What Will Happen When Cars Drive Themselves?

Technology Entrepreneur

Peter H. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Best known for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight, the Foundation is now launching prizes in Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy, and Education. Diamandis is also the co-Founder & Executive Chairman of the Singularity University, a Silicon Valley based institution teaching graduates and executives about exponentially growing technologies and their potential to address humanity's grand challenges.

Along with fellow Big Think expert Steven Kotler, Diamandis is co-author of the New York Times best selling hardcover book Abundance—The Future Is Better Than You Think which was #2 on the NYTimes List and #1 on Amazon. Their latest book is titled Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World.

Diamandis has founded or co-founded many of the leading entrepreneurial companies in this sector including Zero Gravity Corporation, the Rocket Racing League and Space Adventures. He also counsels the world's top enterprises on how to utilize exponential technologies and incentivized innovation to dramatically accelerate their business objectives. Dr. Diamandis attended MIT where he received degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering, as well as Harvard Medical School where he received his M.D. Diamandis' personal motto is: "The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!"

 

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Peter Diamandis: Three things come out of it.  Today, there are about 2 million major injuries, 50,000 losses of lives in the United States alone.  You’ll get rid of those, first and foremost.  If you care about saving 50,000 lives, that’s one option. 

The second thing is, cars will get a lot lighter because they’re not worried about it.  So, you don’t need 4,000 pounds.  1,000 is plenty.  And if you’re carrying around – the idea of a young thin woman who weighs 100 pounds driving herself around in a 4,000 pound SUV is laughable.  So, she doesn’t need that.  A thousand pounds is plenty to give you all the accoutrement, the room and such.  So, you reduce the energy usage by a large factor. 

And the third is, once all these autonomous cars know where all the other autonomous cars are, they can fan out and they can take the most efficient route to get you from one place, and you’ve gotten rid of traffic jams.  Eventually, frankly, no one’s going to own a car.  What you’re going to own is on your PDA—the ability to say, I need a car from here to here. And you can say, I need a car now, in which case they’ll charge you a premium. Or I’m willing to pay 50 cents for that drive, in which case the car willing to take your 50 cents. Or I need a Ferrari because I’m on a date.  And you’ve got this panoply of cars that you can choose from, and you will own the ability to command transportation, not the need to have a car.  So, those are the futures there. 


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