Driverless Autos

June 7, 2011
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The promise:

The benefits of driverless cars are potentially significant. The typical American spends an average of roughly 100 hours a year in traffic; imagine using that time in better ways — by working or just having fun.

One obstacle:

The promise:

The benefits of driverless cars are potentially significant. The typical American spends an average of roughly 100 hours a year in traffic; imagine using that time in better ways — by working or just having fun.

One obstacle:

The driverless car is illegal in all 50 states. Google, which has been at the forefront of this particular technology, is asking the Nevada legislature to relax restrictions on the cars so it can test some of them on roads there. Unfortunately, the very necessity for this lobbying is a sign of our ambivalence toward change.

Meanwhile:

Transportation is one area where progress has been slow for decades. We’re still flying 747s, a plane designed in the 1960s. Many rail and bus networks have contracted. And traffic congestion is worse than ever.

Full NYT editorial by Tyler Cowen is worth reading.