Friday, May 10, 2019

Driverless Cars: Setting the Bar Too High

Technology Review has a discussion of three factors impeding the adoption of driverless cars:

  • safety--cars being safer than human drivers (who don't drink or text)
  • useful--cars that aren't slow because too cautious, perhaps requiring regulatory changes.
  • affordable.
To me it seems they're setting the bar too high.  Going back to the Innovator's Dilemma new technologies evolve by finding a niche from which they can expand gradually, making use of the learning curve to reduce costs so existing technology can be undersold and to become useful in new ways.  I think that applies here, as I've said before:
  • a geezer like me isn't as safe a driver as the average person, even though we know enough not to drink or text.
  • a geezer like me is already a cautious driver, so making a driverless car that abides by the speed limits is not disrupting the norm (for us).
  • a geezer like me values driveability higher, highly enough to pay a premium to preserve the ability

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