Driverless cars are coming, and they’re going to change everything about the way we get around. The technology isn’t new—people have been working on it for more than 100 years. But in recent years, the arrival of electric vehicles (EVs) and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft has put autonomous vehicles squarely on our radar. As 2020 approaches, let’s take a look at what you should know about AVs right now:
AVs are coming sooner than you think.
Autonomous vehicles are coming sooner than you think.
In January, Ford announced that it plans to mass produce autonomous vehicles for ride-sharing services in 2021. But the company isn’t alone: GM and Waymo have both said they expect their AVs will be available by then too (and Tesla is hot on their heels).
That means we could see fully-autonomous cars on the road as early as 2020 or 2021–and even sooner if you’re willing to settle for partial autonomy like Tesla’s Autopilot feature.
Driverless technology will be integrated into existing fleets.
Autonomous vehicles are going to be integrated into existing fleets. If you’re not sure what an “existing fleet” is, don’t worry–we’ll get to that in a minute. But first, let’s talk about why it’s important for you to know this.
Let’s say you work at an insurance company and your job is to evaluate risk for car accidents based on factors such as age and gender (you know–the stuff they teach in school). You could use your data set from 2017-2020 as the basis for determining how much a given driver will cost over time if they get into an accident with another driver who isn’t autonomous-ready yet!
Or maybe you’re just interested in learning more about AVs because they sound cool? Either way: welcome aboard!
The cars are going to be electric.
Electric cars are better for the environment, they’re better for the driver and they’re even better for the city. Electric cars are also great for car manufacturers, insurance companies and dealerships. They can be charged at home or at work so there’s no need to spend money on gas or pay a monthly parking fee (which often costs more than gas).
With an electric vehicle you’ll save money on maintenance costs because there isn’t any engine oil to change regularly and brake pads won’t wear down as quickly as they would in a combustion engine vehicle that burns fossil fuels like diesel or gasoline. In fact with many models today you can even recharge them wirelessly by parking them over special pads which send electricity directly into the battery pack!
Who will pay for AVs?
Autonomous vehicles are going to be more expensive than their conventional counterparts.
The cost of AVs will be offset by their ability to operate for longer periods of time and shorter maintenance intervals, but there’s no getting around the fact that it costs more money to manufacture an autonomous vehicle than it does a conventional one. In addition, many people may not want or be able to afford an AV at all–and those who can will probably still want some traditional cars in their fleet as well.
One thing we know for sure: Autonomous vehicles will save people money on gasoline and insurance over time because they’re safer drivers than humans!
Autonomous vehicles are going to change cities.
Autonomous vehicles are going to change cities. They’ll change where and how we live, get around, work and shop. They’ll also affect the way we eat and travel.
It’s hard to imagine what life will be like when AVs finally hit the road in full force–but here are some things that could happen:
There’s a lot to know about autonomous vehicles, but it’s important to stay up to date on the latest developments in this space.
You’re probably thinking that autonomous vehicles are still years away, but you may be surprised to learn that they’re closer than you think.
In fact, the first AVs have already hit the road in a few states and cities–and there’s more on the way this year. In addition to being electric and connected to each other via 5G networks, AVs will also have an important role in shaping urban design by reducing congestion and parking issues as well as helping cities achieve their sustainability goals by making better use of public space.
This is just a snapshot of what we can expect from self-driving cars in the coming years. As more manufacturers enter the space and continue to develop new technologies for autonomous vehicles, there will be even more opportunities for consumers and businesses alike. Autonomous vehicles are going to change how we travel around our cities, but it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves when thinking about this technology–there are still many questions left unanswered by policymakers and lawmakers who will need answers before they can start rolling out programs on a large scale.