Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) are entering the testing stage by a few big companies whether it is in the technology sector (Google) or in the automotive sector (Tesla). With the development of the self-driving vehicle, starting off with self-driving car technology, it could bring some impact on the economy and mobility as well as society surround us. In this entry, we are going to list down ten potential implications that AV could bring in our life. This list is based on the interview that was done to more than 30 experts across Europe, United States as well as Asia.
In order to simplify things, we divide the AV diffusion into three eras. The first era is when the fully autonomous vehicles are in the development stage before released to the consumers. The second era is when the AVs are available to the consumers and they begin to use the AVs in their daily life whereas the third era is when the AVs become the primary means of transport and it speeds up the robot developments for consumer use.
- AVs in controlled environment.
AVs actually are already becoming a reality in the controlled environment such as mining and farming. The benefit of this implementation is the reduction of labor cost and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. It is reported that the emission was cut up to 60%. Other implementations are in the construction and warehousing sectors such as AVs for forklifts, excavators and loaders. In the medium terms, we could expect AVs for on-highway trucks. The prototypes are already exists and currently is being tested on the public road. The long term AVs might include AVs for parcel delivery or automated drones which a few players have already in the testing stage of this.
- Car OEMs adoption.
There are four strategies that the car OEMs can adopt during the early stage of AVs.
- Premium incumbents, normally established premium players with large customer bases as well as strong technical and commercial legacies will fall under this category. They will try to gradually integrate the self-driving car technologies into their vehicles.
- Attackers, which is new industry players coming up with entirely different vehicle structure and able to capture a large consumer base as well as sustain the business model.
- Fast followers which is the OEMs who have enough technical and commercial legacies to invest in AVs and then wait until the price to drop before they enter the market.
- Late entrants or nonadopters which is the automakers who only enter the AVs market in the long term.
- New transport model.
The model refers to other transport-mobility innovations which already hitting on the road such as pay-per-use models such as car pooling, car sharing or peer-to-peer car rentals.
- Changes on car-service industry.
Even before AVs is released to the public, roughly about 80% of car-service shops have already independent from its OEMs. Therefore for safety reasons, it is better if the component and services provided to the AVs need to be strictly from the original manufacturer.
- Changes on car-insurance industry.
Currently, car insurance cover accidents occur because of human error. However, when the AVs released to the market, the car insurance might shift the focus to cover the accidents caused by technical failure of the AVs instead of human errors.
- AVs in Supply Chains.
With the AVs becoming available, it can help to optimize the supply chains and logistics operations which in then end will reduce the labor cost while increasing the productivity as well as save the delivery time.
- Time taken for commute will be reduced.
AVs are expected to be able to reduce the time taken for commuting by as much as 50 minutes per day for users. Therefore, instead of concentrating on the road and not able to do anything less, commuters now will be able to do anything else i.e. working, resting or accessing entertainment while commuting.
- AVs in parking.
Parking might be a simple thing for drivers, however, with the AVs, it could reduce the time taken for the driver to find a parking space as well as park his or her car. On top of that, AVs could reduce the space that is required to open the door for the driver to alight the car. In the end, it will save the parking space in the US itself to about 5.7 billion square meters.
- Lower accident rates.
The overall annual cost of roadway accident in US itself in 2012 was $212 billion. With the AVs, the figure could be reduced up to 90% which most probably saved about $190 billion. These accidents normally are caused by inattentive drivers which something that AVs do not have.
- AVs to speed up robot developments.
AVs and robots turn out to share many technologies and infrastructure together such as the remote advanced sensing, GPS, image recognition, advanced artificial intelligence, recharging station, service centers as well as machine-to-machine communication networks. Therefore, when the AVs implementation is successful, it will make way for robots implementation.
These ten points above provides a glimpse of how AVs could change our daily life. In regards of shaping this landscape effectively will be a challenge to the industry as well as regulatory authorities in the future.