cars

There was the PC revolution, than the Internet and now mobile. Tech analysts are falling all over themselves to predict the next great thing, with wearable devices like the smartwatch being the primary candidate.

Maybe the next frontier is not on your wrist but on your butt instead, by which I mean cars.

There’s some impressive tech on the horizon coming soon to cars. There is of course driverless cars, and that’s been covered here before. There’s a ton of cool stuff brewing between now and that future.

The first is this new take on navigation by Jaguar. Forget the traditional map and blue lines. Imagine a blue hologram car that’s just ahead of you, guiding where to go. It’s the future take of how we used to do guidance — by following a buddy.

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We wrote before how the future of driverless cars won’t be Toyota but Uber.  We hypothesized that car manufacturers won’t risk putting their brand behind such a project, and that you wouldn’t be able to walk into a car dealership in the next 7 years to buy one.  Instead, the future of driverless cars will be in services like Uber, where consumers don’t own the car but pay to ride it.

This excellent article from Reuters, chock full of insider reporting, supports all those hypotheses.

Car manufacturers won’t risk their brands:

Car companies, all too familiar with the devastating financial and brand damage of recalls, would see any hiccups with the self-driving car as a threat to their main business.

“We’re not going to put our name on a project like that because if something goes wrong, we have a lot more to lose.”  – Guy from major car manufacturer

It’ll be years before you can buy a driverless car from a dealership:

Some in the industry predict fully automated cars will be available as soon as 2020, though research firm IHS Automotive does not expect the cars to be widely available until 2035.

To start, driverless cars won’t be purchased but used on-demand:

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has described self-driving cars as an on-demand service that consumers summon when needed. That would represent a seismic shift from a longstanding model based on individual ownership.

Ahhh.  It does feel good to be right.  🙂

A couple days ago, at the Code conference, Google unveiled its start-from-scratch take on the driverless car.

It’s marvelous!

For many of us, a future of driverless cars will occur in our lifetime.  This charge won’t be led by traditional car manufacturers like Toyota.  Oh, they will be there eventually, but I predict it will be transportation services like Uber who will bring Google’s technology to the mainstream.

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Technology needs to be more like anti-lock brake systems in cars, which do exactly what we need them to do, when we need them, without us realizing they are even present…We don’t have to mess with it. We just say here’s what we want. When technology reaches that level of invisibility in our lives, that’s our ultimate goal. It vanishes into our lives. It says: ‘you don’t have to do the work, I’ll do the work.’

That was Google X leader Dr. Astro Teller speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt about that “wonderful technology moment” when artificial intelligence makes decisions for us invisibly in the background. Google X is the moonshot division in Google pioneering driver-less cars, which makes Teller’s comment especially interesting.

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