Tuesday, November 29, 2022

We've Got Five Years, What A Surprise

A reasonable rule of thumb is that any tech that is five years away, especially when it's been five years away for a decade, is vaporware.
After years of ambitious targets and bold promises, investors are growing impatient with the pace of driverless-car development, applying pressure on an industry that had become accustomed to latitude and piles of cash from investors.

“Every car maker will need an autonomy strategy, just like they all need an EV strategy,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures, a venture-capital firm specializing in tech research. “We are likely five years away from an inflection point, and companies that want to reap the benefits need to be aggressively investing in that tech today.”
The technology is certainly neato, even in its current form, but neato doesn't mean practical and certainly doesn't mean ca-ching ca-ching. People always retreat to pointing to more limited use cases, and my brothers in christ, things like a "driverless fixed route bus" are not particularly innovative and certainly not a ca-ching ca-ching business.

As I've long said, the fantasy "driverless car" would be great, but the 99% driverless car actually sorta sucks. Having to pay attention all the time to keep your car from killing you, or dealing with a cab that gets a bit confused sometimes and adds 5 minutes to your trip, are not the optimal consumer experiences!