« All Episodes: Gigaom AI Minute – February 13

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The average American adult, who is working, spends over 100 minutes a day driving a car. That’s not riding in a car, that’s driving a car. And so assuming that you’re someone who spends that kind of time behind the wheel, what are you going to do with that time when self-driving cars come along?

We have faced this question before. We no longer have to haul water up from the well, or chop wood for the fireplace, or do any of the number of things that used to fill up our day. If history is any guide, we will not necessarily work all that much more with the extra time, but we will convert that time into some form or another of leisure.

Cars, of course, will become like pods, and you’ll enjoy movies, or work at your computer, or you’ll dine, or you’ll just sit around the table playing cards with people, or any number of other activities that will keep you occupied as you get from Point A to Point B. So, in addition to all the safety and efficiency reasons that self-driving cars are going to be so transformative, the biggest reason I can think of on how they’ll change the world, is that they’ll allow us all to reclaim a big part of our life.