TED Conversations

Sarina Hannon

This conversation is closed.

How do you imagine self driving cars will change the future?

Lets say this design will be (and will be seen as) a total success.
Lets assume safety will skyrocket.

I'm especially interested in the options freedom from crashes would allow for car design.

Couldn't cars communicate?

How about people? could driving become more socially connective if people were free from staring at the road?

I want to hear about social networking opportunities! :D

Add in anything you find interesting! :D Thanks!


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 6 2011: UCB was researching self-steering cars in the late 1980's using magnets in the road, and in the 90's the federal DOT had a program to study the road-car architecture that included driverless cars. This driverless car program was largely a bust because the feds insisted a whole new highway system would be needed, posing a terrible chicken-and-egg problem, which finally killed interest in the program.

    The driverless car, possible mechanizations and implications are discussed in 'Tomorrow's Transportation: Changing Cities, Economies, and Lives' by Garrison and Ward, shamelessly mentioned here by Ward.

    One thought not mentioned in this thread is removing the driver significantly removes design constraints on the vehicle, making the design of special-purpose vehicles much easier and potentially more efficient. Like little bug-like vehicles delivering groceries to the home, or the missing part to the worker.

    Now anyone can drive, 8 or 80, drunk or sober (frightening thought, isn't it).

    It's the terrorist's dream.

    We'll need a lot of rules and restrictions.
    • thumb
      Apr 6 2011: Ooo you're right. Car designs even with people in them will be totally re-inventable! No need to worry about crashes, get rid of seat belts, forget about facing forward, the seats can face each other. They can be lighter and in cooler shapes if they don't need to ever sustain impact! I LOVE the idea of 'cars' of any size. wow that's a cool thought. if there was a fist sized car for some reason, it could literally drive along on the same roads as cars the size of whales, two inches away without any issues. Now even motorcycles get in trouble because people can't handle different sizes around them! GREAT point!!
      It frightens me more that something so mechanical is under human control... drunk, distracted, bored human control. hahah yikes.
      On the Terrorist idea, a terrorist can drive a car all they want anyway... without any regulation, virtually. It wouldn't give them more accessibility anywhere. Do you mean it would reduce the need for suicide-terrorists as cars will be empty? Explain what you mean, I may be missing your point.
      • Apr 6 2011: Sarina, I meant just what you alluded to; it will be no longer necessary to commit suicide to be a successful terrorist. If I were planning to be one, that would be a BIG plus.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.