Driverless technology and its financial implications.

Market Update


Graeme W Field

Whether you first saw them in the original Total Recall’s Johnny Cab or Knight Rider’s Kitt, the era of driverless cars will soon be upon us and what is life really going to be like when our journey to work involves conducting board meetings, analyzing spreadsheets or updating numerous social media blogs without trying to negotiate around other much less capable drivers.

With Forbes predicting that 10 million self-driving cars will hit the road by 2020, this is no longer a sci-fi dream but a reality that will be upon us before you can understand the full impact.

But what are the consequences of us living in a driverless society?

The answer is huge – on our own lives, our economies and a realignment of wealth where we are no longer reliant on fossil fuels to power our petrol guzzling muscle cars. In fact, we are more likely to not even own a car with transport being delivered as a service from companies with fleets of vehicles. Standardized vehicles will become ubiquitous and individuality will be reserved for the wealthy as a hobby at an offsite location.

Will we still need Driving Licenses? Transport Police? Parking spaces? Petrol stations? Mechanics? Car Dealerships? Traffic Lights? HGVs?

There will be less accidents (if any at all) therefore the hospitals will need less emergency staff and ambulances, Lawyers will not need to represent clients, Motor insurance won’t be required, the car finance industry no longer needed.

House prices will be likely to rise in the country as the commute to work becomes less onerous.

Hotels may see a decline as more travelers use their vehicles to sleep in overnight

Has there ever been a more significant technological advance that will impact our way of life so much?

Only time will tell, but surely the landscape is changing, and we must be ready for it.

This post is written by Graeme W Field, Head of corporate services at Credence International.