Between Google’s self-driving car and car sharing programs, we could be looking at radically different driving experience.
Many pundits labelled Google’s self-driving car ‘revolutionary’ as soon as the story broke. It does, of course, have the potential to be revolutionary, but we are at least a number of years away from a time when it’s concrete.
With an interesting car-sharing scheme between local government and the public commencing in New York, there is continued evolution of the relationship between how we live and how we travel.
It is realistic to foresee a future where these technologies and policies come together with other existing regulations such as the congestion zones found in some of the world’s largest cities to create ‘self-driving only’ areas, a park and ride system with borrowed, environmentally friendly cars that can sync with each other (with concessions for commercial vehicles and special circumstances for civilians.)
If the cars were advanced enough to regulate speed and route perfectly, cars could drive between the gaps in cars on intersecting roads, automatically be moved for the emergency services and ensure no-one was ever lost in a city centre again.
People will protest for their freedom to drive their own car, at their own speed, but the benefits in safety and the environment are hard to argue against, and seem to outweigh the infringement of liberty. The number of cars has long been tipped to rise hugely, this coupled with population rises is unsustainable with today’s infrastructure.
The online business community would certainly get behind it, all of the time normally spent driving could be spent watching the on-board TV, browsing the Internet on an embedded tablet or making video calls with family at home – all of which could serve as a platform for advertising.