Why We Need Self Driving Cars

In this episode of Future Tech I give you a couple of reasons why I think Why we Need Self Driving Cars. Commuting is a huge waste of time, mobile offices could be a thing, and accidents would dramatically decrease. And of course we are wasting valuable resources in traffic!

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Here’s the transcript from this podcast episode, please excuse any typos!

Get ready to strap on your boots. I’m your host Jason Sherman. Today’s episode of future tech I want to talk about why I think self driving cars are a super big deal. The first statistic that I want to say, which I think is bonkers, is that Americans alone spent 5.5 billion hours stuck in traffic every year. Think about all the people commuting to work, and taking day trips for one or two hours or even longer than that. It’s a huge waste of money because the fuel consumption, when you’re stuck in traffic alone is about $121 billion annually. So needless to say, traffic itself is an immense waste of resources, I mean we’re just killing, oil and gas, just sitting in idle traffic. And when it comes to the actual physical act of driving. I always ask a friend or family member if we’re going somewhere like if we’re going to go to a museum or if we’re going to an event or we’re going to the park or we’re going to go have dinner. I usually do like to drive myself in my own car so that I have control over where I’m going and when I can leave. But for longer trips I tend to have somebody else drive, so that I can actually be productive in the car, whether I’m on my laptop working or on my phone working instead of dealing with traffic, and just sitting there staring at the road which to me is a big waste of time. And I just don’t enjoy that.

Personally, I feel like this is the number one reason why autonomous, or self driving cars need to be ubiquitous, as soon as possible. Let me give you an example here. Imagine leaving your house in the morning, pre COVID or post COVID You have to go to one. As you are able to sit in your car, and it drives you to work, you can actually start working in the car, it will count towards your eight or nine hours at work. So let’s say you have a two hour commute, Okay. For me, I live in Philadelphia. Imagine I’m driving to New York, now it’s about a one and a half hour to two hour trip. So let’s say I leave my house at 7am to get to work at 9am. Now, my workday, technically begins at 9am But what if the work hours started when I began driving the car starts to drive to New York, I log into my work laptop I would log into, you know, Slack or, you know, Zoom video meetings, spreadsheets, whatever it is that I’m working on, I would start working on it at 7am when the car starts driving. I’m not physically driving so I’m not focusing on the road, I’m focusing on work. But let’s say those two hours count towards my work day. I arrived at work at 9am and have already done two hours of work. So this means I should be able to leave work hours ahead of time because let’s say it’s again let’s say it’s an eight hour workday, seven to nine is two hours or six hours left. But there’s two hours to get back home so technically I only have to be at the office for four hours. So we’ll say 910 11pm I’m working through those four hours. And then here’s the cool part. I can take my lunch break in the car on the ride home if I want to, and then work one more hour.

You can go to the doctor, or the mall, or you can go home and decompress before dinnertime, you’re getting home at 3pm and you’re off the clock you’re done work instead of getting off of work at five and dealing with the commute home from traffic for another hour to not getting home till six or seven, you’re exhausted. You gotta eat, and then you’re just too tired to play with your kids and are too tired to do anything. Imagine getting home at three and having all this extra time, all because you had a self driving car. One of the implications of this also, not only is the fact that you’re working during your commute. But if you have a commute. Now it doesn’t matter where the commute is you could be going three hours away you can be going two hours away, every single day, whereas some people like to work closer to home, they like to either take a train or drive a car 30 minutes from their house or 45 minutes. A lot of people turn down jobs because they’re too far away. The commute is too far. But if you have a self driving car and you don’t have to worry about the driving aspect. Well now you can open up that commute to be longer than you’re used to, or longer than you want because you’re not the one driving, and your work hours are being counted.

Another aspect of the self driving car that I thought about recently was having your own mobile cubicle, so to speak, your fresh air, your own music, no less distractions from co workers, but it’s also the fact that there’s a lot of mental health awareness going on in the workplace. Being at your desk for those eight hours nine hours a night, and dealing with the gossip at work and people wasting time because there’s so many hours you’re at work and you can only get so much work done. And I feel like if you’re, if you’re removed from that environment, and you’re in this productive mobile cubicle, so to speak. I feel as though the productivity is going to is going to rise, because now you’re gonna feel better knowing that not only are you getting work done on your way to work, and you’re getting work done on your way home earlier than normal, you’re going to feel better because you’re only in the office for about four hours a day versus eight hours a day, and possibly two to three or four hours of commuting, maybe even if it’s one hour commuting still, you’re gonna feel so much better knowing that you only have to be in the office for a certain amount of time, and you’re going to be productive in the car and not gossiping with your co workers and not wasting time at the watercooler or whatever. In short, with COVID Now it’s a lot of, you know, working from home and zoom meetings and things like that. But eventually, companies are going to want to start having people in the office again, maybe not as extreme as before, but it’s still gonna be a thing right, we’re not going to just completely do away with, you know, working in the office. So they’re still going to be commuting, cars are still gonna be on the road, and it’s still gonna be a big issue. Let’s not forget the last really important facet of this whole autonomous AI Rs.

And why Tesla, for example, is really getting a lot of attention. Tesla vehicles have obstacle and accident avoidance features, and a lot of cars that are not even self driving cars are starting to show self driving tools, artificial intelligence, navigation, where if you’re about to be in an accident, the car might actually stop for you. Right, so there’s a lot of, you know, things in the mirrors that can detect collisions and alert you. The driver. So I feel as though self driving cars would, if anything, accidents will be much lower if not completely obsolete, because computers will be in control of the roads, instead of people. And as we know, all accidents are pretty much caused by human error, most of the time. Sometimes of course, a car might have a flat tire or a car might break down or a car might have an issue and it might cause an accident, but more often than not, the larger percentage of accidents are caused by humans. Computers are much safer.

For example, I was flying home one time from a business trip with my co founders at one of my startups, we were coming home from this really cool Tech, Tech Expo or tech convention in Vegas, and the plane was going through this massive fog, and I’ll never forget. The plane was kind of shaking a little bit, and the fog was dense, you could not see out of the windows, everybody in the plane was kind of panicking. My co founders were scared because they had never flown before I was fired because I knew we were gonna be okay. I have faith in the pilots and I have faith in the plane. But then the pilot comes on the speaker captain speaking. But he was like, we can’t see through the fog, and, you know, we’re gonna have to let the computer, take us down and wait. Everybody started freaking out because all of a sudden, the captain no longer controlled the plane he was putting the onboard computer in charge of landing the plane. And as the plane is landing, and we’re going through the fog, and we can’t see a thing. We don’t know when the planes hit the ground because we literally cannot be so thick. It was just white and gray. So, the plane hits the tarmac it lands on revealing that you don’t crash, and everybody’s like, thank God. The whole time I was perfectly calm, I was like the only person it was calm because I kept saying to myself, this computer knows what it’s what it’s doing it’s doing its job it’s doing what it was programmed to do, and that’s what you have to think of is the AI, the artificial intelligence in charge of these cars. they’re using GPS satellites are using obstacle avoidance, they’re using infrared they’re using night vision, they’re using all sorts of technology and gadgetry and algorithms and probabilities and outcomes, so it knows what to do much better than you who might be leaving happy hour and had a couple drinks and maybe you’re a little slower on on braking or turning in the AI knows that and it can fix that for you. Maybe you’re tired, maybe you’re driving on a business trip and you’re driving home, and it’s three o’clock in the morning and you’re falling asleep at the wheel.

The AI can see this it can see your eyes drooping it can see that your, your car is drifting to the left, and it can kind of bump it back on the road for you maybe it’ll take control of the vehicle and just tell you to take a nap, it’ll actually tell you, please take a nap. I’ll do the driving for you. So I’m sure there’s a lot of other cool things self driving cars are going to bring us in the future. I can’t imagine how much time we’re going to save. Once our cars are our chauffeurs as well, but I’m looking forward to the day when this happens so that I can be more productive while I’m driving or not driving to my next destination. Hopefully you found this insightful, I’d love to hear what you think of self driving cars, Tesla electric cars, or any other types of autonomous cars or vehicles that are coming out in your future, and how you think it’ll change our lives, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you and I’ll see you in next week’s episode.



Jason Sherman