1. BBC News – The UK government has announced that driverless cars will be allowed on public roads from January next year. It also invited cities to compete to host one of three trials of the tech, which would start at the same time.
2. A Baidu representative confirmed to Tech in Asia that it’s working on a self-driving car, but stated that the program is “at a very early stage.” The Baidu driverless car project is being driven by its “deep learning” labs.
Driverless cars create opening for a leapfrog competitor. In other words, maybe Google will choose not to be a supplier at all. The International Energy Agency estimates that a combination of population growth and rising living standards could drive a 250% increase in the number of passenger light-duty vehicles worldwide, to more than 2 billion vehicles, over the next 35 years. There’s no guarantee, however, that those cars will look like today’s cars.
Driverless cars create new markets that automakers are unable to serve.
A US Bureau of Transportation Statistics survey found that almost 15 million people, six million of whom are disabled, have difficulties getting the transportation they need. This number will rise. The Los Angeles Times reports that by 2030, up to a quarter of the licensed drivers in the US will be older than 85. Fully autonomous cars extend mobility to traditionally unserved and underserved market segment
Fully autonomous cars lessens overall car sales or enables a large-scale shift to car sharing rather than private car ownership.
Personally owned cars are parked, on average, almost 95 percent of the time, so there is plenty of room to better utilize them through person-to-person car sharing or taxi-like car services.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.