Get Ready for the Biggest Trend of This Century

If puttering around in the daily grind of traffic fills your annoyance bucket, take heart: self-driving cars will be in major city centers in 5 years, and they will be coming in hot. In fact, they’ll likely be commonplace everywhere within just 10 years. These nifty new vehicles have the potential to shake up your life in areas extending well off the road. Here’s why:

The on-demand economy turned upside down

Self-driving cars might spell big trouble for some industries while helping out in others. Some are even predicting that it is the end of Uber + Lyft. On the contrary, picture this: It’s 5 years from now and you’re waiting for your Uber. It arrives, you get in, and voila, driverless. Want some tunes? Sync your Spotify for music of your choice. Need to vent? Have a conversation with the in-car artificially-intelligent robot–they always know how to cheer you up. Fear not, Uber drivers, just switch your self-driving car to “work” mode and off it’ll go for its shift. You’ll get paid for every mile that’s put on your car. #PassiveIncome

Think it’s a coincidence that Uber is already in discussion with Fiat about a self-driving car partnership? 21 million self-driving cars are predicted to be sold by 2035 as well. It’s going to be huge.

Finally, a cure for distracted driving

A text. A snap. An email. A call. Due to these types of factors, distracted driving accidents are at an all time high. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Pretty scary, folks.

Although self-driving cars might occasionally have technical glitches, properly working models can’t suffer distractions like people can. The vehicles thus might hold the key to pulling these frightening statistics down.

Insurance, anyone?

In theory, self-driving cars mean fewer accidents and that the manufacturer, not you, will be liable for issues. For insurance companies, that might be the equivalent of the apocalypse, essentially eliminating the need for millions of policies. That could translate to big job losses. If people carpool more due to safety and convenience, fewer vehicles would need to be manufactured. Some experts assert the devastation won’t be quite so dramatic, as the insurance companies might be able to direct attention to other insurance options.

The auto industry might stay perfectly stable, too–fewer cars could be on the road, but with insurance premiums no longer an issue, more people might buy rather than lease. Since self-driving cars also mean you can put your attention elsewhere, they might open a huge window for marketers. Responses to ads might drive sales in any number of industries. Fewer cars on the road also can change city living in ways that might create jobs that replace the ones lost from declined vehicle demand. Disruption is inevitable.

Navigating the change

You’ve got some time before self-driving cars are the norm, but you can plan for them now in a very big way. If you like the concept, be on the lookout for the latest press releases, talk to your dealerships, and start putting your pennies away for a clean purchase. We’re on the cusp of the biggest trend of the century.

source: inc.com BY TOM POPOMARONIS

 

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