Skip to comments.Google's Trillion-Dollar Driverless Car -- Part 2: The Ripple Effects
Posted on 01/29/2013 4:38:25 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
While Part 1 of this series laid out the significant benefits in safety and savings that could come from a driverless car, there is an old saying: One mans savings are another mans lost revenue.
The fact is that a driverless car would slash hundreds of billions of dollars of annual revenue, or even trillions, from all sorts of entities: car makers, parts suppliers, car dealers, auto insurers, auto financiers, body shops, emergency rooms, health insurers, medical practices, personal-injury lawyers, government taxing authorities, road-construction companies, parking-lot operators, oil companies, owners of urban real estate, and on and on and on.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
He’s probably correct, for the most part. But there is no way safety features will ever disappear. No car manufacturer would want to be the company that failed to put in a safety feature and no insurance company would want to be the insurance company that insured a car with no safety features, in the event the car rebooted and caused a one-in-a-billion accident that left somebody seriously injured.
Google's enhancements grow out of that unexpected benefit ~ that electronics have improved to the point they can help cars work better ~ not just more efficiently (like the computer that controls your fuel flow, etc.).
By 2009, US fatalities in automobile accidents had dropped 25% compared to 1990.
This is part of what appears to be an unstoppable trend in additional mechanization, automation, computerization, robotics and improved work methods. Among other things this trend is so powerful the deflationary pressures it exerts are sufficient to offset ALL long term inflation ~ the Google car will create Depression Era conditions year round for centuries.
And as long as the death rate is lower than that in 1922 in terms of deaths per billion motor vehicle miles it will be considered a success.
LOL. I suggest you read Hayek, Fridman and Schrumpeter, among others.
Let's start reading the folks who tell you what happens when all sorts of stuff get cheaper than dirt, or, due to improvements in efficiency ~ orders of magnitude improvements ~ make even dirt cheaper!
BTW, having read those guys I can only assume you are bringing them into the discussion to challenge what i said ~ so you'll have to be more specific if you want to debate.
I've been meaning to ask... what do we know about the people who are doing the computer programming on these things, anyway?
On the brighter side, air travel would have to significantly improve as many folks would migrate to cars where they could relax during travel. Costs to fly would decrease and the experience would become more pampering.
One of the benefits of rail travel over cars is you get a chance to concentrate on other things besides driving. A self driving car has those same advantages, with none of the disadvantages. It is like an individual door to door railway, instead of a hub to hub railway.