Read this quote, and then we’ll discuss:
Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced. They will cause unprecedented job loss and a fundamental restructuring of our economy, solve large portions of our environmental problems, prevent tens of thousands of deaths per year, save millions of hours with increased productivity, and create entire new industries that we cannot even imagine from our current vantage point.
The author goes into a great deal of predictions on what is to come for the future of cars that drive themselves, even going so far as to say the majority of car purchases won’t be by individuals, but by car-sharing and transport services like Uber and Zipcar.
The rest of the article is pretty dire and predicts the end of the public transportation, automotive finance, insurance, and parking industries. Speeding tickets and traditional rental cars will go away, too.
There is one important thing this article doesn’t take into account, though:
People love the independence and freedom cars bring. People love the ability to control where they go, what route they take, and how fast they get there. People love to customize their cars and upgrade their cars. Even if autonomous driving completely takes over the world, people will still want to spend money purchasing and modifying cars.
I’m not suggesting that some of the predictions won’t come true. I think in the next 5 to 20 years, we will indeed see cars driving their passengers safely and predictably to work every day.
I, however, will not be one of those passengers.
Whether the cars of the future are emotionless pods transporting our dreary souls to the city for work or fun narrow cars with supercar-like performance, I’ll be sitting in the driver seat with the right pedal pressed firmly against the floor.
There are plenty of fellow CarGurus out there like me who won’t let their liberty of driving be taken away. We value the independence of having a car, modifying it to fit our tastes, and taking it wherever we please.
Yes, the future of driving will change. But at least we’ll still be driving.
Will you give up driving when autonomous cars hit the market?