Worker Productivity While Inside AI Driverless Cars, It’s Murky

Lance Eliot
15 min readMar 22, 2019

Dr. Lance B. Eliot, AI Insider

Will workers be more productive or less productive by use of AI self-driving cars

What We Do in Our Cars

When you are driving a car, there is only so much else that you can accomplish other than actually driving the car.

When you are a passenger, you can try to accomplish tasks and have a better chance since you presumably are not required to pay attention to the driving (assuming you trust the driver!). It can be hard though as a passenger to get a lot done since the rocking movement of the car tends to make it difficult to write or read, and you might also suffer from motion sickness while trying to do so. Taking a nap is maybe one handy way to use the time as a passenger.

Some economists suggest that the time we spend in our cars today is relatively vacant of productivity. The normal passenger car driver is considered negligibly productive since they are focused on the driving task (a role that is perhaps only “productive” in terms of providing transit from point A to point B, but otherwise adds no further value, presumably). Passengers might have some amount of productivity, but it is considered rather low due to the nature of the “work” environment as available in a typical passenger car. All in all, the time we spend in our cars is often considered wasted or under-utilized with respect to being productive.

Overall, we need to try and grapple with the notion of productivity. What is considered as being productive and thus constituting productivity?

Trying to Figure Out Productivity

If you are measuring productivity of a person working on an assembly line in a manufacturing plant, you could in a straightforward manner count how many widgets they are making per hour. Then, if you can make changes to increase how many widgets that person is producing per hour, you’ve presumably increased the productivity of that person. It’s the classic definition of productivity being the equation of output divided by input (for labor productivity, it is customary to use output volume produced as divided by labor input used).

Labor productivity in today’s world is not so easily counted. We have been shifting to a knowledge-based form of workforce. You cannot quite so easily come up with simpleton…

Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.