A new short documentary by Starsky Robotics depicts the founder reflecting on the virtues of self-driving vehicles. A trucker wouldn’t be divorced, away from home for weeks at a time and he would not be a stranger to his daughter. Drivers would no longer lose their lives in accidents. In the future, fatal vehicular accidents would seem barbaric like mothers dying in childbirth.
The San Francisco based company just received 16.5m in venture capital and is one of countless companies revolutionizing the automotive and transport industries. With a shortage of truckers in the USA, self-driving trucks are seen by many as a solution to the growing demand with 90,000 to 100,000 new truckers needed every year for the next 10 years to replace retiring truckers or those leaving field for other opportunities.
Still, not all are sold on the dream of the self-driving vehicles with 2020 presidential hopeful Andrew Yang sounding the alarm that automation will mean loss of jobs especially for truckers. In a recent correspondence, I asked him how long before we’d see the rise of self-driving trucks with remote human operators and he responded 3-8 years.
Earlier this week, The Verge posted a piece by Andy Hawkins with a sceptical tone entitled, “Self-driving cars continue to face little resistance from the federal government.” Commenters generally took the position of lack of resistance as a positive, the underlying fears raised by skeptics including Andrew Yang are that we are unprepared for the technological revolutions and the resulting social and economic upheaval.
Time to break out the Isaac Asimov because Kansas is going bye-bye.