Want to know what business opportunities will emerge from the self-driving revolution?
Buckle up! We are going for a ride!
I will break down the new opportunities, products, uptrends and downtrends which will happen after the self-driving car will become a reality for everyone. And as a bonus: taxi wars will go into history books. More on this below.
Thinking about the new possibilities we need to step out of the driver set of mind and think about what, where and how the cars are used in our society.
Immediately, we understand why an internet technology company (Google) is leading the way in this venture while we would expect the car manufacturers to be tones that do it.
*seems that car and self-driving car need an alias of their own, hence the self-driving car will be named SDC from now on.
**opportunities and trends will be highlighted in various colors
Legal aspects of self driving cars:
The first things that come to mind are accidents. Let’s entertain some scenarios
- Regular car collides with SDC with no damage to humans. This scenario is pretty normal, in fact, this already happened! The traffic inspection and court will conclude whose fault it is and rule accordingly.
But what will happen in 2-3 years? If 99% of cases will rule in favor of SDCs, will the legal system be biased against the human driver?
- Regular driver car with REGULAR driving car – I know, I know, we already have it now, but in the near future, the society might judge you on that poor choice of “Driving your own car” (Driven while human!).
If there are human casualties, the family of the victim will cry murder in court. The difference is, they will blame the car manufacturer for letting people drive in the first place. Basically “don’t drink and drive” will become “don’t drive”.
Not so new Profession: lawyers for manual drivers (good idea for those that will have trouble adapting to new era)
- Naturally: SDC vs SDC – who covers what? The decision making process of both cars will have to be compared.
New profession: SCD data forensics – companies dedicated to understanding what went wrong and whose fault is that.
It doesn’t looks like it but this is a big thing. This is why:
Two cars collide. One from BMW and other from Toyota. Both manufacturers used their own algorithms to drive the cars. The algorithms might be incompatible in 0.00001% of situations. Doesn’t seem much but we can write a book about what a “situation” is. Both manufacturers had to interpret and apply rules issued by a local SCD Control Agency. (French cars – never, ever go to Britain).
Both companies don’t want to reveal their algorithms. The insurance company is blaming the manufacturer. The manufacturers blames the SDC rule book for vague statements and the victims’ families demand blood!
This gives us tons of opportunities (sorry for a bit of black humor)
New Business: Car manufacturing mediators. Basically a ton of geeks which will be examining the car software without giving away the secrets\patents
- Cars with no passengers – more on this below, but whose fault it is when two cars with no people inside collide?
Who will know and how?
New business: SDC evacuation a “seek and tow” business.
- Professional drivers (see taxi wars below) – we all seen what happened to Uber when their interests collided with conventional taxi businesses. But this time the impact will be enormous. Taxi, bus, track, train, delivery and drivers in general will lose their jobs!
New Business: all leasing agencies and rental firms will provide cars on demand per drive, no one will own a car ever!
New profession: car herder, a person that will heard a car park to car washes and from x to y in general.
Up trending profession – car park managers, people that are responsible to maintain a car inventory.
- Patent trolling – imagine yourself a lawsuit named “your car turns like mine!)
I think the legal perspective is wider than that but the general idea is – the lawyers will be very happy.
Here are some more opportunities:
New Profession: SCD lawyers and consequently DAs.
New product: Car accident monitors and statistic gathering tools.
New Business: SDC related big data analytics of the car accidents to see trends and prevent accidents.
This opportunity will have several phases – incubation phase will last while we move from regular driving to SCD. The analytics will focus on optimization of SCD movement to become entirely “human proof” when it comes to humans on road, walking or driving.
This will come with or after the data gathering tool: analytics of even bigger big data sources when the car accidents will be related to multiple “Chain” accidents that involve only SCDs
Just for fun: what will happen if there will be collision between a SDC, a self-driving truck and Amazon’s drone? (Another lawyer party I guess)
When there will be enough SDCs on the road the movement optimization will kick in hard. Optimizing route length, speed, distances between automated cars, optimizing air resistance to reduce fuel consumption, rerouting traffic during specific day time.
All of this will make our SDCs so integrated with our life, we would not be able to participate as regular drivers on the road, unless some algorithm will show that there is a human behind the wheel and give a priority for the “dangerous” vehicle.New Business: Optimization companies. Their focus will be on fuel and time consumption.
New gadget – “I’m a human” beacon. A device that will visually and wirelessly (WI-FI-ly?) notify all vehicles, human controlled or not that your car is operated by a human.
At home with your drone car:
Most middle class families have more than one car. This makes the car manufacturers happy. With the SDCs the demand will be reduced dramatically.
Here some great scenarios that will benefit us, the consumers:
- One car will serve the whole family. At the morning one car will drrive everybody to work and go rest somewhere safe. The kids will be dropped at school (if the cars will be safe enough the kids would not need those goofy car seats, the baby car seat companies will lose their businesses)
Product Uptrend: video chatting software will be a common thing to converse with the teachers and kindergarten personnel because the parents will never get to those places ever.
Sending stuff by car – forgot your jacket at home, no problem whoever is at home will send it to you! Miss your pet? Same thing, you walk the dog at noon at your work and send the pet back!
Downtrend: Dog walkers will become a profession of the past.
Sending cars to pick up food. Forget about pizza delivery or any type of delivery at all. Send the car and pick it up.
New product – car owner identification, you don’t want that pizza be given to someone else’s car!
Job downtrend: pizza delivery.
New job: package loaders to the SDCs at any physical product based business.
Ever wanted to go hiking and struggled to find a round route so you could come back to your car? No problem, now the car will pick you from any place!
New trend: nature routes will be developed with more concern to their beauty rather than hiker needs
Business opportunities in a robot car world:
The business landscape will change and reach new heights.
Logistics – all the logistic firms will become more effective, no more drivers and no more dead hours, those trucks will drive themselves 24/7.
New downtrend: the truck count will go down because they will be more utilized so your limit would be only your inventory size!
New business: truck on demand, truck provider to delivery businesses.
*For those that are familiar with cloud computing – truck cloud it is! (For those that not – you increase your inventory based on your workload, ensuring optimal resource utilization)
- Leasing and rental cars will be the only cars there are! No one will own a vehicle because you can order one online and use it per ride. Buses will be used for city tours only.
- Roads will be optimized beyond recognition, they will be narrower without street lights (watch out street light and sign makers you are doomed), and there will be less concern about weight bearing because different roads will serve different purposes.
- City panning – SDCs might get somewhere else to park, perhaps outside of city. This means that there will be no need to create parking spaces in the city or in neighborhoods. Underground parking will no longer be required and perhaps re-utilized as workspaces (underground workspace might be depressing)
New job: SDC friendly city planners and architects
- Home architecture might change too, no need to plan garages – extra rooms for everybody!
- off road industry will thrive, they will have to create vehicles that have SDC and manual driving options alike.
- The real change in the SDC business will not come in form of new cars. It will be the adoption kits that will change it all. no one would give away or better say no one will buy second hand cars that have no SDC capabilities, so people will be stuck with their 20000$ cars and the only way to get out of this this is by redesigning the existing cars.
New business: SCD kit manufacturer’s
New business: SCD installation garages
New job: SDC installation mechanics
New business: SCD testing and licensing agencies
New crime: counterfeited SCD kits
New YouTube channels: SDC kit reviewers and hacks
E-businesses will thrive – there will be a huge demand to communicate with your SDCs
New business: Car controlling apps for all devices
New business: car rental apps
New business: carpooling apps to reduce costs
New Job: SDC based offices for traveling agents. You can work from your car!
New job: Car office space designers
Mobile market opportunity: SDCs will have to be wired to 4G all the time
Business change: SDC will have sensors on the roof, this will change the car washes
New business: car park management apps
New business: SDC usage planner based on your calendar
New business: in-car advertisements to reduce the usage costs
Leisure in a world without driving:
We will be able to travel foreign countries in a renal SDC
New business: car tour planners
Job down trend: touring guides
We might choose to travel by car instead of a plane, since you can spend time doing fun stuff rather than driving the time saving factor will be reduced. On other hand, even if the drive will take 10 hours, it might still be better than plane because you need to drive to the airport, pass security, boarding, seat with other people and wait for baggage pick up.
Down trend: internal flights
Sleeping in a car will become a common thing, if you are sleep deprived parent, what can be better than 45 minutes of sleep while going to work and back?
New product: sleep friendly car seats, sleeping solutions
Not driving will spare tons of time. This time is better well spent. People can learn new skills, play games, listen to music or watch movies
New product: car entertainment systems on a whole new scale.
The great taxi war:
This one is not very hard to predict. As they say, the best way to predict future behavior is to study the past events.
We all heard about what happened to Uber. To say the least, the taxi drivers are not happy but nobody cares too much because we are grew tired of their overpriced fees and we are double annoyed when we have to deal with them in airports (50-70$ for a drive from JFK).
We can understand the taxi drivers, they are working weird and hard hours, they deal with all kind of people and new car services replace them easily. They are losing their profits.
When SDC will kick in, they will lose their jobs. Immediately. The same will happen to the rest of professional drivers and this time they will join forces. This time everybody will care because every family has relatives that earn money from driving.
When SDC will kick in, they will lose their jobs. Immediately.
I think this is what going to happen:
The great strike – all professional drivers will go on strike while SDC is still not ready to take their place. They will have only one demand – no SDC should drive without a human inside and no SDC should be used to earn money. They will not have any real solutions because SDC is impacting them in all ways possible which will limit their ability to compromise.
The big companies will find a back door, this might be a legal settlement or a foot in the door technique. Their goal is – creating a critical mass of SDCs which, in time, will eliminate the professional drivers leverage.
The taxi war will be not against humans but mostly against cars, they will hunt them down and destroy what they can.
New product: SDC protection system
Now the governments and activist groups will kick in. the legal system will be paralyzed – too many people will be arrested and there is no place to put them. The numbers are just too great to handle.
Voting – the new leaders of the future will have the biggest vote count, in case they will promise to eliminate the SDC threat. this will lead to possibility that every candidate will be against SDC
SCDs will win. Supply and demand will work its magic. tis will lead to unemployment and budget deficits due to huge increase ins welfare demand
the drivers will have to learn new jobs and adopt to new reality
New business: driver rehabilitation centers
New uptrend: private education companies will teach new skills for 99.99 a month, employment guarantied!
This concludes the outline of the taxi wars. It is very structural and we cannot even imagine how much emotional impact it will make.
Families will be ruined, there will be murders and suicides.
Eventually everything will settle but with a great prize!
Those things happened in the past – industrial revolution, computer era but this time it will be so fast that our ability to adjust gradually will be very limited.
SDC will bring a new world to us. New jobs will be created, old jobs will become obsolete.
Many businesses will benefit from the bow technology. But most of all, the society will become a much more productive and thriving place.
I can’t wait!