Driverless cars are set to make road travel much safer, some saying up to 90%. While this might save money on payouts, in the end, it will lower the demand for insurance considerably. In anticipation for this trend, some insurance companies are shifting to a more usage-based insurance policy (such as Youi) as well as how safe a driver you are.
Car Repairs and Parts
Lower instances of accidents also means less repairs. And with cars becoming smarter this could also mean much of a mechanics expertise could become a built in system of your car. There is no need for long expensive treble shooting to find what is causing an issue when the car can sense what is wrong with it.
As well as the cost of repairs, parts manufactures could see a real decline in sales as self-driving cars will be more efficient at breaking and will use less brake pads as a result. And industries such as computer hardware, which before weren’t evolved in the car industry at all, will be integral parts.
Chauffeur and Trucking
The advent of driverless cars will mean less demand for professional drivers such as Taxi, Chauffeur and Truck drivers. Instead, companies will be able to manage their fleets from remote control centers with optimal efficiency. Driverless trucks are already being used in the iron ore mines in the Pilbara and being controlled from 1,200 km away in Perth.
The future of the hotel industry is looking even worse than its present. They are already struggling to capture the youth market with younger people turning to services like Airbnb when vacationing. And with self-driving cars coursing down the freeways people will be less likely to have a stop over in a cheap Motel and would rather sleep in their self-driving car and get to the destination that much faster.
Self-driving cars are at least a possibility but although 2015 has come and gone self-flying cars don’t seem on the horizon, much to the dismay of Marty McFly. But domestic and short haul flights could face a real threat from self-driving cars. Why mess with the many hassles of air travel when you can chill out in the back of the car, watch the latest Game Of Thrones and feel rested for that important meeting.
As Audi’s VP Sven Schuwirth said “Your car wakes you up at four o’clock in the morning, picks you up and drives you autonomously the entire way from Munich to Berlin. You can sleep, you can prepare for your meeting, you can call your friends and family, do whatever you want and you enter Berlin in a very relaxed mood.”
It will be interesting to see how ride sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft will react to the self-driving car revolution. Lyft has partnered with General Motors to build a fleet of autonomous cars and Uber is said to be ‘looking’ into self-driving cars. The structure of these companies would change immensely with the advent of driverless cars as they would no longer have to pay drivers but would have to pick up the maintenance and cost of the car its self, a cost they have until now palmed off to third parties and drivers.
Why take a bus from down the street to the same suburb as your destination when an autonomous car can pick you up at your doorstep and drop you exactly where you need to be? With automation, ride sharing will become cheaper than it is already and will make it available to more and more people. And with the addition of automated car pooling, the cost could drop even more for the end consumer.
Reportedly 65% of McDonald’s sales come through the drive through. This makes fast food companies very vulnerable to the advent of driverless cars as people will input the destination and may not be distracted by road side food. But this could be combated by digital billboards or in car pop ups maybe?
Entertainment and Mobile Data
With the advent of driverless cars, we will still be traveling for the same amount of time but we will be able to consume entertainment and media along the way when we usually wouldn’t be able to. This means that media companies will have to make what we want available to us on the go. This will also create more of a strain on the mobile networks, as more people will be using mobile data when they otherwise wouldn’t.
With new forms of wireless communication come new vulnerabilities to outside attack. As demonstrated by Wired, a driverless Jeep Grand Cherokee was hacked while on the road and the hackers were able to disable the accelerator. Companies will need to create new ways to stave off attack and keep the car’s systems safe and secure.