A couple of years ago I wrote a blog about the Future of Cars and Cities where I talked about the potential impact of driverless cars. Development is speeding up, especially with the rise of Uber. A recent article by Zack Kanter called How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 million jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025 shows how far this might go. He quotes Elon Musk of Tesla Motors that driverless cars will be available to the public by 2020. Rather than being sold to individuals, the more likely market are companies like Uber and ZipCar. He sees the transformation of not only the auto industry but public transport as well.
The potential of loss of established jobs is sobering, even if it balanced by the increase in jobs in other areas as the money that once went into cars goes into other areas. I remain fascinated by how this change could affect urban space. Although, the rate of this change he believes is possible seems unbelievable, the fact that I find it hard to remember life before smart phones makes me wonder.
As I work to make Oregon resilient, I find myself trying to figure out how this all plays out as well. We are looking at 50 year effort and we can see a lot of change during that time.