As self-driving cars, trucks, and taxis grow increasingly common, businesses that rely upon vehicles will see many changes. In fact, autonomous vehicles are expected to become commonplace in industries before self-driving cars are released to the public. Therefore, businesses will experience the implications of using autonomous vehicles before anyone else.
An Opportunity to Save
The most apparent effect of autonomous vehicles is that they will save businesses time, money, and labor. This effect will be most notable in transportation-based industries like trucking, auto manufacturers, and taxi companies. These sectors will benefit by eliminating human drivers and trusting computers to drive longer, safer, and faster routes. According to Investor Place, that’s why Uber and Lyft are so invested in the future of self-driving cars.
On the other hand, a few sectors stand to lose from the advent of autonomous vehicles. If self-driving cars reduce accidents as hoped, auto insurance may become a thing of the past. Truck stops, gas stations, and other businesses targeted at weary drivers will lose their appeal. These industries will have to prepare their business models for the coming changes.
More Complicated Legal Issues
The immediate future of autonomous vehicles presents some safety and legal roadblocks in the way. Currently, lawmakers and vehicle manufacturers are debating what happens when an autonomous vehicle gets in a crash.
According to Dolman Law, accidents are less a question of if, and more of a question of when, which then leads to the complications in determining who is at fault when a self-driving vehicle is involved. Right now, there simply is no legal infrastructure for determining fault when an autonomous vehicle crashes.
Currently, self-driving cars are only being operated in a few states with human safety drivers ready to take over at all times, but a few accidents have already occurred. This means businesses impacted by autonomous vehicles should prepare for whatever legal infrastructure may need to be established.
The switch to autonomous vehicles will not occur overnight. Autonomous vehicles that operate without safety drivers won’t be available for a few years. However, this isn’t a reason for businesses to delay the adoption of self-driving vehicles. It’s a chance for them to transition their driving fleets and services smoothly and to get ahead of those that don’t. Title Max estimates that up to half of cars being produced will be autonomous by 2025, so it’s best to be prepared before driverless cars become more widespread.
Transportation is entering a whole new world and taking businesses with it. Autonomous vehicles will be a boon to some industries and a detriment to others, but businesses that ready themselves for the future of autonomous vehicles are poised to do best. It’s important for businesses to be prepared for these new technologies and embrace them in order to stay relevant and successful in the future.