Self Driving Cars Are Not “Five Years Away.”
John Battelle
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Justice

Sacrificing the children should be less about protecting the customer, and more about justice — those that break the law must deal with the repercussions, no matter the age. The innocent shouldn’t be sacrificed for the guilty.

Ensuing Problems

When it comes to Washington there are much less trivial issues that they will need to consider. Sure, one is safety and regulation, but then there is something called jobs.

Jobs

Autonomous cars means the replacement of drivers, which equates to jobs (and thus livelihoods) that may become jeopardized from the entrance of the new technology. The government holding back technology, in order to preserve the economy and society, isn’t a new concept.

Washington will have to impose legal restrictions on where autonomous cars can be used, or financial restrictions to slow the introduction into society. After all, the technology has the potential to replace certain firemen, uber drivers, taxi drivers, limo drivers, ambulance drivers, truckers, bus drivers, etc.

There’s a huge benefit to autonomous vehicles, but the job situation will need to be addressed. Displaced workers could result in free time, hostility, and crime — not to mention the traditional notions of people not having money to pay for homes, food, or their families, as is often the case with unemployment.

Preparation

In addition to job concerns, the government has the opportunity to think ahead. It isn’t too often that technology is introduced on such a large scale. They have the ability to build infrastructure legal and logical before it’s too late.

Rules about where and when the car can operate; who can be in the cars; what can be done in the cars; what rights police have — esp regarding social engagements and ability to stop vehicles; new state inspection tests; ownership rules (younger than 13?); tracking enforcement (e.g., to limit use of taxis in crimes — for instance, to ditch bodies); how many charging stations are needed (standardized charging?); what insurance considerations; security threats (hackers etc).

None of this needs to happen all at once, but it is good if the government considers the many different scenarios beforehand and can stay ahead of the more severe. Thinking critically about

Infrastructure

Of course there is the possibility that even more cars on the road — everyone could have their personal car. It may actually result in fewer, but who knows without studying and forecasts. Infrastructure considerations will need to happen — what impacts would this have on road congestion and parking?

This is quickly thinking about ensuing problems, without putting forward too much effort. I could understand it would take the government much longer than 5 years if they really wanted to address some of the more pressing concerns, but who’s to say they haven’t started thinking about this already — I don’t know.

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