Since it is a slow news day I thought It would share my thoughts the technically currently called “self-driving cars.” To understand how completely revolutionary so called self-driving cars will be you need to think about horse-less carriages. This is what automobiles were originally called but the named proved far too simplistic. Cars ended up being more than just carriages without a horses. They can do things that were once undreamed up with a carriage, like operate non-stop for days, being about to activate in seconds and traveling at incredible speeds.
Horse-less carriages were not just an improvement on traditional carriage design, they were technological revolt that required a new name and a whole new way of living. The same will be true of self-driving cars when the technological fully matures.
They are simply not going to be cars that require “drivers” to do slightly less work to operate, they will be a whole new paradigm. Without the need to be awake while “driving” or even in a vehicle these devices will be something whole different from cars.
Without drives these vehicles can be use to create a cheap always present digital taxi services. This will mean most people will have any need to actually own one and even young children could use them alone. This could free up a huge amount of space currently used for parking.
It would also revolutionize how people travel. Most people chose to fly long distances because they don’t like actually being force to steer a car for long stretch of time. That would change if you could sleep during the journey in a comfortable bed compartment. There would be a whole new form of vacationing where people spend a day in a location than sleep as the vehicle takes them hundreds of miles to the next one.
The steering/power components of cars are fully integrated with the passenger compartments only because there is a need for a human driver. Without that you can have different passenger pods that simply snap on basic self-driving platforms.
Importantly, without the needing room for a driver the traditional limits on cars/vans size disappears. There can be swarms of small autonomous vehicles delivering everything from packages to take out. Forget two day delivery, almost everything could be had with free two hour delivery. It can delivered to your home, your office or where ever you are at that moment by linking to your phone.
I’m sure I’m failing to image all of the many ways people would find new uses for this technology but it should give you a hint of just how much autonomous vehicles will change society.
Calling this technology “self-driving cars” gives the false impress they will merely be an improvement on cars. Instead, they will be something radically new that will make current automobiles seem as limited and primitive as horse-drawn buggies.