Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Driverless Cars

Three counterintuitive scenarios. I am not particularly optimistic on driverless cars. Primarily, I can't see myself using one. Secondarily, I can't picture the broad application of their use and how it would inherently make a city operate better. Thirdly, I don't get excited about technologies that enfeeble human beings. I consider driving a learnable skill and I don't see how de-skilling people is inherently a good thing. Are we to suppose freeing people up from driving will make all of us much more productive? I think it'll make us watch more TV.

Lastly, what is the problem driverless cars are supposed to solve? Traffic? Now, I think traffic is one of the largest solvable urban problems and the person who can fix it should win a Nobel Prize. But I think a better solution than driverless cars is a more flexible workplace utilizing the internet. And this seems to be happening to some extent already although I haven't noticed a noticeable downtick in traffic in LA. If anything, I've noticed an uptick in traffic in the Bay Area, a region known for being open to working from home.


andy v said...

Isn't the biggest element to driverless cars the potential reduction in traffic accidents/death? Sure, driving is a skill one can learn, but clearly we're not that great at it. I am more excited about the napping potential than extra tv time.

Greg said...

re: whether they lessen accidents/death and traffic, i'll believe it when i see it.