Two things are real popular for the tech media to talk about these days (Ok, there are 5 or 6 things); virtual reality and autonomous cars. Hell, even mainstream media is talking about them a lot.
I don’t have much to say about VR (or AR- augmented reality) yet except it looks cool and in 2-5 years I want it. Unless you are an early adopter or big time gamer, it is not for you. Even though Google made it tempting and possible for you to get their VR headset for free if you pre-ordered one of their Pixel Phones….
What I want to talk about today is how so many people like Jason Calacanis, think that we will be a fully autonomous car society by 2020?
Yesterday on This Week in Tech (the eminent podcast on the TWIT Network founded by Leo Leporte) Leo, ….. had a conversation about autonomous – self-driving – cars. Link to the show.
This is a very popular topic right now in the technology bubble and in mainstream media. My local news, the big three network evening news’ and print media have all done stories on how we will have self-driving cars any day now. A popular prediction is that this will happen by 2020.
The TWIT panel even made a bet targeting 2020 on how long before San Francisco / La? would have 50% of …. be autonomous.
I am not as smart as the guys on the TWIT show or most of the other people predicting 2020, but I laughed and scoffed at the idea as I heard ….. say it.
It is mid-October 2016, and yes Tesla has its “self-driving” cars on the road and MANY companies are also working on this technology, but I think it is at least a decade before self- driving cars are anywhere near mainstream.
Here’s why:
Too many modern cars that will last 100,000 miles.
Existing cars won’t just disappear.
Even big cities will start slow with implementing self-driving. Bus and taxi will slowly add self-driving vehicles and dedicated lanes taking years to fully change over.
Years after bus and taxi lanes prove their viability then it will take years to allowing public SD cars and maybe an SD lane.
People who drive now won’t want to give up control. People love driving and won’t trust the SD cars.
AND THAT IS JUST IN BIG CITIES. Suburbs may accept SD cars a little sooner, but more rural area’s roads are much less predictable and the people living there will be the last to accept SD cars. I know I will not be calling a self-driving Uber in my hometown anytime soon.
A full takeover of self-driving cars will take 20 years.
I predict 2025 at the earliest.
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Posted by Ken Barker

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