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tv   Autonomous Vehicles  CSPAN  January 4, 2017 11:10pm-12:20am EST

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thank you to jennifer. [ applause ] starting on january 10th we'll have live coverage of trump administration confirmation hearings. we'll show you the entire hearings when they happen, and we'll re-air each hearing that night in prime time. on january 10th and 11th the senate is yushry committee holds confirmation hearings for senator jeff sessions, president-elect trump's nominee for u.s. attorney general. watch it on the c-span networks, tv, radio, and online. ♪
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the president inauguration of donald trump is friday january 20th. c-span will have live coverage of all the day's events and ceremonies. watch live on c-span and c-span.org and listen live on the free c-span radio app. in september the national highway traffic safety administration announced guidelines for autonomous, or self-driving vehicles. up next we'll hearing from some leaders in the driverless vehicle industry who talk about the future of transportation. this event was held at the commonwealth club of california in san francisco. >> good evening and welcome to tonight's meeting of the commonwealth club of california. the place where you and we are all in the know.
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we are online at commonwealthclub.org, on facebook, twitter, and check out the commonwealth club youtube channel. i'm jeanette shaw, ceo of tech policy and your moderator for tonight's program, "autonomous vehicles and the future of transport." i've been in technology for over 30 years. techolicy provides public policy knowledge, government relations advocacy and stakeholder engagement to meet the needs of the innovative technology sector such as autonomous vehicles. prior i worked for a fortune 500 semiconductor company. and was chosen by the vc firm kleiner perkins to establish technet, otherwise known as technology network, a national tech-focused public policy organization. this evening i am going to be honored to introduce such a wonderful panel. and once i introduce the panel we're going to go ahead and
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review the definition of what an autonomous vehicle is. so we'll set the stage. and then each panelist will have three to five minutes to talk about their vision and what the landscape looks to them for autonomous vehicles. following the panelist openings, we'll then have q&a and that will include audience questions you have written on the cards and will be passed up. so with that i'd riek to start with and introduce emily caster. emily is the director of transportation policy at lyft. emily has been on the forefront of ride-sharing policy since the birth of the industry. that's a long time. >> it's actually not that long. that's what's so scary. >> in dog years maybe. she leads lyft's work with transportation agencies to integrate shared mobility and measure its impacts. emily believes lyft is a critical tool to expand transportation access, reduce car ownership, and cut carbon
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emissions. emily is an advisory board member at the institute of transportation studies at ucla on the sharing economy advisory network and on the leadership council at the national center for sustainable transportation among many other board positions. i also have the opportunity to ask each board member, panelist about a fun fact about them. sxemly's fun fact is that she has a hidden talent for saying the alphabet backwards very, very fast. we may need to have you do that at the end of this program. >> afterparty. >> there you go. she's also addicted to ice cream and can recommend at least five can't-miss ice cream shops here in san francisco. i think i have a few here. ice cream bar, nitchell's, mr. and mrs. miscellaneous, buy right and smitten. so maybe we can all take an autonomous vehicle out to go for ice cream. >> or at least a lift. >> or at least airlift. exactly. our next panelist is clair
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delani. she's the co-founder and director of software engineering at auto, which was recently purchased by uber. clair brings 12 years of experience in robotics to the auto team. after graduating from epsi in france with an m.s. in computer engineering clair worked on autonomous cars and robotics for a-tem pora, stanford research institute and gotay. she's the founder of several robotics company including robotics valley and corebotts. most recently clair worked as a staff software engineer for google where she led several innovative robotic projects. i can only imagine what those were like. it would have been fun to be a fly on the wall. and also fun fact about clair. when she was younger she was choosing between pursuing veterinary sciences and computer science and despite her love of nature she actually ultimately chose computer science. and thankfully because we have her robotics projects today.
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so welcome. >> thank you. >> our next panelist is no stranger to the altonmouse vehicle world. lauren isaac. lauren is the mrnl of sustainable transportation at wsp parsons brinkerhoff, a professional services and transportation consulting firm. she is involved in advanced technology pronlts that can improve mobility in many cities. in 2015 she was awarded the firm's william barkley parsons fellowship for developing a guide titled "driving toward driverless, a guide for government agencies" regarding how locke cole and regional governments should respond to autonomous vehicles in the short, medium, and in the long term. in addition lauren maintains the blog "driving toward driverless." that's got to be a full-time job. and has presented on this topic at more than 30 industry conferences. she recently did a ted x talk
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and that's been published in "forbes," "new york times," and the "chicago tribune" among others. lauren has a master's degree in research and industrial engineering and a bachelor's degree in the same discipline from cornell university. so we've placed our two engineers in the center of our panel. and the fun fact about lauren is, well, lauren, congratulations, just got married a few weeks ago. and she was on a mission to get a driverless vehicle at her wedding. emily was recently engaged. emily, i think you're going to have to could the same. she'll get there by lyft. and despite having multiple companies and people in the industry working hard to make it happen, seems she might have been just a little early. so a couple of the companies, though, thankfully have promised her a driverless vehicle at her one-year anniversary celebration. and then our final panelist
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introduction is lindsay willis. lindsay is the director of external affairs at contra costa transportation authority. lindsay is responsible for directing communication, advocacy, and community engagement efforts. her leadership has produced award-winning public engagement, programs and international recognition for the authority's innovative utilization of technology. and if you haven't been on costa county transportation authority's website, i hue high recommend you go because the technology is just amazing that lindsay has put together. lindsay has been responsible for increasing brand awareness for all of the 1.3 billion in local transportation projects and programs. and this includes establishing the brand and directing the launch of go momentum station in concord, california, the nation's largest secured connected vehicle and autonomous vehicle test bed, which is -- >> it's a mouthful. >> it's got to be an amazing
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place just to sit and watch. some people watch airplanes. i think you could just watch autonomous vehicles go by. and then prior to joining the authority in 2013 lindsay spent nine years leading marketing and communications initiatives and developing strategic partnerships for the capital corridor joint powers authority. fun fact about lindsay, lindsay's first introduction to transportation other than sharing the back seat of a station wagon with her three sisters, had to have been exciting, was a train trip from california to vancouver for the 1986 world fair. many years later her first job in transportation was with the capital corridor train service, which is here in california. so that is our panelists. so at this time it's like okay, so what is an autonomous vehicle? it has other names too. such as driverless vehicle, self-driving vehicle. highly automated vehicle, which is a new term we recently have
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seen from the federal government. or robotic car. do you think of johnny cab in "total recall" featuring our former governor arnold schwarzenegger when you hear autonomous vehicle? that sometimes comes to my mind. so just what is it? an autonomous car is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human interaction. autonomous cars can detect their surroundings using a variety of techniques such as radar, sensors, and communication networks. so now i'd like to go down the line starting with emily and just if you could start and just paint a picture of how you would define avs and what you see the future of aughton bemouse vehicles as looking like. >> i'm really happy to be here and share lyft's vision for autonomous vehicles. i think it's easy to imagine an entry point into that because ride sharing has already started to lay the groundwork for what
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that would look like. this transition into behavior we're starting to see come down in the next few years with autonomous. if you think about it it's really the beginning of a major transition away from the relationship with vehicles being one of ownership toward a relationship of transportation as a service. so lyft has taught people to have that kind of relationship over the last few years as we've rolled out on-demand mobility through a digital interface, giving people the ability to tap a button, have a driver show up. and if you think about it there's not such a huge difference between that behavior and the behavior of tapping a button on your phone and having an autonomous vehicle show up. you're not driving it. you're not owning it. you're accessing that when you need it and only when you need it. so we're excited about the fact that the network that we've built has laid the groundwork for what can later be layered on top as autonomous technology becomes available. our founder john zimmer spoke recently and published his thoughts recently about what we
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see as this coming third transportation revolution. first transportation revolution that our country experienced was the development of trains and canals that facilitated interstate commerce and led to the development of big cities. then of course the stekd transportation revolution is the one that we're all living in now and have grown up in, of the automobi automobile. interstate highways that cut up our cities and really changed the relationship of people to the urban environment in what many might say was a negative way. what we're experiencing now, and we're really on the cusp of is an opportunity to reclaim the urban vitality we lost, to restructure our environment so that it's no longer centered around car ownership. and instead can take that space, devote it to new, more productive uses. if you think about the parklets that proliferate on the san francisco streets here which are so wonderful in restoring common spaces, that is just a small taste of what we expect we will be able to enjoy as urban
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dwellers in the future as the need for parking is eliminated. the need for car ownership is eliminated and we can reclaim that urban space, use it to build housing, use it to build green space. and this is something that can be accomplished through leveraging autonomous technology in new ways. how will this first come on the market? we think it will be a new mode that becomes available on top of lyft's existing platform so it's not an abrupt transition for our viewers. instead it can be gradual. in environments where this is something we believe we can test successfully in the early deployments there may be corridors, fixed routes or fixed zones that have been extensively mapped and monitored for the quality and capability of the infrastructure in those locations to make sure they're appropriate for autonomous vehicle operation in the beginning and to generate consumer acceptance and familiarity and then gradually expand it broadly obviously to the point where ultimately it will be available anywhere and do so in a way where you might associate it with what you experienced with wireless networks coming on line.
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where first you had that slow edge data connection and over time when 3g and later 4g became available it just dropped onto your phone, you didn't have to go out and buy new technology, those networks were something you could automatically tap into. and this is something we're really excited to see and see the potential frankly of democratizing access to our platform as the cost of getting airlift ride comes down very significantly with the rise of autonomy. i guess i'll leave it at that. >> all right. so why don't i start talk about truck instead of cars? so what is an autonomous truck? well, an autonomous truck would be -- is basically like the old truck that we all know with like a lot of sensor able to perceive the environment like much better than a human could do. just because we see with laser, we see with radars, we see with
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cameras, we see with trucks with gps and with all this information the truck gets very in deep knowledge to where it is and what is the surrounding environment. that's exactly the same thing that we put actually in the cars. this is why uber decided to acquire auto, to transition this technology and go and push the auto -- the a.v. space forward. there's a lot of potential with a.v. and like the definition of autonomous vehicle is not necessarily like the car that we can imagine without the driver. we already started -- there's a current car that we already have like autonomous technologies. we call them aid as, like aid
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assistance to driving. but we have a technology called bricks that are essential to make a vehicle fully autonomous. it's like a gradual process. this is going to take time. like emily said there's a lot of things that actually evolve around the vehicle. like when you think about the word, the word that was designed for humans, everything that we see was designed for humans. like the stop signs, the lights, the pedestrian walkway. everything was designed for a human to interpret the environment. but moving forward, if we really want to make like autonomous vehicle a commodity and very like mass market autonomous vehicles we will have to change the infrastructure to adapt it to make it more machine-friendly
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i would say so the robot can understand the environment easier. that would be the technical -- already we talked a lot about social impacts. and i will let the panelists give their point of view about a.v. >> okay. thank you. so i come at this from a different angle. i work at wsp parsons brinkerhoff where a piece of what we do is consulting for government agencies on advising them on transportation and infrastructure projects. i've been in this space my whole career and about 2 1/2 years ago i started reading about driverless vehicles. and what was very clear at the time was the technology was advancing very, very quickly but our clients, the government agencies, were really at that time not very aware of that technolo technology. and if you look at the headlines from back then it was about who's putting the most test miles on the road and what companies are getting involved but almost nothing about what the government is doing. about that time is when i started my research about what
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government can do to plan for driverless vehicles. and i'm happy to say that fast forward to where we are today, the federal government has been really involved. jeanette just alluded to the federal policy. i've been really interested and focused on what the local and state governments can do. partially because we're seeing this technology out on the streets now. and yet if you look at most of our government agencies' short and long-range plans which go anywhere from five-year plans to 40 and 50-year plans, over 90% of them don't acknowledge that driverless vehicles are coming. so when you think about that, when you think about the impact they can have on society, both positive and negative, there are a lot of impacts that are going to be symbiotic with government's goals, improved safety, better mobility for different populations like elderly and disabled piece. but there are also some risks and i think it's really important that government agencies start to become aware of what these are. so for example, if we have a
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society where lyft and uber don't end up with these shared fleets and other automakers who are investing and do more shared fleets but if we see a society very similar to what we have today, with a lot of vehicle ownership, single occupancy vehicle trips and then with what driverless vehicles present, which is zero occupancy trips being allowed we have a risk of a huge increase in vehicle miles traveled. and i will just say i'm one of the biggest fans of driverless vehicles and i can't wait to see them really proliferate in society but i think government has a very important role to play in terms of managing the benefits, making sure we reap the benefits of them but also mitigate the risks. >> so when i first met lauren her question to me was why is a county government agency involved in driverless vehicles? what do you guys have to do with this? so i wanted to give you a little brooungd background for those of you who don't know what the contra costa transportation authority is. we're not quite as famous as some of these other companies i'm sharing the stage with tonight. so in 1988 voters in contra
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costa chose to tax themselves with a sales tax to pay for transportation. and our agency is the agency that plans, funds, and delivers those transportation improvements that the voters voted for. in california there are actually 20 counties that tax themselves through sales tax to help pay for transportation. the bay area is full of them. san francisco is one of them. and they play a really critical part in keeping california moving. they invest about 3 to 4 billion dollars a year into california's transportation system and infrastructure. and so how that kind of rolls out, you know, fast forward to 2004, that 1988 measure was about to expire and we went back out to voters to ask them to again decide to renew that sales tax for another 25 years. and you may be able to get people to choose to tax themselves once but if you're not delivering on their promises they're definitely not going to give you another chance to do
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that. and i'm proud to say that 71% of voters in contra costa chose to continue that sales tax to continue to fund transportation improvements. so our job is to make those happen and in addition to making those movements happen part of our responsibilities involve being the congestion management agency for the counties. so we're in charge of finding ways to try to mitigate traffic. and we're also the long-range transportation planning agency for the county. so you can see with a staff of only 20 people we're pretty busy. but these last two responsibilities really kind of led to our interest in autonomous vehicles. as lauren mentioned, not many agencies kind of look forward as they develop their ng long-range plan. if you think about the fact the iphone is less than ten years old and how much that has revolutionized how we work, how
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we travel, how we communicate, it seemed really foolish to us to just assume that technology was going to remain static. it's changing so quickly. so we decided we needed to change what was happening in the technology and transportation space so that as we build our long-range plans for the county we can really be prepared and responsive to the new technology that's coming online instead of just being reactive. so as part of that effort we helped co-found gomentum station in concord, california which as jeanette said is the largest secure vehicle test facility. it's really a partnership where auto manufacturers can come and test their vehicles and test their technologies in a secure location that's not a city street, test out technology upgrades. because it's a former navy weapons station, it has a mini city. it has striping, stop signs, sidewalks, tunnels, buildings. so it's a really great place to
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kind of of re-enact scenarios that take place in the real world in a really unique setting. and what it does for us as a government agency is it gives us the ability to talk with the folks who are testing, see what they're testing, look at the technology and figure out what does it need. what do we need to be looking at to upgrade our infrastructure over the coming years to make sure that those cars can operate optimally and safely and help get you where you need to go. >> terrific. well, that was an excellent set the stage for the viewpoints. and i know we've talked a lot about autonomous cars and autonomous trucks. autonomous vehicles, we can be inclusive. why don't we talk about what are the benefits in and then i want to ask what kind of negative aspects are there and what do we mitiga mitigate. but lauren if you could start with what are the benefits to let's say a community, a city for autonomous vehicles. >> there are quite a few. the biggest one and certainly
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from a government perspective the interests are around safety. but this is what all the automakers and technology developers cite first and foremost. today 90% of the accidents that happened on our roadways are due to human error. so distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding. so in theory, if we eliminate the humans from the driving equation we will eliminate over 90% of the accidents. that in itself is huge. i mentioned before additional mobility for elderly, disabled youth. that piece is really exciting. another one is rethinking of our land use. so driverless vehicles will create the potential for reducing the parking requirements needed or even relocating them. if we have more of a shared use society where people aren't purchasing as many vehicles but that they are sharing them, we potentially can reduce the lands used dedicated for parking and in cities that can be around 15% to 20% of the land.
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try to reimagine san francisco streets without that dedicated land. it's really -- you can see the potential tore adding bike lanes, adding pedestrian space. that's my utopian perspective. the other side of it is even if we have more of my nightmare perspective of more people owning vehicles, it still could result in relocating parking spaces where these vehicles could bring people to their work in the morning, say. and then the vehicle goes and parks itself in a remote parking lot 15 miles outside of a city, which is amazing from a land use perspective but treschl from a congestion, travel time reliability perspective. another piece is the ability to have improved acceleration and deacceleration. less impact to our roadways. vehicles in theory will be able to drive more closely together, especially if it integrates with connected technology. there's a slew more. but hopefully that gives a flavor. >> that certainly does.
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what about -- emily, would you like to take a stab at what are some of the negative aspects where it might not be as positive and areas where technology can improve that? >> yeah. i think really if you talk to a lot of the experts right now people are saying that the fulcrum is whether or not these are shared vehicles or owned vehicles. i think lauren pointed to that very correctly, which is if you think about it most of the ills of private auto ownership and the unsustainable transportation system and land impacts we have today rise from the fact vehicles are so poorly utilized. they're sitting idle 94% of the time. they're only 24% occupied when they're in motion on average. so that's a lot of empty vehicle seats and it's a very underutilized assets we're paying to store and using precious land to store. you think about how that sort of telegraphs into an autonomous vehicle world. it's probably something that is magnified. whether you go the ownership
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route and everybody owns their own autonomous vehicle, it magnifies the negative impacts in many ways. maybe not with respect to parking but vehicle miles traveled, emissions, yunt underutilization of vehicles would be magnified if everyone owned their own. whereas if you look at the shared side of the equation there are significant reductions possible. fascinating research from a couple of different research facilities. laurence national laboratory a guy named jeff greenblatt put out a simulation study finding that shared autonomous vehicles used in a platform that dispatches them on demand like bift lyft does could actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 90%. and if all of the vehicles ad t adapted to electric power trains as certainly we expect those on you are platform could benefit from that that could eliminate petroleum con shungs 100% in our transportation system. these may sound like pollyanna
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kinds of unbelievable expectations. i mean, lawrence berkeley national lab is certainly not a lightweight. but there's another report that came out with very similar conclusions from the rocky mountain inside fout an energy think tank that found enormous possibility for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduction of costs and the expenditure of operating vehicles. frankly i think there's a really good economic argument for why it will happen that way and why we should believe the fact that urban car ownership's days are numbered because if you think about an individual making a decision on how they want to get around on a monthly basis if they're comparing in their household budget the costs of owning a car with that lease, with that car payment, insurance, parking perhaps in an urban environment and then comparing it to a greatly reduced cost of transportation away service, walking, biking,
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autonomous electric, lyft rides, transit combined together. that package on the shared side is going to be much, much cheaper than what the cost of car ownership is today. it will be a much more dramatic difference than that equation looks like today. and i think that will precipitate a shift away from car ownership and along with if bring the benefits along with the potential negatives into the public realm. >> i just want to add one quick thing because i totally agree. i think it's important to point out the distinction between autonomous technology and electric technology. they're entirely separate. the benefits if we go entirely electric for autonomous are huge. however, not all the auto manufacturers are testing driverless electric. it's assumed. it's wonderful that lyft is. >> i think the majority of them are, though, which is a really interesting thing. i just want to comment briefly on why that might be the case. maybe people haven't thought about financially why that might
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be the case. but the cost of operation of vehicles over the life of that car sch lower with vehicles, at least at the current costs of electricity versus poet oem rolium than the cost of operating those vehicles as combustion engine vehicles. it makes financial sense as long as operationally there's sufficient access to charging infrastructure which is absolutely something that our policy makers should be paying attention to. there is actually a strong business case for vehicle electrification. especially with the new battery technology that's advancing so quickly with vehicles like the bolt coming online soon. >> that was one of our audience questions as well, about the impact of the electric grid and what would the future look like. clair, i want it give you an opportunity to talk about the benefits for trucks. >> benefits of a.v.? >> of a.v. >> so right now in the u.s. we have a shortage of drivers just because it's a very painful job.
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you have to be alone on the road for long hours and very extended period of time. one benefit of autonomous technology is you like -- i would say like i'm not going to suddenly like jump into the future where we don't have a driver because that's not going to happen from just tomorrow. that's going to be gradual. sought first step is going to be like we see on the plane, the pilot is here to do like the landing and the takeoff but during the flight the plane is driving autonomously. sought pilot can do other stuff and like basically have time to do something else. same thing applies for trucking. when you look at the highway and you see all the cars going by, it look like a strain or like a railroad. and the driver would -- the truck driver would just like
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bring the truck to the entrance of the highway and let the truck operate from there and drive by itself until it reach the destination. the truck can do 2,000 miles autonomously, basically meaning the driver has a lot of time to just like do something else in the meantime. read a book. watch tv. like learn something new. drink a beer. >> it's like -- it would force us to -- the truck driver would become more -- than actively having to have their hand on the wheel and trying to keep focused for long hours without like anything changing in the landscape or anything that's happening. that would be like -- that can have a tremendous impact because that moment we release the
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driver we can actually like -- most of the fleet in the u.s. right now which are owner operator basically mean these people could spend all this time in the truck to do something else. i don't know. file the tacks. spend time with the family. it could be completely different. and long term in like -- maybe i'd say it's hard to give them an idea on the timeline but say five to seven years. let's say we worked very hard with the government and the highway are very safe and equipped and we could guarantee there is 99.999% of no problems. we don't have to get a driver
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anymore. we can just let the car go by itself. and ship a good to the next arrival. and then we'll use uber, our lyft driver in the end to collect the merchandise or like the truck out of the highway to where else. and so what you would mean. one of the reason why we have big trucks, it's because we don't have a lot of like drivers. and so we want to make sure that we put everything in like a single convoy so that like we minimize the number of drivers. sought moment you don't have a driver anymore it actually means you get smaller trucks that are also less dangerous and eventually more power efficient. that you can also do -- you can also rethink the logistics. sow don't have to put like a lot of things that have no common ground together in the same truck and move it along just because it's a driver issue.
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you can be smart. you can replay differently how you transfer goods from one place to another one. and when you start digging around this efficiency and like you start by a.v. but you start putting the thread and look at logistics and all the chains and how goods are transferred from one place to another one, you can see that a.v. would have a tremendous impact on how efficient we will be in the future. how good transportation, how efficient good transportation can be in the future. and i think it even stands more than passenger because passenger is always like yeah, you know, you like driving your cars. sure, it's very convenient. we're all relieved to have someone like bringing you to one place to another one. but when you have a nice car, don't you like driving like on the highway? and when there is no traffic it's still a pleasure, right?
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it actually is linked everywhere into our economy. everything you see here was brought by a truck. every single detail was brought at some point by a truck. so when you think that you can make this part more efficient, the implication are tremendous. just by looking at how good are transported nowadays. >> lindsay. >> i think clair stole my thunder. >> right after safety efficiency is something that transportation professionals have to look at. that's the efficiency of the whole system. it's not just freight and transit. i think one of the big promises for autonomous vehicles is that you can move more things, more people, more cars, more goods he through the existing system
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safely and faster. if you think about it, if you've ever been stuck on i-80 or i-680 in bumper to bumper traffic, if your car could take over and driech itself autonomously, if it could follow a safe distance behind the car in front of you that's much safer than you'd able to follow as a human driver, you can get more cars through that stretch of freeway faster and smoother and that's something that we're very interested in look at. the current highway capacity says when you build a freeway in an urban area it has to be able to take 2400 cars per lane per hour. think about how much more efficient that system would operate if you could bump that up by an extra 1,000 cars per lane per hour. you smooth out the entire system and make it much more efficient for everyone trying to get where they want to go. >> at this point i'd like to remind our radio audience that this is the commonwealth club of california and we are talking about autonomous vehicles and
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the future of transport. we have emily castor, director of transportation policy at lyft. lindsay willis, director of external affairs for contra costa transportation authority. lauren isaac, manager of transportation suggestion tainability at wsp, parsons brinkerhoff. and clair dulani, co-founder and director of software engineering at auto. commonwealth club programs are on the radio and you can see our program videos on youtube. catch us also on our website as well as facebook and twitter. we've got it all. i am jeanette morgan shaw, ceo of techolicy and your moderator for today's program. with that i'd like to -- we've got a number of audience questions about jobs. and in particular you might recall that james heinz who's the gartner research director said connected vehicles will continue to generate new products and service and innovations and create new companies and it will enable a new value proposition in
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business models. we hear that a lot but we have several questions about will drivers who drive for lyft or other ride sharing companies will they still be able to drive? and what is the risk if this technology creates unemployment? >> this is a great question. this is something that we really approach really seriously at lyft because frankly we've differentiated ourselves in the market as a company that cares more about our drivers and have invested in great relationships with our drivers because we believe it translates into the passenger experience and that's at the core of what we offer. so we've wanted to be really transparent in the way that we talked about this transition and the fact that it's coming. at the end of the day this is something that's coming to our society. lyft cannot stop the arrival of this technology. and i think it's incumbent upon any entity that's working in the transportation business today, whether it's freight or public transit or private transport or automotive companies to be the netflix in this situation rather
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than the blockbuster. we have to remain relevant and capable of making an impact with what we do. which we have to participate in this technology to do that. that being said, it's not going to be an adrupt and immediate transition away. first of all, it's important to understand how people participate in lyft driving. vast majority of people who participate as drivers on our platform are doing it on a very part-time basis. 85% of them are doing it fewer than 15 hours per week. and even those folks who are doing it on a more full-time basis they aren't necessarily doing it for a long period of time. it's a rather transient population that said hey, i have a job loss, i need extra income right now, i'm in a life transition, i'm seeking an opportunity for flexibility in my life right now. and that's exactly why they came to us in the first place. because lyft driving is not structured with the rigidity and the permanence of a traditional job. there's a lot of lead time for people to absorb this transition that's coming and to become aware of that and make plans for
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their future. however, we actually expect that in the near term the demand for lyft drivers will increase on our platform as automation rolls out. and that sounds really counterintuitive. but the reason why is because of what i described earlier, the fact that basically there's going to be an explosion in the market size of these businesses. businesses like ours that are offering the service because all of a sudden lyft will become so much more affordable that people will be able to use it much more often and they'll look at that calculation of whether they want to own a car anymore and more and more of them are going to start saying no, we don't want to own a car, so we want to use lyft a bunch more of the time than we did before and as we do that sometimes we're going to be able to get an automated lyft because we're going to be in a place where that's available. other times we're going to get airlift with a human driver. that market size is going to grow and in the near term it will taper off as technology becomes more capable and available in a broader variety of geographical areas and that's a transition that will be very transparent and compassionate with our valued driver
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community. >> i also know in the career i live in, you can call that s.t.e.m. and also steam where you can add art i've seen a huge increase in individuals contacted by companies in learning how to do coding or software or engineer iing so there's a whole host of companies that get contacted where we can't describe what the positions are but there's a whole host of companies looking for new opportunities to train individuals for new jobs. but i'd like to pass it on to lindsay to go first. >> i was going to say i think one of the places where we hear a lot of concern about the coming of automation is in the transit world. you know, there are quite a few folks employed, your bus driver your b.a.r.t. driver, the folks who help get you where you need to go and they're worried about what the transition to
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driverless means for them. and i think one of the things we have to be cognizant of is as we mentioned earlier the state has some really ambitious climate goals. there are some things here in california that we're trying to achieve. and one of those is encouraging people to share vehicles to start traveling together to reduce greenhouse gases. and one of the things we've been working really hard on is to encourage people to potentially use autonomous vehicles to get themselves to transit. these are great solutions for that first and last mile trip. how many times have you ever driven your car to try to park it at a b.a.r.t. station at 8:30 in the morning and you're circling and circling and circling and nobody's leaving and there's no spot and you end up driving to your ultimate destination. if you could get a ride, a shared ride to that particular location, then maybe you would be more inclined to use public transit because it would take out the aggravation of trying to find parking. i think too when you think about autonomous vehicles and shared autonomous vehicles, these are
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going to be large fleets. they're going to need to be maintained. they're going to need to be monitored. those are jobs that are still going to have to be done by someone, potentially with transit or transportation experience. there may be some opportunity to kind of retrain some of the existing workforce to take on some of those new duties. but do i think that transit kind of as we know it is really going to benefit from autonomous vehicles. i think a lot of the first trips that you'll start to see are going to be short trips to and from transit stations or to and from schools or business centers, trips where you have to take your mother to the hairdresser and you don't want to drive her. you can put her in a car and let her go do it yourself. when you don't want to have that conversation about flipping the coin with your sister about who's going to drive grandma to the senior center. you have your solution. i really think that's kind of -- you're going to start to see those short trips happen first, although i don't know.
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clair might be giving us a run for our money with long-term free hauling. >> yeah. i think it's going to be -- i think it's really going to be gradual. i really don't see it happening like from the date, like from just tomorrow. i know it's very exciting technology. but there's a lot of challenges that have to be solved. and a lot of things -- i mean, like that sets a very good reflection -- like a very good mirror to the panel we have today, that with autonomous vehicle it's about a lot of things. it's about companies, operating in the public space or companies -- not in the public space, with consumers. auto was not uber before. so we were targeting a very dedicated problem and there's like government problems and there's like a lot of issues in the future that we need to plan and think about.
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it's such a huge problem. and then a.v. by itself touch a lot of like different aspect of like the way we live, like our life into it like cities and cities to cities. i think it's actually going to -- for all these reasons to make it right and to make it the right way it will take a lot of time. and i think it's a lot of opportunities for a lot of these to also like slowly graduating and to learn other area. all these jobs that are around a.j. and like how do we -- what it means to get in autonomous vehicles all the time would have to be created. we will still need places to like recharge the cars or we will still need places to put the car at some point at the end
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of the day. we will see it in public transportation. if you still have four-seat cars, and other four-seat cars, then you're still going to take much more space than a bus. not that the bus cannot be autonomous also but still we have a fleet of like things that have to be coordinated together. it seems very threatening for stages right now but most of the time when things evolve slowly it's not the same -- we don't have where a full job category disappears. things happen slowly and gradually and people find other like -- other areas of interest. just because like if a car drives better than me at some point i'm going to be bored anyway. even if i could drive it. but it's not very fun. like remember the market, stock
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market. we have like at the beginning was super exciting to be like -- to sell a stock and everything and to be like a trader and to be at the state of the technology and everything. but then suddenly gradually artificial intelligence takes a step. algorithm became more efficient than people. and so at some point if like when you compare like the result of an algorithm and yourself and you see an algorithm is a better trader than you, then it totally removes the fun out of it because you cannot compete with like an algorithm. it doesn't carry any weight. >> i'll add one thing because it's a little bit different on the sort of equity impact piece. the labor question is not the only equity question. another one is about mobility access. and that's actually what i think is one of the most exciting benefits that can come from this. but it definitely is also hinging on shared versus owned as being the model of how this
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rolls out. but frankly, transportation is a huge economic barrier right now in our country. especially with the reurbanization that we've seen in major cities, the cost of housing in major cities going up. so precipitously there's been an urbanization of poverty that has happened. it has pushed people out to areas that have been least well served by transport and given them a huge transportation problem for the most vulnerable populations. so now people have these super commutes where they're trying to piece together bus routes in frankly areas where it's not efficient to operate buses, where point-to-point transportation saves people hours in travel time per day. and yet these are families who can't necessarily own the $9,000 per year cost of owning a car. i'm passionate about the fact that shared autonomous transportation can actually be affordable enough that it can be something that's accessible for those folks and actually making it possible for more people to benefit from this technology who wouldn't necessarily be able to buy an autonomous car.
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there are all kinds of technological pathways that can be established this to make this available even when people don't have bank accounts, don't have smartphones. this is somewhere we're already working with with lyft and our working with with lyft and our public-private partnerships. captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008 captioning performed by vitac
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