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CNN 10

Special Edition Of CNN 10 Focuses On The Prospect Of Driverless Cars

Aired March 9, 2020 - 00:04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to a special edition of CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz and today`s show puts one high profile subject in the driver`s seat,

driverless cars. This means autonomous vehicles, cars that do all of the work of handling themselves without any input from people.

Manufacturers worldwide are investing in the technology to make this happen. But right now, full automation doesn`t exist on American roads at

least not legally. The carmaker, Tesla offers both an autopilot and a full self-drive capability package but it says neither of them actually makes

the vehicle fully self operating.

They`re intended to be used with a completely attentive driver. The company has investigated a couple incidents in which crashes occurred when the

autopilot feature was reportedly enabled. So there are concerns about the safety of this technology and that includes the fact that its only possible

with computers. What if they lock up or need a reboot like your smartphone?

What if they`re hacked? Also privacy advocates have sounded the alarm about your every movement and speed and destination being tracked and logged. Who

gets access to that information? For today`s show though we`re giving you a glimpse of a driverless ideal. What could the future look like for a city

filled with autonomous vehicles assuming everything goes as manufacturers and supporters of the technology hope it will?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans love their cars. Getting my first car was one of the happiest days of my life and I`ve loved driving ever since,

especially fast cars. Uh, yeah, that`s not actually my car but hey look this is my story and I can dream if I want to. But what if I`m part of the

last generation to get excited about driving a car?

I`ve spent the last year traveling around the country talking to entrepreneurs, engineers and test drivers who are building the cars of

tomorrow and when they imagine the future, driving a car isn`t part of it. They envision roads full of cars driven by machines.

Where traffic jams are no more, where the death rate by car accidents drops to zero. The end of car ownership as we know it. Even to the point of human

driving one day becoming illegal. I asked them all the same thing. What will the future look like and what will it take to get there? What I found

was really exciting but also a bit shocking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, so, as soon as I turn out of the this parking lot I`m going to engage self driving mode. All right, technically we don`t need

a driver in the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you and I are basically, in a way, just passengers now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re test driving the car powered by autonomous vehicle start-up, Drive AI, on the streets of northern California. It`s one of

several companies working to utterly transform how we live. This test car could be the prototype of an automobile that not only takes you out of the

driver`s seat but creates a future where you might not need to own a car at all. At least that`s what the people building them think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ownership will probably be abandoned. You mostly will have cars that we summon on our phone. The car will come empty to us and -

- and pick us up and we get inside in front of our office or house and it drives us straight to the restaurant and there`s no time wasted with


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a world of self-driving cars, the utopia of the future, the only thing operating in the city are driverless, electric,

emission-less vehicles. They can position themselves in a state where, you know, you or I hailing one from our smartphone has one there within a


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will look back and say wow, people owned cars to get from this point to that point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eliminating car ownership would drastically change the was we shape our cities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thing I`m most excited most about is the ability on the street to reallocate space away from the storage of vehicles. Right now

cars sit idle 94.8 percent of the time. I mean, that`s staggering and I think we could literally close 30, 40 percent of our streets to

automobiles. You don`t need cars on - - on neighborhood streets anymore. You just need them on the perimeter of your neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All those parking facilities today get turned into residential space or parks or offices or restaurants and we can kind of

give back the city to the people that live in it. Take it away from the automobiles, right? And I think that they - - the quality of life and the

opportunity to, kind of, reuse that space is going to be pretty magical.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine it, never driving again. The nation of muscle cars, NASCAR, and open road, you`re going to tell Americans they can`t

drive? Well, eventually maybe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There may be a law in place that basically says 50 years from now, humans cannot drive on public roads and if a human does want to

drive they go to a private car ranch where you can basically drive to your heart`s content.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I know what you`re thinking, a car ranch? But it`s actually not that crazy. Remember when we transitioned from horses to

automobiles, we didn`t shoot all the horses. Well guess what? These car ranches actually already exist. Think of car companies that build high end

sport cars that are meant to be driven by humans, not robots. They`re already building driving courses around the country and yes they`re as fun

as they sound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We opened in May, 2015. You`ll come in, you`ll meet your - - your driving coach and then driving coach will then take you onto the

track. We believe this - - this destination that we`ve created has got a long term future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Porsche knows that driverless technology`s around the corner but they still want people to love driving even if they do less of

it on public roads. It`s like being a kid in a candy store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, seriously.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, let`s get back to the real world. The rise of car sharing services has already made people accustomed to the idea of not

owning a car. Today, human drivers pick us up when we use Uber or Lyft, but that`s not going to last.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Autonomous ride sharing is absolutely coming. It is right around the corner, and you`ll see it in pockets at first and slowly

and surely you`ll start to see these vehicles all over the place. There is an opportunity on a long enough timeline where we may have a fleet that is

fully autonomous. As you start to see people adopt transportation as a service, the hope here is that cars will - - car ownership will slowly


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ripple effect of automation on our cities will be felt beyond just cars. Drones will roam the skies making deliveries and

robots like this one already in Washington, D.C. may bring food orders to your door very soon. In the nation`s capital, Starship Technologies

delivers food by an automated robot. There it is. Hello robot. I`d like a sandwich. Man. All right. So I just had a robot deliver me a sandwich on

the streets of Washington, D.C.

It`s just in the trial phase right now but in the future it could be a lot more common. Robots, drones, deliver your hoagie right to your house. All

you got to do is push a button on your app and you got yourself a sandwich. All of these changes won`t come easy, perhaps the biggest fear, what will

happen when all these robots get better at our jobs than we are? Will they replace us?


AZUZ: OK. You heard phrases like eliminating car ownership and right around the corner but you also heard words like prototype and test car. To be

clear, experts say a cityscape with fully self driving cars is likely to be decades away and whether this would work in the country is another question

entirely. For the present, even with all the technology available to us, drivers are still "autonomostly" in control.

And even if driverless cars seem the technological next step, the intelligence of smart cars is still artificial. So smart design will have

to take the driver`s seat if people are to take a backseat role on the road ahead. I`m Carl Azuz and I "brake" for CNN.