I was in a meeting recently and as we were chatting before the meeting formally started, one of my colleagues made the comment that her son will probably never learn to drive. He is five.
As much as I am connected to the technical revolution, I had never given any thought to that notion. Most of Generation Z will never learn to drive or if they can, they won’t have to, because of autonomous cars.
I did some research and came across this great post by Michael Kauffman, How Big Data Knows My Son Will Never Learn To Drive
Some are saying that it will be 2040’s before we see widespread adoption but considering Apple, Google, Uber are all exploring the technology of autonomous cars, the realization is that it will be sooner that we expect. As Bill Gates once said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next 2 years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.”
Kauffman goes on to say that the benefits for autonomous cars are so compelling, that all the major car manufacturers say they will offer autonomous cars by the 2020’s.
Consider also the safety aspect. Although some may shudder to think of the devastation that driver-less cars could impart upon us, there is evidence that it could be much safer – Autonomous cars are estimated to be 78% safer. This isn’t surprising when you consider that human error accounts for over 90% of road accidents. Indeed, autonomous cars may represent the single greatest improvement in automotive history.
There are very few drivers among us who have not experienced the stress of traffic jams, delays and stressful journeys to work or to a social event. Kauffman states that autonomous cars will greatly reduce traffic because they have such quick reflexes and could travel 8 times closer to each other on the freeway and still hit the brakes fast enough to stop safely when needed. So even if rush hour traffic is 8 times heavier than full speed free flowing traffic, you could potentially be moving much closer to full speed.
Driving can also be a great waste of time but autonomous cars will allow you to work, rest or even watch a movie while you travel.
So, you have your iPad, iPhone and iWatch and your next big purchase could be your iCar. Reports suggest that Apple is developing an electric iCar to rival Tesla.
In the same way that I think digital technology can never replicate the pure joy of placing your new LP on the turntable and touching the needle down and listening to that new album for the first time, there is nothing quite like putting your foot on the accelerator of a beautiful machine and heading for the highway!
It is quite possible that your son or daughter may never experience that wonderful feeling – I’m not quite sure how I feel about that!