Google’s driverless car may be the most intriguing new technology to come along in decades. And according Robin Chase, it should also be the most feared.
Chase is the founder of both the car-sharing company Zipcar and the peer-to-peer car sharing outfit Buzzcar, and when she appeared on stage at New York City’s Internet Week this week, she laid out a grim vision of a future world where autonomous cars replace more efficient and more environmentally friendly transportation services, all in the name of personal convenience.
[wired.com...] I suspect that meat will win over tech for some time to come... but more politics are about to be unleashed to demonize human drivers. etc. Sigh. Move along, nothing new here...
They will probably kill Zipcar and have some impact on public transport. I doubt people will be sending cars out on errands any time soon, and the cost will be a deterrent to over doing it.
One reason people use public transport is to avoid congested roads and parking problems.
I also suspect that if people want to use cars more heavily, then driverless cars will provide a strong incentive to buy more efficient cars. Not driving them will make them somewhat less of a status symbol and completely ineffective for thrill seeking. I have found I care a lot less about what sort of car I have if someone else will be driving it (that I have been able to afford to do so is an advantage of living in the third world) - although it did mean I used the driver to run the occasional errand....
Think that loss of parking income would mean to an airport if you can just tell the car to go home and come back in a fortnight.
Individually owned autonomous cars would be a problem in urban areas with vehicles being sent home or into holding patterns to avoid parking charges. No doubt we would have a move from paying to park to road charging to encourage shared use (but not too much as that would cut income)