The vandalism I predict against driverless cars can be easily perpetrated from a distant and from behind an obstruction or while wearing a mask - making it easy to evade detection. Someone with a paintball gun could easily disable a driverless car from a 100 yards away, ducking out from behind a tree. Imagine this dystopian future:
Don’t get me wrong. I think we’ll eventually get to future when cars drive themselves. But it is still a long ways off — and that’s coming from someone who’s been predicting them since I started developing them almost 30 years ago .
It is a good thing that driverless cars aren’t imminent since the resulting technological unemployment among auto industry workers, truck & taxi drivers would further destabilize our already shaky social structure.
If our society is going to survive the widespread adoption of driverless cars and trucks we will need to either dramatically increase people’s ability & opportunity to learn new skills, or implement a universal basic income. The former (retraining) is dubious — People just aren’t that flexible, and there may not be new jobs available for them. Basic Income comes with its own set of challenges, and isn’t going to happen in the US anytime soon, despite the hopes and advocacy of UBI optimists like Scott Santens, bless his heart.