of falling with nothing but their own body, so a parachute is not necessary to get from Point A to Point B. This does not mean that you will survive, but a parachute is more similar to a harness when mountain climbing than a car when driving.
|AH! LOOK OUT! YOU'RE ABOUT TO FLY INTO THE SUN!|
Is a parachute a vehicle? No. Does this matter? Not really. A man-made object doesn't fall into a completely arbitrary man-made category of other man-made objects.