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.
|Why Google's Driverless Car is Important|
|"Paid work for human beings could become a lot scarcer -- and soon."|
|Power Pallet: Carbon-Negative Biomass Power Generators|
|Robotic Bees to Replace Organic Pollinators|
|3D Printing is About to Change Our World|
|“A low flyover of Jupiter's moon Europa.”|
|“A sophisticated global marketing strategy from an industry that is desperate to attract new smokers.”|
|“If you’re dating, you’re going to be let down. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.”|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|iPhone 6, the First Smartphone to Disrupt NSA's Spying|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“The Amazon Dash button for horny men and women who don’t feel comfortable telling their partner they’d like to have sex.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|“How this religious holiday became the rampant, love-fuelled corp-fest.”|