Wednesday, 5 December 2012

What the driver-less car means for windscreen washer salesmen.

The development of the driver-less car and presumably other vehicles is coming along apace. Though very little thought seems to have been given to what the consequences will be.
In the long term there is going to be a complete end to the HGV driving business the only reason to carry someone on a delivery vehicle will be to help load or unload.
I imagine though that seat belt will stop being mandatory after a while and if you don't need to watch where you're going  why have a windscreen or sit confined in two rows. You family conveyance will become a drawing room on wheels capable of transporting you anywhere in the habitable world and even Canada.
For a holiday just hire a unit which drives to pick you up when everyone is home on the Friday night. You load it up and then sit down a watch TV in it while it drives you down the road and gets it loaded onto a train, where you're whisked through the night at 200+mph to a warmer/colder/historic part of the world, where it offloads itself in the small hours and drives to your holiday site, so when you wake up on Saturday morning you are there. The train will not have needed a driver and will need even less brains than a car and be able to use lines at a far higher density than today's trains. Splinting and joining at speed to make the most efficient journey possible.
The shape of cars will change quite radically and be as different from the today's cars as  the Model T is, there need by no front or back, aerodynamic sleekness will be the ruling factor.
Why even own a car? A journey for one can be called for an a 1 person vehicle drive itself to your door. It will not mean waiting for a driver to finish his lunch or even walk out to the car, the vehicle will have parked it self up where the hire system predicts there will be a need for a car soon.
The roads would have no parked cars lining the street as they would only turn up and stop for the briefest periods to pick people up and drop them off. There will be far less street furniture, no speed signs, stop signs or traffic lights.
For those that insist on driving the older cars a small unit can be attached to the vehicle and give in cab signals to the driver or by using an augmented reality headset place synthetic road signs in the correct places.
It would be hard on traffic wardens, windscreen washers and Hollywood film directors, who would have to find new dramatic devices. Taking a car on a reckless drive across town would involve hacking into the car's systems and you would have to bring your own steering wheel.
A world where cars trains and planes guide them selves will be a quieter more economical, more efficient world with greater convenience and less intrusion from transport but with less hardware tied up in the system. It will be a world in which the average speed of travel is higher than today but the peek speed lower, as the predictabilities of the system keep everything moving at the best speed.
I for one will be acquiring a self driving bed room, where I can go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning a convenient distance from the office.
Whoever it will still be a world in which somehow Feu Orange  car fresheners are still made and installed but no one knows where or who by.

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