Self-Driving Cars

Being a parent of a child under 16 means trying to figure out ways to get said child from here to there, say from school to home, and from home to after school activities, and then back. There is often a fair amount of juggling involved – one or more, er, “caregivers” are typically involved in the process To an economist, therefore, being able to put a child in a self-driving car means, potentially, more output in the economy. That’s a parent or grandparent that doesn’t have to take time away from something else (work?) to traipse across town, pick up the kid, drop him/her off, etc.

And of course, its not just kids. Other people or things that sometimes can’t drive themselves include some of the elderly, women in Saudi Arabia, and packages. And for those who do drive, I wouldn’t be surprised, for instance, if typical commutes become longer, but time spent on the commute will be “more efficiently” used – for instance, in a self-driving vehicle, one can eat a leisurely breakfast and read the morning news while on the way to work. So, what changes do you anticipate we will see as self-driving cars spread?

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