With the cost of solar, batteries, electric cars, and self-driving equipment steadily dropping, a future where cheap autonomous vehicles powered by renewable energy shuttle people around at a fraction of the cost of an internal combustion engine is inevitable. Already Uber is testing its self-driving vehicles, Google patents "pedestrian glue", and cities have begun to deregulate the taxi industry.
If you could pay 1/10th what you do now for a car, would you? If you could pay 1/10th what you pay – and never have to worry about parking, down payments or car insurance, traffic and speeding tickets – would you? Of course you would – and according to the numbers – 57% of global consumers are ready to get rid of their car and trade it in for an autonomous electric car service (like Uber will be by 2020). This is made possible because of leaps in the technology surrounding autonomous vehicles.
The first leap that needed to occur for autonomous cars is computing – and Moore’s Law above has shown us a few decades of microprocessors moving forward. A more recent evolution comes in the form of LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging). LIDAR is one of several technologies used to determine what things are surrounding the car – cats, people, other cars, etc. When Google first built their autonomous car in a Lexus (above image), the hardware on the roof – the LIDAR system – cost greater than $70,000. Obviously, a $70,000 add-on for an average person is not practical. Once again though – technological advancement has solved a problem as today that same hardware can be purchased for $250, and is expected to fall to $90 soon. A 99.8% price drop within six years.
|What Happens When the Oil Runs Out?|
|One Step Closer to Making Objects Invisible|
|"90% of British civil service workers have jobs so pointless, they could easily be replaced by robots."|
|If Microsoft Designed the User Interfaces of the Future|
|Everything 'Back to the Future' Got Right About 2015|
|“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|Defacing Street Signs Can Send Self-Driving Cars Crashing|
|“Within 30 years, half of humanity won't have a job. It could get ugly — there could be a revolution.”|
|“After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented.”|
|“The algorithm chose; Max attended.”|