Giving Elon Musk advice on tech trends, especially those concerning the future of autonomous vehicles, is a bold move. But that is exactly what Taboola CEO Adam Singolda did in a recent article for TechCrunch.
“Henry Ford famously said that if you asked people what they wanted, they wouldn’t have said ‘a car.’ They would have said – ‘a faster horse,’” Singolda begins. “I believe driverless cars are today’s equivalent of faster horses. A continuation of what exists – not a true category break. Predictable but not revolutionary enough.”
Sorry Elon, driverless passenger drones will be the vehicular disruption of the future https://t.co/HTjwKbJjuq
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) January 22, 2017
Musk’s Tesla Motors is a pioneer in electric and autonomous cars. In October, the company announced that all of its automobiles are now being manufactured with fully-autonomous hardware installed. Tesla touted the innovation primarily as a safety feature and a means of “accelerating the world’s transition to a sustainable future.”
Tesla also suggested that fully-autonomous vehicles will make driving more efficient, make owning vehicles more affordable and provide “low-cost on-demand mobility” for those who do not own vehicles.
“We are excited to announce that, as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory – including Model 3 – will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver,” read a press release posted on the company’s website.
“Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.”
If that sounds impressive, check out what Tesla had to say about the new onboard computers it would be adding to help out with the autonomous hardware.
“To make sense of all of this data, a new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar, and radar processing software,” the press release continues. “Together, this system provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.”
— Green City Media???? (@greencitymedia) January 13, 2017
Singolda, apparently, is not impressed. He acknowledges that he admires Musk as a fellow car enthusiast and respects him as a tech entrepreneur, but he thinks his interest in driverless cars is misguided.
“Yes, in the future we will not drive ourselves,” Singolda says. “Machines will do it for us – but let me tell you — those machines will be looking down, from above, on the Interstate Highway System.”
Singolda believes we will “skip driverless cars and go straight into driverless drones.”
Of course, that is a possibility, but as the Inquisitr previously reported, at least a dozen auto manufacturers, including BMW, Kia, Volkswagen, and General Motors, plan on having fully self-driving cars on the road by 2020.
That’s only three years away.
While Amazon recently announced its first successful drone delivery, both Amazon and Uber have been focusing on autonomous automobile delivery systems. That is not to mention Google’s investment in self-driving cars or the fact that a Delphi autonomous car recently drove all the way across the United States, from San Francisco to New York City.
The age of autonomous cars may be short-lived, but it seems like it is basically already here.
Singolda argues that the age of autonomous passenger drones could still leapfrog over that of autonomous automobiles because passenger drones would be logistically easier to implement on a widespread basis.
“Developing an autonomous drone is actually technologically easier than ground-based autonomous vehicles, which have to take into account pedestrians, low-quality roads, and unexpected objects,” Singolda writes.
Ultimately, passenger drones probably will reign over autonomous land vehicles. We won’t have to wait too long to see.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]