Robot Cars, Meet Snowfall

I would love to know what the actual blocker to immediate global rollout [of robot cars] is.

Matt Webb

In a word, snow.

I can’t help but feel it telling that all of the self-driving car trials take place in sunny places like LA and Phoenix. Snow, as I see it, creates two large obstacles for self-driving cars: the snow can physically obscure the road, and the snow (and ice) will differentially change the road surface friction.

•  ~4 min to read •  read more  

What Happens If Self-Driving Cars Become a Reality?

This is a thought experiment, and perhaps a glimpse into the future. The question I start with is, “What happens if self-driving cars become a reality?” I note that first order effects (like, Now I can eat breakfast in the car because I don’t have to hold the steering wheel anymore) are the easiest to see, and with each step out (Does my breakfast change? How does that effect egg farmers?), the results get easier and easier to get wrong.

•  ~11 min to read •  read more