Self-Driving Cars (Driving in the Networked Age)

Just been reading this article on LinkedIN discussing the transition from human driven cars to a 'better driverless future". What struck me about the article was the range of negative comments - some of which are very hostile to this proposed future!

For me, given my current knowledge, I see two initiatives that are major game changers:

  1. Universal Basic Income
  2. Autonomous Driving

Both will ask major questions of how we live our lives and both will require major change.

Even though it seems counter intuitive - I am wondering if there would be any logic in coupling their rollouts. Maybe there are connections between the two initiatives that makes it sensible to sell it as one package.

Your thoughts?

Interesting article, but also pretty long, so I only skimmed it. The last comments that I read weren’t very negative. They were rather neutral and curious.

It’s interesting that you see a connection between autonomous driving and UBI, and even see them as major game changes at about the same level. I would add (healthy) life extension treatments to the mix, because they will also change how we live our lives, especially when we are older.

Now there’s a relatively clear connection from autonomous driving to UBI: Autonomous driving will make a lot of people unemployed: Truck drivers, taxi (Uber) drivers, and delivery drivers. This will certainly cause a lot of transient unemployment and open up the question what jobs are left to take for those with little qualification: Very few. This implies that people need the time and money to retrain, which suggests that the state either invests in expensive retraining programmes, or just covers them with a sufficiently generous UBI, or modest UBI with free education.

On the other hand, if UBI comes first, then people in the jobs above will probably anticipate that their jobs will soon be made obsolete by autonomous driving and invest their time and money into further education.

It’s interesting that autonomous driving and UBI will have similar effects: Both enable people to have more usable time! Though there will be dramatic differences in how people will use that extra time for themselves. After all, they could do more work, or communicate with friends, or read books, or play games, or just watch move TV, among an ever growing range of options.

I don’t think it’s necessary to “sell” both UBI and autonomous driving as one package. If you get one, you will increase the change to get the other soon afterwards. What you could do is say that autonomous driving is an enabler of UBI, or makes it even more necessary.

Another aspect that I find interesting, but I don’t see mentioned too often in these contexts is the impact on the human mating process. In the current situation I often see the use of cars and income as status symbols that can be used to attract sexual partners.

I wonder how this will look in the future if (when) UBI, autonomous driving, and other key initiatives such as life extensions etc are realised - what substitutes people will use to attract partners (both for parenting and for more casual needs).

Will be interesting to see the impact on these things and in population growth and population demographics etc.

This will surely persist into the future, even if there are autonomous cars. Many people will still strive to have expensive private cars, even if they are self-driving. Also, there are numerous ways to signal high income. Things won’t change very much on that front, I think.