PERREAULT Magazine SEPT | OCT 2016 - Page 82

Perreault Magazine - 82 -




global futurism

BY jack uldrich


The Financial Times recently released an informative and well-balanced 12-minute video discussing the long road to self-driving cars. (See video)

Early in the video, the host declares “it is no longer a question of if but when” self-driven cars will become a reality. I agree wholeheartedly with the assessment but I believe this future will arrive faster than the video implies for a number of reasons.

First, to understand how fast the landscape for self-driven vehicles is changing, consider this: Early in the video the Financial Times accurately states that “only certified engineers can sit behind the wheel of self-driven cars.” Alas, just today, Google announced it will pay people $20 an hour to sit in self-driven vehicles while the car captures and records data. The information is being gathered for the express purpose of making robotic cars a reality sooner rather later.

Another trend escalating the use of autonomous vehicles includes the fact that in addition to Google, GM, Volvo, Toyota, Volkswagen, Audi, Uber, Baidu and Ford are also undertaking ambitious projects in this space. The latter is even testing robotic cars in snowy conditions. Moreover, a number of countries, including the U.K., China, Greece, Singapore, Germany, and Sweden, are also aggressively moving forward with autonomous driving projects.