When I talk with people about the idea of driverless cars – i.e. Google driving you around, most people agree that it could happen in their lifetime. I laugh a bit and ask if their idea of a lifetime is ten years from now. Or less. At the same time I think about what would be so different about not having to bother with driving. (I’m on record as saying that I will really miss driving as old habits die-hard).
From Brad Tuttle in Business Time “
Interestingly, the reason that autonomous vehicles could theoretically be accompanied by cheaper insurance premiums is that they are projected to be much safer than cars with humans in control. While 75% of drivers in the Car Insurance survey said that they could drive an automobile better than a computer, a new paper from the Eno Center for Transportation states plainly, “Autonomous vehicles have the potential to dramatically reduce crashes.”
It is believed that more than 90% of traffic accidents are the result of driver error. Researchers estimate that if just 10% of the cars in the U.S. were autonomous, there would be 211,000 fewer accidents annually, and 1,100 lives would be saved each year. If the rate of self-driving vehicles goes up to 90%, each year accidents would be decreased by 4.2 million, and 21,700 people wouldn’t die due to road crashes, according to the study.”
A longer but more interesting article recently appeared in The New Yorker –
Some overall thoughts regarding when Google drives your car:
– When Google drives your car, traffic accidents will be extremely rare and truly no-fault.
– When Google drives your car it will cost extra for you to actually drive your car (insurance wise) versus having Google drive your car.
– When Google drives your car – music will be even more important. Sound systems in cars will be even more important to people than they are now.
– When Google drives your car Wi-Fi will have to be ubiquitous so you can listen to streaming music, watch streaming video, command via voice activation whatever crosses your mind (where to stop for dinner, movies, interesting sights in the area).
– When Google drives your car people will do things in the car that will need the shades to be drawn down. Yes there will be window shades in cars.
– When Google drives your car the journey, finally, can truly be its own reward.
How about you – do you look forward to having Google drive your car? Will you miss it?