Automomous Vehicles – the world where no one owns a car

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Vehicles are about to have a mind of their own and this will have signifcant implications for car owners, planners and industry. Lets quickly explore some of the implications.

The first industries to be disrupted will be any that are already close to semi automation. Automation in the sense that there is a driver on behalf of other passengers. As passengers are already used to a “third party” driving on their behalf it will be an easier psychological adoption in terms of full automation. eg. taxi, bus etc.

Fixed route longer range transportation like trucks, buses etc will be disrupted early as they have less complication in terms of creative requirement.

Fixed routes in terms of roadways make it possible to plot a destination and AI to follow an appropriate course to destination. There is not much gained by a human being involved so expect this would follow rapidly after, allowing for limiting adoption factors such as lifetime value of existing vehicle fleet and generational behaviour.

Rural environments and other non prescriptive terrains may require human involvement for much longer as alluded too above.

Peter Diamandis suggests non-ownership of vehicles will occurr within ten years. In this scenario individual and group transportation is a service but with the same benefits and flexibility as ownership. For consumers with choice, brand loyalty becomes important, perhaps why “Tesla” is so careful to build a brand culture similar to the way “Apple”did.

The novelty factor will drive adoption from the tech savvy and/or young segments much like UBER disrupted with ordering via an APP. It will be fun to watch a driverless car turn up pick you up and take you somewhere.

Prestige and higher benefit requirements will still play a role with some consumers wanting to pay more for a vehicle on site and/or with luxury experiences.

Ultimately this could become a massive brand service push as manufacturers or intermediary brands attempt to hook you in to a their transportation subscription or pay as you go service.

The industry will transform as we know it over the next 20 years, as smaller service centres disappear, high volume service centres will spring up to service branded vehicles. Car sales companies will reduce and sell specialised or prestige vehicles for the wealthy. In car entertainment demand will skyrocket. Huge numbers of vehicles will be removed from the overall fleet size as non utilisation in-efficiencies improve with artificial intelligence…. exciting times ahead my friends…

By Hayden Breese

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