Driverless cars could make mass transit obsolete

Oct 24, 2016, 6:00 AM | Updated: Oct 25, 2016, 9:27 am

As worried as we are about terrorists, nothing they’ve done to us comes close to what we do to ourselves.

“The terrifying thing is that there are, around the world, 23,000 people killed by car accidents every week … we’re just sort of numb to it.”

Dr. Hod Lipson is a robotics engineer and the author of a book titled “Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead”. He says within 30 years, most cars won’t have steering wheels.

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“Whereas a human driver can only have one lifetime of experience, a driverless car can have many lifetimes of experience because it sees and learns from all the other driverless cars,” he explained to me.

And because these computer-driven cars share their driving experience over the Internet, he has complete faith that as they take over the roads the accident rate will drop.

“It will begin to approach zero,” he added.

And not only that. He says that by using the Internet to cooperate with each other and choose the most efficient route, they could eventually make mass transit unnecessary.

“When I hear New York City is investing in a new subway line that will open in 20 years I really cringe,” he said.

Imagine — carefree commutes in cars without steering wheels, which will guide us and protect us using the Internet. But let’s keep it between us, OK? The last thing we need is for the Russian hackers to find out.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
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Driverless cars could make mass transit obsolete