There are many scenes of robots driving cars or cars driving themselves in movies set in the future. It would certainly be convenient if these cars existed in reality. These cars are known as ‘self-driving cars’. Self-driving cars are no longer just figments of the imagination found in sci-fi movies, they have now become a reality.
Even the changes in automobiles occurring today are expected to have a significant impact on the automobile industry and our daily lives.
There are still many obstacles that must be overcome in order to commercialize self-driving cars, but the changes that will make it possible will occur within the next 10 to 30 years. Today, we will take a look at the changes to our daily lives that will come with the self-driving cars.
The development of self-driving cars will take more than simply the ability to drive; many changes will occur to make the self-driving car feasible. Changes will take place in the automobile manufacturing industry and other related industries and these changes will also have an impact on society.
① Automobile Manufacturers
Due to the development of self-driving cars, there is an increase in cooperation between large-scale corporations that was unimaginable before. The world’s leading IT companies and automobile manufacturers are collaborating together to advance the development of self-driving cars now.
Korean companies such as LG and Samsung are teaming up with Audi and BMW respectively. Also, automobile manufacturers such as BMW, GM, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are introducing voice recognition technology so that Apple’s Siri can be implemented in their vehicles.
When self-driving cars are introduced into the market, individuals will no longer purchase cars but pay monthly service fees or simply pay for the use of a car per trip.
② Automobile Related Industries
It can be said that most automobile accidents occur due to human error. Therefore, car insurance is focused on the individual driver. However, when a self-driving car is in an accident, the responsibility will lie on the manufacturer and not the driver.
With this change in the industry, insurance will no longer target drivers but will concentrate on automobile manufacturing technology.
The general concept of parking and parking lots will also change drastically. Since self-driving cars can take the passengers to their destination and park themselves, there is no need for parking lots to be located directly in front of the passengers’ destination.
Even if the car is parked far away from the passengers’ locations, a passenger can call for the car in advance and avoid waiting times. Also, since passengers can sleep while riding in a self-driving car, the use of airplanes for short trips is expected to decrease.
③ Other Industries
Technologies being implemented in self-driving cars are also having an impact in other industries as well. The automation technology that is implemented in self-driving cars is also promoting advances in other types of manufacturing. Productivity is expected to improve due to automation technology. Also, self-driving cars will create great changes in the logistics transportation and distribution industry.
If we as individuals are freed from the burden of driving, that will allow us even more free time throughout the day. This change in society is expected to increase the use of Internet and media consumers.
Up until now, people have owned cars but we have not used cars efficiently as a resource. There are more cars sitting in parking lots than there are on the road. When self-driving cars come into common use and the concept of car-sharing allows us to use cars more efficiently, issues such as limited parking and pollution due to automobiles will become a thing of the past.
Also, as the issue of accidents caused by human error goes away, personal injury and money wasted on accidents will also decrease. If we take into consideration that nearly USD 166B is spent on premiums in the US each year, these changes will have a significant economical impact.
The basic concept of roads will also be much different from what it is now. Roads are currently designed with the driver in mind. The roads now are much wider than the cars that drive on them and signs and notices are necessary to inform drivers. But with the advent of the self-driving car, the current road infrastructure will not be necessary. So, the general infrastructure designed around cars will be changes entirely.
The self-driving car market is expected to reach approximately USD 83B by the year 2030. But there are still many obstacles that must be overcome before self-driving cars can make their way into mainstream use.
A wide array of regulations and plans for dealing with unforeseen circumstances on the road must be put in place. Safety measures must also be considered in order for consumers to gain confidence in self-driving cars.
Once these issues have been resolved, self-driving cars will surely make our lives more convenient. Retirees living in the suburbs are expected to be early adapters to this technology. We can expect to see many changes in the self-driving car industry in the near future.
Written by Daeun Lim, LG CNS Student Reporter