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Autonomous Future

Shelley, the autonomous race car

Imagine a world in the not too distant future where human car and truck drivers are the exception rather than the rule. In this segment of River to River: life after driving. Host Ben Kieffer talks with University of Iowa computer scientist Dan Reed to look at ways our society would change when we leave the driving to machines and become mere passengers.

Reed is generally optimistic about the future use of this technology, but says it will change economic models and allow companies to collect more data.

"It pits—if you will—Silicon Valley and Detroit in a battle royal against one another about ownership. Because in some sense, the vehicle is the necessary evil to capture the data and the true economic value will increasingly lie in the data, not the selling of the big hunk of metal you drive down the road," Reed says.

He says the economics will be driven by the analysis of the data, determining how to improve software, and doing targeted marketing which might affect individual privacy.

Later in the program, we learn about the new head of Iowa’s five-billion dollar Medicaid program Mike Randol, and how he managed when he was in charge of Kansas’ transition to privatized Medicaid.  Health Care Reporter for the Kansas City Star Andy Marso joins the program.

Hear about Iowa's Medicaid Director.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River