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Category “Driverless Cars”

Future of mobility report by McKinsey & Bloomberg

(.pdf)

https://www.bbhub.io/bnef/sites/4/2016/10/BNEF_McKinsey_The-Future-of-Mobility_11-10-16.pdf

IDEO on Autonomous Cars

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 4.37.03 pm

 
IDEO have built a nice site called automobility.ideo.com where they explore ideas and concepts about the future of, among other things, driverless cars.

There are some really interesting stats on the site and some nice mock-ups of how cars may look.

One stat that caught my eye was this: “Each autonomous shared vehicle could replace 11 conventional cars”.

That is the first time I’ve seen anyone put a figure on it and that’s a pretty significant figure.

If you’re interested in the topic, the site is well worth a look.

 

 

Driverless Cars (2)

Stanford engineering professor Chris Gerdes has been examining the complexities of programming self-driving cars to make moral decisions — in this case, the “trolley problem” involving a decision that saves some lives at the expense of another’s.

 

I try and read up on and write document driverless car technology as often as I can. As the computer disrupted many peoples offices, so will driverless cars disrupt our roads and many industries that use cars and trucks.

Today I came across this fascinating article on C-net about the tricky moral problems driverless cars present.

There are some really interesting questions, for example, in case of accidentwhat if the fewest people will be killed if a car’s driver and passengers are the ones to die?”

It seems like these kinds of questions will eventually have to be answered because the kind of situations where these decisions come in to play will unfortunately occur.

I generally believe that when technology, business & design get together, our species will be left better off that before. I believe humans should not drive cars and than machines/computers/robots should take over so we are all safer and more productive.

But in the article mentioned above Brad Templeton, who has consulted to Google on these kinds of topics makes this interesting point:

 

“There will be difficulties when, inevitably, a self-driving car is found responsible for someone’s death. But it’s important to consider what happens if we let humans keep on driving, too…

People do not like being killed by robots. They’d rather be killed by drink,” Templeton said. “We’ll be choosing between our fear of machines and our non-fear of being killed by drunks because we’re so used to it.”

 

“People don’t like being killed by robots.” I love that line, mainly because I think it is true. It feels like whenever a new technology is introduced, there are generations of people who fight it and dismiss it, but to the generations of people who grow up with it, it seems like the perfect answer to real problem.

You hear cab drivers complain about Uber. My parents question the insurance and safety, but I hope my children have a point of view that car ownership is a waste of money.

You hear people question Airbnb, again about safety, but I hope my children don’t see the sense in hotels.

We will hear people complain about driverless cars, but I wonder if one day we all believe that being killed by a robot is a better out come than being killed by a drunk driver.

Or maybe death won’t be a problem if Google keep working on it.

 

Driverless Cars (1)

For most of this year I’ve been making time to learn about driverless car technology.

Humans driving cars is a problem. When we drive cars we are ‘machine operators’ and like any human who operates a machine, some are good and some are not. We get tired, we get distracted, we SMS, we get old, we get drunk.

Driving is dangerous. Driving is unproductive. Driving is wasteful.

My primary area of focus here is not the driverless technology itself, but the impact it will have on current systems and services and the in the new industries and services that will be developed as a result of it’s implementation.

Key benefits of the technology

  1. Health & Safety (lower incident rates of accidents)
  2. Productivity (more efficient travel times & ability to work or rest while in transit)
  3. Environmental (more efficient use of energy & a move to electric cars)

I’ll continue to research this topic and share links to research and development that I come across.

 

Below is a list of articles and videos I’ve found interesting so far and serve as a bit of an introduction to the topic:

 

1. (2011 TED talk) Googles Driverless Car by Sebastian Thrun

 

2. Google Self Driving Car Project (Official Google Blog, October 2010)

http://googleblog.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/what-were-driving-at.html

 

3. Google’s first prototype with no steering wheel (link)

 

3. Fortune Article on 3D printing human organs (link)

“A major source of organ donations? Auto collisions. Which means 3D printed organs won’t become a reality until we get self-driving cars, a surprising connection.”

 

4. How Google’s Driverless Cars Detect Aggressive Drivers (link)

 

5. Video of how the Google car navigates city streets