Self-Driving Cars, Part III

Last month I wrote about my favorite aspects of Self-Driving Cars. I explored more deep-future stuff… not just empowering disabled people to use vehicles, but the implications of autonomous vehicles on real estate and city infrastructure.

In the first week of July, Google Co-Founders Larry Page & Sergey Brin sat down for a 40-minute chat to discuss their vision of the future. Watch the video or read the full transcript here.

Here’s a quote from Brin:

“If you look at the self-driving cars, for example, I hope that that could really transform transportation around the world, and reduce the need for individual car ownership, the need for parking, road congestion and so forth.”

And another:

“I hope [self-driving cars] can┬ábe a really dramatic change. Off the bat, of course, there are the many people who currently cannot get around if they’re too old, too young, disabled and so forth. But that’s still just a fraction of the population. I think the bigger changes can come to the community, the lifestyle, the land use. So much of our land in most cities, about 30 to 50-percent is parking, which is a tremendous waste. Also, the roads themselves, which are both congested and take a lot of space are just unpleasant. So with self-driving cars, you don’t really need much in the way of parking, because you don’t need one car per person. They just come and get you when you need them. … Fundamentally, they can just make much more efficient use of the space and therefore, people’s time. So I think that can be really transformative.”

And a quote from Vinod, the interviewer:

“I love the car, because it’s such a radical transformation economically. The way I look at it, it costs $300 a month to lease a car or hiring a driver is $300 a day. A driverless car is a 97-percent cost reduction in the cost of a driven car, making it cheaper than a car you own probably. So it completely changes economics.”

Glad to see we’re all on the same page.

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