E-mobility is all about changing the way we drive. So it makes sense that there are now calls to embrace self-driving technology. The idea of a car driving itself used to be the work of science fiction, but today there are prototypes that show us exactly how that might look.
Smarter technology would allow a connected car to be “always on”, wirelessly communicating with the internet. While critics of this type of technology argue that it would be next to impossible to shield motorists from hacking attempts, there are so many benefits to self-driving cars that we wanted to talk about it a little bit more.
1. The Disabled Reclaim Their Freedom
Those with disabilities no longer have to worry about flaky handlers or transportation systems. With self-driving cars on the road, they could simply get in and tell the car where they want to go. They would be safe because the vehicle is sensing any and all obstacles that come in the way. The car would know how fast to go, when to slow down, when to brake and they could always emergency stop the vehicle if necessary. This would go far beyond the hand controls that are installed in some cars today to address the needs of people who are paralyzed below the waist.
2. Increased Growth for Automakers
An extended study of the e-mobility space by PriceWaterhouseCooper indicated that cars with this type of technology could truly become hot commodities, boasting sales of over 100 billion euros by 2021.
Is this what’s meant by disruptive technology? Somewhat, but it’s so much more.
3. Intoxicated Driving Rates Plummet
Drinking and driving is a terrible thing that has taken so many lives. What if we could put self-driving cars on the road so that people could be safely taken home? While we think intoxicated driving is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, people argue that there are times where transportation isn’t available and people feel pressured to leave before they’re charged with trespassing.
The autonomous car solves the problem of intoxicated driving because it would get people where they need to go and a passenger could also step into the car to help “guide” things along when the person just can’t make those decisions. Or clubs and bars could have a designed liaison that would help people their cars and automatically program this stuff in. It might take some negotiations and the legality isn’t clear yet, but it would be interesting to say the least.
We’re thinking that embracing e-mobility and autonomous vehicles should go hand in hand, but consumers aren’t so sure just yet. They worry about a time where the software just doesn’t work properly and an accident is almost certain. Questions of liability have also come up. After all, if you aren’t driving the vehicle, can you still be held liable for an accident? Insurance companies would have to write different policies. Would you be penalized for driving a self-driving vehicle, or rewarded for lowering your level of risk?
All of these questions should be answered in the years to come, but we’re pretty excited that this technology is starting to gain more attention in the mainstream press.