Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Driverless Cars for Atlanta


This has been bugging me ever since I realized that tons of new cars now will park themselves, keep you from rear-ending someone, keep you in your lane, or even stop/start you through congested traffic using radar cruise control.  I realized that all the individual technologies necessary for driverless cars are already here.  Now we just need to put it all together and make this happen for our country, ASAP.

Here is some background– first, a video from Google showing how a blind person is now able to move around:

Now a Ted Talk:

As you start to pay attention, articles like this pop up with loads of useful ideas and arguments for driverless cars.   I’ve been thinking about my own list too:

  • Imagine the millions of hours of productivity gained from so many angles here:
  • Productivity from an extra 60 minutes to respond to e-mails, read a book, or talk to a friend while your car drives you to where you need go
  • Productivity from less time in the car since there won’t be traffic accidents or traffic jams. Every time I’m forced to watch humans argue over how to merge from 2 lanes down to 1, I just think how stupid we humans are compared to what a computer could do for us.
  • Financial boost for individuals because we won’t need to own cars any more. There will be networks of taxis that are affordable enough to pick you up and drop you off anywhere.
  • Business opportunities – a whole new ecosystem is created. Driverless car operators. Amenities. Features. Maintenance. Add-ons, services… premium options and low cost options.  Franchises and more!
  • Think of the improved mental energy from the millions who are now drained after their long afternoon commutes.
  • This infrastructure, compared to “mass” transit makes so much more sense from an economic investment standpoint. Instead of taking Marta out another 10 miles for 25 gagillion dollars, let’s buy a fleet of these vehicles and setup an Uber-like app for ordering your rides.
  • No more DUI’s, ever.
  • Teenagers (and all of the rest of us) become so much safer. Thousands of lives will be saved.

As pilots we are trained in instrument flying that when you become disoriented in the clouds or a sticky situation, often times the safest thing to do is to turn on the autopilot. The computer doesn’t get disoriented. It always knows which was is up, down, and which way is home.  Hand flying is risky.

Atlanta is a big transportation hub. It’s one of our strong points. With companies like UPS, Delta, and Georgia Pacific calling Atlanta home, plus the Tech Startup Explosion that is upon us, I believe we are in a prime spot to lead the driverless car movement.

Somebody tell me how I can help make it happen.


  • kevin sandlin says:

    Also the economically driven increase in suburban growth, because commutes won’t matter when you can rest, read, work on the way to work.

    June 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm
    • Johnson Cook says:

      Exactly. Rather than fight it {sprawl}, just embrace it and use technology to make it work.

      June 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

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