Say Goodbye to 20th-Century Transportation
by B.J. Murphy
The self-driving market is reaching an all-time high in terms of funding. People - in particular, entrepreneurs - see the near-future potential in self-driving technologies, not to mention the social impact it'll have in terms of safety on our roads.
I've been talking about self-driving vehicles for over 4 years now, providing a layout on how the technology will not only transform our vehicles but the entire transportation industry in and of itself.
We're not just talking about the elimination of human drivers on roads; we're also talking about the elimination of street lights, parking lots, gasoline, car insurance, leases, repair fees, traffic tickets, and car-related fatalities. And it's all coming in the next decade or so.
Global Self-Driving Startup Funding (Millions $)
And I'm not the only one who's been talking about this transportation revolution either. Others include:
"Self-driving cars will enable car-sharing even in spread-out suburbs. A car will come to you just when you need it. And when you are done with it, the car will just drive away, so you won't even have to look for parking."
- Sebastian Thrun, Co-Founder of Google X
"If you recognize that self-driving cars are going to prevent car accidents, AI will be responsible for reducing one of the leading causes of death in the world."
- Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook
"When there's no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle. So the magic there is, you basically bring the cost below the cost of ownership for everybody, and then car ownership goes away."
- Travis Kalanick, Founder & Former-CEO of Uber
"We don’t often think about it, but owning a car and making monthly payments also means paying retail prices for every aspect of getting where you need to go — fuel, maintenance, parking, and insurance. In a future subscription model, the network will cover all of these costs across a large network of cars, passing the savings onto you. We cut the hassle and you get the one thing you really want: the true freedom to ride.
Once this happens — once autonomous networks provide better service at a lower cost — our country will pass a tipping point. And by 2025, owning a car will go the way of the DVD."
- John Zimmer, Co-Founder of Lyft
Those are a lot of big minds aiming for the same goal - the end of 20th-century transportation! Say goodbye to traffic lights, to parking lots, and speeding tickets; say goodbye to lease payments, to car insurance, repair fees, and fuel costs. These minds are ready to disrupt the entire transportation system and transform it into something radically different.
We're talking about a transportation system that is public, first and foremost. It'll be subscription-based, app-based, and solar-based. They'll be completely automated, making human drivers a thing of the past. And you won't even look back, just as we never look back today and wished the rotary phone was never replaced by smartphones.
Then again, like the rotary phone, there may still exist some privately-owned vehicles that have to be driven by human hand. Granted, I believe the vast majority of people will opt for the future of transportation, but for those who'd choose old-school over new-school, that'll ultimately be their choice.
So what about you?