Let’s be clear beforehand, new technologies open opportunities but don’t shape futures, societies do !
We often tend to have an optimistic view of technology, and in the end it is normally true that technology advancements result in a better living for all of us. However, transitions are not necessarily smooth and often the introduction of a new technology has caused social pains.
This is not the fault of technology, but of our lack of willingness to confront the problem and design social and legal structures that could shape the outcomes that we envision. Avoiding confronting early the inevitable changes that the technology progress will bring, is at the root of this problem. It is as easy to hide and prohibit the new business models, new tech advancements as irresponsible. Doing so only leads to being hit by them and having to adopt the “de facto” standard because that has been developed abroad because it is too late, because when we finally surrender to the unavoidable, it will be too late. Resulting into much more than a missing opportunity, a loss in competitiveness and lots of pain.
Self driving cars will be no exception . We always have an optimistic view of this new technology. We envision self driving cars as an opportunity to get rid of car congestion in our cities. We all will share cars that will provide on demand rides at a very low cost. Transportation will be almost for free, ready available to everybody. Finally, pollution will be a nightmare of the past and our cities will be clean, with lots of green spaces recovered from city streets and cities will live a new renewal.
To good to be true? Yes, our cities could have this new renewal, but they have to earn it. Technology alone won’t bring it.