After nearly 10 years of hype about autopilot cars, the upsurge seems to be fading away. According to Gartner, a research consultancy, autopilot cars are dropping from high expectations to disillusioned lows. One of the reasons for the disillusionment of autopilot cars is the suspicion of their so-called safety advantages. In March, a pedestrian in Arizona was knocked down by a semi - autopilot vehicle, a car that could be autopilot at some time, but it needed a human driver as a backup. Last year, another semi-automatic car crashed into a large truck, causing the death of a human driver. Another reason for the disillusionment is the growing concern of urban residents, who believe that autopilot makes travel more convenient, so people will use it more. They worry that this will increase the mileage of vehicles (VMT) and further block the already crowded urban streets of the United States. I dont have the first concern - I am confident that autopilot will eventually achieve full self driving and do well in security and fundamentally reduce accidents on the road. But I do have second worries. In fact, I think peoples worries about it are not enough. We have reason to believe that any private auto driving industry will not only increase VMT, but will take the initiative to pursue more VMT. When I saw a new company called Vugo in the New York post, I suddenly realized this. Vugo signed a contract with about 3500 drivers of Uber and Lyft in New York to install video screens on their vehicles. These screens will play video ads, at least at the very beginning, and they cant be shut down or completely mute. According to the Washington Post, drivers in New York like this arrangement (of course, other people find it very annoying). Uber and Lyft charge passengers directly, and the drivers get little. They need extra income, that is, advertising. This is one of the sprout of economic power, and it may make it impossible for people to exploit their potential and cause huge damage in the process - like its impact on the Internet. What Im talking about is that advertising is a business model. If the autopilot is primarily funded through advertising, the automotive industry we end up facing will be more committed to the dominance of the industry - in a better case, it will be a reluctant partner, unwilling to make the city more dense and more livable. The bad situation is that it will become our enemy. As a business model, advertising is dangerous Now, we have a near traditional view that many of the damage to our current digital environment can be attributed to the business model it builds. Nowadays, almost all websites, social media networks and applications are funded by advertising. They only make money when they are attracted to users attention, so they are in endless struggle against dogs. There are no practical restrictions on the supply of advertising: low production cost and unlimited online space. The only limit to income is in demand. People only have so much time each day and have their own affairs to pay attention to. So, each application is not only competing with other applications, but also competing with Netflix, cooking, sleep, work, and exercise - everything else that may divert your attention from the application. As a result, the engineers behind these tools are becoming more and more adept at using human cognitive and emotional quirks to provide short-term dopamine outbreaks which make people addictive. Our pursuit of short-term dopamine creates an environment full of various signals - many signals are the basic emotions such as jealousy, resentment and anger - our attention becomes distracted and we become unhappy. The main tools we use to access the Internet are pursuing efficiency and attention, clicking and eyeball, because this is exactly what business models need. It is destroying the Internet. It may also destroy traffic. Traffic will become more like an application Traffic experts have agreed that transportation is evolving into a service, not a commodity. Consumers will buy mileage instead of buying cars. Three trends are emerging in transportation: electrification, automation and sharing. Anyone who claims to know how these trends will work will claim that people who understand the timing of these changes are likely to have other purposes to make money. But the logic of these three trends tends to use traffic as a towardtransportationasaservice (TaaS). This is a plausible scenario: the electrification of cars is continuing. Shared car services like Uber and Lyft are becoming more and more popular. Autopilot has gradually replaced human drivers. As time goes on, TaaS has become a rule rather than an exception; for example, by 2030, most people will do most of their trip by calling the shared electric autopilot. Unless the city owns the ownership of these vehicles and begins to provide transport services (TaaPS), it is impossible. With the support of Taxation, private enterprises are participating in this process. Competition will be brutal, followed by a reduction in subscription fees or a per mile fee. There is always a new company willing to cut costs to boost business growth - and in this case, the cost of cutting is very small. Unmanned cars will be cheaper than human driving. Electric cars will be cheaper than internal combustion vehicles. As long as the sun comes out, cheap renewable energy will provide energy for the grid, and electricity will be very cheap. Capital and operating costs will be very low, so unless the public policy enforces a lower price limit, the travel cost per mile will steadily decrease. Eventually, some people will consider lowering the cost to $0. Traffic will be a free service (TaaFS)! The history of digital technology provides us with a clue to what freedom means in this case and where it exists. The company still needs to make money. Without charge, the only way to monetize customers is to make them products, that is, to attract their attention through advertisements. Once the owner of an autopilot starts looking for other sources of income, they will inevitably seize it. If people are unwilling to tolerate it, they will buy a subscription or pay extra for the TaaAFS without advertising. This is a good thing. But this is not what history has shown. Instead, customers have shown again and again that when it comes to services, they choose a cheaper option - at the expense of brand loyalty (and personal privacy). For example, airlines, where customers are suffering from discomfort, in exchange for a cheap basic rate. Lets look at the media, and the advertising mode dwarfs the subscription mode. There is also the popularity of membership club cards in grocery stores and retail stores, where customers exchange their personal information to get a discount. Facebook and Google are also monitoring our lives for 360 times. Or look at the taxi cabs in New York and Washington, many of them have embedded the advertising screen on it, for the same reason: they cant get enough money from your front end, so they have to monetize you at the back end. This is feasible. People will do anything and show anything for cheaper prices, especially free things. So, at least we have to consider the possibility that future transportation may be made up of a large number of shared, electric, autopilot - driven cars funded by advertising revenue - our smart car will become our next smartphone and become a tool for advertisers to attract our attention. The traffic supported by advertising will be a nightmare Thats terrible. Dont mind the car users will find their flickering keystrokes interfering one day, losing the time they may spend in quiet meditation. If cars really become running smartphones and become platforms for all kinds of Advertising - supported video, applications, games and services, we can expect that the motivation of online services, such as Facebook or CandyCrush, also dominates the transport sector. That is to say, cars need more time and attention. The only way to spend time with a car is to drive somewhere. As long as they get income from advertising, owners of shared cars will want more people to drive more places. Their income will increase with the increase of VMT, so they will strive to maximize VMT. Putting advertising revenue into VMT will make the industry totally opposed to other non vehicle modes of transportation and make it an enemy of good urban planning. This will increase short-term satisfaction and weaken longer-term vision, and vision in transportation planning is hard enough. In the past, every new invention was touted as more like the Internet, which would make some old legacy systems more like the Internet. Nowadays, this kind of bragging tone does not sound good. Perhaps there are some characteristics of the Internet that we do not want to adopt. (selected from: Vox compilation: NetEase intelligence participation: Li Qing) pays attention to the NetEase intelligent public number (smartman163) for you to interpret the big events in the AI field, new ideas and new applications. Source: NetEase intelligent editor: Ding Guang Sheng _NT1941 The only way to spend time with a car is to drive somewhere. As long as they get income from advertising, owners of shared cars will want more people to drive more places. Their income will increase with the increase of VMT, so they will strive to maximize VMT. Putting advertising revenue into VMT will make the industry totally opposed to other non vehicle modes of transportation and make it an enemy of good urban planning. This will increase short-term satisfaction and weaken longer-term vision, and vision in transportation planning is hard enough. In the past, every new invention was touted as more like the Internet, which would make some old legacy systems more like the Internet. Nowadays, this kind of bragging tone does not sound good. Perhaps there are some characteristics of the Internet that we do not want to adopt. (selected from: Vox compilation: intelligent participation of NetEase: Li Qing) Pay attention to NetEase intelligent public address (smartman163), to interpret the big events, new ideas and new applications of large companies in AI field.