Every time I see our self-driving cars successfully navigate urban streets, I’m easily carried away thinking about how much they will improve everyday life. It’s this element that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough: The ability to empower people and businesses to free themselves from many of the mundane tasks of life.
Setting out solely to build a robot car is missing the point. What if, instead, we built a service that helps people be even more productive?
I first got a taste of what self-driving vehicles could mean to people two years ago, when I was working for Lincoln in China. As someone completely unfamiliar with the local driving environment, I was assigned a driver for trips to work and back home. True, I wasn’t actually riding around in a self-driving vehicle, but the experience was a game changer nonetheless, as I didn’t have to do the driving.
All of a sudden, my commutes transformed into something else entirely — I had the opportunity to be at my best. I could catch up on emails, get ready for meetings and edit presentations. When traveling to a location a bit further away than the office, I could sneak in a nap! Commuting became one of the highlights of my day, something I looked forward to when I woke up every morning.
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