Self-driving cars will transform mobility, says Sebastian Thrun, the engineer who led the development of the Volkswagen and Google self-driving cars. The fact that Thrun’s article is featured in the New York Times constitutes a major endorsement from America’s “newspaper of record.”
This is the only major endorsement for driverless cars as represented by Thrun. The Huffington Post counts them as one of “18 great ideas of 2011.” Fast Company magazine declared Thrun number 5 on its list of the 100 most creative people in business in 2011 (and Thrun isn’t even a businessman).
Maybe now we’ll be able to talk about real mobility instead of the artificial mobility provided by such obsolete technologies as streetcars and high-speed rail. “I envision a future in which our technology is available to everyone, in every car,” says Thrun. “I envision a future without traffic accidents or congestion. A future where everyone can use a car.” Sounds great to the Antiplanner.