The debate really should not be about when we will see self driving cars on the road. Given everything we know, my bet would be within the next 5 years.

It’s no longer a technology problem – both Google and Tesla have demonstrated that. The real hurdles to be crossed are regulatory in nature – a) Elon Musk says the government won’t allow self-driving cars until it can be proven that they are 10x safer than manually driven cars or b) What would insurance for a self-driving car look like?

There is a more interesting discussion surrounding the opportunities that this technology is going to bring. Or on the flip side, the jobs and companies that are going to disappear.

Opportunities that will come along:


Technology Companies: The obvious opportunity is for the tech companies such as Google and Apple. We’ll be sitting in a pod/self-driving car going from home to work. Some of us might read a book on the way. But let’s not kid ourselves. Have you seen what most of the folks on buses are doing? Yes – most of us will be surfing the web on our mobile devices. The more we surf, the more we search. And the more we search, the more Google grows. And simultaneously we will be listening to music. And the more music we listen to, the more iTunes grows.

Computer engineers: The reason I cite computer engineering as an opportunity is because as the number of self driving cars on the roads increase, there are going to be plenty of newer technological problems to solve. For instance, each car will start to share information with other cars – where it’s coming from, where it’s going, when it will reach its destination, or even how much gas or charge it has remaining. The sky is the limit for the kind of data that will be shared and what can be done with this data. For example, this data might potentially be used to reduce traffic jams. And don’t forget about all the apps that have to developed for a self-driving car.  Data scientists and computer engineers – gear up. Demand for you is going to grow even higher. Continue reading SELF DRIVING CARS: NOT A PIPE DREAM!!!!!