We must embrace the automation revolution (including autonomous vehicles) which could either destroy jobs and worsen inequality or create good jobs and reduce inequality. What’s clear is that the revolution is coming: analysts estimate that the global market for AVs alone will be $42 billion in 2025. California is uniquely positioned to benefit from it thanks to California-based AV leaders Google, Uber, and Apple.
AVs could radically reduce traffic accidents. In just California alone, over 3,500 people die each year in traffic accidents. More people are dying annually, which may be due to higher use of mobile devices while driving. Experts predict AVs could reduce road accidents by 90 percent, according to one firm’s research. Beyond lives saved, reducing accidents could save $190 billion annually.
AVs could reduce travel times and increase efficiency in many ways. Nearly one third of cars in San Francisco at any given time are trying to park. Los Angeles and San Francisco today have the first and fifth highest congestion rates, respectively, in the world. AVs could increase significantly mobility for everyone, including the elderly, minors, and the disabled at lower cost than existing public transit.
AVs could allow policymakers to reduce street parking thereby allowing more space for movement and encourage the adoption of roving robot cars.
Yes, California has an energy problem. Yes, renewable energies and storage are not ready for prime (fossil-fuel) time. And yes, a huge educational task lies ahead for the Golden State.
Michael Shellenberger needs to go Alex Epstein. He must explain the fundamental energy concepts of density and intermittency in his political quest in the Golden State. He must differentiate between global lukewarming and catastrophic warming from the enhanced greenhouse effect. The war against fossil fuels must end in California.
Michael Shellenberger has made energy a central feature of his political run. He must properly finish what he has started.