For today's Insights and Opinions section, we are featuring a post from Jonathan Handel, a Los Angeles entertainment/technology attorney, who imagines one day when driver's licenses will be obsolete (thanks to Google and Uber).
I was stuck in traffic yesterday, which I didn't really mind because I have a fun little yellow convertible, and I was thinking about Uber ($17 billion! – that's the company's valuation, not the price of a ride) and Google's driverless cars (development cost unknown), and I decided it was time to connect the dots: once a car learns to drive, there's no need to own it and there's no need for a driver. That's because the car can come when called, take you to your destination, then go off and pick up someone else.
That sounds great and I'm hardly the first to connect those particular dots, but there's a corollary that seems to have gone largely (though not entirely) unnoticed: when driving oneself becomes unnecessary, it will eventually become more expensive, less convenient and – ultimately – unlawful, because the cars will do it a lot better than we can. Traditional cars will find themselves in a death spiral, and they'll be gone in less than – well, not less than 60 seconds, but sooner than you think.
In other words, Google is engineering all of us right out of the driver's seat. If they manage to get self-driving cars on the market by 2020 – as they've said they hope to – then I'd give human drivers another ten years before we all get our licenses pulled and registrations revoked.
Welcome to the Jetsons era of driverless Cars as a Service, or d-CaaS if you will. (More...)
Read the rest of Jonathan's article, 2030 May Be The Year They'll Take Your Driver's License Away.
Have some insights or advice to share with Southern California's high tech commmunity? Email us and let us know - and we may feature it here!