Autonomous vehicle tech could really change how we get around. Instead of driving with their knees while shaving or applying mascara, sideswiping other vehicles and maybe a cyclist or two, commuters could be shaving or applying mascara while the car does all the heavy lifting. That sounds great, but are we ready for all the other consequences?
Bloomberg highlights an interesting side effect on real estate. Basically, location might not matter as much in the future. If your commute isn’t stressful, the line of thought is that you’ll move farther away.
Really, I think that’s an oversimplification of a complex issue. Even if your car does all the driving, you still have to leave the house earlier, which means getting up earlier, which isn’t a pleasant thing for those of us who aren’t morning people.
Another factor, the cost of a fully autonomous car, could really factor in here. Have you priced out new cars lately? Getting one outfitted with expensive sensors and advanced artificial intelligence that’s necessary for driving won’t be cheap. All that equipment will consume quite a bit of electricity, so your autonomous vehicle will need to be gassed up/recharged more often.
If these predictions are right, driverless cars will contribute to more urban sprawl, generating a resurgence in suburban living. Not everyone thinks that’s good. So much for a utopian society.