Bob Saunders, Iowa Community Assurance Pool, was the speaker on the impact of autonomous vehicles on just about everything.
Bob Saunders
Guests and Visiting Rotarians
Bob Saunders-- Speaker
Claire and Bob Ashman-- Guests of Chris Knapp and Paula Mompio
Paula Mompio-- Exchange Student
Jenny Seylar-- Guest of Nancy Pacha
A number of people showed up to sort cans on May 19.  It was a huge job.  Phil Peterson would like spotters each week for both North Dodge and Eastside Recycling Center to check out whether the bins need to be emptied so we can organize crews before things get out of hand.  On the good side, more cans means we are making more money through our sorting efforts.
Phil announced that the Board has approved Vernette Knapp as Assistant Secretary.  Dan Kramer was also voted in as a member at the last Board Meeting.
Two grants are in process for next year.  One is in support of a grant being submitted by the Downtown Rotary toward the cost of a walk-in freezer for the Crisis Center.  The Board voted to contribute $2000 toward this project.  Karin Franklin is also working on a grant proposal for us to obtain a bike trailer for the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County.
The playground project is nearly complete and the final report on the project is in process.
Dick Huber demonstrated the sweat towel that will be the give-away for those who enter the June 2 bike event.
Liz Nichols put the attendance report to date on each table.  There is still time to get in make-ups for 100% attendance awards to be given out at the Year-Ender on June 15.  There will be around 40 perfect attendance awards given out, well over half of the club.
There were many happy bucks:  Nancy Pacha gave one in introducing Jenny Seylar, who's son was a West High Interact student.  Deb Dunkhase gave a happy buck in announcing the IAMOST salmon fund-raiser orders.  Amy Nicholson will be traveling for the next month, including a trip to Toronto for the Rotary International Conference.  Liz Loeb is headed to Arizona.  Dan Kramer noted that Liz Loeb was present at his son's birth years ago.
Bob Saunders is an insurance agent with a particular interest in the subject of how autonomous vehicles will impact the insurance market, and just about every other aspect of life in a very short number of years. 
Autonomous vehicles, at least at their initial level, are available now.  The invention process for self-driving vehicles actually started in the 1950's and now the type of vehicle flown by the Jetsons is actually a reality in places like Dubai.
There are a couple of big tests going on right now for autonomous trucks.  Turnover among truck drivers is so big an issue that getting to a state of autonomous driving for truck traffic is a big area of need.  Mercedes is currently testing 600 autonomous trucks.  So far there have been 12 million miles driven on these trucks with no accidents that are attributable to the trucks.  Another test showed only 13 accidents in a large number of miles driven.  There are still a few glitches and concerns about the possibility of autonomous vehicles being hacked.
There will be huge changes in all areas of life as a result of autonomous cars, many of which will begin showing up within the next 10 years.  Insurance costs will change drastically because the car manufacturers will take on the liability portion and those using autonomous vehicles will see large reductions in the cost of the comprehensive portion because the majority of accidents and injuries will be eliminated.  Of course, the cost of insurance for those who remain in non-self-driving vehicles may skyrocket.
People who now give up licenses as they age may no longer be impacted because they will no longer be required to actually drive a car in order to get around in one.  Even blind people may be able to own and operate a car when it is self-driving.  Distracted driving will no longer cause accidents.  Neither will drinking.  It is expected that 75,000 traffic deaths will be eliminated each year and the number of auto injuries will go down from 2.5 million per year to 35,000.
There will be a ripple effect through the whole economy.  There will be no traffic jams.  We will not need as much space for highways.  There will not be tickets given out for traffic violations because the vehicles will be programmed to avoid speeding and reckless behaviors.  There won't even be a need for people to register for drivers' licenses.
There will be a big impact on the need for spending on highways, traffic cops, insurance adjusters and a whole raft of other jobs.  There will be more start-ups in the tech industry making software for autonomous vehicles.  Cities will need to readjust their budgets because less income will be generated from traffic tickets. Cities will not need as many parking garages because there will be fewer personal cars on the road. Fewer people will actually own vehicles because it will be easy to simply borrow an autonomous vehicle or catch a ride from a driver-less "Uber."
Does all this make you scared, or are you one who says "I can't wait!"