During the decades that I spent my career in computing and related high-tech fields, co-founding several tech-based firms, I watched computational power increase probably millionsfold from the gigantic transistor-based 2nd generation computers of the late 1950's that could only run one tiny 64Kb program at a time to the 100 times more powerful IBM 360s of the 1960s that would fill my current moderately large home and which I used as an information systems director to process all the business applications of a 15,000 employee organization. My Samsung smartphone I'm using for this comment is immeasurably more powerful than the supercomputers of just a few decades ago – it's got 32Gb of main memory and 32 Gb of supplemental storage – and it's old. I currently have 11 apps concurrently running plus another 54 Chrome browsing pages... and it could still function as well with triple that. As a pragmatist, I'm interested in anything that can save our world from its inevitable vehicular gridlock. As a Classic Car Restorer and driver, I'm not interested in seeing highways closed to humans. While the tech side in me has repeatedly seen Einstein's recommendation about seeking the impossible to achieve the improbable come true in countless cases, intuitively I think the author is more or less correct in his comment that it won't happen in most of our lifetimes. Given humanity's ability to create technologies in its own image, I suspect we will be able to continue to create computational devices that more nearly resemble our finer abilities. In a short story 'Montage,' by Isaac Asimov in the early 1950s, in which all life finally ended and all stars finally died in the far distant future, a powerful computer – created in the image of humans – thought on for countless eons and finally said "Let there be light." We seem to have boundless imagination coupled with near-boundless capabilities. However, the natural resistance to turning over something as so much a part of our identity as driving will prolong the process of any sort of driverless cars. Just as we have little to no control over our own politicians – who are controlled far more by lobbyists than voters – we will also have little control over the total automation of the driving process. Rest assured that whatever happens will be based inevitably on where the money flows. So, while I think it will eventually be possible to have driverless cars, I think it's well beyond most our own lifetimes before it will happen on a general scale.
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