Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Daughter will never drive... but I'm sure I'll have other problems...

My daughter will never drive... I've been debating this idea with my wife for a while.  You see, I don't think my daughter will ever drive a car, because I think we will have self driving cars by the time she is old enough.  I'm always an optimist when it comes to technology.   An history is littered with lots of technology optimists who lived through a lot of disappointment, as they discovered the world just doesn't move as fast as you think in will.  

Do I think I will be disappointed?  I'm not sure.  You look around and you see Volvo's "No one will die in a volvo by 2020" campaign.  There were multiple teams who won the Darpa Urban Challenge in 2007, and that challenge was everything you need to actually have autonomous cars.  (going on 4 years ago)   There are now numerous similar challenges going on in China(didn't a chinese company just buy Volvo?) now and most other companies are saying they will be in the autonomous market by the 2020's.   So we have the technology to make it work, and the cost of that technology will fall to something reasonable within 3 rev's of moore's law, but the problem is that it just takes time to engineer and test a commercial grade solution.  I'm guessing that's easily 10 years.  Throw on another 5 years to get through the public mindset change and get some basic laws in place.  Which means there is a pretty good chance my daughter won't drive.  

Now if cars really can drive themselves by then, I'm sure as a father I'll have an entirely different set of problems.    Lets cross one bridge at a time.   

So there you have it wifey... in writing... self driving cars by 2026.   If I'm wrong you get to teach her how to drive... if I'm right I'll teach her how to hack the software safety locks.  Deal?

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