Albeit jobs will be lost, The Guardian's Jackie Ashley looks at the positive changes — and some of the negatives — that will result in society as a result of the wide-spread use of the self-driving car. It will be interesting to see how public transportation will re-invent itself once it no longer needs drivers.
So our streets will be clearer. And, because these will be electric cars, cleaner too. There will have to be vast new infrastructure systems – huge garages to store the cars so they can arrive quickly when ordered. I wonder whether local train services will survive. We may see a return to the Thatcherite proposal for railway lines to be turned into roads, this time for driverless cars.
As for buses, at the moment we have a largely undiscussed transport apartheid between car owners and bus users. But if driverless cars work then surely there will be driverless buses, which can be a lot smaller and more numerous than today’s diesel-spewing vehicles. At the other end of the scale, car sharing and car pooling, already popular, will expand: the distinction between somebody using a driverless minibus and driverless, large shared car could become meaningless.
Put all this together and I can imagine car ownership, and car driving, being frowned on as much as opening a packet of fags at a family gathering is now.
|"In many ways, modern cars are computer networks on wheels. "|
|"Should they teach the cars how to commit infractions from time to time to stay out of trouble?"|
|"A few of the prototype vehicles we’ve created will leave the test track and hit the familiar roads of Mountain View."|
|"The biggest challenges facing automated cars is blending them into a world in which humans don’t behave by the book."|
|Same House, Two Different Cars|
|“It’s taking orders for a real-life flying motorcycle powered by five modified jet engines.”|
|“By day, she visits morgues, observes autopsies, and studies pictures of crime scenes.”|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|What Nothing Really Means in Seinfeld|
|“Featuring over 2,000 flags in motion to Ludwig van Beethoven.”|
|“Social media is the publisher, not just the postman.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Fake Name Generator|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Without ads, how does Netflix manage to make money?”|
|“How easy it is for anyone who tracks our digital activities to gain insight into our personalities.”|