Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Uber | posted March 18, 2016 07:50
Online transport systems to rely heavily on autonomous cars by 2030
We have yet to see or even feel the effects of autonomous vehicle technology in the present but in a forecast made by ABI Research – a company involved in technology market intelligence – indicates that online transport systems like that of Uber and Grab will be using robots to drive customers who book rides online.
Tech giant Google and most of the major automakers have been testing autonomous driving technology in various degrees of development while also working with legislators of different countries in order to legalize the operation of self-driving vehicles, one tiny step at a time.
As consumers, we have seen or even used current auto safety features related to autonomous driving like adaptive cruise control that assists drivers by autonomously slowing or speeding up the vehicle depending on the prearranged distance between the two vehicles set by the driver.
This burgeoning online transport economy that is getting more and more popular with commuters will benefit the most once autonomous driving has been legalized.
“The new car sharing economy happens in three phases: street rental service, ride sharing service, and robotic service. The automotive industry is in the process of merging phases one and two, with robotic service to become the ultimate form of transportation for its availability, convenience, and affordability,” says Dominique Bonte, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research.
With self-driving vehicles, cars that have been booked via an online application will drive itself to the user eliminating the need for a driver to operate the vehicle.
“Car sharing is successful because the increased efficiency through higher vehicle utilization rates drives down costs, which results in more affordable transportation. Why go through the expense of purchasing a car, and then regular insurance and maintenance fees, when we can all embrace the new car sharing economy?” adds Bonte.
This is a prime example of the technology, the demand and a generation raised in this environment converging at right time to launch a new era of mobility.
Crowdsouring, a term and process popularized by Generation Y, will be the driving force behind acceptance of artificial intelligence getting behind the wheel of vehicles in the future. By tapping into the big demand for better transportation in the future, people will ‘share’ their cars to monetize assets instead of leaving it gathering dust in the parking lot.
This major shift is expected to affect various sectors including private and public transportation and the entire automotive industry as well.
“Once the new car sharing economy reaches its final frontier, robotic car services will transform the industry, resulting in in decreased car ownership, blurred lines between public and private transportation, enhanced social mobility, new infotainment paradigms, and an overall consolidation of the automotive industry,” concludes Bonte.