I read this piece about driverless cars–it focuses on sprawl, pointing out:
Autonomous vehicles promise a future in which passengers are free to use their time productively (working, for example). And they can park themselves (or be part of a shared pool) which saves yet more time in the morning rush. Coupled with faster journey times, the incentives to live further out of town will increase significantly.
And the part that jumped out at me was about how commuters would suddenly have the time in the car available for other things.
Would work norms evolve so that people were expected to work during their commute? I could see this being a great thing if it meant getting in your autocar at 9:00am, and leaving work at whatever time would get you home by 5:00pm. (Or, since it’s 2017, 6:30, or 7:00, or whatever.)
But somehow I don’t see it going that way. The other option would be for in-office time norms to remain the same, and for the commute time to become an expected additional reservoir of time for meetings, emails, etc. People would probably be apologetic about scheduling an 8:15 meeting for everyone to join from their cars. For the first few months, anyway.
This is what I like about science fiction, trying to figure out the second order effects.
Like, would there evolve to be people living out of their cars who were always on the move? With a driverless car one could theoretically be moving continuously, stopping for power and food occasionally. I wonder if we won’t see a more general movement toward mobile living.
People are already using Teslas as camping equipment.