A passing thought on autonomous cars.

And a lot of Simpsons gifs.

Imagine a world where your car earns you money while you’re not using it.

You’re out and about, walking rather than driving, and in the meantime your autonomous car is working as a taxi until you call it back.

That’s pretty cool, right? Suddenly, the £50,000+ you’ve spent on a self-driving car becomes an investment. Suddenly, you’re not too concerned that your car loses half of its value the moment you drive it out of the dealership.

I suspect the world I’m asking you all to envision is a decent number of years off yet, but probably not as many as you’re thinking.

A large number of self-driving cars are going to be on the roads by 2020, I think that’s a guarantee. Between 2020 and 2030, they’re going to get cheaper to manufacture and become ever more popular among drivers.

As much as I love the actual act of driving, it’s exciting to know that within 20 years I could be sat in the “driver’s” seat without needing to pay attention to the road.

No need for observation, my genius, futuristic, autonomous car will get me to my destination while I do whatever I want.

There are issues to address before that time arrives though.

Mainly the fact autonomous vehicles are, for quite a lengthy period and possibly forever, going to be sharing the road with non-autonomous vehicles. Human driven cars may disappear in a number of decades, but I don’t think cyclists, skateboarders and the like are going to disappear any time soon.

There is also the trust issue. How long until the wider population really, truly trusts a car to do the job of driving all on its own? That’s going to be a job for the marketeers to work on, but it may be a tough one.

All historical culture changes arrive with issues though, and the invention, delivering and adoption of autonomous cars could quite possibly be the biggest change to occur in my lifetime. But at the rate technology is moving forward, that’s probably a bold claim to make.

Damn, am I excited for the future.

QoTD #13

“The general root of superstition : namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.”
- Francis Bacon

Thanks for reading Chapter 92!

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