The Self Driving Car: Bringing you Convenience, Luxury and…Obsolescence?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Self Driving Car: Bringing you Convenience, Luxury and…Obsolescence?

Self Driving Cars

Self driving cars promise a future with fewer accidents, fewer traffic violations, and more time for people to do what they want. On the other hand, self-driving cars will make many of our tasks and jobs obsolete. Here are a few examples.

New technology is always replacing old technology. This is a good thing, for the most part. Both experts and the general public are looking forward to self-driving cars replacing cars driven by humans. There should be fewer accidents, fewer traffic violations, and more time for people to do what they want. However, it is important to note that self-driving cars will make many things obsolete. This will be positive overall, but will inevitably have some negative impact.

Will Traffic Officers Be Obsolete?



The vast majority of traffic violations are caused by human decisions. For example, a person may choose to go over the speed limit, which can result in them getting pulled over. A self-driving car, however, will not have this problem. It can easily be programmed to follow speed limits precisely. While this will certainly make driving safer, it will also put a lot of traffic officers out of work due to the reduced number of traffic violations. There are around 900,000 police officers in the United States, and many of them will lose their jobs. As with many of the dynamics sure to be caused by self-driving cars, it will make the world a better place, but not without casualties.

Valets and Parking Lot Attendants May Lose Their Jobs


Valets and Parking Lot Attendants May Lose Their Jobs

Self-driving cars will also be able to self-park. In fact, some cars on the market today can already self-park. These cars will eventually put valets and parking lot attendants out of a job. While this demographic may sound inconsequential, there are over 140,000 people in this line of work throughout the country. These people are out of luck, but those with self-parking cars can save time and money.

Possibly the Hardest-hit Segment: Delivery Drivers


Possibly the Hardest-hit Segment: Delivery Drivers 
While thousands of people work as valets and parking lot attendants, over 1.3 million work as delivery drivers in some capacity. Postal workers, those working for private package delivery services, pizza delivery workers, and many more will likely lose their jobs. These companies will not have to pay their workers, so they should be able to lower prices. Also, those receiving the deliveries will not be obligated to tip a self-driving car as they would a human. This will save them up to 15 or 20 percent of the cost of the delivery. There will still likely be a few delivery drivers for specialized packages, but this occupation will largely become a thing of the past.

Self-Driving Cars May Finish off the Railway Industry


Self-Driving Cars May Finish off the Railway Industry
The railroads were instrumental in the development of America. They provided fast, safe travel in a time before cars. Once cars became commonplace, railway travel started to decline. After being in declines for decades, it is has experienced a slight resurgence as of late with the advent of high-speed rail. These trains are very safe and can go nearly 200 miles an hour. However, they are still confined to railways, which self-driving cars are not. Also, with automotive travel being made much safer, speed limits may be raised as self-driving cars can drive almost flawlessly at any speed. This will further reduce any advantage trains may have over cars.

The timing is bad for the railway industry as well. The federal government has spent $11 billion dollars on high-tech trains and rails. Self-driving cars may mean all of their efforts are for nothing.

Car Insurance


Car Insurance and self driving cars

The auto insurance industry is massive, with gross revenues of over $50 billion dollars a year for the biggest companies. However, the number of accidents would be greatly reduced with self-driving cars. This would, in turn, lower insurance premiums massively. It's not out of the question that state governments could stop requiring insurance altogether. While many people would still have limited policies, the bottom lines of car insurance companies would suffer greatly.

Mobile Provider Internet


Many people lucky enough to have self-driving cars would want to browse the Internet while waiting to get to their destination. It stands to reason that self-driving cars would have their own mobile dedicated Internet. This may come in the form of satellite Internet, Internet provided by cell phone companies like Sprint and Verizon, or some other form of wi-fi not yet commonplace.

57% of people browse the Internet on their phones. If people can use faster and cheaper Internet on their mobile devices than the Internet provided by their phone company, this could make the service obsolete. While Internet usage takes up a great deal of bandwidth, phone companies are able to make money from it. Self-driving cars may end up hurting their bottom lines, as well.

SOURCE  - Top Image via Vimeo

By Lindsey Patterson Embed


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