Futurologist Magnus Lindkvist's take on autonomous driving

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Autonomous driving
Magnus Lindkvist.

Magnus Lindkvist has a Master of Science in Business and Economics from the Esto School of Economics. He defines himself as a trendspotter and a futurologist; and has written the books "Everything we know is wrong" (2009), "The Attack of the unexpected" (2010), "When the future begins" (2013) and "Future: 40 ways to ensure the future of your life , career and business ”(2015). In his conversations and books, Lindkvist is continually searching for ideas and clues about how the modern business world works and what tomorrow might look like. In this interview he talks about road safety, the next technologies that will reach the automotive world and, especially, autonomous driving.

-What are, in your opinion, the three essential concepts for road safety?
-Three essential concepts, today, could be a distraction detector so that the driver is not distracted, that takes into account the speed and the traffic situation. Second, a cruise control that is always active on all vehicles and cannot be disconnected. And third, add more information on the brake lights. One of the big problems is that the brake lights give us little information, you don't know how the car in front is driving.

-What will be the three key technologies in road safety in the coming years?
-I'm not sure about the cars autonomous driving level 5… In addition to all these technologies that try to help the driver. We will see distraction detectors, speed controls will be improved… The connected vehicle will also be important, creating a centralized network of vehicles.

-Do you think it is possible to reach the goal of 0 deaths in traffic accidents?
-I see quite far the vision of 0 deaths in traffic accidents. It is difficult to achieve this when you are dealing with something that many people do frequently, and every day. Of course, time is magical and makes everything possible ... But I think it is a road safety dream achievable in the next decade. Like having better and wider highways throughout the world.

- Do you think that the same efforts have been made in training drivers as in the evolution of cars, the improvement of routes ...?
- I would say no, although I could also say yes ...

-In what year do you think we will see level five autonomous cars on the streets? And when do you estimate that they will be massive?
-In December 2043 ...

-Do you think that the streets and highways will be safer with the arrival of autonomous driving cars?
-It must be taken into account that all technologies are dangerous in their first generations. It takes a while for technologies to stabilize, laws contemplate them and users understand them. The first steps can be dangerous, but after a few years it's great.

-How do you imagine the mobility of the future?
-Mobility today is lower today than it was before. We don't move that much. We have to open our minds and think ahead. One of the best things I've seen lately is a big ball that you put your belongings in and that follows you wherever you go. We should see it in the future.

-Are electric cars the best solution to achieve sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility?
-Electric cars have environmental costs in another sense, they would need other batteries. Nothing is sustainable, when we solve the oxygen problem, we will discover that the problem may be phosphorus, or other things. It is an eternal question.

-Should road safety be a compulsory subject in the educational system?
-School is an old idea, it dates back to 1800. People believe that all children need to learn to use a computer, know about technology or learn Chinese. The school is going to die in the future and there will be a new type of education. I think that if someone is willing to drive in a dangerous way it is not because they were not educated in school, but because of their way of being. That person may have other strengths ...

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