COMMENTARY: 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.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com
This is a great debate and there are many arguments in this story which are worth reading, especially if you are thinking about what you might be doing for a living in the future.
Let’s face it, this technology will arrive. Based on my experience, whilst some products like mobile phones have gone ballistic at a massive rate, same with tablets and the power of PC’s. An Uber type system where people can have the benefits of owning a car (because it is a necessary form of transport for you) without owning one and at a lot less cost makes a lot of sense. Whilst we love our cars and some of us, including myself, enjoy driving, most of us don’t love commuting. We don’t do that for the pleasure of driving. It is maybe because of weather, because we need the car during the day, because the frequency or quality of public transport doesn’t meet your travel needs.
We certainly don’t like the costs of petrol, of maintenance, registration, insurance and repairing the results of crashes. In urban areas particularly, driverless car-sharing should be much more economic than owning a car. In fact in the larger cities of the world, such as New York and Amsterdam, many people will never own a car, however they do have great public transport.
I agree with Morgan Stanley’s research that most cars are only used 4% of the time which is a lot of idle time for an asset that depreciates the minute you buy it. It’s the price many of us pay either for convenience, lifestyle and knowing that the car is there instantly when you need it.
If you have young children chances are at the very least you want a car there, on the spot, for emergencies. You can’t rely on the Uber or other service to be there on the spot whenever you need it 24;7 so even if you sent them to school using a driverless car public/private transport service you will still want a vehicle of your own. Of course the average household in NZ where I live has 2.4 cars and the number is in fact growing. Good systems could see them improve.
Given factors that go wrong, I can’t see driverless buses, or at least a bus without a person in it for safety reasons at the very least.The same with freight. Would you be happy for a truck laden with corrosive chemicals, live animals, dirt, petrol, construction waste, gas bottles and so on driving on your motorways without someone standing by to take control if unexpected things happen? For example, what if people deliberately tried to interfere with the vehicles, what about unexpected road conditions like black ice, snow, a motorcycle falling into its path at speed? http://thefuturediaries.com/2013/04/19/boy-racers-make-sport-with-driverless-cars/
On unemployment, what a great time for Governments, countries and industries to look at what sort of skills they need for high performing countries. Where I live a large number of taxi drivers have professions and skills that are not in demand. Cabbies work for very little money, but they could be retrained and earning big money taking advantage of their skills. I have met doctors and nurses whose overseas qualifications aren’t recognized and along with marketing and people with degrees coming out of their ears (real degrees) cleaning toilets, cleaning hotel rooms, doing pest control.
If we didn’t need taxi drivers to pick on an industry, and we see it coming in 10-15 years, send them to school now, help them find some of the new jobs that don’t even exist yet.
So change is gonna come. In the meantime, car sales continue to increase http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-11-18/u-s-auto-sales-poised-for-sixth-straight-year-of-growth
I would love to hear from people who drive taxis, pest control, cleaning or other tasks to get by, but are qualified for other professions. If that’s you, what would you rather be doing for a living. Please leave a comment.