September 29, 2010

Automated Cars or Your Car should Drive itself, Google’s Eric Schmidt

Google’s Eric Schmidt shared his vision of the future recently. On cars – “your car should drive itself”.

And, immediately, there was controversy, with discussions for and against the concept. And some people discussed it in context of Google’s overall market ambitions.

While someone else could have delivered the same message, fundamentally it is a sound concept. Think about the fact that while on the road, one person is completely occupied in driving the car. They cannot do anything else meaningful during this time. And the road laws (rightly so) are all geared to keeping that person completely focused on driving the car. Multiply this by the number of people-hours spent driving worldwide and you get a sense of how much brainpower is being wasted, daily.

What about people who drive for fun and the TopGear enthusiasts? The amount of time driving ‘just for fun’ is a tiny fraction of the overall time people spend driving. And, there will always be an option for people to drive themselves when they choose to do so.

What about Car Insurance with automated Cars and Roads?  The insurance industry has creative folks who will figure out how to monetize as automated Cars start being used.

‘Cars that drive themselves’ will happen and in the near future. The technology to do so reliably exists already and can be deployed on a large scale. The biggest challenge currently is the costs for deployment.