The Self-Driving Car And Taxis

Eugene Suslo
Mar 18, 2015

The self-driving will be a reality in our lifetime and the advent will be a disruptive technology in the same magnitude as the train. When the advent of the train came along, you went from transporting a few people or things by horse, to transporting large numbers of people and goods long distances at an alarming speed. This created the first forms of globalisation and created the wide spread practice of global trade. The effects were staggering to mans progression. The next was the advent of the automobile, which allowed every individual to be mobile at a rapid pace to anywhere there were roads. Now, society is faced with the self-driving car which will allow people to get places and no longer need a vehicle. There is still a lot of skepticism about the wide use of a self-driving car and what that could mean for society overall and its potential effects. Although there are many areas of life that the self-driving car will affect people, one area that will see another upheaval is the Taxi industry. With the Taxi industry currently under disruption with ride-sharing companies around the world it is good to look at the bigger picture of the transportation industry and this would include the spread and use of self-driving cars. The self-driving car could have the following impact on the Taxi and transportation industry.

Less Car Ownership

If there is wide spread use of self-driving cars, then this could lead to less car ownership. How would this occur? The fact that a car is idle for approximately 95% of its life gives the possibility of more people buying cars as a group and sharing the cars. This would be much easier to do with a self driving car because there would not need to be a human to human exchange of a car. If there is less car ownership then there could be more room for taxis to supplement the double booking of a vehicle.

Increase The Use Of Taxis

The self-driving car could increase the use of Taxis, which would be more cost effective. If a Taxi is no longer operated by a human driver, the cost to operate a Taxi would be less and therefore a fare is less expensive. This could make the cost of owning a car a much larger burden that people would not think is necessary.

Vehicle Management Companies

If there is less vehicles on the road and no longer Taxis being operated by humans, then there makes an opening in the market for vehicle management companies. This would allow Taxi dispatching companies to begin managing vehicles, and just vehicles. Also, if individuals are purchasing a vehicle to share then there would be room for a company to assist those individuals in managing a shared vehicle.

Uber To Use Self-Driving Cars

There is validation that the transportation industry will see self-driving cars as a changing force. Uber has already announced that it will be using self-driving cars as a transportation option when available in the future. This statement gives reason to believe that self-driving cars are a reality and it is only a matter of time before their widely accepted use.