Remember Totall Recall, that awesome movie from the 90's, with Arnold Schwarzenegger? Well, guess what? Those self-driving cars from that movie are not too far away from being a constant in our future. While the current prototype does not include a Chucky-like robot driver, they are still impressive.
This morning on radio, Glenn brought up a conversation he had with a friend this morning about driverless cars and their possibility of being a constant in our lives by 2025. Glenn, Pat, and Stu debated the topic with Pat comparing driverless cars to the popularity of computers. Glenn said, "It's just going to happen overnight quickly by 2030. So I said...by 2025. Then I thought they would be the car that would be on the road."
Wow! 2025 is only ten years away! You may be wondering, how is the driverless car going to make it's break-through into modern society? Well, Glenn talked about that as well, "Uber would be the real beginning of it. That you would call for an Uber and a driverless car would show up."
Unfortunately, with the chance of driverless cars taking over our streets, that would remove the task of driving from the picture. Glenn said, "In our lifetime, it will become illegal to drive cars. Our grandchildren will not believe we were allowed to drive cars." Think about it, there would no longer be accidents, because human error would be removed from the equation of driving. Drunk driving accidents? Non-existent. Worrying about your child making it to soccer practice? Done. But at the same time, it would take away the sheer joy of "putting the pedal to the metal," or knowing that you can get into your car and just drive with no destination in mind.
It raises the question, are you prepared for a driverless car future?
Below is a rough transcript:
GLENN: So I'm walking into the building today. And Mark is walking with me. One of the guys on the team. He's walking with me. And we've been talking about technology in the future and everything that's coming. He said, so do you think self-driving cars are really -- we'll see those in our lifetime? I said, oh, my gosh, yes, we'll see those in our lifetime. By probably 2025, they will be -- they'll be the main car on the road.
PAT: Do you think in ten years? It's going to take some time I think to replace the other ones, won't it? It seems like that will be a long transition to me.
GLENN: I think that they are going to -- I think when they -- when they start to happen, they're just going to sweep.
PAT: And everybody will want one.
PAT: Kind of like computers. Computers were that way.
GLENN: Yeah. It's just going to happen overnight quickly by 2030. So I said, I said by 2025. Then I thought they would be the car that would be on the road. And I said that Uber would be the real beginning of it. That you would call for an Uber and a driverless car would show up.
This morning, as I come in, here's what I -- I get an email from a friend. How Uber's autonomous cars will destroy 10 million jobs and reshape the entire economy by 2025.
Now, the guy -- Mark who is walking in, he laughed when I said this. And he said, I'm sorry. I'm not laughing at you. He said, I'm just laughing at how crazy this sounds.
And I said, I know it sounds crazy, but I think it will happen.
So here's the article. I've spent quite a bit of time lately thinking about autonomous cars, and I wanted to summarize my current thoughts and predictions. Most people, experts included, seem to think the transition to driverless vehicles will come slowly over the next few decades. That large hurdles exist for widespread adoption. I believe this is a significant underestimation. Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030. The sweeping change will bring an eclipse of every other innovation in our society that we have experienced so far.
Think of that. This innovation will eclipse every other innovation we have seen so far.
PAT: A lot like the segue did. Remember that back in the '90s? Whoa, did that revolutionize society. Remember that?
STU: That was the 2000s.
GLENN: Yeah, but you know what, but that was ridiculous.
PAT: That was so stupid because Dean Kamen was like, oh, this is going to revolutionize society. It will change civilization as we know it. And he built it up so much. And then it's a scooter, with a motor?
GLENN: Well, it's revolutionized mall cops.
PAT: It has.
GLENN: They no longer have to walk.
PAT: Oh, they can travel from like Macy's on one end of the mall all the way to, like, JC Penney.
GLENN: JC Penney, without being winded.
PAT: Without touching the floor.
GLENN: Yeah, they can get as fat as they need to be as mall cops.
PAT: It's awesome.
GLENN: Okay. So but this is different. When you think about getting into a car and just telling it where it has to go and you don't to have drive, think about -- really your time in traffic is no longer a problem.
GLENN: Because you're not having to sit there and pay attention and get frustrated -- you can sleep.
PAT: Or work.
GLENN: Yeah. You're just in a little office and you're on your way.
PAT: It's like your own personalized train. I know Stu used to do a lot of work. Jeffy used to just sit there and be fat on the train. But Stu used to do a lot of work when he lived in Pennsylvania and came into Manhattan every day and you got a lot of stuff done on the train. Right?
STU: Yeah, and it was actually a tough adjustment coming to Texas in that I didn't have the endless commute. But, I mean, part of that was a lot of office time that used on the train, I had to replace as actually being in the office. It was like an adjustment --
JEFFY: And I had to find new places to be fat.
PAT: Right. Right. And you have. You somehow worked that out. Right?
So now the -- the driverless car will be like your own personalized train, sort of.
GLENN: Yeah. Says this will cause unprecedented job loss and a fundamental restructuring of our economy. Solve large portions of our environmental problems and prevent tens of thousands of deaths per year. Save millions of dollars of productivity and create an entire industry that we cannot even imagine from our current vantage point. We're talking ten years.
The transition is already beginning to happen. Elon Musk, Tesla Motors' CEO, says the 2015 models will be able to self-drive 90 percent of the time. The 2015 model will be able to self-drive 90 percent of the time. The major automakers aren't far behind. According to Bloomberg News, GM's 2017 will feature technology that takes control of steering, acceleration, and braking at highway speeds of 70 miles an hour or in stop-and-go congested traffic. Both Google and Tesla predict fully automatic cars, what Musk describes as true autonomous driving, where you can literally get in the car, go to sleep, wake up at your destination, will be available to the public by 2020.
PAT: That's five years! Wow!
JEFFY: It will happen. We've talked about it on Pat and Stu before. That when it starts to happen, it will happen extra fast like you said, Glenn because the people actually driving cars will then be the dangerous ones.
GLENN: Yeah, that was my next prediction on the way in today. In our lifetime, it will become illegal to drive cars. Our grandchildren will not believe we were allowed to drive cars.
STU: I think that's true. It will seem crazy. You had all these accidents and all these bizarre things going on. Now science can just handle it. Why were you guys able -- this makes me inspired to buy the most awesome car I can buy next. Because, soon, you're not going to have that enjoyment to drive around.
GLENN: That's one of the reasons why -- I want to buy an old muscle car, and one of the reasons I want to buy them is because they're not going to exist anymore. You won't have the ability to go and just drive a driving machine, you know what I mean? It's just going to be -- it will something that drives you once place to another. That will change the concept of -- you know, like right now, the Maybach is probably the best experience of a car inside. It doesn't matter -- you know, it doesn't matter what the dash is like, the steering is like or anything else. You don't care about any of that in a Maybach. You care about what the backseat is like. That's what these cars will be like. They're going to be carriages. They'll be opulent on the inside. The most comfortable. Which one will lay down flat as a bed.
PAT: A driving living room sort of thing. Because you could, if the car is driving you, just watch TV on your way in, if you wanted to. You can watch a movie. You can do whatever you want.
GLENN: Yeah. All of the lost -- commuting will no longer be a problem.
PAT: It's kind of hard to imagine though that in five years it would be that way because they were driving that clunky Apple vehicle or whatever around some neighborhood, was that in California, and all the neighborhoods were like, what is this thing with all the satellite dishes on it? But they had sensors and satellites and stuff all over the car on the top and they were all pointed every which direction. And it turned out it was a self-driving car that they were trying out through neighborhoods. I can't imagine people driving around -- I mean, you'll to have perfect it a little bit better than that, aren't you? Nobody is going to want satellite dishes all over the tops of their cars in order to just -- where will you put that thing in your garage? It will take a lot of room.
STU: I don't think the Tesla ones have anything like that on them.
GLENN: Yeah. I think that's a test model.
Right now your cars tell you when you're backing up. You're too close. All the sensors.
PAT: And they'll stop.
GLENN: Yeah. And the bumper system. It's just, you don't even see any of that. You don't see the cameras on car's today.
PAT: That's true. I was amazed with my latest car. That it will dim the lights for me if it needs to. The beams will go from high to low if another car is approaching and back again. And I thought, wow, that's really something.
STU: I had a rental in Phoenix and it didn't have a backup camera. I almost didn't know how to drive the thing. I didn't know how to backup. I totally forgot how to reverse without a camera.
GLENN: You should drive some of my old cars.
PAT: No thank you.
GLENN: You drive some of my old cars, it is bizarre.
PAT: I wouldn't want to.
PAT: Because I'm too used to, you know, all the amenities we have on these.
GLENN: Yeah, it's bizarre. You drive it. And what's really cool about it is, if you're my age, you remember cars like that, you know what I mean? And it's -- and you listen to the engine and I mean, you're in the car, and you're like, so, Pat, how are you doing!