[LINK] Why you may not own, or drive your vehicle in 10 years time

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Thu Jun 9 18:52:44 AEST 2016

I get very frustrated with discussions about car driving and robots, for a bunch of reasons:

- Odious comparisons are made between cars and other forms of transport, or other technology, most of which is far less complicated or with far less risk involved.

- Gross generalisations are made about the system at large (vehicular transport), without a full understanding of the incredible range of activities represented by the act of ‘driving’.

- The inevitable ‘tide of numbers’, where it is believed that this is the next great innovation able to solve innumerable problems, therefore will ‘win’ on the basis of being ‘better’ (both subjective). All this in spite of the incredible numbers behind vehicle ownership, purchase, use, etc.

- The threat of legislation to make the world a safer place (or pushing an activity to an extreme because it will otherwise be too ‘expensive’ to perform as an individual).

Nonetheless, I see the gamut of ‘driving’ experiences encompassing such a breadth of activities that it will never be automated to the degree that futurists believe that it will.

Yes, we might end up with some vehicles able to assist the driver, or even replace the driver, in some circumstances where risk mitigation is essential (not just desirable), but it won’t be universal, and it won’t be mandated. Not in my lifetime, and not whilst the existing transportation network and infrastructure supports non-robotic vehicles of all forms (including trucks, cars, utes, motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles, scooters, etc).

And on top of all that, for many, a personal vehicle is a ‘freedom machine’ (pardon the cliché), an escape: and is sold as such. For the masses (in every sense), there are buses and taxis, and trains, trams, boats and planes.

Having said all that, I see a rich future for individuals and companies able to embrace the range of technology required to make vehicular transport more robotic: as an enabler for those who are non-active participants in vehicular movements (passengers).


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