The promise of autonomous vehicles not only changes the way we think about cars but also transforms the way industries work, cities are built, and populations move.
The catchy aspect of autonomous vehicles is certainly on the consumer side as we imagine Google and Apple self-driving cars using artificial intelligence to create a new form of mobility. However, it’s arguable that the greatest financial impact of autonomous vehicles will be felt in the freight and logistics world.
Autonomous transport has already begun in freight and logistics; the business case is overwhelming and the human risk factors are less acute. Autonomous technology enables stations and ports to manage complex traffic and logistics, tractors to work remote, and unmanned drones to deliver packages.
Autonomous vehicles will have a stark impact on common infrastructure if used, regulated, priced, and built. As such, governments are taking an increasingly active role in creating the conditions for autonomous vehicles to take flight. National, regional, and local governments often own the roads, lines, waters, and airspace necessary for transport and must create the laws, regulations, and vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle capabilities to drive the dynamic forward. This business case may start with the freight and logistics space, but it has immediate and obvious implications to consumers, including reduction in accidents (94% of accidents are caused by driver error), improved traffic flow, and accelerated reduction in carbon emissions.
Fueled by technology advancements, a decline in ownership culture, and powerful financial incentives to companies, the shift to autonomous vehicles is increasingly moving to a when, not an if, and the shift will have stark impacts for six industry domains: automotive; shipping and logistics; insurance; government; media and entertainment; and safety, security, and privacy.
In this episode, Carl Doty and Laura Koeztle discuss the disruptive potential of automation and its profound ability to reshape industries and society.