An interesting debate over whether automated cars would produce economic growth.
Ryan Avent of the Economist argues “yes” … but I am not so sure. For one thing, automated cars will likely be a shared resource, at least in cities. That means fewer cars, which is certainly good for the environment, but maybe not so good for economic growth — at least in terms of the way we measure GDP. Also, another very important question is whether new technologies like automated cars will raise median incomes (which have been stagnant in the U.S. for decades). Kind of hard for me to see how that would be the case.
I think Robert Gordon raises some valid points, although he is really getting slammed by the techno-optimist/TED Conference community. What do you think?