Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Future of Singapore: Self-Driving Public Transport?

When people think of self driving automobile technology, why do people only think about cars and taxis? Why not public transport? Perhaps it is because much of the technology is being developed at Google. And we all know that the USA has no notion of public transport.

After chancing upon this article written by Zack Kanter, I started thinking more about self-driving vehicles.

There would be less accidents and deaths.
Public transport would be cheaper.
Public transport would be faster.
Public transport could operate 24/7.
Car ownership would drop.
Vehicle pollution would drop.
Commuting times would drop.

Basically, people getting where they want to go in a faster, cheaper, more convenient and safer way. To me, I think that is where we should be aiming. Not more cars and cheaper cars for everybody. Unfortunately, our climate and current infrastructure isn't friendly enough for other modes of transport, such as cycling and zip cars.

I don't know if people realize how important and big the Smart Nation initiative actually is.

With all the good things technology might bring, think of all the jobs that will be lost as well. The good news is that jobs that don't even exist now will be created, perhaps like mobile technicians and centralized control room operators.

As a refresher, here is a video by CGP Grey explaining the situation.

Don't be a luddite and fight against the inevitable. Does using payphones and writing handwritten letters really simplify your life? Or does using smartphones and the internet greatly enhance your capabilities and opportunities?

Change is coming eventually. Whether we face it with stride and flexibility to adapt, or we face it with resistance is up to us. Will I be standing in front of this steamroller? Hell, I hope I'm driving it.

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