The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

Self-Driving Cars
Personally I really hope that SDCs will arrive in full force, affordably, as soon as possible. There seems to be a boom in research in recent years with a variety of projects like the google driverless car and various states/countries writing policy to allow for SDCs to be tested on public roads:

I've been reading up on it and thinking about how this technology could manifest both IRL and IOA. Some of the things that seem apparent is that there could be far less cars (apparently the average car spends <10% of their time on the road, the rest taking up space), most cars can be smaller suiting for less passengers (most of the time all 5 seats of an average car aren't used) and acting as a swarm fleets of SDCs would be far more efficient at getting from A to be (similar to the movement of flocks of birds/schools of fish).

Anyho I thought I'd start this thread to see what others think about the tech both IRL and IOA and also to share this latest concept video I've found which highlights a lot of these ideas in a cool way. Enjoy Smile

It will be interesting how this technology is phased in. I'm not sure put side of some niche first adopters there will be enough market demand for this technology. Probably the military and industry is where this will start to boom, automating shipping and logistics. You could replace quite a few necessary but low skill jobs. I can't imagine the taxi drivers and teamsters will be happy with this development.
Bit of a necropost but flicking through my past threads I realised I never replied to this, sorry Smile

Regarding phasing in I think it will happen more gradually than most posts and conversations suggest. Whilst I'm fairly confident (and hopeful) that at some point 10-30 years from now a fully self driving car as good as the average human will be possible I doubt that things will be the same as now up until then. Rather all the advances in automation that companies are experimenting with now will trickle into average cars. Certain cars now can steer if they detect lane drift, break if they detect a collision and assist with parking. That kind of thing will most likely become standard in cars over the next decade. After that we could see further additions in high end cars (filtering down over time) like fully automatic parking, full lane keeping, car training etc.

Essentially if we propose that the worlds first commercial self driving car will be available in 2033 then it won't seem like much of a jump from the drivers of the time. This is because for an average driver a car does a lot of the work anyway, parking for them, driving on the motorway, avoiding collisions etc. Therefore the demand wont really be that niche.

And as for workers relying on driving yes they will be out of the job but that isn't a bad thing so long as the social institutions and policies are in place to ensure that they can get another job (including training if necessary) and are fully taken care of in the meantime.
At least in the US some self-parking cars have been advertised for sale. Not sure how well they really do at this or how well they've been selling. Also, there are several commercials running here right now for cars that do the lane drift and 'detecting a problem several cars ahead' and 'self-braking' thing. I haven't been paying that much attention (not planning on a new vehicle for about 5 more years) so haven't noticed if these are high end vehicles or not.

Anyway, your proposed timeline on this seems reasonable.

Getting back to OA, we currently have an EG on personal rapid transit systems and given OA automation, pretty much anything that needs to get around on its own probably can. Some places may use PRT systems, while others use self-driving cars, and others use a hybrid or combo of both (a self-driving car that can link into a PRT system for rapid transit or long range travel or the like).

Then again, some places may use things like gengineered mini-elephants that you ride or even horse drawn buggies to get around, just because they can and like to, at least when not in a hurry.


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