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It’s the Sharing, Stupid! | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #SmartCities
We live in a world where you can press a button and request a self-driving car, what will change when fleet cars are autonomous?
By: Shelly Palmer
Sep. 24, 2017 03:00 PM
“Self-driving cars are the future of ride-sharing,” proclaimed an industry expert who shall remain nameless. The comment struck me as ridiculous. From my point of view, Uber (and all car services) already provide self-driving cars. You don’t drive the car; the driver does. Do you really care whether the car is controlled by a human/machine partnership or it’s an autonomous mechanical device? Other than to acknowledge that you are the person the car is supposed to pick up, you don’t need to speak to the human driver any more than you would need to speak to the natural language–understanding algorithm that would request the same confirmation if the vehicle were autonomous. Should you decide to change your destination, your driver will ask you to enter the new address via the app, so talking is completely optional.
Anyway, if we already live in a world where you can press a button and request a self-driving car, what will really change when fleet cars are autonomous?
It’s the Economy, Stupid!
Averaging most industry estimates, a $40,000 electric autonomous or hybrid ride-sharing fleet vehicle will cost approximately 20 cents per mile to operate. It doesn’t take much in the way of math skills to understand the industry’s desire to eliminate human drivers.
As I have previously written, there are many other benefits to autonomous vehicles including safety, but here I’d like to focus on the financial incentives that may accelerate the trend toward sharing.
It’s Happened Many Times in Many Ways
When $40,000 Cars Cost 40 Cents and $400,000 Houses Cost $40
Every business can easily identify several areas where something that was once capital and resource intensive such as providing a virtually unlimited supply of potable water, creating a private data center, or generating electricity is going to ultimately transition to a simple (possibly commoditized) line-item expense such as a monthly invoice for water, power, or cloud computing.
How will you invest in this very probable future? Where will you place your bets? How will you think about which business functions and processes require internal investments, and which are so obvious and useful that outside vendors will ultimately emerge? These are questions that should be considered daily. I welcome your thoughts and opinions.
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