Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The driver-less car is ready for the road. Are citizens ready for the driver-less car? More importantly, are governments and regulatory authorities prepared to vet and license robot vehicles for sale and use? There is little doubt that the technology has arrived and the PR challenge will be to gain acceptance for it. Some consumers are ready to adapt automation right away. Driving is difficult for them. Others enjoy the power behind the wheel. The thought that they can play solitaire on their cell phones while their vehicle motors down the highway at 70 mph makes them shudder. Automated cars are not a new idea. In the 1950s, futurists were predicting them, but they were too difficult to build and they required a metal conductor planted in the highway to make them feasible. Today's robot cars are self-contained, so the time will come shortly when practitioners will be asked to educate citizens on their use and value. I hope I'm still working when it does. I want to be part of the cultural change.