In 1956, GM released a video “Keys to the Future” that boldly predicted driverless cars in 1976. Although it is nearly 40 years later, driverless cars are being created and will soon transform our society as we know it. Most of all, this disruption will alter how we travel. While driverless cars may not affect travel in European countries that rely on bicycle and mass transportation, this will definitely transform the traveling experience within America.
As utopian as driverless cars may seem, this technology has quickly evolved, and is estimated to be available to everyone in the next three to five years. What are the three ways that driverless cars will change the travel experience:
Do you even need to rent a car?
As visitors will be traversing in Smart Cities, the need for a vehicle that moves at high speeds will be diminished. There will be vehicles meant for the city and then vehicles meant to go out on the old open roads outside of the cities. For most travelers, this would mean that renting a vehicle would not be necessary. Driverless cars would take care of all transportation needs.
Car Rental Rates Increase
Driverless cars will change if and when rent a vehicle. First, the cars will definitely change. With less vehicles crowding roads, and as these vehicles will not be driving on the freeway, so they will only be used at slower speeds, the design of vehicles will change. The early driverless cars will be a bit like a taxi service or car sharing. There will be an app on your Smartphone to call for transportation. Responding to that app will be fleets providing mobility services for anyone who needs to go from point A to point B. The cost of using a driverless car will be comperable to using a cab.
For those traveling within cities, driverless cars may be all they need, but what if a family wants to visit a landmark or a national park outside of the city? This would mean a more expensive, heavy-duty, safer vehicle that needs to be driven by a human or with a combination of auto pilot and human. As fewer people would actually be driving, creating the risk of an accident, car insurance will definitely become much more expensive. In addition, there could potentially be additional changes in costs for road service, snow removal and other services that are not currently added to the car rental total. As fewer drivers will be out driving, they will pay for the brunt of these services.
Safer driving experience
Perhaps the biggest anticipation is how safe driverless cars have become. After millions of miles of testing, the only driverless car accidents that have occurred is when vehicles, driven by humans, have run into the driverless cars and caused the crash. Because there will no longer be drivers, only passengers, this will take away the bad decisions, the emotion, and the occasional aggression associated with driving. How convenient for a driver, inexperienced in winter driving that needs to get to the airport on time, during a dangerous snowstorm. Driverless cars will protect passengers and give them a safe ride to their destination.
While it may be three to five years until driverless cars are introduced, the impact of driverless cars will transform the travel experience. These new vehicles may mean that we may use car rental companies less frequently, and our Smartphone to schedule a ride often. Most of all, driverless cars will make the traveling experience safer.