Some of the Funnier (Less Obvious) Implications of Driverless Vehicles

At this point, most driverless vehicles advocates (and even opponents) are well aware of the key (positive) consequences of driverless vehicles: improved safety, better mobility – especially for the elderly and disabled, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, etc, etc. Over the years, I’ve seen some fun articles and heard some great concepts about the less-discussed (and, of course, less serious) implications of driverless vehicles. Please note that most of these are associated with Level 5 autonomous vehicles, so don’t hold your breath for these to happen in the next decade…

  • More drinking (and less drinking and driving) (see this article)
  • More sex (“Experts Warn” in this article)
  • Better or worse health (depending on how cities respond, based on this article)
  • More scrap/junk cars due to obsolete manual cars and shorter life cycles for driverless cars
  • Less organs available for transplants due to less accidents (see this article)
  • Less vehicle theft
  • Less roadkill (see this article)
  • Growing garage remodel industry (due to less car ownership and/or remote AV parking)
  • Less hotel demand on road trips (people can just sleep in their cars!)
  • Less short-distance airplane trips
  • Less missed doctors’ appointments (due to better transportation options)
  • No more waiting rooms needed at auto maintenance shops
  • No more speeding tickets (or City revenues associated with them)
  • No more car chases (or at least the nature of them will be quite different)

I could go on and on!  Please comment and add more to this list.  It’s a fun mental exercise, even if it is far in the future!

About Lauren Isaac

Lauren Isaac is the Director of Business Initiatives for the North American operation of EasyMile. Easymile provides electric, driverless shuttles that are designed to cover short distances in multi-use environments. Prior to working at EasyMile, Lauren worked at WSP where she was involved in various projects involving advanced technologies that can improve mobility in cities. Lauren wrote a guide titled “Driving Towards Driverless: A Guide for Government Agencies” regarding how local and regional governments should respond to autonomous vehicles in the short, medium, and long term. In addition, Lauren maintains the blog, “Driving Towards Driverless”, and has presented on this topic at more than 75 industry conferences. She recently did a TEDx Talk, and has been published in Forbes and the Chicago Tribune among other publications.
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5 Responses to Some of the Funnier (Less Obvious) Implications of Driverless Vehicles

  1. Will driverless cars avoid potholes? This could result in fewer service calls!

    Like

  2. Paul Minett says:

    Less business for ‘panel beaters’ (body shops) because of fewer accidents.
    Lower prices for parking (because there will be less demand for parking).

    Like

  3. Bill Dermody says:

    Nonstop teenage parties? Drug dealing cars? NY Times Magazine asked a lot of non-transportation writers and got some interesting – and less obvious – ideas: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/08/magazine/tech-design-autonomous-future-cars-100-percent-augmented-reality-policing.html

    I would’ve added roaming restaurants to the list, but after this press release from yesterday, I guess it’s not just a novel idea anymore: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pizza-hut-forges-global-alliance-with-toyota-to-explore-fully-autonomous-delivery-vehicles-300579081.html

    Like

  4. Blair Schlecter says:

    More panhandlers. Panhandlers blocking roads. Autonomous police chasing down said panhandlers.

    Like

  5. Kevin Garben says:

    Having an automous vehicle taking the kids to soccer practice. A big value for family’s with multiple children who are trying to balance multiple activities (soccer, ballet gymnastics, music, etc) as well as studing, dinner time, and family time.

    Like

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