Every January Las Vegas hosts the Consumer Electronics Show and this year was no different. 2015 was the largest in CES history with more than 170,000 attendees (45,000 came from outside the United States) and around 3,600 exhibitors demonstrating their products. Arguably the biggest showstoppers this year were the cars ranging from see-through frames to self-driving technology. One of the more impressive examples was the Mercedes-Benz’s forward-thinking autonomous concept car. You may however be thinking why out of all the products demonstrated I am focusing on the cars? The reason is that not only are Car manufacturers starting to step up to show that they are technology companies (Hyundai was demonstrating Augmented Reality 3D Gesture Controls) but the changes expected over the next decade could change the way we travel and also ripple through the whole global economy.
It is predicted that by 2017 Autonomous Assisted Cars could become mainstream (the car assesses the road ahead and can make changes like breaking when it perceives a crash is possible through anti-collision systems) and by 2025 Autonomous Cars will arrive. So what will this mean? Imagine in only 10 years time instead of every household owning one or two cars people have started to embrace self driving cars and now rent them. Whenever you go out you call a car and it takes you to your destination and leaves. You then call again to get picked up (it would be the evolution of the personalised taxi without the chat) however just think, less cars would be purchased affecting the manufacturers and parts supply chain. Local Authority revenues would plummet with less speeding tickets and no need for parking. If these cars were electric the oil industry would feel the pinch and of course the whole Car Insurance industry would have to change. This may only be a provocation and estimation by the futurists however I don’t think most industries have considered the possibilities of this, should it become a reality. This change would have the same impact felt by horses with the introduction of the motorcar. Makes you think doesn’t it.