More on Driverless Cars
Zack Kanter writes about autonomous cars (Uber’s, this time):
Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced.
They will cause unprecedented job loss and a fundamental restructuring of our economy, solve large portions of our environmental problems, prevent tens of thousands of deaths per year, save millions of hours with increased productivity, and create entire new industries that we cannot even imagine from our current vantage point.
Kanter links to a Price Waterhouse Coopers analyst note (PDF) that claims our national vehicle fleet would drop 99%, from 245 million to less than 2.5 million.
Related to this, I read a review of a new Volvo that offers basically hands off driving in many situations, which is a step toward driverless cars.
When I’m driving – fast on the freeway or, as is often the case, in bumper-to-bumper traffic – I tell the car how fast I would like to go. If there is no traffic, I’ll go that speed. But if the traffic slows, the car slows, too. This feature becomes a lovely self-driving feature in the bumper-to-bumper traffic where urban dwellers spend so much time. If I tell the car I’d like to go 70, it will always look for that speed. But it will match my speed to that of traffic, braking and accelerating for me.
If someone cuts me off, it will brake. If traffic starts to move, it will accelerate. This makes for a much more relaxing drive. All I have to do during that hour of annoying traffic is point us in the right direction.