Autonomous Driving heralds a new golden age for the automobile
In the fifties and sixties of the last century the world experienced a golden age of the automobile. The automobile changed the urban landscape, brought progress to rural areas and disrupted the localized worlds of shopping and work. Beginning in the 1970s traffic jams and environmentalism put to automobile optimism. With the advent of autonomous driving this will change, the second golden age of the automobile is dawning. Autonomous increases road capacity will multifold, eliminates or reduces the time cost of driving, almost eliminates accidents, increases both the speed of travel and predictability of arrival times.
New hopes for affordable care
Health Care is one of our civilization’s greatest achievements. Together with less taxing work lives, better nutrition and public sanitation it raised life expectancy around the globe. Today’s health care landscape faces several challenges. Due to both demand and supply side factors spending on health care has been increasing, outstripping GDP growth, and now constitutes a large or the largest share of public expenditures in most rich countries.
Information and communcications technology creates entire industries with essentially zero marginal cost. Hence competition is to become the dominant player, and then the dominant player is relatively entrenched.
“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Niels Bohr, Nobel laureate in physics. “The stock market has forecast nine of the last five recessions.” Paul A. Samuelson, Nobel laureate in economics.
Predictions in economics are indeed difficult. But some can be made with some degree of reliability. Mostly if they rely on either constant features of markets or predictable trends outside of economics. For instance demographic trends are fairly predictable, and so are certain technological developments. If one is prepared to make assumptions about such trends, then economic predictions are possible. For instance, demographic trends impact health care expenditures and the consumption basket, or the advent of autonomous driving leads to changed urban and rural residential patterns.