An awful lot of work, time and research have gone into this
passionate and detailed case for the benefits of the development and mass production
of autonomous vehicles. In the context
of the technological race between the two tech superpowers of the U.S. and
China, it is in fact a far more comprehensive look at the sector in those two
countries generally, profoundly comparing the economic, social, political and
ethical aspects of the technology around the project. Wilcox has covered every possible angle there
is, to such an extent that it feels like such a complete subject study, the
future of the vehicles themselves at times can appear somewhat incidental. He has put a huge amount of work into this
book, and interviewed some very serious, credible figures on the subject.
This is definitely as professional and academic a trade publication
evaluating this subject as you will find anywhere. But, of course, in that respect be warned: it
is not casual or bedtime reading; it is a high quality book, created with passion
and deep engagement by Wilcox. It is
interesting, for the most part, and extremely well written by an expert in the
field – but only those with a genuine academic, professional or lay-person’s interest
in the subject matter would probably consider it a cover-to-cover read.
The economic, technological and political rivalry between
the nations is an engrossing one, and the abundant eye-opening detail on this, as
well as the industry at large, really showcases Wilcox’s vast knowledge. Sure, there are also plenty of opportunities
taken to have a pop at Trump (what non-fiction doesn’t these days?), but considered
in the context of the overall subject matter, it is well placed and appropriate. For the sake of the global community and the
progress of these shared technological aspirations, most would probably agree
that the race to which this book refers will probably be better run as a
cooperative venture – but of course, as Wilcox explains grandly, the likelihood
of this looks farther away from ever now.
I learnt a lot reading this – not just about the autonomous vehicle
project, but also about diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries. It is a very good book on its topic(s) – the best
you are likely to read, even if you are in the professional loop.
In : Book Reviews