The Fate of Humanity in the Post Industrial Age.
Parts Three, Two and One.
A few years ago much was being made of the driverless car. It was an interesting idea but was reported to be a decade away from becoming anything at all. This was Google leading the way, though they were in fact taking ideas from the 80s and using modern technology on them.
Now we have several of the biggest car makers, a partial list of companies involved includes Nissan, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo, GM and more. Not just companies. Four US states now allow driverless vehicles on the roads, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands also allow such vehicles to undergo road testing. The UK is going to be looking at driverless cars in the near future, perhaps as soon as next year.
The technology is going forward a lot faster than expected because our overall technological development is expanding faster than generally predicted a few years ago. Every advance in technology helps many other fields of technology to grow faster.
In the case of driverless cars we are seeing what was an interesting idea a few years ago become more and more common. From multi thousand mile trips by autonomous cars to automatic taxis and scores of driverless vehicles to technology that has moved from a dustbin on the roof to a sensor package that is hidden inside the car we are much closer to autonomous vehicles that people expect.
In fact the only thing really holding them back now is the innate suspicion people have for such technology. Yet millions of people everyday put their lives in the hands of passenger aircraft that from take off to landing are on autopilot.
Any vehicle that follows a set route can be automated with existing technology. So trains, buses and trams. Taxis also as long as they have GPS that doesn’t drive them into fields or someone’s garden. Short and long distance lories going from point A to point B and back by a fixed route are also prime candidates for automation.
As the technology comes into more widespread use over the next few years that’s a lot of drivers losing their jobs and being replaced by lower paid people or no people what so ever.
Designs for driverless cars that have NO driver controls are already being prototyped. Such vehicles would carry passengers with no way for them to control the vehicle. No risk of people getting tired or falling asleep, no mistakes, no road rage, no driving too fast or tail gating. Less accidents.