Despite their feud over climate change, artificial intelligence and more, Bill Gates and Elon Musk may agree on one thing: the self-driving car revolution potential. Gates recently published a blog post about self-driving cars. He predicts that self-driving car technology will reach a “tipping point” within the next decade. Once cars are truly self-driving, they will be as revolutionary as personal computers.
“By then, self-driving cars will have revolutionized transportation in the same way that personal computers have revolutionized office work,” Gates said.
He also recently rode in a self-driving car developed by British startup Wayve, an experience that seemed to leave a lasting impression on him. The experience, he said, was “fantastic.” But he also noted on his blog that the safety driver next to him took over the car on several occasions.
“The self-driving car took us around central London in one of the most challenging driving environments imaginable. It felt a bit surreal to be in the car because it avoided all the traffic. ”Gates said.
Gates believes that personal vehicles will only have self-driving capabilities after self-driving technology is applied to long-distance trucks, delivery vehicles, taxis and rental cars. He predicts that self-driving cars will eventually be cheaper than regular cars, save people time (time spent driving) and help the elderly and disabled get around. However, he believes widespread adoption of self-driving cars may be “decades away”.
So far, no personal vehicle can drive itself, although some companies have begun offering robo-taxi services in certain cities. Services like GM’s Cruise and Waymo use detailed maps and programming to operate only in specific areas of the city. By contrast, Wayve (much like Tesla) wants to develop an AI-powered car that can learn to drive anywhere, even places it hasn’t been before.