If driverless cars truly are the future, it may well be vehicular services like taxis and haulage that are the first to go autonomous.
Uber, which is swiftly taking over from traditional cabs, certainly seems interested in eliminating drivers altogether, at least according to a board member of Tesla, which will be one of the first manufacturers to put self-driving cars on sale.
Steve Juvertson was apparently told by CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick that if Tesla cars are autonomous by 2020, he wants to buy all 500,000 that are expected to be produced.
"For those of us who have a chance to be in one, you’ll never go back. I believe they are already safer than my parents," Forbes quotes Juvertson as saying.
Kalanick's remarks might have been made on the fly, but they signal a future where taxi driver is no longer a profession.
It would be considerably cheaper for Uber to not have human drivers and result in less cases of the abuse of passengers (bar a technological singularity, in which case we'll all die just trying to get a lift to the shops).
Getting to your destination by driverless-Uber might be slow to begin with though, as Tesla plans to initially run its cars at speeds of no more than 25mph in urban areas.Reuse content