There is no denying that the world as we know it is driven by innovation, from our cell phones to our laptops, the technology that makes a lot of our world work has changed in a drastic way even from just ten years ago. We have reached a point as a people were mere technology and concepts can be reformed and reimagined in the space of minutes because the capability of our technology is constantly being driven forward by the ability of humans to innovate and invent. However, we are now at the precipice of a future where we not only drive technology, but technology drives us. An idea that was once reserved purely for the genre of science-fiction, autonomous vehicles, is here and now from some of the best minds of our generation as shown via video below this paragraph. Everyone from the expected car companies such as Tesla , Ford , and Volkswagen, to the well known tech giant Google and the transport industry disrupter, Uber, has plans to get into the business of automated vehicles. On its face such an idea sounds amazing, it sounds like something that could change our way of life as we know it – but perhaps that’s the problem, it can and in ways we may not be prepared for.
While automated vehicles seem nothing but positive on the surface, one must only look at the people most immediately impacted by their introduction, the transportation industry. The automated cars of today are owned primarily by automotive and taxi companies who will not need to employ any drivers when the technology is perfected. The world of transportation as we know it today will become a shell of its former self when the idea of automated vehicles comes to fruition. Indeed, the potential exists for human drivers to go the way of the cassette tape with our children growing up and never learning to drive because of the rise of this technology. Uber is already supplanting regular taxis with human drivers, and this trend will only continue as the technology improves and allows Uber to transition to a permanent autonomous fleet. As we speak Uber is on a trial process in Pittsburgh, Pa with a fleet of mostly autonomous vehicles while Google’s own self driving car continuous to surpass expectations across the board. If all goes as planned, Uber will have fully functioning autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020-2021. However, as with most new and innovative technologies, there are still bugs to be ironed out and changes to be made. Tesla, one of the aforementioned companies leading the way for AV technology experienced a huge setback with the crash of a automated Tesla car and more recently Google suffered a similar setback with one of their automated cars as well.
Despite all this however it is abundantly clear that this is a technology which must be pursued to the fullest extent as the benefits to all of us as a society are limitless. Technology such as the automated vehicle has the potential to not only drive innovation but also to revolutionize the way we all think about the idea of transportation. In the coming posts of the blog the automated vehicle group will be taking a closer look at the various schools of thoughts regarding automated vehicles and how it might be best to prepare for them as well as what effects they may have on all of society. We look forward to seeing you at the next post and potentially hearing what everyone else thinks about this situation in the comments!