The world is a wonderful place. This quarter, our ‘What A World’ segment takes a look at Driverless Cars are becoming a reality.
It’s tough to make predictions…. Especially about the future.
– Yogi Berra
A Positive Focus
In our experience advising families, there is one trait that clearly stands out as critical to achieving a great quality of life and fulfillment, as well as leaving an important legacy for future generations. Families who are able to master the skill of Gratitude and a Positive Focus tend to be happier and enjoy a better quality of life, and also to extend their success and legacy over many generations.
Many of our client conversations are centered on the stock market and the economy, and the implications for the outlook for the future of the world. Very often, this leads to a discussion of all of the many problems the world currently faces, and everything that is wrong today in the world of politics, economics, and business. The daily gyrations of the stock market, combined with a healthy dose of media sensationalism, can cause us to become quite fixated on what isn’t working in the world. An alternative view is to take a Positive Focus, and consider all of the amazing things that are happening in the world today. Thanks to the internet, the world is literally bursting with communication, innovation, and world changing technology right before our eyes. We are living in an era which is unprecedented in the pace of positive change sparked by technology.
As Yogi Berra famously observed, making predictions about the future can be a very difficult endeavor. Predictions have a funny way of making you look foolish. However, we have recently observed a huge increase in the number of predictions that the future of “driverless cars” will have an enormously positive impact on the world.
This is one of our favorite new technology ideas, and so we share a sampling of recent posts we have observed:
From the Singularity University Summit:
In 2018 the first self-driving cars will be offered to the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car on your phone; it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive whilst driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for our future needs. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. At present, 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000 kms. With autonomous driving, that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year.
A fleet of self-driving semi-trailer trucks built by Daimler and Volvo completed a weeklong journey of more than 1,000 miles across Europe last week, Quartz reported. The trucks set off from three different locations in different European countries and then completed their trips in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, finishing off the first cross-Europe journey by self-driving truck convoys.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
– Three barriers have been preventing fully autonomous cars from hitting the road: 1) high technological component prices; 2) varying degrees of consumer trust in the technology; and 3) relatively nonexistent regulations. However, in the past six months, there have been many advances in overcoming these barriers.
– Technology has been improving as new market entrants find innovative ways to expand on existing fully autonomous car technology. As a result, the price of the components required for fully autonomous cars has been dropping.
– Consumer trust in fully autonomous vehicle technology has increased in the past two years.
– California became the first US state to propose regulations. California’s regulations stipulate that a fully autonomous car must have a driver behind the wheel at all times, discouraging Google’s and Uber’s idea of a driverless taxi system.
And the latest technology from Goodyear: