Years from now, we won’t believe that we used to drive ourselves around in giant metal boxes. That we once put flawed, emotional, and sometimes irresponsible human beings behind the wheel will seem ludicrous to us. Especially when you consider the much safer and more accessible alternative: autonomous cars.
Driverless vehicles are useful for freighting, rideshare services, deliveries, and more. Being far more efficient and safer than human drivers, they will be better for the environment and society. Furthermore, they're helpful to populations that lack transportation mobility such as senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Seeing as it’s more a question of “when” rather than “if” autonomous cars will exist, it’s important to understand exactly what life will be like with these driverless vehicles.
By the end of 2021, the U.S. will have sold 51,000 self-driving vehicles. In 20 years (2040), it's estimated that over 30 million autonomous vehicles will be sold each year. This counts for just over 26% of all new vehicles on the road. By 2050, autonomous vehicles are projected to contribute to a new passenger economy that's valued at $7 trillion.
Contributing to this is the increase in delivery service vehicles. It's expected that U.S. deliveries will increase from 50 million daily to 100 million daily by 2026.
We'll likely see more M&A deals between e-commerce businesses, ride-share
companies, and the automobile industry. With more autonomous commercial vehicle partnerships, expect to see more self-driving delivery services.
One thing’s for sure—self-driving vehicles for both personal and commercial use are coming soon and are here to stay.
Some autonomous vehicle companies and ride-sharing businesses are testing new self-driving features. These include allowing clients to reserve an autonomous rideshare vehicle through their app.
For now though, these services are still in the testing phase. These companies are currently testing in urban areas like Las Vegas and San Francisco. Each test car has a designated safety or backup driver who must stay in the vehicle at all times. None of these test cars are accepting fares yet.
Given the early success of self-driving, ride-share services, expect to see an increase in demand in the next few years. Ride-share and car-sharing businesses may switch to autonomous vehicles for their fleets. This can lower labor and health insurance costs, and prevent accidents. This may lead to record revenue streams for ride-share and car-sharing business owners.
Self-driving cars are also beneficial for society, saving the lives of approximately 30,000 drivers or passengers a year. Once self-driving vehicles become commonplace in the U.S., they can reduce automobile fatalities by up to 94% every year. Globally, that means millions of lives will be safer on public roads.
Driverless vehicles are also beneficial for disabled citizens and senior citizens. Having on-demand access to vehicles can provide them with more freedom, will allow them to be less dependent on others, and can improve their quality of life.
However, because driverless vehicles will require their own infrastructure (like different car insurance), they probably won't become ubiquitous until 2035.
Regardless of the roadblocks, the self-driving vehicle industry is expected to increase by 16% every year. What's more, it's anticipated that the autonomous vehicle industry could reach a trillion dollars by 2025.
Just imagine, the CEO that books a self-driving, ride-sharing service to get to work. They could simply input their pickup address, time, and destination, and immediately be provided with an ETA. As an added bonus, they are able to utilize their time more efficiently by using this travel time to complete important tasks.
Another example could be someone with mobility issues, who now has an easy way to book safe and secure travel and the freedom to get anywhere they need to go with ease. The possibilities are endless.
Self-driving vehicles are no longer figments of science fiction movies. Around 33 states have legislation for testing. And, businesses are currently purchasing permits to test these vehicles on public roads.
We're only a few years away from vehicles driving by themselves (some already have self-parking features). Consequently, businesses that get in early on the automated and driverless vehicle market may have the opportunity to leverage these new transportation technologies.
For car sharing business owners ready to tap into this new market, connect with carSHAiR. Our luxury car-sharing app can help you monetize these vehicles as they become available. Plus, we're constantly refining our products to help meet demand and bring you the latest automotive innovations. Sign up with carSHAiR today!