viernes, 19 de octubre de 2012

¿Mega-Innovación a la vista?: el "auto-automóvil", esto es, sin conductor

El artículo es de The Economist

Extracto introductorio:

"THE arrival of the mass-produced car, just over a century ago, caused an explosion of business creation. First came the makers of cars and all the parts that go into them. Then came the garages, filling stations and showrooms. Then all sorts of other car-dependent businesses: car parks, motels, out-of-town shopping centres. Commuting by car allowed suburbs to spread, making fortunes for prescient housebuilders and landowners. Roadbuilding became a far bigger business, whereas blacksmiths, farriers and buggy-whip makers faded away as America’s horse and mule population fell from 26m in 1915 to 3m in 1960."

Extracto interesante 1:

"Just imagine. It could, for a start, save the motor industry from stagnation. Carmakers are fretting at signs that smartphone-obsessed teenagers these days do not rush to get a driving licence and buy their first car, as their parents did. Their fear is that the long love affair with the car is fading. But once they are spared the trouble and expense of taking lessons and passing a test, young adults might rediscover the joys of the open road. Another worry for the motor industry is that car use seems to be peaking in the most congested cities. Yet automated cars would drive nose-to-tail, increasing the capacity of existing roads; and since they would be able to drop off their passengers and drive away, the lack of parking spaces in town might not matter so much."

Extracto interesante 2:

"All these trends will affect the car business. But when mass-produced cars appeared, they had an impact on the whole of society. What might be the equivalent social implications of driverless cars? And who might go the same way as the buggy-whip makers? Electronics and software firms will be among the winners: besides providing all the sensors and computing power that self-driving cars will need, they will enjoy strong demand for in-car entertainment systems, since cars’ occupants will no longer need to keep their eyes on the road. Bus companies might run convoys of self-piloting coaches down the motorways, providing competition for intercity railways. Travelling salesmen might prefer to journey from city to city overnight in driverless Winnebagos packed with creature comforts. So, indeed, might some tourists. If so, they will need fewer hotel rooms."

Extracto interesante 3:

"When people are no longer in control of their cars they will not need driver insurance—so goodbye to motor insurers and brokers. Traffic accidents now cause about 2m hospital visits a year in America alone, so autonomous vehicles will mean much less work for emergency rooms and orthopaedic wards. Roads will need fewer signs, signals, guard rails and other features designed for the human driver; their makers will lose business too. When commuters can work, rest or play while the car steers itself, longer commutes will become more bearable, the suburbs will spread even farther and house prices in the sticks will rise. When self-driving cars can ferry children to and from school, more mothers may be freed to re-enter the workforce. The popularity of the country pub, which has been undermined by strict drink-driving laws, may be revived. And so on."


La prueba de fuego (obvia) es el viaje en avión NO piloteado: si un ser humano puede con esto, puede entonces con el auto-automóvil :-) ¿De acuerdo?

PS: en la divertida película El Quinto Elemento, ésta no fue ciertamente la prospectiva escogida :-)

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