When Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page sat down for a fireside chat with wealthy venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, the two discussed numerous focuses that their company could adopt in the coming years. One big talking point was self-driving cars, which Google has been experimenting with in California for quite some time.
According to a recap of the interview from CNET, Brin has a strong belief that the concept of individual car ownership is an inefficient system that will swiftly break down if and when self-driving cars become a mainstream reality. In Brin’s estimation, with self-driving cars, everything would be like an on-demand Uber service. Whenever you needed a ride somewhere, a car would come pick you up and chauffeur you to your destination. No one would have to worry about parking, car storage, monthly car payments, or any of the other hassles associated with owning a car.
In fact, Brin even believes that self-driving cars will help correct issues like road congestion and slow-moving traffic. Since traffic jams are usually caused by drivers hitting their brakes or changing lanes, thereby creating a chain reaction, removing the human element from driving would allow for faster, smoother traffic flow. In particular, Brin envisions a world where self-moving cars would form trains and then accelerate to speeds much faster than what is currently legal on American highways.
Brin also likes the redesign possibilities of a car that would not require a human driver. No longer would cars need things like steering wheels, gearshifts, or gas pedals. Instead, car manufacturers could focus on style and comfort, providing seats that would allow passengers to face one another and talk, or making cars into viable on-the-go workspaces.