Sweden And the Self-driving Car Market.
Sweden has a new car company and it is focusing on all electric and completely driver-less units. Soon you will see these driver-less cars from Uniti driving the streets of cities like Stockholm without any drivers at the wheel. In fact maybe there will not even be a steering wheel. I mean is it really needed?
From its sustainable production facility on the Swedish coast, startup Uniti recently unveiled its vision for the future of transportation. The centerpiece: Uniti One, an affordable, all-electric vehicle that sets new standards in sustainability, safety and convenience.
Over 20 partners, including NVIDIA, joined 2,000 attendees to celebrate the launch and learn about the road Uniti traveled to re-imagine urban mobility.
I am lucky enough to be able to visit Stockholm about once a year and I have traveled some to several other locations in Sweden. Swedes, as a people view themselves as having a responsibility to the planet when it comes to sustainability. This is evident in many Swedish companies even though they are multinational or global entities.
As an example of this I noticed on my last visit to Stockholm, when my rental car’s engine simply stopped while I was waiting at a red light. It took me a minute to recognize that it was that automatic engine stop technology designed to save fuel and emissions. In fact all new cars sold in Sweden today must include this green tech.
Sweden’s car industry has been on the decline with the very Swedish Volvo car division being sold to China’s Tata Motors. Sure Volvo truck remains in Swedish hands but they could use a boost when it comes to auto manufacturing jobs.
Maybe these all electric self driving units from Uniti will be just the ticket?
Reflecting on the autonomous intelligence in the vehicle, the poem anticipated “a vehicle that perceives the world and, like us, attempts to understand it. A bond between human and machine.”
While these lines were written to distill a vision, the unveiling demonstrated that vision come to life. Uniti shared that they will offer a line of two-, four- and five-seat electric vehicle models, with first deliveries targeted for 2019. High-end versions will retail for around €19,900, with lower cost options available for €14,500.
It seems that electric vehicles may make perfect sense to a society like the one’s in Sweden. The people expect legislation from their government to protect the greater good. What I am not sure of is whether self-driving vehicles have the greater good in mind. Sure they offer benefits of safety and acceleration and also offer so many new opportunities for designers to make vehicles more than they are today. However, fully autonomous vehicles will replace jobs in the taxi, trucking and delivery industries.
Is this truly in societies interest?