As well as being the Singularity University's networks and computing chair, Brad Templeton has also worked on Google's driverless car technology for a number of years.

A recent article from the Singularity University discussed Templeton's belief that driverless cars will be the most important new technology of the coming decades.

So will firms like be offering UK and short term European cover to automated cars in the future? Templeton's view suggests the affirmative.

Here we distil the benefits of the driverless car – according to Templeton – into six points:

  • Driverless cars will reduce road deaths because they will be better at driving than humans (presently, 1.2m people die globally in road traffic accidents).
  • With cars driving themselves, we'll be able to use our time – much of which is currently taken up by commuting – for other things: communicating with friends and relatives, watching movies, reading – maybe even working!
  • Robots don't drink – so there will be no more 'designated driver'; one will be able to enjoy social occasions to the full.
  • Elderly people will enjoy greater freedom; they will be able to go where they want, when they want, safely.
  • In the future, cars could be hired according to what they are needed for: if you need a van to move things around, or an off roader for a holiday in the countryside, you could simply hire one.
  • Driverless cars will reduce congestion.

In order to become mainstream though, Templeton reminds us that driverless technology needs to be further developed. But it also needs to be trusted by the public. There will still be accidents resulting in deaths if driverless cars become the norm. The question is, how many deaths will the public tolerate?

As Templeton says, “People don’t want to be killed by robots, they want to be killed by drunks.”

You can read the Singularity Hub article here: