A while ago, I wrote about my ideal Car of the Future: it would be self-driving, not owned by me but available at my beck and call.
It seems that I am not the only one thinking of the ideal car that way. In fact, an analysis by Barclays indicates that the demand for such transportation will be high enough that the self-driving car will largely displace the privately owned car, and that within the next 25 years.
The report, quoted in a Financial Review article, "foresees four vehicle categories -- traditional cars and trucks driven by individuals for work or in rural areas; "family autonomous vehicles," owned by individuals and shared by a single family; "shared autonomous vehicles" that would be "robot taxis" summoned by smartphone; and "pooled shared autonomous vehicles" that accommodate multiple riders, like a bus or a van."
And get this: "Every shared vehicle on the road would displace nine traditional autos, and each pooled shared vehicle would take the place of as many as 18."
With this, the cost of mobility will go down drastically from what it is today, contributing to the popularity of driverless cars in a nice feedback loop.
CelloDad is totally ready for this. There are days that I suspect his dislike of driving is what made him marry his chauffeur - that was me. He's so looking forward to the day that he can be mobile without relying on me, or having to wrangle the shift stick I insist on having. So when the self-driving car comes into its own he will be one happy fellow.
But he is not the only one who will benefit from this new mode of transportation: Children too young to drive, the elderly who are starting to feel uncertain behind the wheel, especially at night, or the occasional car user will all be helped by the self-driving car.
Oh brave new world that hath such vehicles in it!
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1. The Car of the Future
2. The Car of the Future Comes to Singapore
3. Teaching Your Teen to Drive a Stick
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