Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Chicken or The Egg Debate: Electric Cars or Driverless Cars?

Which will come first, the electric car or the driverless car?

A piece at The Energy Collective both sparks the debate and answers it too.  The article "Driverless Cars Before Electric Ones" has John DeCicco pretty effectively making the case for the driverless one.  Hands down.

There's much to ponder here.  DeCicco has thought this through.  Here's some tidbits:

"Certainly the electric car has its passionate believers who are jazzed about the technology. . .But private passion does not justify public subsidy." DeCicco makes the case for a market-driven approach that sees subsidized eletrification of cars, should it go that way, being quickly made obsolete by the driverless car.

"Like the automobile a century ago, the driverless car must evolve; it cannot be centrally planned, at least not in a western democracy such as the United States."  He's right.  Government must be the quiet facilitator, not the loud dictator in this evolution.

His central point is a topic in its own right:  "The policy emphasis on electrifying transportation sooner rather than later is just the latest act in the long-running, politically scripted circus known as the alternative fuel follies. It's time to turn on to the promise of truly tuned-in mobility and drop out of the premature promotion of plug-in cars today."

I put myself there.  As I've written before, I'm getting more and more convinced that the driverless car will be here in my lifetime.  What can be do to make sure that remains on track?  I don't plan to live much past 110 years old so the clock is ticking.

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