Autonomous vehicles(AV’s) is going to happen and I am truly excited about the next couple of years. Car-ownership itself is currently undergoing a evolution in some parts of the world going from buying to renting or leasing your car. Yesterday UBER tested an truck that delivered beer in Colorado I read this in an article from Reuters. Great news and my boyish mind led to think this is really going to happen anytime now. Remembering cartoons and magazine with robot drivers and the old series Knight Rider from the 80’s with a smart self driving car with an AI called Kitt and evil nemesis Caar from my youth. Combining this with the latest advancement in artificial intelligence and machine learning. We might all meet Kitt on the streets soon.
So what are the biggest concerns and government showstoppers here:
Market interest or risk?
Technology is still in its maturing phase however the next quantum leap might be around the corner. Introducing the automotive industry to something like the IBM Neurosynaptic chip could be an answer. This is not meant as an endorsement of IBM but when “old blue” creates something like this it is groundbreaking.
Safety is always a concern and a product like this should under go intense trials before a product is literally on the streets. IT-security is a hot topic here e.g. manufactures will need to path continuously but has to guarantee that an update does not comprise overall safety of the vehicle. Car manufactures are being transitioned towards mastering software and hardware which even the natural vendors have challenges with. So this is definitely a factor that could delay the wide introduction to the market.
Legislation could easily be amended or be created if the political focus is get behind this. So why are we not currently doing this upfront? Why is there not a willingness to act swiftly and create the needed legal dots? Moving everyone towards the testing phase rapidly as the AV’s need more time on the roads to improve.
This lead to the further research into financial interest and risks where the biggest pro’s and cons are. There is no doubt that introducing these AV’s will create massive savings and create a logistical efficiency we have yet to experience. They represent massive savings for logistics and its value chain, public transport and huge increase into road safety. Traffic congestion are predicted to be almost eliminated creating a massive societel and environmental benefit.
So what are we missing? What happens to the people that the technology replaces and can manufactures or service provider like Uber include this in the business plan when going to a hearing on why the legislation should be created now and a plan for wide adaptation in the general population.
As a prominent mayor once said in a discussion to me on technology and the impact. ” Ensuring that my citizens are employed, that is the number 1 concern I have. “
So there must be a full description of the expected impact and which industry dependencies there are. In one hand the benefits of the products and in the other a structured plan to ensure re-educating and transitioning them to peripheral jobs to mitigate risk. Addressing a topic that will surface eventually.
They can’t all work at e.g. Volvo maintaining “Otto” the truck, so what happens to the rest?
So I think there is a clear gab that main stakeholders are missing out on- I can not find any publicly known business case that describe what happens to average Joe as a taxi-, chauffeur-, buss- or a truck driver even the delivery man. Car re-sellers and auto-shops etc.. a lot of jobs are influenced by this next step and if its not address accordingly and upfront in structured plan it will have some drastic consequences.
I still REALLY want my version of Kitt to pick me up everyday this is just a reminder to everyone including myself not get too caught in the impressive technology babel look beyond as evolution has a price.
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