No One at the Wheel

It will be the best of times. It will be the worst of times. How will your life change when there is No One at the Wheel?

“Most transportation experts say that by 2075 driven cars will be completely replaced…By 2035, we may find that the majority of driving miles are completed by machines, not humans.”

In 2018, 1.3 million people are projected to die in road crashes with 50 million more injured. The need for a solution is clear. Autonomous vehicles are coming. Every major automobile company has one in development.

Will the resulting society be a utopia of staring at your phone continuously while your car drives you to work with no risk of accidents? Or will it cause massive disruption in the economy and overcrowded roadways? What will the one out of seven US residents who work in transportation do for a living? How will they be retrained and who will fund it? The decisions made now will determine our later fate.

No One at the Wheel shares the pros and cons of this new technological development. By making analogies to the development of the original cars, the author paints a dim view of the future of driven cars—as bleak as that of a horse and carriage in 1940.

I found both the history of cars and the potential of autonomous vehicles fascinating. But I’m still unsure what I can do personally to ensure a rosy outcome. No One at the Wheel is recommended for futurists and historians in equal measure. 3 stars.

Thanks to the publisher, PublicAffairs, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

November 15th, 2018 by
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