Here are five ways that autonomous cars will change our lives for ever – and much sooner than we think. Is this progress or decadence (or just sheer nonsense)? You decide:
Mobile homes. With real estate becoming ever more expensive, there is a case for owning a permanently-mobile home. With the low per-mile cost of electric driving, balanced against the sky-high price of real-estate, a fully autonomous electric home can take its owner to a quiet location at night, or even just drive at low speeds throughout the night, and still be a fraction of the cost of a land based home. Pre-set destinations and recharge automation will mean the vehicle can recharge as required, and arrive at the residents needed location at just the right time the following morning.
Cash generating asset. If the budget runs low, then simply connect your vehicle to the grid at a fixed location for a few days and let the battery earn you some revenue as part of a grid-balancing aggregation program.
Party heaven. For those of us that enjoy a drink, there is no longer a need for a designated driver. The car will always be sober and safe. However, what does this mean for public health? Is alcohol going to become a greater problem for more people without the ‘excuse’ of driving to have a night off?
The weekend starts here. After a Friday night-out with work friends, you can sleep it off as your car heads off overnight to your weekend destination.
The car is THE venue. Whether for business meetings or small social gatherings, the interior of an autonomous car no longer needs to be designed for the purpose of driving and so can become a location in its own right with more comfort and leg room and inward facing seats. With the expected safety improvements of autonomy, seat belts will no longer be a necessity. Imagine a lunch meeting with friends where the food is pre-ordered and picked up by the car before it collects your group. The car gives a tour of London’s most picturesque sites while you eat and relax.
For more information on autonomous driving, visit our searchable news blog here or check out a couple of specific articles: MIT have ideas on technology for autonomy and people are talking about the effect on people.