Andy lead us in a service about the moral and economic implications to our society in the near future as we transition to Driverless cars.  His source for this was mainly the book Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car and How it Will Reshape Our World.  When we arrive at this technological revolution, a few things will change that we should be considering today.  Life is going to change.

The biggest cost of a taxi or car service is the cost of the driver.  If the taxi or car service is driverless, the cost goes way down.  The cost of owning a car remains high.  So access to transportation at the touch of an app will be cost effective.  The implication of access to cheap transportation is that it will save a family money.  Saving a little money is nice, but the implications for society are huge.

In short order, access to transportation for the elderly, the infirm and the disabled are increased.  That is life changing for many people in society.   It is a huge increase in productivity.  If people can go to work in a hired driverless car, then the need for vast acres of land and resources devoted to parking decreases.  Cities will change because of it.  Shopping malls will change because of it.  The ecology will change if we stop paving over land for parking(which causes water run-off and adds to the risk of floods.)

Another implication is that there are vast numbers of people who's livelihood is linked to the fact that they are skilled drivers.  The world will need fewer drivers.  If we own fewer cars (as we make use of the cheap hired ones,) then there are fewer people needed to repair cars.  In the short term, a lot of people will be without an employer who values safe driving skills.

We can probably all agree that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, but that does not make the drawbacks disappear.  This is going to be a lively debate, and it is happening soon.

Come visit us on a Sunday when we discuss more topics that have spiritual and/or moral implications for us humans living on this planet.  This one touched our first principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the sixth principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.