Daimler & Bosch Will Bring Autonomous Car Within 5 Years
Daimler & Bosch have no choice as all the other major players are doing it. In the long term it means the beginning of the end of private car ownership for many. The car fleet will become an extension of public transport. Substantially fewer cars will deliver the same transport effort. Autonomous driving cars will have a much higher occupancy rate, both in terms of hours per day on the road as well as the ability of transporting more than one person at the same time. Especially younger people can defer the moment of private car ownership until they are really settled, if they can be persuaded to own an expensive car at all, now that a much cheaper alternative will be available. Retired people won’t need to own an expensive car at all.
It is good for everybody except the car industry itself, that will sell decreasing numbers. It is good for the cities with fewer cars parked for 95% of the time and it is good for the environment as the same transport effort can be accomplished with fewer cars with corresponding less embodied energy. Commuting can be done by occupying cars with five or more rather than one passenger, by applying intelligent algorithms to match transport supply and demand, allowing for small detours and/or changing cars en route. Traffic jams will disappear as a consequence. The taxi driver will vanish once and for all.
The autonomous driving car, essentially a cheap taxi, could be a good compromise to continue to bring door-to-door transport for everyone, yet at the same time diminish the role the car is playing in day to day life.
[techcrunch.com] – Daimler and Bosch: fully autonomous cars within 5 years