The Future of Self-Driving Cars with Malcolm Gladwell & Chris Urmson [Video]

At the 2019 SXSW Conference, NBC News correspondent Jo Ling Kent sat down with Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author and host of the podcast Revisionist History, and Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of self-driving car startup Aurora, to discuss their visions of how self-driving cars will impact society in the future.

"Cybersecurity is fundamentally important, but this is not a self-driving car problem; this is a connected world problem that we have to solve. And I think that the people in Silicon Valley take this pretty darn seriously." – Chris Urmson

Gladwell returned to SXSW this March for the World Premiere of Autonomy, a documentary on the topic that he executive produced. While Gladwell is passionate about autonomous vehicles, he is not as optimistic about their adoption as Urmson, whose startup develops the technology. The conversation more closely resembled a debate than an endorsement for the emerging technology with Gladwell providing an antidote to Silicon Valley’s ‘work fast, break things’ ethos. His observations on the security vulnerabilities and integration of this technology into working systems are addressed by Urmson, but warrant further exploration as this technology continues to develop.

"If it’s not done right, this technology makes congestion worse. If it’s done properly, it could radically improve congested highways. That difference between getting it right and getting it wrong is not up to people like Chris, it’s up to politicians and legislatures. It’s about rules and regulations, and setting up institutions and structures that push this technology in the right direction." – Malcolm Gladwell

Watch the full session featuring Jo Ling Kent, Malcolm Gladwell, and Chris Urmson as well as more SXSW 2019 videos from Conference, Featured Speakers, and Keynotes on our YouTube channel.

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Featured Session: Self-Driving Cars:The Future is When? - Photo by Akash Kataria

By Hayden Bagot