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Will Autonomous Cars Be the Next iPhone?

  • Posted by Donna Silk | 2 min read

When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, few could have predicted the impact this phone would have on the world. Although not the first cell phone, the iPhone had instant access to information, a quality camera, advanced texting abilities, as well as mobility in making and receiving calls.

This new phone led to changes in everything from the way we do our banking and look up information, to the way we text and take pictures. Since then, we’ve had numerous advancements in the field of communication, but also the disruption of industries like land line communications and camera manufacturing. Another surprise: the iPhone even crushed sales of Apple’s own iPod.

Driverless cars are coming

Today we are on the verge of autonomous or driverless vehicles, a new world-changing advancement. Like the iPhone, driverless vehicles will also have many positive effects:

  • Increased safety
  • Reduced shipping time and cost
  • Additional transportation options for consumers

Customizable transportation options would open possibilities for many individuals. Think of the senior citizens who no longer can get out to the grocery store or visit friends because they no longer drive, individuals with physical limitations, or the children who need transportation to their after-school activities when their parents are still at work. Current public transportation may not be an option for these groups due to availability or other concerns such as safety.

Driverless cars will bring instant mobility for these groups and those who don’t currently have this freedom.

And there’s more…

Autonomous vehicles aren’t the only transportation advancement on the horizon. Many in the technical industry think there are three big changes coming to transportation: driverless vehicles, eco-friendly technology and ride sharing.

These advances will not only have an effect on our current transportation industries, but will influence society as a whole. We’ll benefit greatly with safer roads and cleaner fuels, leading to less costly transportation. Less time driving will also lead to the freedom to make the most of one’s time spent in the car–more free time!

Something to think about

There are drawbacks, though. One of the main cost savings in autonomous vehicles comes in the reduction of driver salaries, which is great for the consumer, but a substantial loss to the job market. These job losses are a main societal concern that will have to be addressed as we embrace these new technologies.

As with the iPhone, this trio of transportation advancements will have effects we haven’t even thought of yet. And just like those in the app industry who were quick to capitalize on the iPhone’s success, those who are quick to the market with the possibilities that a new driverless, eco-friendly, ride-sharing industry unveils will be the true winners. And although this new mode of transportation may be a generation away, businesses should already be planning for the disruption—and how they can best embrace future opportunities.

Donna has been part of the Progressive family for over 20 years, working in operations, finance and marketing. She also enjoys playing music, boating and spending time with her family.