Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous Cars

I feel like one of the things really poised to revolutionize the next generation will be autonomous transportation. I’m not talking cars, I’m talking everything. If it moves something or someone it will be automated. There are some hurdles the technology has to overcome first but eventually it will overcome them. (Or it could wind up that this is the flying car of my generation.)

It’s easy to be enamored by the potential for driverless cars,  but there are two sides to every coin. What are the possible side effects of a driver-less society.

For this brainstorming session let’s p
retend that we suddenly have the technology in place, and that vast majority of people use AV to get around and ship things. I like pro’s and con’s lists because they help us visualize a big problem.honda-autonomous-driving-japan-2

Pro’s

  • Without Human error the traffic fatality rates plummet.
  • Driving under the influence is non-existent.
  • People of all ages can travel freely
  • No more traffic jams
  • Long commutes are now time for other activities
  • Lower cost of driving
    • Fuel efficiency is improved because now cars can drive inches away from each other to minimize wind resistance.
    • Also insurance rates will decline as a result of fewer claims
    • Your car may need less maintenance because there will be less unpredictable stresses on the vehicle.
  • Vehicles can park themselves without needing space to open doors, so parking lots can be smaller and farther from buildings.

Con’s

  • Taxi Drivers, Truck Drivers, Ship Captains, Train Engineers, Pilots. These jobs are all now obsolete or at the very least their demand has been greatly reduced. The fourth largest industry in our economy just took a beating.
  • Individual privacy would be difficult to maintain if a car was connected to the internet while driving
  • Hackers could hijack a car with someone in it.
  • Many small body shops may go out of business because of a lack of business. (Fewer accidents)
  • Vehicle insurance companies may struggle to replace the revenue lost from reduced rates.
  • Long shot con
    • Auto manufactures may go out of business because there would be a reduced need to own a car. People could simply order a car from an app when they needed one like a digital taxi.

I’ll be honest with you the pro’s look way cooler than the con’s look bad.

 

I don’t know if I’d trust a robot to drive me places, but by the time it’s an issue I’ll be too old for it to matter.

 

This article was pretty interesting and touched on the legal aspects of AV a little better.

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR443-1.html

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s