Experiments on driverless cars began as early as 1920s and promising trials were seen in the 1950s. It is now expected that tangible results will be witnessed by 2020, when there’ll be have an array of driverless vehicles on the roads. Case in point- through a press release, Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan, announced that by 2020, Nissan will market autonomous-drive vehicles. Another manufacturer, Audi, announced that its next generation of Audi A8 limousines will be fully autonomous by 2020.
Evidently, by 2020, road traffic will be characterized by driverless cars. Subsequent effects include changes in infrastructural planning; extinction and creation of new jobs, and more as explained:
Cheaper Infrastructural Investment
A report by an Australian telecommunications company, Telstra, showed that autonomous vehicles could potentially save the Australian government billions of dollars in infrastructure development. According to the report, conventional vehicles would require the capacity of the road network increased by approximately 250%, while driverless vehicles- which utilize space more efficiently- would require way less road capacity.
Driverless or not, as long as you own a car, you can still get a loan from a car title loan lender.
Significant Reduction In Road Accidents
90% of automobile accidents in the United States happen due to human error– leading to loss of $300 billion in damages and 30,000 deaths per year. To improve this situation, driverless cars will reduce accidents by 90% and save the 30,000 lives which would otherwise have been lost in car accidents.
Driverless vehicles are also said to have the potential to reduce vehicle crashes in the U.S. from second to ninth place in lethality ranking.
An End To Millions Of Middle Class Jobs
Employment data analyzed from 20 different countries found out that millions of mid-skill and mid-pay jobs disappeared in just five years after a new technological invention. Going by this trend, technologists and economists have predicted that many jobs will likely be lost due to driverless vehicles.
Currently in Nevada, a self-driving truck is threatening the future of truck drivers. For now, the truck operates under the supervision of a human, but as the future of driverless cars seems bright, the need for a human supervisor will be unnecessary. To put it in perspective, 180,000 taxi drivers, 160,000 Uber drivers, 500,000 school bus drivers, and 160,000 transit bus drivers, leading to a total of one million workers are set to lose their jobs.
Luckily, these cars are set to actually lead to reemployment rather than unemployment, creating a different set of jobs. This means that people should train in new fields that will emerge by 2020.
Emergence of New Jobs
A new research carried out by KPMG surprisingly forecasts that driverless cars will create 320,000 jobs in the United Kingdom. In a 2014 poll carried out by Open Roboethics Initiative (ORI), three key areas were identified as sources of jobs in the driverless car era. Jobs in businesses involving autonomous cars, new infrastructure for autonomous cars, and autonomous car design and development were seen as fruitful by over 50% of the recipients.
Autonomous cars are therefore considered to have both good and bad effects. Just like previous technologies, they are facing some resistance- but it’s expected that humans will find a way of adjusting.