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A Baker's Dozen Of Autonomous Car-Related Revolutions

Take a look at this incredible lineup of industries that face revolutionary change in the face of autonomous vehicle technology.

Insurance
McKinsey predicts they could reduce US auto accidents by 90%. While this might save insurers money on payouts in the near future, demand for insurance will ultimately decrease as risks of a car crash drop.

Auto Repair
Fewer accidents will also mean fewer trips to the body shop. On top of that, mechanics’ traditional expertise will become less valuable as cars become more connected and software-dependent.

Truckers and Drivers
Driverless automobiles will reduce demand for truckers, taxi drivers, and other driving professionals.

Hotels
The proliferation of driverless cars will cut into another big portion of hotels’ customer bases: those who opt for a single-night stay at a roadside motel while driving from one place to another.

Airlines
Once autonomous vehicles make car travel more convenient, many people will choose to take an on-demand car ride for shorter trips instead of going through the many hassles of air travel.

Auto Parts Manufacturing
... smart driving software, like brake assists, will put less wear-and-tear on cars, necessitating fewer replacements.

Taxis/Ride Sharing
... it’s entirely possible that the hardware aspect of driverless cars will quickly become commoditized.

Public Transportation
Why wait around for a bus that will drop you off five blocks from your destination when a driverless car can show up at your doorstep immediately and take you exactly where you want to go?

Parking Garages/Lots
According to McKinsey, [autonomous] fleets could save 61 billion square feet of unnecessary parking space in the US alone.

Fast Food
In self-driving cars, people will simply input the coordinates of their destination, reducing the chance that they will decide to take a detour for an impulse food purchase.

Energy/Petroleum
... the already interrelated shifts toward electric and autonomous vehicles like Tesla’s Model S do suggest that there could be a depressed demand for gasoline itself.

Real Estate
...faster and easier commutes will shift residential property value from properties in urban centers to those in surburban areas.

Media/Entertainment Industry
The average American drives 46 minutes each day, and without having to keep their eyes on the road, they’ll have plenty of time to consume news and entertainment.

David H. Keller gives an amazingly accurate look ahead in his 1935 story The Living Machine:

Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars. Young people found the driverless car admirable for petting. The blind for the first time were safe. Parents found they could more safely send their children to school in the new car than in the old cars with a chauffeur.
(Read more about Keller's driverless car)

Update: 08-Feb-2024: I've found an earlier reference for a autonomous self-driving car in Paradise and Iron by Miles J. Breuer, published by Amazing Stories Quarterly in 1930.

I climbed in and sat down, with a queer feeling at the complete absence of the steering wheel and gear-shift levers. However, on the dashboard were a great many dials; and something was ticking quietly somewhere inside the machine.

Then there was a “clickety-click” and a whirr of the motor, and the car moved gently away from the curb.

End update.

Autonomous cars have been a familiar topic for Technovelgy readers; I think I've explored facets of this topic you might not have seen elsewhere:

Be sure to read this article 13 Industries Other Than Auto That Driverless Cars Could Turn Upside Down, which contains more details, as well as great reference links.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/27/2016)

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Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
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'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

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