Thursday, February 9, 2012

Will you drive your car in 10 years time?

In chapter 13, Machines of Loving Grace, in The Universal Machine I spend some time discussing driverless cars, which I believe will be commonplace within 10 years.  I use the example of driverless cars because the car is such an important part of our culture, indeed, its almost iconic. The idea that a robot, because that is what the cars will be, could drive safely on our busy congested, and very dangerous roads, seems like science-fiction to many. Yet, as Google has proved by driving hundreds of thousands of kilometres around the Bay Area, the problem is basically solved. All that is required now is the the car manufacturers agree standards and start mass-producing the necessary equipment and for legislatures to enact the necessary laws.
    Wired Magazine has just published an excellent article called Let the Robot Drive: The Autonomous Car of the Future Is Here, which covers all of the issues involved. I encourage you to read it.