Self-driving Cars and Stuff

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Let’s think about autonomous cars and trucks for a bit. AI controlled vehicles are coming fast, they are disrupting jobs, and ultimately they are going to reshape society.

Car ownership will eventually drop down to almost nothing in major metropolitan areas. I’d bet most people will own memberships in car sharing applications. Let’s say you leave the office every night at 5:20 and you go to the gym for an hour. The car-sharing app you use knows that and has a small sedan waiting for you every day. It zooms you to the gym and another is waiting to take your sweaty person home around 6:30. Simple.

Well, not so simple. The algorithms to arrange for all of the cars to become available at the right time and in the right geographic area are beautiful math. They will be written and re-written countless times. First by engineers, and then by the AI itself on an almost unending journey to perfection.

Imagine that the car you are speeds up to the correct speed for this area, and then slides perfectly into traffic on the freeway. It will almost certainly need to “speak” to many cars and trucks around it on the roadway. I can foresee that these vehicles, through their AI, will become a small de facto neural network.

Your car registers itself as a new “pack” member, and the lead vehicle in this pack, this small grouping in the middle of many other small groups is itself registered or talking to the rest of the vehicles on this road.

The lead vehicle of this pack would control all of the braking systems in the pack allowing the cars to act as one. These cars would by definition become one entity while they are in the pack.

Maintaining a high rate of speed and still maintaining safety would be the goal in these packs. For instance, if an anomaly appears on the roadway miles ahead of the pack, other packs would communicate and the cars would respond appropriately.

At seemingly the last possible moment your car pulls out of the pack and exits the freeway to get you home just in time to move on to the next occupant and their destination.

This scenario would be happening almost continuously across the planet once we hit a singularity for artificially intelligent autonomous vehicles.

Oh, imagine all of the planes in the air without pilots. Yep, that’ll happen soon, too.

Matt Williamson is the CEO of Clevyr, Inc. Clevyr makes software using all the buzzwords like AI, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.