The first known fatal car crash with use of autopilot driving engaged was on May 7th in Florida. This is the first of what will likely be many crashes and injuries involving partially or fully autonomous vehicles. It’s very likely true that over time, autonomous vehicles will make our roadways safer than ever before. This will be from direct benefits such as less accidents, to less obvious cascade effects from less pollution, less traffic jams holding up emergency vehicles, and much, much more that’s already been written about extensively. Motorists will be so happy, they’d be shooting sunbeams out of the exhaust if cars still had exhaust. (We’ll leave aside the reality that for now, most electric vehicles are likely juiced up from electrons being produced at coal fired power plants. So the pollution reduction benefit may have to wait. See Coal Powered Electric Cars and Electric cars and the coal that runs them)
So why is some more destruction on the way?
Well, there’s a whole lot of reasons. [Read more…]