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!
Will driverless cars avoid potholes? This could result in fewer service calls!
Less business for ‘panel beaters’ (body shops) because of fewer accidents.
Lower prices for parking (because there will be less demand for parking).
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
More panhandlers. Panhandlers blocking roads. Autonomous police chasing down said panhandlers.
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.