The “Google car,” officially known as the Google Self-Driving Car, or SDC for short, is courtesy of a Google X project responsible for developing innovative technology for autonomous cars, primarily electric cars. Although the Google car has completed more than one million driving miles and is undergoing extensive road testing, fully autonomous vehicles will probably not be ready for another 10 years. However, that day is coming, and for the executive car service industry, as well as others, it may be a dark day.
Google Car Technology
With the Google car, a location is simply typed or spoken. In response, the vehicle drives to that location without the aid of an actual driver. The building blocks of driverless cars are already in place. A prime example is front-crash prevention systems, designed to let a driver know about some type of obstacle ahead if braking is too slow. This technology has been available for a number of years. Another example is ParkAssist, which consists of hands-free parallel parking assistance.
According to experts, the new technology behind the Google car could cost various car-related enterprises hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions. This would affect automakers, suppliers, dealers, parking companies, insurers, and the executive car service industry, including limousine companies, among others. However, the government would also lose a significant amount of revenue in the form of taxes, licensing, and tolls.
There are other ways the Google car, as well as other companies following suit, would have a huge effect on the transportation industry. A car that drives a person to work and then parks but also returns on demand without assistance will reduce the need for short flights, trains, buses, limos, and so on.
In addition, Google is pushing shared rides with the Google car. As such, several people would utilize the same autonomous car, thus impacting gas stations, oil companies, tire makers, and other businesses that depend on there being more cars on the road, not less.
Although self-driving cars could create as much as $87 billion worth of opportunities, specifically for technology developers and automakers, they will also have a negative impact on many travel-related industries, including the executive car service industry.
A large number of experts believe there will be a dramatic boost in annual sales of new and used cars within the US initially after launch, but as people accept the technology and sharing becomes more popular, there is a huge risk of sales dropping significantly.
Even when the Google car begins rolling off the assembly line, the best, most cost-efficient, safest, and most convenient mode of transportation for business executives will remain the chauffeur-driven limousine.Tags: Executive travel, ground transportation