There is circulating a “note” making the claim that we are basically at the end of the car era, much like we wound up at the end of the horse era.
That of course doesn’t mean there are no horses. There are; the moderately (and more-so) wealthy still own them for sport and pleasure, but other than the Amish nobody owns them for basic personal transportation whereas they were essentially the only means of same decades ago.
The argument is that driverless “cars” (really a box that moves people and can be called on demand) will appear and basically take over. First slowly, like cars did, and then more-or-less all at once.
In other words not long from now (months, really, if you’re in parts of Arizona!) you will start to be able to hail what amounts to a robotic taxi — with no driver in it at all. As the technology improves and expands people will start to voluntarily eschew owning a car in favor of hailing rides in driverless vehicles; arguably mostly for economic reasons.
Oh by the way, if you’re one of the half-million or so who currently drive for Uber, Lyft, or a conventional “taxi” or “black car” service — you’re all out of a job the that transition really starts to accelerate. Keep that in mind as you continue to read onward….
At some point the accident rate disparity between the choice of car ownership and driverless “hail and get in” vehicles will cause the government to either ban driving or it will get so prohibitively expensive, either by insurance regulations or outright government taxation in some form, that only the very wealthy will retain the option (as is the case now for horses.)
You may see benefits here.
I see grave danger.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-11-29.