The 'Godfather' of Autonomous Driving: We Gotta Wreck the Sky
Have you ever gazed up at the sweeping blue sky and thought, God, it's boring up there ? It seems like Sebastian Thrun-who launched Google's self-driving car program and is the CEO of the flying car startup Kitty Hawk -sure has. On Tuesday, he shared his vision of a sky clogged with tons and tons of glorious soaring metal at TechCrunch Disrupt.
"I can't envision a future of highways [and being] stuck in cars," said Thrun while inexplicably clutching a very good pup to his chest. "I envision a [future] where you hop in a thing, go in the air, and fly in a straight line. I envision a future where Amazon delivers my food in the air in five minutes. The air is so free of stuff and is so unused compared to the ground , it has to happen in my opinion." [Emphasis ours.]
It's important to note that Thrun, who
have called "Autonomous driving's godfather," has a serious financial incentive in filling the sky with buzzing delivery drones and this strange
. With a stake in a number of programs that hinge on the success of
But taking that mess and relocating it to the sky is not so much a solution as it is another way for tech companies to capitalize on our frustrations. For flying cars to be a success, new infrastructure would need to be built to accommodate them. And infrastructure barriers aside, this Jetsons -style vision raises some serious safety and environmental concerns . The basic dream of real-life flying cars has also been habitually delayed for at least a century .
Being "so free of stuff" isn't necessarily a good enough reason to put more shit in the sky. How about first improving the planes of existence (and public transit systems) we all already use?