I am surprised at the lack of comments on my last post about Apple, Google, and Tesla. Am I the only one that sees that this is just the beginning of a remarkable and disruptive transition of automobiles in the US and eventually the world? Don’t others see that almost certainly our current concept of automobiles will be totally replaced by electric cars or pods that autonomously take people to their destinations with no driver involvement? The pods will be available in 10 to 15 years, and it will take another 20 years to transition to a total pod environment. Traditional cars that must be driven by a person will be taken off the road.
No one will be able to stop this transition any more than they were able to stop the transition from horses to cars. Safety alone will push this, not to mention effective time utilization currently wasted, at least by the driver, in getting from one place to another. Some pods will be owned by individuals, but many will be used as needed with people only paying for time/distance used. Pods will arrive at your beck and call!
The trio of Apple, Google, and Tesla makes this a given. The talent, innovativeness, and bankroll of these companies are almost insurmountable. All of these companies have already committed billions of dollars, and enough success has already been demonstrated that it is unimaginable that this will not happen. Will they work together on this? I think that as a minimum they will want to utilize the Tesla charging stations; just broaden their availability. They may also want to use the Tesla battery design, especially given that it appears that costs may be cut perhaps 50% in a few years.
The control of all these electric pods will be mind-boggling, certainly stretching the limits of non-thinking AI and computer power. Maps will be continuously updated using each pod as a surveyor of current road conditions/availability, feeding this info back to a central computer. This will be combined with advanced GPS that will be able to locate a car’s position within less than a foot. Besides each car monitoring its own safety with all its own sensors, huge area-computers will continuously track each vehicle on a grid. This will enable rerouting of traffic if a road segment is shut down or if there is bad weather or an accident.