Google cofounder Sergey Brin believes that driverless cars will decrease the need for individual car ownership in the future and free up roads in our cities. He made the remarks during his interview alongside partner Larry Page with venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.
Brin and Page discussed their own utopian vision to “transform transportation around the world”, which will decrease car ownership, free up parking spaces, and reduce traffic.
“I hope it can be a dramatic change,” said Brin. “Off the bat of course, there’s the many people who currently cannot get around if they’re too old, too young, disabled and so forth but that’s still just a fraction of the population. I think the bigger changes can come to the community, the lifestyle and land use.”
Brin described 30 to 50 percent of land in cities is used for parking and this could be reduced by the uptake of driverless cars, used only when you need it. “You don’t need one car per person, they just come and get you when you need them” added Brin.
“You can also make much more efficient road use. If you, and this is not something we’ve developed yet, but it’s certainly been simulated by many, they can form trains. They can go at high speed, perhaps much higher than our highway speeds here,” he explained, saying that it will be a much more efficient use of land and time.
Page and Brin went on to discuss how self-driving cars could change the design of cars too, by removing the steering wheel and pedals or even just having seats that face one another.
The topic fell into a wider discussion on the realization of reasoning and intuitive artificial intelligence, with the duo chatting about how this is integrated into driverless as well as “general intelligence” like DeepMind, which they hope will lead to fully reasoning AI someday.
“Obviously, computer scientists have been promising that for decades and not at all delivered. So I think it would be foolish of us to make prognoses about that,” said Brin. “But we do have lots of proof points that one can create intelligent things in the world because… all of us around. Therefore, you should presume that someday, we will be able to make machines that can reason, and think and do things better than we can.”
You can watch the entire interview for yourself in the video below: