Where has all the Parking Gone?
By Amy Willis
What will the cars of the future look like? Will they resemble the teacups at Disneyland? How long will it take us to stop referring to “driving” when humans no longer do? (Think about how seldom you use your phone to “phone” someone…) And what will be the fate of all the parking lots and garages of today? Will they be used for other purposes or replaced entirely?
These are just some of the questions that come up in this EconTalk episode with Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz. Evans suggests that we have a difficult time making predictions about the future when we extrapolate from that with which we’re familiar today.
1. As we move from the cars of today to autonomous (Evans dislikes the term “driverless”) vehicles, which elements will become more expensive and which less expensive? Which complementary industries will be most affected, and why?2. What does Russ mean when he says, “A Prius is really a coal-powered car?”
3. To what extent will the autonomous vehicle future be accident-free? Explain.
4. Both Roberts and Evans note that the incidence of drinking and driving has declined since the advent of on-demand transportation, such as Uber. But Russ goes further and asks whether autonomous vehicles might lead to more drinking. What do you think?
5. What sort of privacy concerns are raised by autonomous vehicles? Would livestream vehicle cameras, for example, be a net gain or loss for individual liberty?