The Coming Revolution: Driverless Cars

I'm Baz and I do amazing things with software that make businesses more efficient - so you can spend time on the things that matter.

So, you've probably all heard the hype about driver-less cars. Some of you will be overjoyed - no more dealing with road rage and dodgy drivers. Some of you will be despairing - no more car clubs and wild rides through the countryside.

But not many people have actually thought about the wider implications.

For example, if cars are driver-less, why would you need a city centre car park? You just tell your car to go home, then come back after a couple of hours shopping in town. Or even better, tell your car to go pick someone up and earn a few quid as a taxi cab while you are busy. In fact, why would you need a car park at your office? At the supermarket? Or anywhere, except outside your house?

And if your car is earning money as a taxi, when you're not busy, why would you need a cab firm? So not only do the taxi drivers lose their jobs, but the firms themselves shut down.

If you're going long-haul, why would you need cheap motels and rest stops? Just kip in the car as it sends you on your way. As for freight transport - why do you need a driver at all - that's a whole class of job eliminated right there.

Finally - if these new cars are electric, this has one, even bigger implication. A Tesla has a mere 20 moving parts, compared to hundreds, if not thousands, in an internal combustion engine. That's thousands of parts that no longer need maintenance, no longer need servicing, no longer need a mechanic. Thousands and thousands of garages gone.

So, this is a revolution that's only a few years away that's going to have huge implications on how we design our cities and plan our journeys, as well as eliminating huge swathes of industry (as well as creating new industries).

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. Freelancer since 2007, dedicated to building incredible, low-cost, bespoke software for tiny businesses. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England