4 unexpected ways autonomous cars could change the auto industry
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Autonomy expert Ariana Merill weighs in on a few of the less-discussed driverless car impacts, including car warranties and the tech-company-takeovers
The auto industry stands to benefit greatly with the growth of artificial intelligence (AI), particularly with the emergence of self-driving cars. We are already seeing partially automated cars with driverless features, the likes of which are unanimously making driving easier and safer. Parking, collision detection and auto-braking features, in particular, are proving popular additions to new cars – and are changing the way customers choose their vehicles.
But tech-features and customer behaviors aren't the only things that autonomy is likely to overhaul. Here are four other changes that self-driving cars could bring to the auto industry.
1. Tech companies could take over
Auto manufacturers have a tendency to drag their feet when it comes to adopting new technologies. For proof, look no further than the length of time it took before the industry to fully embraced electric cars. Now tech companies, as opposed to traditional manufacturers, are gradually making inroads into auto development and manufacturing. Google and Apple, for example, are already experimenting with autonomous driving technology – and startups are already taking the sector by storm. Traditional car manufacturing companies are under pressure up their game, lest they be edged out from their own industry.
2. Better car warranty terms
You could soon be paying less for your car warranty thanks to the zero-incident future that driverless cars are likely to bring. Once these cars become affordable to the lower-middle class, human-driven cars will be a thing of the past and city authorities will have to design better, smarter roads. The roads and the cars will be communicating through camera technology and sensors, which will make pathways smooth and collisions nonexistent.
When this happens, car sellers will have no reason not to prolong car warranties. There is a high chance that no car will need expensive repairs within the period in which the warranty is in force, after all. In fact, the only maintenance practices car owners will need to do to keep their warranty, is ensure their software is up to date.
3. The cybersecurity factor
Many things will be greatly improved once autonomous cars are fully integrated into our transportation system, but that is not to mean that everything will be. Outdated car software, for example, will be vulnerable to cyber criminality, which means that cybersecurity experts will become very relevant in the auto industry. The communication interfaces on our roads will also be vulnerable to hacking, rendering zero-incident roads a pipedream.
If a malicious cyber attacker were to gain access to the servers used to direct autonomous vehicles, and goes ahead to confuse them all, they could cause confusion and even fatal accidents of tragic proportions. In the event the road network in a city is compromised, a huge amount of private user data would be up for grabs too, resulting in identity theft – and worse.
For the reasons above, all stakeholders in the auto and transportation industries will need to employ robust, appropriate, and foolproof data security solutions.
4. The ridesharing business will boom
The ridesharing business will grow tremendously with the adoption of autonomous cars. Uber and Lyft are already making notable strides in the transportation sector, partially because people trust in their efficiency over that of public transportation. This efficiency will only improve with driverless tech. Autonomous cars will necessitate low maintenance costs, so ridesharing services will be cheaper for the consumer and highly profitable for the provider – therefore worth the investment.
Do you agree with the four points above, or has Ariana missed something out? Let us know! Join the debate, and make your voice heard.
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