On the face of things, autonomous cars don’t really make a tonne of sense. We are, apparently, totally up for spending huge sums of money on a car with more sensors than the FCC (note to self: aural jokes are different to written ones), more algorithms than a Facebook feed and computers with more processing power than the Space Shuttle program.
On a mildly related side note, we buy cloud storage and backup hard drives because we don’t trust our office computer not to break, but we trust a car computer to work flawlessly… yep, checks out. Anyway, back to the action.
So far, car and tech companies have spent more than $16 billion on autonomobiles. And that’s quite the sum of money to solve the only problem that cars really didn’t have. If they’d used that money to make cars last longer, or be easier to fix, or just stop making that dinging sound when we open a door, we’d be on board. But instead, 16 billion freedom francs went to getting rid of the one thing in cars that tends to keep working for decades: the driver.
But perhaps we’re being unkind. After all, there are a number of circumstances in which autonomous cars will actually be worth the investment. And, luckily enough, we’ve managed to pin these exact scenarios down.