The Self-Driving Future: Part 3

Did you save some money by not buying that self-driving car? Not so fast. You’re gonna pay that money and more in the long run.

First, your insurance premiums will eventually be higher because the insurance companies know that manual drivers are not as safe as computer drivers, and anyway, the only people  who want to drive manually are the Fast and Furious wannbees who are more likely to get into accidents.

Secondly, you’ll pay more in gas, because the computer will drive the car more efficiently than you ever can.

Thirdly, you’ll pay more tolls. Let’s say that a lane of highway has a capacity of 1,500 passengers cars per hour. But if all of those cars are in self driving mode they will be able to safely follow each other a little closer and do less rubbernecking, etc. The capacity might increase by 25% to 1,875 cars per hour. On a four lane highway, that adds a whole  lane of capacity.

Highways are very expensive to build. If more capacity is needed, it would be way cheaper to fit more cars on the road by encouraging  people to let their cars drive themselves. At the beginning there will be dedicated lanes for this. Then self driving will become the norm, and there will be dedicated lanes for manual drivers. Finally, on congested roads, they will start charging extra tolls to drive manually.

So all of the out of work body shop workers and auto mechanics that cannot afford the new self driving cars will have to pay a bit more money to commute to their new job at the recycling plant 100 km away.