I recently read an article on the Adam Smith Blog about how the government was about to invest many tens of billions of bounds in HS2 when by the time its finished everyone will be using a driverless car. I often travel between Solihull near Birmingham and Canary Wharf in East London. The journey takes about 150 minutes door-to-door by train and about 3 hours by car. Consequently I will always choose the train as not only is it marginally quicker (providing Bob Crow doesn’t have London Underground out on strike) I am able to do something else productive at the same time so the time isn’t completely wasted.
Now fast forward a few years and imagine I have a driverless car. I’d probably rather take the car even if it took 4 hours because I would be able to almost anything I chose during the journey, even sleep in a full size bed. Not only that but unlike with a train it would leave when I want and there wouldn’t be any annoying changes or carriages to full to get any work done in.
My friend Mark Higgins does not agree with me that the upsides of driverless cars are so vast that governments will find a way to allow them to pass driving tests sooner rather than later and so we have had a bet that by 31st December 2020 driverless cars will be road legal in either the Canadian state of Ottowa or England. The bet is only small (200 Canadian Dollas or Pounds Sterling whichever is higher) but I’m confident I am on to a winner.