General Motors predicted that, by 1976, cars would call control towers and then zip across America on autopilot. The idea of roads filled with cars that drive themselves remains in the future, but is inevitable, says Greenwood Village entrepreneur Rutt Bridges in his book, "Driverless Car Revolution." That future is coming in as little as five years, as Google and other companies aggressively pursue the technology.
Bridges envisions that families will no longer buy cars; instead, they'll summon vehicles to the curb through a smart phone app. That will save families money, Bridges predicts. Commutes will take less time and highways will be faster, yet safer, Bridges says. Government will be a winner, too, Bridges argues, with fewer roads to build, drunk drivers and traffic deaths.
Among the losers, he predicts, will be taxi and limo drivers. Hundreds of thousands of them around the world could be out of work in the coming 15 years. Automakers, parts suppliers, mechanics, insurance agents, claims adjusters, personal injury lawyers, emergency rooms, parking lot owners and the global oil industry could all be losers, too.
Bridges spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. Click "listen" above to hear the interview.
Editor's note: Rutt Bridges is a former Colorado Public Radio board chair and he and his former wife Barbara Bridges donated CPR's current headquarters.