CALIFORNIA: Of course we don’t want meth dealers sending out their products via autonomous Uber or some such thing. But is this really going to be a vast societal problem? The heroin spike that’s plaguing our society isn’t going to get worse just because we have self-driving cars.
So rather than dealing in dystopic hypotheticals, let’s turn our attention to legal drug dealing, specifically, the marijuana industry. States with legal weed, or vast expansive medical-marijuana cultures like California, already employ large fleets of drug-delivery drivers. For the companies in that totally legitimate business, autonomous cars could be manna.
“If you go to any one of these delivery services, they are running people into the ground trying to deliver stuff,” says Josh Freedman, CEO of Caddygo, a Pittsburgh startup that provides apps and technology tools for existing taxi companies. “When you talk to these delivery guys, they put on a happy face, but these aren’t jobs that people want.”
Austin Heap, CEO of PotBox, a “premium cannabis delivery service” in San Francisco, which employs eight drivers, says it will be tempting to use autonomous cars when they’re ready, because driving is the most “human capital intensive” side of his company. But he’s not entirely sure it’s right for him.