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CNN 10

The Future of Driverless Cars. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired October 28, 2022 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, hello, hello. You made it. The weekend is almost here and you already know Fridays rock, especially when it`s a

hallow weekend. Hope you`re getting into the Halloween spirit.

I think my daughters have chosen my costume and I`m pretty sure it involves a Disney princess. I`m your boy Coy. This is CNN 10.

And we`re going to start this show by sending a special shout out to Kokomo, Indiana. Bon Air Middle School, rise up.

Did you know that the state motto for Indiana is "crossroads of America"? Very fitting because today we`re going to bring you on a ride with us.

Welcome to a special edition of CNN 10 where the topic of self-driving cars is in the hot seat. Yesterday, I told you about a new pilot program of

fully autonomous robot taxis in Los Angeles, and it got us to thinking about the future of this technology.

Fully autonomous vehicles do all the driving without any input from humans. They rely on detailed maps, GPS, cameras, radar and artificial intelligence

to navigate their computer-powered journeys.

Manufacturers worldwide are investing in this technology. It`s said to be eco-friendly and it could offer an affordable mode of transportation for

non-car owners. And some believe that computers will be safe for drivers than humans.

But there are a lot of questions. There are concerns about safety and the readiness of this technology. There have been court fights, injuries, even

deaths caused by self-driving technology. And some privacy advocates are concerned that your every movement and destination can be tracked. Who gets

access to this information?

It does seem though that the world is moving closer and closer to fully autonomous vehicles becoming mainstream. Some wonder if humans will even be

driving vehicles at all in the future.

So, for today`s show, we`re going to take a look at what a completely driverless world in the future could look like.


REPORTER: 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


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

driver in the car.

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


REPORTER: 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.

REPORTER: 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.

REPORTER: 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.

REPORTER: 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 -- you register and you meet 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.

REPORTER: Porsche knows that driverless technology is around the corner but they still want people to love driving even if they do less of it on

public roads.

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


REPORTER: 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?