4 Ways Self-Driving Cars Will Change Your World


Swanka Burnette
Business Development Manager

Arthur C. Clarke once stated that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The widespread adoption of driverless cars is indeed a fantastical proposition. Here are four ways autonomous, automated, self-driving and driverless vehicles will shake up the transportation and logistics industry:

In light of recent events casting doubt on the safety of driverless vehicles, the truth remains that passenger vehicle travel with humans behind the wheel is statistically one of the most dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two out of three motorists will be involved in an accident during their lifetime. Car accidents account for 25 percent of all traffic congestion. There will probably always be people who like to drive themselves, but eventually the safety consequences will be recognized as unacceptable when there are safer options available.

Where People Live
Imagine for a moment an hour-long, one-way commute – an all too common experience for those living here in the DMV, as well as places across the nation and around the world. Now imagine that you are free to do as you please during that hour-long commute. You could sleep, work, read, crochet a scarf – it’s all fair game. Might you consider living further out if driverless cars make driving long distances more relaxing? Perhaps the opposite would happen. Maybe more people would move into cities as more efficient and convenient driverless taxis proliferate.

Infrastructure Changes
While there is still uncertainty regarding how quickly the widespread adoption of driverless cars will happen, there is no doubt as to its viability. Companies that specialize in self-driving car technology are racing to the  finish line (pun intended). We are likely to have large numbers of self-driving cars, buses, trucks and machines in our cities within the next decade. The impacts are startling and varied:

  • Fewer privately owned cars and parking lots;
  • Better flowing urban and highway traffic;
  • Changes or delays to new road infrastructure projects;
  • Increased average-occupancy-per-vehicle;
  • Less tolerance for human error in driving;
  • A reduction in unproductive commute hours (by as much as 2.7 billion hours).

Economic Development
According to an estimate by Intel Corporation and Strategy Analytics, the economic effects of autonomous vehicles will total $7 trillion in 2050. Companies like Daimler AG, Nissan, Subaru and Tesla have all made and continue to make significant R&D investments to install automated keep-the-lane, keep-the-distance, steering and lane-switching technologies in their flagship vehicles. The economic impact is far-reaching. Car manufacturers are actively seeking partners from non-automotive and automotive-adjacent industries such as information technology, electronics and software.

Do you work with or own an automated vehicles company that’s shaping the fundamental changes the technology brings to our economic and social systems? Stop by booth 4227 at AUVSI XPONENTIAL in Denver, CO and talk to me about bringing your operation to Loudoun County. Don’t have a pass yet? Sign up below for a free complimentary hall pass.