Saturday 19 November 2016


By the year 2030, it is forecast, fewer of us will be driving cars. On some roads human-driving will be prohibited. We will dial up a car. It will arrive at our front door and it will transport us to our chosen destination. The "smart car" will do the driving. Sound fantastic? Some self-driving cars are already being tested on our roads. Autonomous, self-driving vehicles are just a few years away from mass production.

Uber already transports people in self-driving vehicles in trials in Pittsburgh PA. Since Walmart is working with Uber and Lyft to deliver it makes sense that Walmart closely eyes the self-driving vehicle business -- as would Walmart's greatest competitor San Francisco-based Otto delivered 50,000 beers almost 200 km in Colorado, about a month ago. In Singapore you can catch a ride in a self-driving taxi using your smartphone. Canadian Business reports that every business will be affected by self-driving cars.

What will autonomous vehicles mean for creative rural communities?

The Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria, British Columbia, reports that conventional public transit will change. Self-driving vehicles will provide mobility for non-drivers [and isolated citizens]. The report also states that job losses could occur by requiring fewer drivers and lowering/eliminating vehicle maintenance and repairs. The reports also outlines risks. VTPI predicts autonomous vehicles "will have little effect in exurban and rural areas, though they do point out the benefits of car-sharing.

I sense that rural citizens will have increased access to medical, education, social and food services, support, supply and facilities. Isolation will be lessened. In some cases citizens will never need to learn to drive. The world will come to our doorsteps. How liberating would THAT be?

[Question ... if an autonomous vehicle is pulled over for a traffic violation/issue, and there is no driver, to whom will the police officer issue the ticket? ... and will "road rage" disappear?]