Four Unexpected Ways Self-Driving Cars Will Change the World

Date: Oct. 17, 2016

“Here is What the Future Looks Like in a World of Self-Driving Cars,” an article that Venky Ganesan wrote for on October 7, is a real eye-opener. Ganesan points out four major ways that the world will change if self-driving cars become commonplace.

All of Ganesan’s predictions are based on simple common sense . . .

  • The financial services industry will be dramatically shaken up. Ganesan points out that according to Experian, the size of the auto loan market is bigger than $850 billion in the U.S. alone. In a new world where fleets of self-driving cars will pick up riders and deliver them to their destinations, the need to own or lease cars could change dramatically. Car-sharing companies like Zipcar have already given us a small glimpse of what this new world could be like.
  • The shape of real estate will be transformed. Houses are now built with driveways and garages to accommodate one or more cars, which are parked by their owners 95% of the time. The need for those spaces in residential real estate could be dramatically reduced. Also, parking lots in office parks, retail areas and other places could begin to shrink in the near future.
  • The auto industry could be severely impacted. It is projected that 75 million cars will be sold globally in 2016, earning car makers $9 trillion. If self-driving cars only eliminate many drivers’ needs for a second car, auto production could fall and the impact on car makers could be extreme.
  • Big changes will come in healthcare and public safety. Self-driving cars hold the promise of reducing the number of car-related deaths and injuries. With nearly 1.3 million people dying in road accidents around the world every year and 2.35 million people being injured or disabled in the U.S. alone, even a small reduction in injuries and fatalities could transform the world of health care. When you stop to think about it, those changes could affect hospitals, emergency responders, physicians, police, and the insurance industry.

To Explore Further . . .

If you’d like to learn more about the future of driverless cars, plan to attend our upcoming Driverless Cities Summit, to be held from October 26-28 in San Mateo, California. The Summit will highlight the latest activities of regulators, modern designs for smart city planning, cutting-edge tech and applications for connectivity and paradigms for allocating funding.