Brian Johnson, a Barclays Plc analyst, has published a report entitled, “Disruptive Mobility.” Its contents might disrupt your ideas about your personal and professional transportation choices. Here are some key points Johnson shares about the future of driving [Bloomberg report summary]:
- Driverless cars will travel twice as many miles as current autos because they will transport multiple family members each day.
- Families will move to having just one car because it doubles as a chauffeur.
- Car ownership rates may fall by almost half.
- U.S. auto sales may drop 40 percent in the next 25 years because of shared driverless cars.
- Car manufacturers will be forced to slash output to remain solvent.
Purely based on what we already know about driverless vehicles, I can definitely see that these predictions could easily come true. I think that the speed of adoption will be driven (pun intended?) by these factors:
Good Reports From Early Adopters. Unless people are hearing positive reports about driverless vehicles, they will not have any interest in pursuing it. It will be crucial that the early adopters publicize their happy experiences in this new realm of personal transportation.
Strong PR Surrounding The Safety Record. Even though most people intellectually know that driverless vehicles are safer than human-driven vehicles, they will still need to see lots of proof. Let’s face it—everyone today has had horrible experiences due to computer crashes. No one will want to risk a car crash because of a computer crash.
A Price Point That Works. No matter how pleasant and effective the driverless vehicle is, no one will purchase one if the price point is not in the sweet spot. As with all new technologies, this will take some time to find what works. I am certain that driverless vehicle manufacturers will carefully offer a choice of vehicle models that will appeal to a range of the targeted socioeconomic audience.