All our life, we thought cars are necessary. It's convenient, surely. Using a car can be more comfortable than taking PUVs. We even thought driving is a must-have skill. But robotics experts predict otherwise. They said in 10 or 20 years, we won't even need to own a car.
Henrik Christensen, head of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, spoke with The San Diego Union-Tribune
, and guessed the near the future for the automobile industry.
“My own prediction is that kids born today will never get to drive a car,” said Christensen. “Autonomous, driverless cars are 10, 15 years out. All the automotive companies — Daimler, GM, Ford — are saying that within five years they will have autonomous, driverless cars on the road.”
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, and Lyft co-founder, John Zimmer have predicted the same future.
Christensen said, "it’s a question of how much time people waste sitting in traffic and not doing something else. The average person in San Diego probably spends an hour commuting every day. If they could become more productive, that would be good. With autonomous, driverless cars, we can put twice as many vehicles on the road as we have today, and do it without improving the infrastructure.”
Christensen believes new babies won't even get to drive a car in the future. He said a few years from now, a car will not be a possession, rather, it will become a service.
“There would be no need to have parking garages in downtown San Diego,” said Christensen. “In theory, you’d get out of the car and say, ‘Pick me up at 4 p.m.’ Long-term — we’re talking 20 years into the future — you’re not even going to own a car. A car becomes a service.”