06 Apr Self-driving car: Game changer or game over?
The self-driving car is coming and it will be here faster than you may think. The switch to a driverless future is going to be a game changer, and not just for the automotive sector. Imagine how your line of work may be impacted by this single technological development. Here are some thoughts on life and work once the driverless car revolutionizes society.
Commuting becomes productive time
Your CEO is used to being chauffeured around every day, but it’s time you start getting the same treatment. While you are being whisked to work by an expert auto-pilot system, you tackle your inbox, review a presentation, or take part in a conference call. With the head-start you get on your workday, you’ll be all set to head home early to spend time with your family and friends. Alternatively, you sleep in and use your drive time to iron your outfit or safely do your hair and make-up without so much as a glance in the rearview mirror.
Innovators find a new niche
Now that drive time is hands-free, car passengers will be able to direct their attention to entertainment, advertising, and leisure while on the road. ISPs, TV and online video services can now reach out to a whole new demographic. Your GPS location can be used to bring you relevant video advertising or information about your surroundings. Specially adapted appliances will appear on the market, ranging from entertainment and communications consoles to curling irons to water systems to coffee makers. Auto designers will be freed up to focus on style and comfort rather than driveability. Gerry McGovern, design director at Jaguar Land Rover, recently said he envisions the backseat as the “home office” of the future. The car’s interior design will no longer be centered on the driver’s seat. It will be about making the car into a comfortable living space, a moving home away from home.
Race to the top (of the scrap heap of history)
The benefits of autonomous cars are obvious to many. There will also be disadvantages. If you are a professional driver or a driving instructor, you need to start thinking about a plan B before your profession goes the way of the telegram. Consider too, the poor motel owner. If the car has a built-in bathroom and can speed through the night while you sleep in a comfortable, ergonomically designed backseat, who needs tacky furniture, dodgy WiFi, and a polyester bedspread? Motels will have to up their game, offering better features and catering to niche markets in order to attract the hands-free traveler. Style and service will be more important than ever. The same will apply to inland airlines. When auto-pilot makes car travel cheaper, safer, and more comfortable, who will opt for an expensive inland airline ticket, awkward airport security encounters, and overpriced amenities? Businesses who fail to keep up with the new self-driven lifestyle will find themselves at a dead end.
By Will Gibbens – Table Talk Communications for stay amazed every day