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Old April 12, 2015, 02:47 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is offline
Onwards and upwards!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,633
Default Re: What will we do when cars drive themselves?

Originally Posted by Rob Yaggie View Post
It is amazing how quickly technology can change our lives and on days that I travel I always think about the (near?) future when cars drive themselves. Less accidents, closer following distances, do what you want while the car drives, etc. I know it would take time to phase out our current cars but this could happen sooner than we think.

Tonight my son showed me a very interesting video... maybe some of you have already seen it. It is called "Humans Need Not Apply"

15 minute video:

Wiki page:

I recommend watching it if you have the time. It really makes you think about how big of a change automation could have on our already fragile workplace. My kids are high school / college age now and I wonder what job opportunities / struggles they are about to face (maybe my gray hair is a good thing now).
Hi Rob,

I watched the video... Yikes! It can seem pretty depressing... All those lost jobs...

However, isn't it possible that more jobs will be created, too?

Let me give you an example. I have a good friend who works for a very large power company. This company has its "fingers" in everything power-related. They own coal mines on one hand, but they sell solar energy technology on the other hand, too.

You know what? My friend has told me that solar cells are just getting cheaper and cheaper to make, and also getting more and more efficient...

He envisions a time when solar cells are so cheap and efficient, that everyone will have solar cells, on their roofs, also also on the walls of their houses, too! It might be slapped on, just as another construction material. A kind of "solar paint" has already been developed...

With enough electricity being generated, every house could in effect be a "power generator." They can sell their excess electricity back to the "grid" (as already happens in some places)...

Furthermore, big coal-fired power plants will go out of business. That means lost jobs in that industry, but... What will also happen?

New jobs will be created too. People have to install the solar technology, and perhaps fix it if it breaks down. Solar technology also requires new battery technology (to store excess power), and that will also need installation and fixing when it breaks down too.

So, while many "old technology" jobs will be lost, new jobs will also be created as well...

The final thing is, people usually like to deal with other humans. A different friend of mine told me how he went to a restaurant (in Malaysia, I believe), where you didn't talk to a waiter or waitress. What happened instead?

You sat at your table, and punched your order into an iPad. You paid at your table by machine (with your credit card), too.

However, he said he prefers to see a human being when he orders food... So while the new system is probably more efficient - what's lacking? It is "cold" and impersonal. That might drive away people who like to interact with a human being, and could mean fewer customers...

Anyway... Good food for thought though. And well worth thinking about...!

Best wishes,

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