driverless cars

Driverless cars seem to be the inevitable future. Today, we are going to discuss some of the most pertinent questions like are consumers really ready to cede control of their vehicles? Is it safe to trust driverless cars in a world full of human error? In short, what do driverless cars hold for the future of the auto sector?

To address these questions, we first need to understand what an autonomous vehicle or a self-driving car actually is. According to the definition of  Level Four Autonomy by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an autonomous vehicle is one that can operate without the intervention of a driver, under any condition, regardless of weather and infrastructure constraints.

Over the period of the next five years, driverless vehicles will become more persuasive. Car manufacturing giants like General Motors, Waymo and Ford have already announced plans to launch a completely autonomous vehicle by 2021.

But for people who love to drive and find it difficult to trust machines to steer their cars, a driverless car might not be that appealing. If you’re one of those then here’s a fact that might convince you to warm up to the idea of driverless cars- Did you know that in the U.S alone, traffic accidents claim more than 30,000 lives a year? Moreover, this figure is expected to rise with each passing year. Research claims that autonomous cars can reduce road accidents by 90%. Eventually, driverless cars aim to take humans out of the equation entirely. And when we reach that level, traffic fatalities will reduce by a great deal.

Driverless cars can make our lives easier, save time and improve the passenger’s experience. But we can’t ignore the ripple effects caused by this big disruptive shift. The switch to driverless cars is a big change, and it has the power to alter the motor market in strange yet remarkable ways. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1- Driverless cars will be expensive

According to Austin Russel, CEO of Silicon Valley startup Luminar, a truly autonomous car can cost anywhere between $300,000 to $400,000 apiece. This is too expensive for most people to own and that’s why most car manufacturers are concentrating on bringing down the cost to make it more affordable.

According to another prediction by PwC, by 2030, 50% of an automobile will be made up of electronics, which will increase the manufacturing costs by one-third as compared to the current prices. The future of the automobile industry will see a great shift in value from traditional auto manufacturers to electronics companies, as the software will form the core of all automotive systems. Hence, traditional automobile part manufacturers may become almost non-existent in the future, as cars become more tech-based.

2- Automobile dealers will take a backseat

As the likes of Google and Uber prepare to launch self-driving cars, the car dealership industry will face a big blow. Unfortunately, the direct-to-consumers model being offered by Tesla, Google and Uber will leave no room for auto dealers. According to a statistic, the auto dealership industry has a market of over $864 billion and accounts for more than a million jobs.

3- Insurance companies will have to lower their premiums

One of the biggest ways in which autonomous cars will impact the automobile industry is that it will raise complexities for insurers. Experts are already weighing how self-driving cars and AI will affect auto insurance.

As driverless cars become the new norm, experts predict that road accidents will decline by a huge percentage. Once autonomous cars get over the initial hiccups, there will be a potential decrease in fatal car crashes. What’s more, even technological advancements like Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have reduced car accidents by 40 percent, causing sleepless nights for the auto insurance industry already.

After the advent of driverless cars, many car insurers will have to lower their premiums or risk being thrown out of business by their competitors.

4- Gasoline will take a backseat

Driverless cars are not going to be gasoline powered. In fact, the future is all about electric cars which means that there will a lot less pollution and oil can be put to use for other crucial uses. Plus, electric cars are quieter which means there will be a lot less noise pollution too!

5- Traffic flow will improve

According to research by a Rutgers University-Camden scholar, Benedetto Piccoli, self-driving cars will help prevent traffic jams because they will drop off the passengers and zoom off. Which means no more drivers circling the block to find parking.

Conclusion:

Coming home to work in an autonomous car after a tiring day seems like a dream. Especially when one can read, sleep or simply relax during their journey. Commuting to work by car is a huge stress factor which is why people dread driving in the rush hour. The advent of driverless cars can result in urban centers being a lot less crowded and more livable. People will not hesitate to live in the suburbia as the drive to and from work will be a pleasant one.

Driverless cars are the beginning of a new era, and things will get easier if we learn to adapt to it instead of resisting it.

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ABOUT Erica Silva

Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place.

Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1

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