Futurist Malcolm Gladwell Agrees with Moi!


Futurist Malcolm Gladwell Agrees with Moi!

I have posited that the adoption of driverless vehicles may be more difficult and take longer than predicted. Best selling author and futurist Malcolm Gladwell agrees. You can read the article we posted on Parknews.biz here.

Gladwell makes three points. First, that people really aren’t comfortable putting their lives completely in the hands of a machine. He quotes Automobile Club surveys that note that 78% of the driving public is uncomfortable with driverless vehicles.

Second, being a car buff, he notes that frankly, we enjoy driving. Getting behind the wheel of our Belchfire V12 and blowing the socks off our passenger is great sport. He doesn’t see Americans giving up their cars. “Are we going to simply walk away from something that has given us so much joy over the years, ” he says. “I”m not sure we are.”

Third, and perhaps the most frightening, he is concerned about security. By their very nature, self driving vehicles must be ‘connected’ with other vehicles, sensors in the streets, and the ‘cloud.’ That makes then vunerable to hacking. Just what are you going to do if some 14 year old kid decides to take your car for a joyride with you in it.

Remember anyone who tells you it can’t be hacked is either ignorant or lying.

Its good to have Malcolm on the “not so sure” team.



Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. I am sure that you both are partly correct and so by definition wrong. Certainly there is a school of thought that justifies what you say but perhaps, taking a world view, the future may be somewhat different. Singapore has a well established mass transit system that is completely automated, no driver, no guard, no problem. Now for sure that is on tracks but I am sure that modern electronics is well capable of creating virtual tracks that are just as good.
    Many places in the world rush to embrace the next new thing. I am spending time in the Gulf at the moment and I can imagine that somewhere like Abu Dhabi which is looking to become a Smart, Safe and Sustainable city when faced with the relative safety of autonomous vehicles when compared with those subject to human frailty may well be early adopters.
    To me the one caution is the reality of hacking, where people of evil intent will attempt to cause harm for “fun” or financial gain. One way of minimising the risk of this of course is to ensure that the system is not connected, that vehicles are truly autonomous, at least whilst in motion and “see” the roadway, and other vehicles rather as we do, rather than as interconnected parts of a system. Can this be done? I don’t know. but already cars are being hacked and the warning is there.
    I have a $10 bet with a mutual friend that before the end of the decade that, somewhere in the world a fully autonomous vehicle will be commercially available somewhere in the world. I don’t expect to lose but if I do I will pay him in public at PIE2020 and you can have a good laugh at my expense.

    1. I believe you will win your bet, but being available and being able to take it out on the road are 2 completely different things. Heck, you can buy a flying car if you want, but try landing that in the local market’s parking lot. There is all kinds of incredible technology sitting on the shelf, mostly because the reality of implementation is beyond our capabilities.

  2. What happens when these cars have gotten a few years and miles on snowy, salted or muddy, bumpy roads, and maybe have been worked on by the guy at the gas station or its future equivalent? The whole regime is going to require a lot of centralized control.

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