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The Road Ahead for Autonomous Vehicles

Driverless Cars: Silicon Valley Dream or Next Big Thing?

Speakers: Erik Brynjolfsson, Schussel Family Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management; Director, MIT Center for Digital Business; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
Jennifer Healey, Research Scientist, Intel Corporation, Research Labs
Chunka Mui, Managing Director, Devil's Advocate Group; Coauthor, The New Killer Apps: How Large Companies Can Out-Innovate Start-Ups
Presider: James J. Shinn, Lecturer, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton University
February 27, 2014

Event Description

Once thought of as science fiction, the autonomous vehicle may soon be a reality. Three leading thinkers in the field, MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson, Intel's Jennifer Healey, and Chunka Mui of the Devil's Advocate Group join James Shinn of Princeton University to discuss the future of driverless cars and the economic, legal, and policy questions that they raise. Though fully self-driving automobiles may yet be several years away, more limited applications of the technology, such as automated collision avoidance and self-parking are already nearing the market.

The Emerging Technology series explores the science behind innovative new technologies and the effects they will have on U.S. foreign policy, international relations, and the global economy.

Event Highlights

Chunka Mui on the potential economic impact of driverless cars:

"We spend about $450 billion a year in this country on businesses that are dependent upon collisions. $100 billion on auto repair, parts, things of that sort. We spend $200 billion a year on auto insurance premiums. That's a direct—that's directly correlated to how much it costs to fix the cars with accidents. So if you reduce accidents by 25 percent, we're talking hundreds of billions of dollars just in the U.S."

Erik Brynjolfsson on the potential for driverless cars to ease traffic congestion:

"When a highway it totally packed and full, traffic jam, about 90 percent of the pavement is not being used, because on average, if you measure it, there's about four to five car lengths that people leave between them. The lanes are defined to be twice as wide as a car. So most of the pavement isn't being used. With a good autonomous system, especially if you allow for [vehicle-to-vehicle communication], but even without it, you could probably double that, or more, in terms of the efficiency of the use of just the existing infrastructure."

Jennifer Healey on which autonomous driving innovations are likely to reach the market first:

"I believe that things are going to happen incrementally. I don't think policy changes that rapidly, unless something, you know, really dramatic—there's a really huge demand for it. So I think it's going to be slow adoption. I think it's going to be gradual adoption. I think we're going to see advanced driver assist. You're going to see self-parking. Then we may see autonomous driving lanes. We may see zones of cities where there are these like autonomous golf carts that are free, that just take people around, and there's no cars anywhere."


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Transcript

The Road Ahead for Autonomous Vehicles

Speakers: Erik Brynjolfsson, Jennifer Healey, and Chunka Mui
Presider: James J. Shinn

Once thought of as science fiction, the autonomous vehicle may soon be a reality. Three leading thinkers in the field, MIT's Erik...

Video

The Road Ahead for Autonomous Vehicles

Speakers: Erik Brynjolfsson, Jennifer Healey, and Chunka Mui
Presider: James J. Shinn

Once thought of as science fiction, the autonomous vehicle may soon be a reality. Three leading thinkers in the field, MIT's Erik...