Self driving cars are about to take the world by storm. Let’s look into my crystal ball and make some predictions about how self driving cars will change society as we know it. Curious? Read on!

1. Commutes will suck less.

Busy commutes are the worst. I know, because I live in New York City! It’s sad that driving is so stressful, but that’s my reality.

(You don’t even want to know how many swear words have left my mouth because of traffic jams and people cutting me off!)

Do you know the feeling? If so, you’ll be relieved to know that self driving cars will definitely make commutes seem like less of a hassle.

Self driving cars aren’t nearly as aggressive as people. In fact, the Oatmeal compared them to nervous student drivers. That sounds reassuring to me!

How will they self driving cars deal with less patient drivers who speed like it’s the Autobahn and change lanes without giving a heads-up? I don’t know. Only time will tell!

2. You’ll be far more productive.

The average daily commute is 25.4 minutes each way. That’s almost an hour total!

If you have an even longer commute that takes one or two hours, that’s even worse…

Wouldn’t it be nice to use that time to plan your workday, read a book, or do the crossword? That’s not a hypothetical question. When self driving cars hit the market, it will be possible!

3. You won’t need more than one car.

Cars aren’t the most productive asset in the world. In fact, they’re parked 95% of the time. What a waste of a precious resource!

This is especially true when you’re in a family that requires more than one car for daily living. It’s hard to arrange your schedules in a way that would make “one car” work for everybody.

Imagine a world where your car has the capability of driving without any input from a human. You can simply push a button on your smartphone to summon your robotic chauffeur. Crazy!

If you start work at 8AM and your spouse has to be at work by 10AM, you could both take the same car to work. You could send a text to your partner when you exit the car. Next, they’d ask the car to pick them up for their commute.

That said, you need to know self driving cars aren’t meant to replace the traditional vehicle (not yet anyhow). The Google cars only travel at a max speed of 25 MPH. In other words, they’re made for short city drives… not long road trips.

4. The elderly will become more mobile.

Imagine your eyesight has got so bad that it’s not safe for you to drive. This is a reality for many seniors.

It’s heart-breaking (not to mention awkward) when you have to consider taking the keys away from someone you love.

This is especially true when your family member lives far away and/or you don’t have enough time to take them on their errands. You’d feel like a villain in that situation.

Self driving cars will make these people’s lives so much better. They won’t need good eyesight at all. Autonomous cars are equipped with radar detection, which makes poor vision a moot point.

5. Entire business models will become extinct.

Self driving cars are bad news for cabbies, truckers, and anyone who drives for a living. It’s cheaper to invest in a vehicle that drives itself (versus paying an annual salary for all those employees).

It’s like video rental stores. Blockbuster didn’t stand a chance when Netflix showed up. Why go out of your way to rent a movie when you can access thousands of movies from home? There’s no good reason.

6. Cars will lose their position as “status symbols.”

Have you seen the Google (Waymo) car? It looks like a clown car. There are no style points for that!

Granted, other versions of the self driving car are more visually appealing… but still, I don’t expect cars to remain a “status symbol” when self driving cars become common.

Instead, cars will become a “means to an end.” As long as it can get a driver from Point A to Point B safely, they won’t care about how “cool” or “fancy” it might be. That’s fine by me!

7. Decrease the number of deaths due to distracted driving.

Distracted driving killed 3,154 people in 2015. 391,000 more were injured (source: NHTSA).

This death and destruction will come to an end when drivers are removed from the equation.

Will there be problems along the way? Probably. No technology works flawlessly at first. There are nuts-and-bolts to iron out. But in the long-term, the good will outweigh the bad.  

If you’re curious about how self driving cars will change society, I hope this post enlightened you. Share this blog with your friends and ask for their input. It should be an interesting conversation!

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